Glamping can be costly. Booking data from glamping specialist Canopy & Stars found that the average nightly price of luxury camping increased by around nine per cent per year over five years. Demand for budget options is also on the rise.

But while the most sought-after glamping accommodation in UK holiday hotspots can book up quickly, especially during the peak weeks of summer, there are alternatives on the Continent that are less known among British travellers, many of which come with the benefit of beach access or the cool shade of a woodland canopy in typically hot destinations. These are the mini-chains and sites to know about for a European summer escape in nature.

Slow Village, Île de Ré, France

The European glamping holidays only the locals…
Île de Ré is ideal for cycling (Photo: Julien Viry via Getty)

Part of the Slow Village collection of campsites and holiday villages in scenic destinations across France (from the Loire Valley and Brittany to Bordeaux and Occitanie), this site offers modern conveniences on the Île de Ré, a couple of miles from La Rochelle on France‘s Charente-Maritime Atlantic coast.

Guests stay in cabins that are inspired by the island’s oyster huts with light, bright interiors and splashes of pattern that add interest to the décor.

Île de Ré’s wider attractions include salt marshes, dunes, pine forests and white sand beaches. There are also 110km of cycle paths (Slow Village offers bikes for hire), as well as woodland and pretty villages nearby.

The site also has tennis courts, yoga and fitness sessions, a children’s playground and areas for sports such as pétanque – plus there’s plenty of fishing on the island. Meanwhile, the large swimming pool is next to a restaurant terrace and a children’s club is available for those aged three and above. Two-bedroom cabins for up to two adults and two children are available from €420/£355 per week.

Kampaoh Flumendosa, Sardinia, Italy

Kampaoh is a Spanish glamping company which offers hotel-grade camping accommodation on some of the most desirable campsites across Spain, France, Portugal and Italy. It’s essentially a glampsite-within-a-campsite, where you can expect bell tents with proper beds, chairs, clothes storage and a fridge.

Flumendosa Camping Village is found in the fragrant pine forest of Santa Margherita di Pula, one of Sardinia’s many blissful seaside resorts on the island’s southwest coast.

It is a five- to 10-minute walk to the beach, while the site’s facilities include a football pitch and swimming pool. Pula’s old town is less than 30 minutes away by public transport, or 10 minutes by car. Gutturu Mannu nature reserve is nearby and you can rent boats or kayaks to explore along the coast. Tents for two adults and two children are available from €113 (£96) per night.

Riviera Villages, French Riviera

This is a trio of high-end glamping resorts on the French Riviera. Each site offers stylish accommodation – including safari tents, mobile homes and lodges – along with the amenities you might expect from a hotel stay, such as a concierge, entertainment, a spa, bars and restaurants.

Located on Pampelonne Beach in St Tropez, Kon Tiki has direct access to the Mediterranean and guests stay in beachfront lodges and Tiki Huts. Toison d’Or, meanwhile, is in the heart of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez and has “Kasaï” lodges. Lastly, Prairies de la Mer is situated in Port Grimaud with bungalows and suites available.

Each village has several dining options, ranging from casual beach bars to gourmet restaurants. Guests can try out water sports, such as paddleboarding and jet skiing, as well as tennis, cycling and beach volleyball. There are activities for children and entertainment programmes of live music and themed evenings. Accommodation for up to two adults and two children is available from €400 (£340) per night.

Urnatur, Östergötland, Sweden

The Urnatur treehouse hotel eco lodge is set within the heart of Sweden's wilderness (Photo: Krautkopf)
The Urnatur treehouse hotel eco lodge is set within the heart of Sweden’s wilderness (Photo: Krautkopf)

Urnatur offers treehouse and hut accommodation in the wilderness of southern Sweden, roughly halfway between Stockholm and Gothenburg and close to the vast Vättern lake, the second-largest in the country. Its treehouses and forest huts were built using timber from storms that hit the country in the 2000s.

To encourage living in harmony with nature, guests stay off-grid. It is an ideal setting for a family adventure, with opportunities for hiking, fishing and exploring the dense natural surroundings. To get even more back-to-nature, scour Sweden’s prime camping portal, First Camp. Accommodation for up to two adults and two children is available from Skr3,500 per night (£260).

Huttopia Lagoa de Óbidos, Portugal

French company Huttopia has been offering holidays in nature for almost a quarter of a century, with sites by the sea, near lakes and rivers, in forests or the mountains. It now offers sites in France, as well as further afield in Europe (from Spain to the Netherlands), Canada and the US. Accommodation includes Canadian-style trapper tents and A-frames, as well as bring-your-own pitches.

Just over an hour’s drive from Lisbon, Huttopia Lagoa de Óbidos is next to Portugal’s largest lagoon and surrounded by coastal fishing villages such as Nadadouro, Vau, Bom Sucesso and Foz do Arelho.

With long stretches of sandy beaches and Atlantic breezes, Óbidos is perfect for kitesurfing and watersports. For oenophiles, the Bombarral Vineyards are around half an hour away, and cyclists can explore coastal trails around the lagoon on bikes available to rent from the site. A trapper tent for up to two adults and two children is available for seven nights from €1,190 (£1,000).

published 2024-07-04 20:36:25