Travel

Gorgeous winter glamping spots you need to know about

In the beginning, there was camping. Granted, our earliest ancestors just called it life, but as creature comforts have increased throughout history, the number of humans suited for such activity has declined. Rapidly.

Then came glamping, the high-end version wherein plush queen-sized beds laden with downy comforters, A/C and space heaters – even entire sitting areas and bathrooms in some cases – were wedged into tent-like confines, complete with pillow chocolates and paved paths to the sauna.

In the season of snow, however, the luxe-but-outdoorsy set have some truly stellar options – some primitive, some posh, but each offering picture-perfect, one-of-a-kind getaways only Queen Elsa could otherwise provide.

Torassieppi Jerisjärvi | Northern Lapland, Finland

The nightly entertainment in Finland? It's pretty much impossible to beat.The nightly entertainment in Finland? It’s pretty much impossible to beat. — Photo courtesy of Pitchup

Fireworks shows delight and amaze, but even the greatest of them all pale in comparison to the stunning, otherworldly light show of the aurora borealis. There are many places to see the Northern Lights in Finland, but here, you can enjoy this surreal and wholly unique experience from the warmth of your bed inside a charming and futuristic geodesic dome.

When the sun’s out, there’s still plenty to do at Torassieppi Jerisjärvi. Activities from skiing to snowmobiling and ice fishing to reindeer spotting abound. Domes start at $301/night.

Camping Sass Dlacia | Bolzano, Italy

It's the highest camp site in the Dolomites, but you can still get pizzaIt’s the highest camp site in the Dolomites, but you can still get pizza — Photo courtesy of Pitchup

Ever dreamed of getting high in Italy? You won’t get higher – not camping, anyway – than this truly breathtaking location in the pine-studded Dolomites. Views are predictably spectacular, and pizza (in addition to some sumptuous South Tyrolean dining at the facility’s restaurant) is predictably present.

Hiking, climbing and, of course, world-class Alta Badia skiing is just out the door, as is a wellness center – where après-ski soaks, saunas and massages will warm up your winterized bones. Utia cabins start at about $23/night.

Les Cabanes de Fontaine-Châtel | Upper Normandy, France

Each cabin is unique, built precisely and safely for the trees that host themEach cabin is unique, built precisely and safely for the trees that host them — Photo courtesy of Pitchup

You want eco-friendly? You can hug the actual tree in which you’re sleeping in this rustic area of Normandy, where these aerial oases are, quite literally, off the grid. And you won’t miss out on hot showers or flushing toilets, but the site is car-free, making the area beneath each tree-customized nest rife for wildlife watching. Wild boar, deer, pheasant and all kinds of interesting natives are oft spotted on site.

Go Swiss Family Robinson in France; two-person treehouses start at $135/night.

Ridgeback Lodge | Kingston, New Brunswick

Dream domes? The name alone makes the idea of winter glamping appealing! Wood-burning stoves (not to mention bathrooms and kitchenettes), right in your dome, make things so cozy, you’d never want to leave if not for the breathtaking Bay of Fundy scenery just outside the door.

Snowshoeing on the lodge’s trails – three miles’ worth – make for fun, active jaunts. And if you’re missing your dog back home, you can bond with one of the resort’s actual (Rhodesian) Ridgeback hosts! Dream domes start at $155/night.

Strathfillan Wigwams | Tyndrum, Scotland

Test your "tiny house" mettle with a stay in one of these charming wigwamsTest your “tiny house” mettle with a stay in one of these charming wigwams — Photo courtesy of Pitchup

Bacon rolls at breakfast help prep visitors for a day’s exploration of Scotland’s dense and mysterious forests. Snowshoeing and hiking are among the popular winter pursuits for those staying in these charming wigwams located on a working farm.

The Highlands are indeed magical, even in wintertime. Stunning views abound, whether from camp or on a cruise of nearby Loch Lomond. And, when in Scotland, whisky sipping is a must.

Tahuya Adventure Resort | Belfair, Wash.

It’s just 15 minutes from civilization in the form of Belfair’s amply stocked town, but feels worlds away in your cozy safari tent, where a luxurious bed, fridge and heater await. With 23,000 acres of unspoiled forest and miles of trails at your disposal, you’ll find plenty of wintry pursuits less than two hours’ travel from Seattle! Tents from $200/night.

Westgate River Ranch | River Ranch, Fla.

Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo is home to a 1,200-seat rodeo arena, which offers guests a true cowboy experience each weekWestgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo is home to a 1,200-seat rodeo arena, which offers guests a true cowboy experience each week — Photo courtesy of Westgate Resorts

For some people, winter glamping has ZERO to do with snow. And for these discriminating travelers, Westgate River Ranch is a stellar opportunity to connect with the season in a decidedly Florida style! Temps here in winter can get chilly (again, that’s Florida chilly, with average highs around 74 in February), so while you may not be spoiling for a short road trip to one of the state’s beautiful beaches, you can stay right on property in one of their glamping tents or luxe teepees.

The former feature beds, screened porches, fridge, microwave, A/C, electrical outlets and private propane grills. Plus, you’ll have your own glamping concierge, which means you won’t have to start your own campfire. The luxe variety offers all the aforementioned, plus in-suite bathrooms, stone fireplaces, leather furniture and a host of other upscale perks.

Either stay affords guests the option of all kinds of ranch activities, including trail riding and the resort’s weekly Saturday rodeo! Glamping from $269; luxe teepee from $455.

Yapham Holds Farmhouse Campsite | North Yorkshire, England

Dogs are welcome here, but leave the kids home for stays at this adults-only propertyDogs are welcome here, but leave the kids home for stays at this adults-only property — Photo courtesy of Pitchup

Quaint pods and bell tents are among the glampy accommodations available here in the English countryside, where incomparable farmhouse digs include the country charm of free-roaming chickens. That said, the posh city of York is nearby, so visitors can enjoy a dual vacation rife with both town and country pursuits.

This property is known for adding the glam to glamping, with lovely touches such as wine or flowers on request. Camping pods start at about $60/night.




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