Very difficult to know where to start to describe what a super experience this was. I guess it begins with a beautiful walk from Tampere city centre through the woods alongside Lake Nasijarvi to find the wooden sauna buildings tucked away in a cove on the lake. It was out of season so the cafe was closed, air temp around 6 degrees but very windy which brought the real temperature down somewhat (as my wife will attest as she spent 2 hours in the cold waiting for me to finish!!). The sauna is extremely hot, the hottest I experienced in Finland, so flip flops and portable wooden boards are provided to use (for walking around and sitting on). Many regulars wear beanie hats to protect their hair and scalp which, having been in without, is a very good idea. The real crowning glory of this sauna is the easy access (via steps) to the pristine, clear, cold choppy waters of the lake. The routine as far as I could figure out was:
1. Get very, very hot in the sauna
2. Go for a swim in the aforementioned lake
3. Sit down on the benches outside the sauna (with not a goosebump in sight), drinking a can of beer alongside your hypothermic wife who is wrapped in thick layers, yet still freezing to death.
4. Repeat several times.
This, I can assure you is a recipe for a brief few hours of Finnish happiness that even tourists can access.
Note that the changing rooms are separate for male and female but the sauna is mixed as bathing costumes are worn.