Nordic Spas in Canada to Add to Your Bucket List

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For spa lovers, quite possibly the best reason to visit the Great White North may be to explore its proliferation of Nordic spas. Scandinavian baths or Nordic spas are a time-honored tradition, especially in chillier climates. Spa goers cycle through a circuit alternating between hot, cold and relaxation. In the first phase, you sweat it out in a traditional sauna or steam bath. That’s followed by a plunge into a cold pool, said to increase circulation. Finally, you rest. As the name suggests, it’s a Northern European concept, but Canada has jumped on the bandwagon like you wouldn’t believe. Take a look at this selection of incredible Nordic spas in Canada that you'll definitely want to add to your bucket list!

Scandinave Spa Whistler

Scandinave Spa Whistler (Photo credit: Chad Chomlack)

1. Scandinave Spa Whistler

You know Whistler as one of Canada’s top ski resorts, but not everyone who goes on a ski holiday wants to swoosh down the slopes all day. When your legs are burning and you can’t take anymore vertical, head to Scandinave Spa Whistler to soothe sore muscles. Situated on Lost Lake, this amazing spa is surrounded by fragrant forests. The scent of cedar alone will likely lower your stress levels. Choose between couples, deep tissue and pre-natal massages before or after your pool plunges.

alberta nordic spa

Kananaskis Nordic Spa, between Calgary and Banff (Photo credit: Mike Seegal, Travel Alberta)

2. Kananaskis Nordic Spa

Most spas are all about the quiet. Not here. It’s not that Kananaskis Nordic Spa isn’t peaceful and relaxing. It is. It’s more that you won’t have anyone shushing you and there are no signs reminding you to be silent. You’re totally welcome to gab with your girlfriends in any of the pools or saunas. The whole vibe is relaxed and well suited for a stagette party. There is, however, a quiet zone with its own pool and steam room for those yearning for utter tranquility.

Opened in spring 2018, Kan-Nord is halfway between Calgary and Banff National Park. It's still in the mountains — right next door to a ski resort. Being on the grounds of the Pomeroy Lodge Kananaskis means you can stay a few nights and take advantage of their complimentary childcare services, since only adults are allowed spa entry.

canadian outdoor spa

Thermea Spa in Winnipeg (Photo credit: Thermea Spa)

3. Thermea Spa

Thermea Winnipeg is unique in that it’s situated smack-dab within a capital city. You wouldn’t know it though, since it’s perched on the edge of a massive park. Begin in their aromatic steam sauna and forgo the outdoor pools on your first pass. Just outside this steam room lies an exfoliation chamber brimming with infused salts to revitalize your skin.

If you’re not brave enough to hit their bracing PolarBer Pool, choose the warm and lovely Geyser Pool instead. In addition to outdoor hammocks you'll find alluring relaxation rooms. One resting room has thick mats luring you for a nap. Another has heated tiles and headphones. Bonus: their on-site restaurant serves alcohol. The bad news is that kids must be older than 16 to visit. But maybe that’s a good thing?

Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain

Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain in Ontario (Photo credit: Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain)

4. Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain

A few hours drive outside of Toronto lies the Blue Mountains, a spot where Ontario city folk go to ski at the bewilderment of Western Canadians. They may be blue, but these aren’t really mountains. Hills is more like it, but they do have something awesome going for them — the award-winning Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain.

Situated in a serene natural forest, this Nordic spa is mere minutes from the charming town of Collingwood and Blue Mountain Resort. The spa boasts an on-site bistro dishing up healthy local fare. In addition to the Nordic waterfalls, hot baths and cold plunges are infrared Finnish saunas, plus an eucalyptus steam room. Registered massage therapists are on-site and although children aren’t allowed, it’s easy to score a sitter at one of the nearby resorts.

Siberia Station Quebec City

Kids are sometimes welcome at Siberia Station Spa (Photo credit: Siberia Station Spa)

5. Siberia Station Spa

As you’ve likely gathered by now, most of these spas have a strict adults-only policy. Not so at Siberia Station Spa in Quebec! Every Sunday morning and the mornings of school vacation (spring break, summer and Christmas), potty-trained kids are welcomed with their caregivers. Staff really goes the extra mile, too, providing children’s bathrobes, a kid’s menu at the on-site cafe and even discounted youth spa service prices.

In addition to the many steam rooms, saunas and pools, there’s a river on the edge of the grounds, with a swimming hole. In winter it’s more of a quick dip spot, but it’s got a platform and handrails. Perhaps the biggest draw for both adults and wee ones are their relaxation chambers. Some are shaped like igloos, while others contain individual chair hammocks for curling up to catch forty winks.

