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Forget rush hour traffic and the hassle of the morning commute at one of our coolest campsites. Mediocre mornings are a thing of the past.
Far from just a place to sleep, these tented temptations offer all sorts, from killer views to living theatres. Wake up to a world where spending a night under canvas is no longer about skimping on hotel bills, it’s a chance to get up close and personal with nature, far from roads and hotels, and so far from the beaten track, it seems like you’re on a whole other planet.
Top 5 Cool Campsites
The Alpine Advantage
In the Alps the green valleys rear up into shards of rock piercing bright blue skies, a few bright domes punctuate the emerald fields. Crystalline streams run alongside the tents, ringing like tiny bells, and above the pristine white rugged outline of the Mont Blanc massif dwarves all that sits below.
Wake up each morning to crisp mountain oxygen, the scent of wildflowers and the mirror-like glints of the snowy expanse blinking in the early morning sun – Europe at its finest.
Taking you there: Mont Blanc trips
Bedding down for the night in Wadi Rum is surprisingly tranquil for such an adventurous night camping in a nomadic Bedouin-run encampment.
The sun sets over the desert, sending shocks of fire rippling across the rocky jebels, casting long dark shadows across the soft sand. Orange, pink and red hues are riveted in place by black hollows in the rocks – but this light show is not the finale, far from it.
Dinner is served as darkness falls, slow-roasted meats cooked underground on smouldering coals for a rich, smoky flavour, followed by sweet mint tea.
Turn off your torch and away from the campfire for a view taken straight from an astrologist’s heaven, as the velvet black night is pin-pricked with millions of diamond-bright stars and planets.
Sleep either in traditional Bedouin tents or take your sleeping back out beside the embers and fall into slumber beneath the stars.
Taking you there: Trips to Jordan
Above the Clouds
The route rears up out of the cloud line plenty of times, but the most spectacular spot has to be the final night before Machu Picchu. The small flat campsite seems unassuming at first, until you risk vertigo to look out over the edge, for below lies the curls and crenelations of a magnificent cloud carpet.
Our top tip: rise early with a cup of something steamy to watch the sun shimmer across the puffy white layer.
Taking you there: Our Inca Trail Holidays
But it is also home to many of Africa’s wildlife stars, and the world’s natural theatre is right on your doorstep – or in this case, tent entrance.
Our campsite here is situation mere metres from a major watering hole, drawing in creatures great and small from all around to rehydrate and call a tense, temporary truce between (some) species.
From stout elephant families and gawky giraffes to a lone jackal on the prowl, take a seat as the sun sinks into the horizon and the flood-lights flicker on for a nocturnal wildlife encounter of epic proportions. Return to your tent reluctantly.
Taking you there: Trips to Etosha National Park
You don’t need to go to the ends of the Earth for an adventure, but if you do, expect your life to never be the same again. Camping on the remote Antarctic tundra is an event not many can claim.
Step off the expedition vessel and leave your inhibitions in your cabin for a sleepover you’ll never forget. You don’t need to be a hardcore camper – in fact, you need never have slept outside before.
All the sub-zero gear is provided on board so all you need to bring with you is an adventurous heart and an open mind. To quote one valiant Victorian traveller, Mary Hall, “Take every precaution and abandon all fear.”
Taking you there: Antarctica Expeditions
Take a look at some of our cool camping experiences below and plan your own adventure.