A day at a Nordic spa is the perfect way to relax in an enchanting setting and soak up all the goodness of a thermal experience.
Nordic Spas in Old Québec and in the City
- Strøm Spa Nordique
Strøm Spa is a local favourite—and with good reason! Set in Old Québec just steps away from the majestic St. Lawrence River, this spa boasts award‑winning modern architecture that’s sure to win you over. At just 2 km from Place Royale, it’s an easy walk but for maximum relaxation, we recommend taking a bus or a taxi.
Enjoy a thermal experience under the open sky at Sky Spa. With a rooftop patio that’s open year‑round, you can relax, have a drink, and watch the sun set or the snowflakes fall in an elevated urban setting. The fabulous view of the St. Lawrence River and the two bridges make for a memorable experience in a unique setting. You’ll find Sky Spa perched atop Complexe Jules‑Dallaire in Sainte-Foy, which is easy to reach by bus or car.
Nordic Spas in Nature
- Le Nordique Spa Stoneham
- Luc Charbonneau
There are a number of spas on the outskirts of Québec City perfect for relaxing in a picturesque setting. Escape into the forest and chill out by the river at Sibéria Station Spa or Nordique Spa Stoneham. Spend an afternoon in the outdoor pools at Spa des neiges, where you’ll enjoy a magnificent view of the St. Lawrence River. Or book a quiet day by the lakeside at Nordique Spa Mont Sainte‑Anne.
There are lots of great outdoor activities near each of these spas, from excellent downhill skiing to splendid hiking trails, so whatever the season, you can (and should!) plan an outdoor activity and tie it in with some well‑deserved downtime at the spa.
What to Bring to a Nordic Spa
Your thermal experience will be easy to enjoy. All you need is a bathing suit and sandals. In the winter, you may want to bring a tuque or beanie to keep your head nice and warm. The spa will provide a locker key and a towel, and there are usually places to fill your water bottle so you can stay hydrated during the experience. For maximum comfort, bathrobes are available for rent.
What is a Thermal Experience?
Thermotherapy, or the “thermal experience,” brings you to a state of total physical and mental well‑being. It reduces stress, eliminates toxins, relaxes your muscles, and improves circulation, skin elasticity and firmness, and sleep quality. To get the maximum effects, all you need is a water circuit that alternates between hot, cold, and rest.
Step 1: Hot
Start by warming up in a hot tub, sauna, or steam room. Try to stay for an extended period to get your body nice and toasty warm. The hotter you are, the more you’ll appreciate the next step.
Step 2: Cold
Now it’s time to dive into the cold. Depending on the spa, you’ll do this in a cold pool or right in a lake or river. Don’t let the change in temperature scare you off. This step stimulates your circulatory system and delivers an intense, immediate feeling of well‑being.
Step 3: Rest
Now is the time to relax. Every spa is different, but they all have one thing in common: the relaxation areas are very comfortable. From cozy yurts to swing chairs, armchairs, hammocks, and lounge chairs, you’ll find everything you need to drift back to your natural physical state and live in the moment.
To get the full benefits of thermotherapy, try to move through the cycle at least 3 times.
Tips and Advice to Make the Most of Your Nordic Spa Experience
To ensure total well‑being, keep the following things in mind:
- It’s a good idea to bring a reusable water bottle that you can fill up at the spa’s water stations. That way you can stay nice and hydrated and you won’t have to buy a single‑use bottle onsite.
- As a general rule, spas are meant to be enjoyed in silence, with the exception of a few designated areas where you’ll be allowed to talk quietly. Most spas also have a café or bistro where you can go to chat.
- Try to keep the hours after your spa time free or minimally demanding to prolong the feeling of relaxation.
- If you’d like to share the experience with your kids, call the spa in advance to see if you can. Some spas are open to children at specific times.
- Most spas offer a plethora of treatments: massages, manicures, facials, and more. If you’re interested, check to see what the different spas offer and book yourself in for some self‑care.
What’s a Good Length of Time to Spend at a Nordic Spa?
A day at the spa is a chance to get away and stay in the moment. To really relax and enjoy the facilities, plan to spend 2 to 4 hours. If you add a massage or other treatment, you can easily plan to spend 3 to 5 hours.
What’s the Best Time of Year to Go to a Nordic Spa?
When it comes to spa time, every season has its own unique advantages. As an ode to winter climates, Nordic spas are obviously highly enjoyable—and beneficial—when it’s cold out. The experience is at its most authentic when the ground is all covered in snow. Not to mention that it’s the perfect way to end a day of skiing or snowshoeing in the great outdoors!
In the summer, one of the advantages is that you’ll be able to spend extended periods relaxing outside in a lounge chair or hammock. Of course, when it’s really hot out, it’s harder to be in the hot pool. The upside is that the time spent enjoying the magnificent view from a cool pool, river, or lake will be all the sweeter.
On a cool spring evening or crisp fall day, a trip to the Nordic spa is supremely comforting. Just picture yourself emerging from the hot tub, wrapping yourself in a cozy bathrobe, and relaxing in a perfectly temperate room with soothing music and soft lighting. Does life get any better?