More comfortable than a tent but closer to nature than a B&B, it’s easy to see why ‘Glamping’ (or glamorous camping) is so popular. From tipis to eco huts to Mongolian style yurts here are some of the best up-scale camping experiences located in destinations that even the most hardened travel snob would approve of…
Mongolian Yurts, Vaud, Switzerland
Perfect for those wishing to stay the night at an altitude of 2,000 meters, here you will find seven white Mongolian yurts perched on the summit of the Rochers-de-Naye. The authentic yurts (which can sleep up to eight) contain comfortable furnishings and camping equipment. Handily for the winter months they are also fully insulated and have the luxury of electric heating. Reachable via a cog railway from Montreux, once at the summit campsite you’ll find no roads, no noise, just plenty of great views of the surrounding Alps.
EcoCamp, Patagonia, Chile
The only accommodation of its type in Chile, the EcoCamp in Patagonia is home to some very innovative concepts. The interestingly shaped igloo-esque domes produce a minimal impact on the environment and even have their own composting device to process waste. All energy used at the site comes from 100% natural and renewable sources like water, sun and wind. The domes are comfortable and some even come with their own private bathroom, wood-heated stove and solar power – although the real draw by far is the beautiful scenery.
4 Rivers Floating Lodge, Koh Kong
Located right on the Cambodian-Thai border and surrounded by jungle is the world’s first floating luxury tent resort. The eco resort claims to be at one with the natural order and even engages with the local community in promoting environmental awareness. Each environmentally friendly hut contains luxury furnishings and even a few mod cons such as LCD tvs and internet access. If you tire of just hanging about and relaxing there’s also plenty of opportunities to try more strenuous activities such as rafting or jungle trekking.
Casas Karen, Cadiz, Spain
More of a laid-back retreat than a campsite, this destination would suit anyone looking to experience a more peaceful side of Spain. The village of straw-thatched beach huts is positioned between pine trees and sand dunes and here you can relax in hammocks, meditate, try yoga or just dolphin-watch at the nearby beach. The site is also concerned about the environment and has its own on-site recycling wastewater system and composting area. Probably one of the most unique places to stay in Andalusia mainly attracting creative and bohemian types.
Hillfort Tipis, Pembrokeshire, Wales
The UK has jumped on the bandwagon with a vengeance and now has over 105 glamping sites to choose from. One of the best of the bunch is this low impact eco-holiday site surrounded by acres of pretty Pembrokeshire countryside and coastline. All the tipis are resistant to out of control campfires and the Welsh natural elements. Furnishings are in a traditional North American Indian style with comfortable beds, colorful cushions and rugs. Camping equipment is also supplied.
Karijini Eco Retreat, Western Australia
Karijini Eco Retreat combines affordable environmentally friendly accommodation with a taste of the Western Australian outback. The resort offers a mix of traditional camping or luxury eco tents but all have access to good quality shared toilet and shower facilities and BBQ equipment. The on-site alfresco restaurant will also allow you to make the most of the great views and the famous Australian hospitality.
Halvorseth Yurts & Camping, Prestfoss-Sigdal, Norway
Located just two hours away from Oslo airport and deep in the heart of an ancient Scandinavian forest are these modern yurts. Norway’s first glamping destination Halvorseth offers the chance to get back to nature without forgoing your luxuries. Each yurt can accommodate up to four people and come fully equipped with kitchen, TV and inbuilt shower and toilet facilities.
Lua Cheia Beach Camp, Mafia Island, Tanzania
For a Robinson Crusoe adventure head to Lua Cheia Beach located on an island just off the coast of Tanzania. This popular eco-friendly village is made up of six large tents that come with thatched “bandas” and verandahs which lead directly onto the beach. Each tent features solar-heating, solar-powered lighting and an en-suite bathroom built in a separate concrete block. The camp is in a great position for viewing the island’s sunsets and its private beach status also ensures plenty of peace and quiet.
Treebones Resort, California, USA
This Big Sur resort takes advantage of one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. The area, once owned by a recycling mill, is surrounded by both the Los Padres national forest and the pacific ocean – a perfect position for nature lovers. Here you’ll find 16 comfortably equipped yurts, a heated ocean view pool, hot tub and a community lodge.
Le Château de Monfreville Campsite, Normandy, France
For a unique glamping experience, try these traditional gypsy caravans in Normandy. These newly refurbished roulettes are idyllically positioned in the grounds of historic Château de Monfreville and are great for families. The rural resort has on-site games, a natural swimming pond and cute farm animals which children are welcome to help feed.