Ice Bathers' Hut

Top choice in Murmansk

Home to Murmansk's ‘walruses’ – hardy souls who swear by the health benefits of regularly bathing in icy waters – this wooden hut on the edge of Lake Semyonovskoe dates from the Soviet era. Wooden steps lead down into a hole cut into the ice for a genuinely chilled experience. Get off at the Semyonovskoe Ozero bus stop, cross the road, and track back some 250m to a path that leads to the lake. Bring a towel!

While the hut is technically only open to club members, the ‘walruses’ are usually happy to explain their icy passion to curious visitors, especially if you call in advance. Ice bathing is oddly exhilarating, but newcomers are advised not to put their heads under the water. Be sure to check out the photos of happy Soviet–era bathers in the changing room. A taxi here from the centre costs around R150.

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