European Sauna Marathon returns to Estonia after two-year break

The start line at the 2019 European Sauna Marathon.
The start line at the 2019 European Sauna Marathon. Source: European Sauna Marathon.

The European Sauna Marathon, held annually around South Estonia, will return this year after a break caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The marathon is an orienteering race that sees teams of four drive around South Estonia visiting a range of different saunas.

For the first time, it will take place over two days on February 17 and 18 and participants will receive extra points for completing both days.

Estonia's winter capital, Otepää, will host the main competition on Saturday, and nearby Tõrva will run the "warm-up" race on Friday.

The event's main organizer Otepää municipality sports adviser Ago Arro said the region is "delighted to be able to make sauna lovers happy again and to make the event even bigger".

"This year, many innovations and new saunas and special sauna experiences are planned. As usual, several awards are planned — in addition to the main award, there will be special awards for the best costume, sauna spirit, and many more," he said.

A limited number of sauna marathon tickets will go on sale at Piletikeskus on January 16 at 9 a.m.

Estonia has declared 2023 the Year of the Sauna and different events will be organized by the Estonian Rural Tourism Organization throughout the year.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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