For many of us, camping is an adventure. Striking out into nature with only a tent, a sleeping bag, and a backpack stuffed full of tinned food – ready to greet the wilderness. For others, it’s an outdoor-toilet, no-showers, mud-on-everything nightmare.
If you happen to be an outdoorsy type travelling with a total tent-phobe, there’s only one thing for it. And that’s ‘glamping’ (or ‘glamorous camping’). The perfect compromise, this travel phenomenon combines camping with hotel-level luxury, for an exciting indoors-meets-outdoors stay.
Here are five of Europe’s best glampsites – as decided by travellers like you.*
Swanns Bridge Glamping – Limavady, Northern Ireland
Swanns Bridge Glamping is nestled in an old apple orchard, on a working, family-run farm. Spacious bell tents come adorned with vintage bunting and pretty, chintzy bedding for a quintessential countryside holiday. Located at the foot of Binevenagh Mountain, you might even spot some scenes familiar from TV’s Game of Thrones.
A modern toilet, shower, and kitchen block sit at the heart of the site, and you’ll also get your own barbecue for a spot of outdoor cooking.
Glamping Bizjak – Preddvor, Slovenia
Imagine if tents were made from wood, and you’ll get Glamping Bizjak. These little triangular camping huts come complete with a double bed, free WiFi, and a terrace with a set of laidback deck chairs. You’ll also have your own private bathroom in a central block.
The campsite has a restaurant and bar, and you can order a delicious picnic lunch to your hut – complete with champagne, of course!
Plush Tents Glamping – Chichester, England
Plush Tents Glamping offers a selection of luxurious Mongolian yurts and cosy bell tents in a little forested wonderland. They’re super Instagrammable, so it’s a good thing all tents come with their own WiFi.
The site has a communal campfire and hot tub, and a scattering of hammocks where you can dream the day away. Off for a day out? Order up a fancy breakfast or lunch hamper, prepared by the experts at Fork & Field.
Natura Glamping – Alcongosta, Portugal
Natura Glamping’s futuristic camping pods are perched high in the Serra da Gardunha mountains. You’ll survey the breathtaking Cova de Beira and Serra da Estrela through extra-wide windows, while you’re tucked up in a comfy double bed.
Each tent has a private bathroom and you can even rent out a hot tub if you book in advance. Hot tub or no hot tub, your pod’s terrace makes the ideal space to chill out in the Portuguese sunshine.
Glamping Canonici di San Marco – Mirano, Italy
Glamping Canonici di San Marco is about as far as you can get from camping while still being under canvas. Huge luxury tents and suites boast chandeliers, elegant furnishings and beautiful, fully-plumbed bathrooms. No sleeping bags here – you’ll snuggle down in a plush four-poster, and select your perfect pillow pairing from the pillow menu.
Italian-style breakfast is served in the restaurant every morning, while gourmet picnics can be ordered up to your private terrace. There’s even an on-site wine cellar!
**These European glamping destinations were chosen based on their consistently high review score of 9 and above.