Europe's top glamping retreats
Experience the call of the wild in eco-friendly comfort
Camping is all about enjoying the outdoors and banishing luxury, convenience and comfort in the name of something nobler. While some think this is a wonderful way to holiday, others see it as a nightmare played out in leaking, claustrophobic tents.
So if your idea of fun doesn't involve brushing your teeth with chemically-treated puddle water, we've rounded up the best glamping sites around the world to allow you to get back to nature in the most luxurious way possible.
Eco-Lodge Brejeira, Algarve, Portugal
Choose a night at the Eco-Lodge Brejeira and you are given a choice of accommodation: Mongolian yurt, gypsy caravan or German fire truck. Each has the luxury of a double bed and compost toilet, (which is used for the vegetable garden) and two have kitchen. The Guardian calls the lodge as "unique as it is eco-friendly"' and suggests you "spend your days exploring the nearby beaches, or set off on the new Via Algarviana hiking and mountain biking track, which passes right under Brejeira".
Loveland Farm, Devon
The pursuit of fashion on most camping holidays is typically restricted to experimenting with ways you can pull off "windswept" chic while wearing a pair of your dad's waterproof hiking trousers. Luckily, glamping is a whole other kettle of fish. "Hotshot designer duo" Jeff and Karina gave up touring the world as fashionistas to run this Devon farm and offer glampers unique and fabulously designed accommodation.
Every farm needs animals and Loveland doesn't disappoint, with an onsite roster including pigs, ducks, alpacas and a pair of water buffaloes. On top of that, the whole complex is run off solar energy and eco-huts and loos are dotted around.
Eco Retreats, Powys
The idea of sleeping in a tent in the middle of Wales might be enough to make you scream, but a stay at Eco Retreats is a world away from soggy nights under tarpaulin. You sleep in either a yurt or a tipi furnished with double beds, stoves and private toilet and shower. "Reconnect with the rhythms of the environment" without having to get your hands dirty.
Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel, Swiss Alps
Whitepod's igloo-like guest homes make for a truly indulgent oasis in the low temperatures and deep snow of the Swiss Alps. For extra comfort, choose a "deluxe" pod with king-sized bed, fully fitted bathroom, satellite TV, wi-fi, a complimentary minibar and breakfast delivered to your door. The option of an in-pod massage is the icing on the cake.
All guests get access to the sauna, daily afternoon tea and outdoor activities from tennis to ski slopes with private lifts. Glamping doesn't get much better.
If you want to get away from it all, then look no further than Sweden's Treehotel, where the accommodation nestles high in the branches of tall trees and is accessible only by ramp, bridge or electric stairs.
Each room is different, with guests able to choose from a mirror cube, alien spaceship and bird's nest. The hotel also offers guided tours, hiking excursions, mountain-biking, watersports, horse riding, ice dining, dog sled tours, fishing, snowmobile riding – basically anything you can imagine that involves nature or snow.