Le Nordik Spa

Le Nordik's saline pool (Photo credit: Nordik Nature Spa)

6. Le Nordik Spa-Nature

Le Nordik is Canada’s largest day spa and was one of the first Nordic spas to open in the country. While this spa is situated in Chelsea, Quebec, it’s only a short drive from the Canadian capital of Ottawa. It’s got your typical thermal cycle, but on a much larger scale. There are nine saunas, four (cold) outdoor baths and some pretty tricked out relaxation areas.

The big deal here is their Kalla treatment, a massive salt-water pool. It's only the second floating pool of its kind in the world. This is the spot to experience weightlessness inside a pool saturated with tons of Epsom salt. It’s similar to floating in the Dead Sea, but with zero mud and less hummus.

Eastern Townships

Balnea is a total destination spa (Photo credit: Balnea)

7. Balnea Spa

Balnea is very much a destination spa, set in the heart of Quebec’s Eastern Townships. Side note: If you notice there seems to be more Nordic spas in Quebec than in other Canadian provinces, you’d be right. The Quebecois are French in descent after all, which means they know how to appreciate the good things in life. 

In addition to all the outdoor (non-heated!) pools, expect steams, saunas and legit spa treatments. Here you can get a facial, mani-pedi, scrub, wrap, and yes, massage, too. They offer yoga classes, a bootcamp in the woods, plus gourmet dining. Kids over 14 are welcome.

USVA nature spa

Pool with waterfall at USVA Nordik Spa in New Brunswick (Photo credit: USVA)

8. USVA Nordik Spa

Newly opened in 2018 in New Brunswick, this is the only Nordic spa to date in Atlantic Canada. Situated right beside Magnetic Hill Winery, you can’t beat the location. USVA Nordik Spa is also less than a five-minute-drive from Moncton’s top attractions including Magic Mountain and Magnetic Hill.

This is probably one of the smallest Nordic spas you’ll come across, but it ticks all the right boxes. Expect two saunas, two outdoor pools and two options for the relaxation phase. Choose to chill out indoors either in the relaxation room or with a massage. Meanwhile outdoors, there are suspended hammock chairs and fire pits to gather around. The first Sunday of each the month kids are welcome until 1 pm.

Nordic Spa Chelsea outdoor pool

Le Nordik is Canada’s largest day spa (Photo credit: Le Nordik)

Canadian Nordic Spa Tips

It doesn’t really matter which Canadian Nordic spa you choose from this list. All are sure to relax and refresh your mind and body. Just be sure to arrive early in the morning, especially you haven’t made a reservation for a spa service. During the holidays and on many weekends, it’s not uncommon for Nordic spas in Canada to reach their full capacity before noon. Most of all, give yourself plenty of time to unwind. As a Travel Mama (or Travel Daddy), you deserve it!

Nordic Spas in Canada to Add to Your Bucket List

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If these spas aren't enough reason to book a trip to Canada in winter, then maybe this story about dog-sledding through Canadian wilderness or this post on Quebec winter fun will do the trick. Meanwhile, if it's spa ideas you want — this list of spas with amazing swimming pools is sure to impress.

Have you ever experienced a Nordic spa? Would you like to? Let us know in the comments below!

About Jody Robbins, The Saucy Travel Mama

After a career in international marketing and a few years spent living the high life as an expat, Jody now resides with her family in Calgary, Canada. Figuring travel writing was a good way to combine her wanderlust and parental duties, she’s spent the past few years working with both print and online media, contributing to the Calgary Herald Travel and Real Life sections and blogging about her adventures at Travels with Baggage (JodyRobbins.com). When not circling the globe with her precocious children (one daughter, one husband, one dog), she can usually be found snowboarding or pretending to enjoy hiking. Find Jody on Twitter at @Jody_Robbins.

Comments

  1. A Nordic spa sounds amazing! I need to revisit Canada right!

  2. With Canada being my neighbor to the north, I find it to be a great time any time I go there. These are now on my list of places to visit any time I go there.

  3. Bill Sweeney says:

    As I’m reading this, I’m thinking of a couple’s getaway! What fantastic spa locations!

    • Jody Robbins, The Saucy Travel Mama says:

      Yes! Some of them have hotels really close by. Like the Kananaskis Nordic Spa – just steps away.

  4. Amy Desrosiers says:

    Wow, these pictures gave me all the feels!! I really, really need to book a trip to one of these places.

  5. Elicitfolio says:

    I just shared this post with my girlfriends! We needed spa recommendations for our next trip! Thanks!

  6. Elicitfolio says:

    I sent this article to my girlfriends! This will help us plan our next trip! Thanks for this amazing guide!

  7. Toni | Boulder Locavore says:

    Wow! I’d definitely add these to our bucket list!

  8. Dwight Alleyne says:

    This is quite interesting. I never thought about going to a spa in a colder climate. But it looks like the water is warm so why not??

  9. Joanne Clute says:

    This looks like an amazing experience. I think if I got in, I would never want to get out…too cold!

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