Sauna - useful tips when entering the sauna park - Hoteli Bernardin

Sauna - useful tips when entering the sauna park

Wellness | 01. 03. 2018

Useful tips on how to use the sauna correctly

During cold days sauna is an excellent choice to detox the body: it simulates perspiration, cleanses the body and relaxes the muscles. Moreover, after a tiring and stressful day the heat relaxes the mind and gives a sense of security. The word “sauna” itself comes from Finnish and it represents a sacred place.

Visiting saunas eases fatigue, relieves stress, relaxes body and mind and at the same time improves the skin’s elasticity and speeds up the regeneration of injured muscles and ligaments. It also stimulates blood circulation and vitality and slows down the process of ageing.

Despite the fact that going to a sauna looks easy at first glance, certain rules apply in order to ensure the best effect. For this reason we prepared a few tips about the use of saunas.

When going to sauna you can bring a large clean towel or sheet, slippers and fresh clothes so you can change after you’re finished. Usually a towel or a sheet is included in the ticket price, at least in our wellness centres.

How do we use the sauna correctly?

10 golden sauna rules

  • Before visiting a sauna it is not recommended to eat too much.
  • It is not permitted to wear clothes or be covered in the sauna, as it diminishes the effect of the sauna. It is recommended not to wear jewellery.
  • If your feet are cold, it is recommended you shower them with warm water.
  • The area where you sit or lie should always be covered with a sheet or towel.
  • The first sauna session should not last more than 10 min. If there is enough room, you should liedown during the first 10 min, so the blood pressure in the body is equalised.
  • After a sauna session it’s mandatory to take a shower. Firstly with lukewarm water, then with cold water. By doing so the skin is cleansed and blood circulation stimulated.
  • After a sauna session you should rest for at least 20 min and drink plenty of water or tea.
  • Quiet is of vital importance to ensure a pleasant and relaxing experience. Speaking loudly is not appropriate.
  • Before exiting the sauna area it is recommended to cool down, so that the body stops sweating.
  • After each sauna session it’s mandatory to take a shower, especially before entering the swimming pool.

These rules depend on the type of sauna.


The traditional Finnish sauna is the most common type and one of the first saunas, as we’ve known it for more than a thousand years. The Finnish sauna affects the body by heating air in a closed and usually wooden room. It has benches on different levels, because the temperature is distributed evenly in the room only above the level of the heater. By pouring water with an aroma on the heated stones we create hot steam which additionally heats the room and stimulates perspiration. A lot of water and minerals are lost because of the stimulated perspiration, which is caused by the heat and is completely normal. In order not to dehydrate we need to drink water, tea or other refreshing beverages. To achieve the best effect it is highly recommended to cool down after a session in the Finnish sauna.

The air temperature in a Finnish sauna is from 90 to 100ºC.

Relative humidity: between 15% and 30%.


The infrared sauna has infrared heaters which radiate infrared energy and have more of an in depth effect on the body. Infrared energy is similar to the energy radiated by the sun and the human body. Infrared (IR) rays penetrate the body, stimulate blood circulation, increase body temperature and cause perspiration, and at the same time release tensions and heat the body. Infrared radiation is a type of energy which heats the human body directly without heating the air around it. The energy emanated from infrared heaters reaches 4 cm deep in body tissue and is perceived as warmth. The wavelength of the radiation is similar to the radiation of the human body, thus it absorbs around 93% of infrared rays. The effect of the infrared sauna on the body is 2 to 3 times greater than the effect of the Finnish sauna, despite the lower temperature (40 to 60ºC in the infrared sauna compared to the 90 to 100ºC in the Finnish sauna). The lower temperature is also much safer and appropriate for people with cardiovascular problems, for children and for the elderly. The lower temperature also makes it easier to breathe. IR sauna can be used with its doors open and with clothes on as a warm-up before exercising. 

The air temperature in an infrared sauna is from 40 to 60ºC.

Relative humidity: maximum 45%.


The steam in the Turkish bath affects the whole body, detoxifies it and stimulates the excretion of harmful metabolism waste. The temperature in the steam room is lower, but the humidity is high: thanks to the steam and the natural essential oils or herbs which are inhaled, the steam room has a beneficial effect on the respiratory system. The heat relaxes the body, opens the pores and stimulates the natural cleansing of the skin, which as a result becomes soft and supple. The steam room stimulates blood circulation, eases pain caused by injures, rheumatism or arthritis, eases tension and stress and helps lose weight.

A steam room session should last up to 15 minutes, then it’s recommended to take a shower with cold water. The steam room cannot be used by people with health issues such as cardiovascular problems, chronic diseases, viruses and infectious diseases.

The air temperature in a steam bath is from 45 to 55ºC.

Relative humidity is high: from 90 to 100%.


A bio or herbal sauna combines the benefits of a sauna and a steam bath. In a bio Istrian sauna you can feel the aroma of lavender and Mediterranean herbs, which have a beneficial effect on the body, as the aromas relax and relieve stress.

The air temperature in a bio sauna reaches up to 60ºC.

The humidity in a bio sauna is up to 70%.

Cromotherapy or colour therapy

Cromotherapy uses coloured light to influence the energy of the body. If you’re lacking physical, emotional, spiritual or mental energy, cromotherapy will balance and restore the normal processes in the body. Colours influence our wellbeing, behaviour, the way we perceive and feel our surroundings. Some colours are used to treat various conditions (depression, allergies,...), as scientists believe that each colour influences a human organ and eases the symptoms of certain diseases. Of course the colour itself cannot cure a disease, but it is extremely useful as a complementary treatment.
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Now go, detoxify your body, restore its balance and energy. 

Relax with the many saunas, rituals and swimming pools. Hoteli Bernardin offer wellness centres in all resorts. Bernardin resort in Portorož has a sauna complex in the wellness centres Paradise spa and Wellness Benedicta, where you can take a moment for yourselves admiring the sea view. In San Simon resort in Izola you can visit Wellness & Spa Mirta with a wide variety of intimate and charming saunas with a whirlpool. In Salinera resort in Strunjan you can enjoy the benefits of the sauna park in Wellness Syra.