Sleeping out in nature is the signature drawcard of any camping holiday – listening to the night-time warbles of frogs or crickets, the slosh of a nearby sea or lake, the scuttle of spiders and the buzz of pesky mosquitoes.
But who’s slept hanging from a tree? In a glass igloo at minus 15 degrees Celsius? Or glamped it up in an open treehouse in an African reserve?
I’ve found six holiday destinations where getting back to nature is taken to a whole new level.
Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht, Germany: Elevated tenting
If you hate heights, look away now! The Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht adventure resort near Munich in Bavaria takes ‘sleeping in the trees’ or ‘in the rock’ to their most literal meanings and it’s not for the faint-hearted. Platform beds are either nestled in trees or ‘portaledge’ tents are higher up. The sleeping pods are draped in fabric and suspended from branches several feet above the ground. Want to be even higher? The more elevated option is 3,280 feet off a cliff face! During the day you can add to the adrenalin rush via high rope courses, 3D archery, hiking and tree climbing.
EcoCamp, Patagonia, Chile: Eco-friendly domes
If sustainable holidays tick your box, then Patagonia’s EcoCamp would be your dream trip. In Torres del Paine National Park, it is Chile’s first fully sustainable accommodation with green technology and geodesic domes through which you can sleep looking at the stars. By day, there are guided treks, wild horse tracking, cycling, kayaking and mountain climbing amongst stunning scenery. Images via EcoCamp and Patagonia Travel.
Kakslauttanen Artic Resort, Finland: Snow domes in a fairyland
From one geodesic dome to another but this time in the snow. Glass igloos make sleeping under the stars – or the Northern Lights – a breathtaking experience at the Kakslauttanen Artic Resort, 250 km above the Arctic Circle in Finland. And you get to go sledding and skiing. To be seduced even more, watch this Kakslauttanen Artic Resort video. Top image via Valtteri Hirvonen. First seen on Bloglovin’.
Kingston Treehouse at Lion Sands, South Africa: Luxury atop an African Jungle
Accessed via a drawbridge in the Sabi Sand Reserve, near the Kruger National Park in South Africa, the Kingston Treehouse in the Lion Sands Game Reserve is a gorgeously bedecked treehouse made from wood and glass. It’s a private, luxurious sanctuary where you get to see amazing sunsets, have a private meal on the balcony and, of course, wonder at the what wildlife lurks below! Images via Lion Sands.
The Woodman’s Treehouse in West Dorset, England: Woodland wonderland
An old oak tree has become home to a crafted timber tree house set in the heart of a Dorset woodland, not far from Lyme Regis. This is so much more than ‘glamping’ as you can see from the image below of the beautiful circular living room and alcoved copper bath. There’s an open-air tree shower, sauna and hot tub on the top deck and total privacy. You can even take a woodwork course while you’re there via the owner Guy Mallinson’s Woodland Workshop. Images from Fubiz and you can follow Guy on Instagram.
Miyajima Island, Japan: Camping with deer on the beach
If all this ‘glamping’ is too much for you and all you really want is some back-to-basics camping in a tent, the island of Miyajima, a ten-minute ferry ride from Hiroshima, offers a beach-side campsite with all the usual amenities plus the addition of local cultural experiences, temples and very friendly deer! It is home to the Itsukushima Shrine, a World Heritage site and spectacular walking trails in the Virgin Forest of Mt. Misen. Images from Buzzfeed and Bustle.
What’s your ideal back-to-nature holiday?