There’s truly nothing in this world like drifting off to sleep under the stars and waking up to a sorbet-hued sunrise. But camping—or glamping—isn’t the only way to experience nature on this level. There are overwater bungalows, yurts, covered wagons, and even bubbles in which to lay your head.
Here, 8 beyond-chic places to sleep in nature—or feel pretty darn close to doing so.
Ever dreamed of sleeping inside an inflatable crystalline bubble? Maybe not, but once you see this glorified tent, it’s all you’ll be able to think about. Three giant bubbles—named Leo, Virgo, and Cancer—sit on a remote working farm two and a half hours northwest of Sydney. They overlook Capertree Valley, the second widest canyon in the world (also an important bird sanctuary) and are complete with a telescope, outdoor fireplace, or perhaps a wood-fired hot tub. This just might be the definition of magic.
The pink sand beach and wild coconut grove on this glorious island are very much worth exploring, but the way to go is a spacious overwater bungalow. Views from the private porch look out to the reef, and a glass floor reveals colorful sea life below. But it’s truly spellbinding at night when sharks swim beneath you and the bamboo windows are swung open, allowing the sea breeze to ensure the most peaceful night’s sleep imaginable.
It doesn’t get wilder than sleeping in a renovated covered wagon with kangaroos hopping by. That’s the norm at the otherworldly Gawler Ranges of South Australia. Kangaluna Camp’s Swagon boasts a “swag” bed, the Aussie term for a canvas bedroll with zips down the sides. From there, you can stare at the stars by night and walk the dried Lake Sturt in the colorful Corrobinnie Depression by day.
When you think about England, ancient forests usually don’t spring to mind. But there are indeed storybook woods with luxury treehouses that would make your younger self—and most likely your current self—squeal in delight. This Relais & Châteaux country house’s treehouses are suspended 35 feet above the secluded valley forest floor, with huge windows that give way to panoramic views. Curated dining experiences (think foraged jams and local honey) are delivered in picnic baskets, and spa treatments are also done up in the trees.
5. El Questro
If frontier life sounds appealing, you can find it along the Chamberlain River in Western Australia’s Kimberley, where you’ll be one of only a few humans amid 700,000 acres of untamed outback, mountain peaks, salt flats, thermal springs, rushing waterfalls, and glittering gorges. El Questro Homestead has bedrooms cantilevered over the river, while there are also safari-style suites (tents outfitted with modern en-suite bathrooms and electricity) dotted alongside ancient Boab trees at El Questro Emma Gorge (Wi-Fi included). If you prefer to really rough it, there are campgrounds designed with new shower blocks and BBQ pits.
This collection of one-of-a-kind treetop hideaways in the middle of Sweden’s wilderness is the stuff of dreams—and Instagram Stories. Whether it’s winter or summer, the vistas are unbelievable when you’re looking out from the high perch of a UFO pod, a giant bird’s nest, or a camouflaged mirrored cube that reflects all the staggeringly tall pine trees surrounding it. In your wildest fantasies, you couldn’t conceive of the whimsical accommodations that live just below the Arctic Circle. While this picture may help, you have to see to believe.
If you think Fiji is all super fancy overwater bungalows, think again. At Nanuku Auberge Resort Fiji, a new private island camping experience is game-changing for those who wish to be immersed in nature. For one, you’re on your very own two-mile private island in the calm, mirror-like Bequa Lagoon. There’s entertainment via traditional Fijian songs and legends, and then you’re left on your own with a survival kit, including a mobile phone and torch–lit path to the outhouse. Weather-proof tents are available, but why bother when you can drift off in a hammock under the kalokalo, AKA stars. Oh, and in the morning, a chef jet skis over to cook pancakes, bacon, and eggs for breakfast.
Valle de Guadalupe is Baja California’s answer to Napa Valley. Not only is the landscape amazing (think bougainvillea, cacti, and grape vines for days), but the Cabañas CuatroCuatros yurts are the perfect place to enjoy it, since they’re nestled in vineyards and mountains that overlook the sea. Even better, TVs don’t exist here. And nearby is the new Campara Hotel Burbuja, which translates to Bubble Hotel, and is Mexico’s first eco-minded bubble-tent resort. These climate-controlled, French-designed bubbles look like they belong in outer space and give campers unfettered access to the great beyond.
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