The eight best cold weather wellbeing experiences

VISIT A BANYA IN ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA

The best way to ward off the chill in the Russian city of St Petersburg is to do as the locals do, and head to a banya. These traditional bathhouses are the ideal tonic for a cold soul: spend time in a sauna, stimulating blood flow with a few whips of a birch branch; take a warm bath or have a massage; or, better yet, spend time in the "predbannik", the relaxation room, with a beer or a cup of tea. See visit-petersburg.ru

HEAD TO A SAUNA IN FINLAND

The Fins invented sauna culture, and they do it right. They journey out to the countryside, to saunas set in beautiful lakeside locales, nestled in the snow. They heat up those saunas to an almost painful degree, and then strip off and begin to sweat. Finally, when it feels like the heat is too much, that they can't take any more, they open the door, dash out to an icy lake, and dive in. Nothing makes you feel more alive. See visitfinland.com

BE PAMPERED AT THE SPA AT QT RESORT, FALLS CREEK, VICTORIA

QT Falls Creek has the perfect Falls Creek location with the road to unload from at one door and the ski lift to ride straight out the other. Most rooms and apartments have a hot tub, but head down to SpaQ to be pampered with recovery massages, scrubs and facials. Want to undo all that good work? No problem, Stingray bar has the alpine temptations and Bazaar restaurant is one of the best on the mountain. See qthotelsandresorts.com

VISIT THE WELLNESS RETREAT IN ST ANTON, AUSTRIA

As if it isn't enough that St Anton provides 300 kilometres of ski runs in one of the world's top ski fields, the chic alpine resort also has one of the best public wellness centres anywhere, the perfect muscle-soother and body warmer after days on the slopes. Get a massage, relax in saunas and steam rooms and float in the heated outdoor pool with mountain panoramas. See arlberg-well.com

HAVE A WARM MILK BATH DRAWN FOR YOU IN QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND

When was the last time you had a bath drawn for you? How about an Inspired by Her Molton Brown Rosa Absolute Milk Bath, strewn with rose petals and complete with a tray containing Central Otago pinot noir, chocolates, figs, grapes and berries? Get this bliss fix at the St Moritz hotel in Queenstown on New Zealand's South Island after a hard day out adventuring. This is the ultimate way to move from chilled to chilled out. See sofitel.com/StMoritz/Queenstown

PLUNGE INTO THE TOASTY WATERS OF SZECHENYI BATHS, BUDAPEST

Budapest is beautiful (and usually pretty hot) in its summer time, but it's not the best season to enjoy its alfresco thermal baths. Instead, hit the Hungarian capital from December to March, when you'll see your icy breath as you dip into the outdoor pools of Szechenyi Baths, one of the city's most ornate spa complexes. Water temperatures reach 38C and you can challenge the locals to games of "water" chess. See szechenyispabaths.com

SOAK IN HOT SPRINGS AT THE HEPBURN BATHHOUSE, VICTORIA

When it's cold outside, there is nothing like soaking in a heated mineral bath to warm you to your bones. Well, almost nothing. While soaking in the mineral pool at Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa is an unalloyed pleasure, if you really want to indulge, double down with a session in the Bathhouse's authentic Moroccan hammam. See hepburnbathhouse.com

SNOWBOARD ALL DAY THEN BATHE NAKED IN AN ONSEN, NISEKO, JAPAN

Boasting a combined 886 hectares  of powder-rich skiable terrain, the interlinked resorts comprising Niseko United ski area are world class but it's the apres ski that really sets the region apart. After a hard day on the slopes, strip naked as local custom demands and soothe your aching limbs in a delightful mineral-rich hot bath known as an onsen. Two of the best can be found in at the Hilton Niseko Village and nearby Green Leaf Hotel. See niseko.com

CONTRIBUTORS

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Andrew Bain, Elspeth Callender, Jim Darby, Anthony Dennis, Ben Groundwater, Ute Junker, Nina Karnikowski, Steve McKenna, Jane Reddy, Jane Richards, Craig Tansley and Guy Wilkinson

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