• Badi
  • How To Do Wellness – Frutt Lodge & Spa & Sauna

    Melchsee Switzerland 2019

    Melting the pains away – the best alpine & Finnish way – in Frutt Lodge & Spa.

    So, I’ve become a spa person. (Or maybe just old, though won’t admit anything.) A good, clean, quiet spa (and sauna – more than else a good sauna) kinda person. To balance the life well, as I’m also more frequently the runner-skier-biker semi-physical worker kinda person.

    And slowly – yet with a great intention – I have become a Swiss spa person. (Very slowly really, because Swiss spas require good Swiss budget. Which I luckily have now.)

    Finally literally even, since earlier this week  I tested the Berglauf Engelberg track (9km up – and down – with 1200m+ vertical) resulting in pretty (read very) sore legs in real need of sauna and spa. Yet first, I joined my friends on their Via Alpina multi day hike from Engelberg to Interlaken.  But since I didn’t have time for as long hike as my friends, I took the chance, skipped the Tannensee – Meiringen stage and directed my sore legs to the Melchsee-Frutt direction after a hike from Engelberg to Engstlenalp and night in the cozy, Wes Anderson’ish hotel Engtslenalp (more of which some other time). Knowing there would be a pretty good spa to try get a good cure for my pains.

    And oh boy, did it do it. Very well indeed.

    In addition to offering effective and lasting cure to my sore legs as a spa (they were like newborns on my way back home) Frutt Spa (in the Frutt Lodge & Spa complex by lake Melchsee in Central Switzerland, not far from Lucerne) also seems (read feels) to have the best Finnish sauna I have ever stepped into (funny how the Swiss seem to know very well how to do good things of wood –saunas included).

    Offering unique alpine wellness, the frutt spa pool and the saunas were topped with good wood (including the smell and carvings) and cows crazing outside the big windows opening to the lake. Lucky me (for once) also got the saunas and spa almost all to myself on this day – note how you can visit the spa as external day quest only by request, 40,- for an admission– and could walk away with mind and body relaxed, simply cured and amazed by the experience.

    Next time gonna come by bike though. And book a room. Because after sauna like this, a good sleep or easy lazy roll is way better than the long hike I did to get back home with the last lifts in the Engelberg side.

    Finnish Sauna Frutt Lodge & Spa Switzerland


    Frutt Lodge & Spa Switzerland 2019

    Where: Hotel Frutt Lodge & Spa, 1920m above sea level, Melchsee-Frutt, Switzerland (map)

    Ps. Note how a spa or hotel visit in here can be combined nicely with a multi day hiking, mountain biking or trail running tour from/to Engelberg, Meiringen or Stöckalp direction (only for a limited period in summer you can drive to Melchsee-Frutt).

    And while Frutt Lodge & Spa is a very stylish place, it’s still true to the alpine lifestyle. So, in here hiking boots and mountain bikes are better accessory choices than stilettos and Teslas.

  • Badi
  • Pizol 2844m And The 5 Lakes Classic In Heidiland

    Tiina Kivelä

    It’s the heatwave in Europe (like you wouldn’t have heard already). And there’s no air conditioning in the Swiss home, which also works as my office. Or “works” as working productively in 30°C  is simply impossible. And so, I’ve found cooling in the IKEA (also nice cabin role plays they offer) and mountains,  and so on Tuesday I found myself on top of Pizol (2844m) and speedhiking the famous (and super popular) 5 lakes trail in the Heidiland tourism region, Eastern Switzerland.

    Pizol is not in any way iconic peak nor in the alpine mountain category beautiful and famous like Matterhorn or Eiger. But it offers some nice scrambling on the bluewhite alpinwanderweg and excellent views down to the turquoise Wildsee lake, the second by the classic 5 lakes trail. There’s also something left of the Pizol glacier, though like every glacier in the Alps everywhere in the world, it’s step by step dying (stupid climate change).

