Nordic spas offer services based on the ancient European tradition of going from hot to cold (usually a hot sauna to a brisk cool dip) and back again. The therapy is said to help the body clear out toxins, boost immunity, stimulate circulation, and reduce stress. Sound interesting? Well it seems all the best Nordic spas are in Canada and here a few to get your search started.
Balnea Spa sits on 400 acres of nature preserve about an hour and a half outside of Montreal. The vibe is contemporary and a little urban, although expansive mountain views and a lakeside sauna make for plenty of opportunities to relax. You can even spend time in their winter-only igloo if you're so inclined.
The Scandinave Spa in Whistler is nestled in the northern woods and scheduled to open to the public next month (January 22, 2010). A Finnish-style sauna is supplemented with other options in individual glass and wooden buildings all connected by a series of meandering (and heated from below so you don't have to trudge through the snow) pathways. The feature list also includes open-air hot pools, complete with waterfalls.
Le Nordik is unique in that in addition to a Finnish sauna, four outdoor pools, several hot tubs, and a steam bath it offers a full pool-side restaurant that serves healthy fare like fish and veggie wraps, local artisan cheeses, and wine.