You’ll be hard pressed to find a more rewarding experience than spending a night in a tent beneath the stars. Forget the cramped, cold camping from when you were a kid, things have changed and there are many destinations around the world to experience the great outdoors. From escaping to idyllic coastlines in Costa Rica to the harsh Sahara Desert, these are our pick of the best camping destinations in the world.
Sahara Desert, Morocco
If you want a truly unique camping experience, then the Sahara Desert in Morocco is for you. Trek out into the desert on a camel and camp out in the desert wilderness in a traditional nomadic camp. You can find a variety of camps ranging from basic to full blown luxury. And although this experience isn’t really something you can do without a guide; you are unlikely to find a more incredible setting to watch the sunset over the lunar desert landscape.
Yellowstone National Park, USA
The famous Yellowstone National Park is up there with America’s top outdoors destinations. If you’re into rock climbing, mountain biking or hiking, you are guaranteed to find a natural landscape to explore with almost 9000 square kms of parkland at your fingertips. You are guaranteed to enjoy waking up to stunning backdrops of vast canyons, high-altitude lakes, volcanic mountain ranges, explosive geysers and rivers filled with fish. Why not set up camp near some of the region’s most well-known natural hot springs and you’ll be able to give the solar showers a miss. Be wary though, grizzly bears and wolves freely roam the park, so watch what you cook on the campfire.
New Zealand is one of the world’s most camping-friendly countries. There are too many amazing camping spots to mention as this is a country where you can pitch your tent just about anywhere, from deserted beaches to scenic mountain plateaus and lush forests. The country has a, “freedom camping, “system that means you can camp on nearly all public land, although you need to follow strict environmental guidelines to minimise your impact on the environment. You will need to have a waste-disposal unit or camp-toilet if there are no public facilities and you will also have to take all your waste with you. You can easily set up camp at government run campsites throughout the national parks which offer basic facilities in wonderfully remote destinations, starting from as little as $5 per night.
Sticking with the world down under, the Australian Outback also offers plenty of camping opportunities. Offering miles of countryside with winding rivers, wide grassy plains and desert sands, this is one of the most beautiful places in the world to pitch your tent. However, if you are hitting the Outback you may as well camp Aussie style. Forget your tent and invest in a swag which is a waterproof sleeping bag which includes mattress and bedding. Build your fire and prepare for a night of sleeping under the stars. If you really want to try something different, why not try your hand at a bush barbie? Dig a hole, light a fire and roast up your dinner on a spit. Things to note when venturing out into the Outback, always tell somewhere where you are headed and take extra supplies, including water, fuel and a satellite phone. It’s not unusual to get lost and you will be a long way from civilisation.
Make sure you check out the Best Camping Destinations in Australia.
Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
The ideal camping holiday for your bucket list, why not enjoy a night under the stars in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Home to the Big 5 and over 570 species of birds, this national park is a prime spot to observe the great migration of over 2 million zebra, gazelle and wildebeest. You will be enjoying a backdrop amidst a zoo of creatures, enjoying views of rich grasslands, acacia trees and an unforgettable sunrise. You can choose to stay in a budget campsite or try your hand at glamping in the luxury tent. No matter what options you choose, you will have a 5-star experience.
Lake District, England
So maybe you won’t have guaranteed sunshine, but the draw of the Lake District attracts campers from around the world from setting up camp. You might have to drift off to the pitter-patter of rain overhead but don’t let that spoil the beautiful countryside this national park in England has to offer. Not only is this the largest park in England but it is the most picturesque, with rolling hills, clear blue lakes and the horizon full of wildflowers. What more could you want?
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
If you are after a scenic landscape offering wildlife and wilderness then look no further than Costa Rica. The Corcovado National Park located in the south west of the country is one of the most biologically diverse national parks in the world. Offering you a backdrop of deserted beaches, idyllic waterfalls and ocean views you will share your campsite with some of the best wildlife Costa Rica has to offer. From howler monkeys, tiger herons to sloths and maybe even a puma! You’ll be able to experience your own little safari from your tent. Just remember to be wary of the local environment and take all rubbish with you.
Haleakala National Park, Hawaii
When you think of camping in Hawaii, you probably imagine waking up on the beach, but there’s more to Hawaii’s scenery than stretches of white sand and surfers tackling the waves. Pass up on the luxury beach resort and go camping in the Haleakala National Park instead. Set up camp on the outskirts of the Kipahulu rainforest or by the pools of Ohe’o, where you can take a midnight dip before enjoying a night of sleeping under the stars. There’s plenty of hiking options to keep you occupied, too – scale the Haleakala volcano for an impressive sunrise or trek to the Waimoku Falls. You’ll be glad you bypassed the luxury accommodation.
Camping Le Ty Nadan, Brittany, France
Southern Brittany provides a lush forest setting for this family-friendly campsite that is tucked into a bend in the River L’Elle. Explore the sprawling, green estate from the comfort of a canoe, on horseback, or while fishing for salmon and trout to cook on the campfire for dinner. Thrill-seekers will struggle to choose which activity to launch into first – will it be zip-lining, paintballing or mountain biking? You can also book an afternoon trip to go kayaking on the ocean, which is just a 30-minute drive away. We have a feeling you might end up extending your stay at Camping Le Ty Nadan!
Playa Montroig Camping Resort, Tarragona, Spain
Mont-roig del Camp is a scenic seaside town on the sunny Costa Daurada, near to the ancient Roman town of Tarragona, that served as the summer playground for artist Joan Miro, and in turn inspired many of his paintings. Despite its proximity to Barcelona, camping at Playa Montroig – a retreat overlooking the Mediterranean – feels a million miles away from the hubbub of the city. It comprises of over 1000 verdant camping lots of varying prices (depending on how close you are to the beach), plus restaurants, sports facilities and evening entertainment.
Author: Sarah McCann at MyBaggage.com, when she’s not blogging she loves nothing more than setting off on a camping trip in a new location.