    If thinking of going, you may reach Pizol from the Wildsee/Pizolhütte/5lakes direction, or take the less popular alpine hikingrtrail from the south, trailhead of which can be reached by bus from Bad Ragaz (in where there’s also nice baths to take care of the wellness side, as the name suggests).

    When taking the 5 lakes trail instead, please note that it’s a very popular route (can’t blame though – the lakes and views are awesome), especially during the holiday season and weekends. Crowded paths and easy pace is more than sure thing in here.

    To save your time and knees, you may also take the gondola and lifts from Wangs/Sargans to Pizolhütte and trailhead, and end your tour in the Gaffia lift station. My Tuesday route in here – for me it was about 5,5h with short breaks, but I would suggest you reserve at least 7h for the whole thing, the 5 lakes trail and Pizol. Oh and add more, if you’re gonna swim (in every lake).

    I headed home after the hike, though now in the sweaty home office I do think I should have never left these waters, ice and snow…

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Ps. Happy birthday dear Switzerland! I love you and for this a silly but oh so happy face of mine.

    Where: Sargans – Pizolhütte – Wildseeluggen – Pizol – Schottensee – Schwarzsee – Baseggla – Baschalvasee – Gaffia (map) – Sargans


  • Badi
  • Best In Switzerland – Aare Float

    Tiina Kivelä Aare Float

    It looks tempting, doesn’t it? There’s nothing better than clear, clean and fresh natural (running) waters, especially during a heatwave like the current European one. And there’s a thing in the Swiss summer I simply love which relates to these waters – a river float (aare float or similar). A version of which you may find all around the country.

    In Zürich, you can just drop in by one of the badis in Limmat river, like the Flussbad Unterer Letten which, as the German name suggests, flushes you quickly forward in the Limmat river, after which you (having been caught by the wired fence like a starfish) jump off, walk back upstream, and jump into the stream again – and flush!  And again. And again.

    There’s also more relaxed floating options in Zürich (Flussbad Oberer Letten, Frauenbad Stadshausquai etc.), as well as in Bern and Basel, all of which have kinda perfect river settings in the town itself.

    But the best full day river float adventure, the best in Switzerland, is the float from Thun to Bern in the canton of Bern (in the pictures).

    Aare Float – Explained

    If you’ve been to Switzerland and especially Bern during summer weekends, you may have seen the crowds already, carrying their boats and waterproof packs, around the main train station and river. I myself didn’t have a clue what they were up to the first time I came past the wet-haired, half dressed, cheerful people in Bern back in 2016. But soon I understood what it was, and after having done it myself now I have to say – it’s one of the best things one can do on a hot summer day. As in here, you get the water, amazing mountain views and excellently good vibes.

    While for the normal badi floating you just need a swimsuit and a fouta, for the aare float you need those and your own or rented inflammable boat (or the trendy flamingo), and maybe an additional sup board like we had, a waterproof back or two with all your belongings which shouldn’t get wet, and some snacks and drinks. Of course, you should also take yourself to Thun, one way or another (I’d prefer train).

    In Thun, you may then load and jump in the boat (see the map and location suggestion in Thun for an aare float in here) and go with the flow, all the way to Bern. Along the way, there are multiple opportunities to jump into the river and float free on the go, but make sure you don’t lose your boat and gear while doing it. Many also drop to the shore from time to time, for a proper picnic and bbq.

    And when you finally reach Bern you hop on the ground, take a shower in some of the public baths by the river, and continue your day whatever way you fancy.

    Like, this slackline (yeah, just the slackline) looks tempting too, doesn’t it?

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä Creative

    Ps. You can do the tour by yourself/with friends, buying/renting the boat from wherever you want. Or you may book/rent the boat and a full package tour, from any of the firms offering Aarefloat experiences. Please, look with aarefloat, aareboot etc. for service providers.

    Where: Aare, Berner Oberland, Switzerland