Best places to camp around the world
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Camping is one of the most rewarding ways to experience the great outdoors and helps us connect with our loved ones. It brings a positive impact to your kids by removing them from their gadgets and allowing them to develop a sense of adventure. Don’t forget to pack your bug out bag, your tent and carry along a tent heater / tent conditioner depending on the weather. I would usually check out the campgrounds near me for available facilities or activities. While camping, you can try exploring the surroundings by biking or kayaking. In this guide, we will be sharing with you some of the top camping destinations around the world for your next getaway.
Camping often brings up thoughts of sitting by the fire with s’mores. However, some of the most unique camping experiences do not include marshmallows or the woods. Camping in Antarctica is the ultimate bucket list experience. There aren’t any fires or s’mores – or even real bathrooms – but it is unlike anything else in the world.
Expedition cruises bring you to the ice continent and are the base for exploring. Unless you’re a scientist, you can only visit Antarctica in the summer months – November through March. Even though it’s summer, the temperature will remain in the 30’s (Farenheit) – and camping can only be done during nice weather. Environmental conservation is very important so everything is brought from the ship and goes back to the ship, including the port-o-potty! This means you can’t go #2 on the ice – so be sure to go on the ship! The staff members do not bring campers back to the boat until the morning unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Hiking is one of the best things to do while camping anywhere. In Antarctica, you can hike mountains thousands of years old and even around dormant volcanoes! During the summer months, the sun sets very late. Hiking the mountains provide breathtaking views of the ice, water, and hopefully humpback whales or orcas. The staff of the ship selects a camping location that is safe for both humans and animals.
While camping in Antarctica is one of the most primitive forms of camping, spending a night with penguins and seals is worth the lack of sleep!
Contributed by Maartje & Sebastiaan from The Orange Backpack
One of the best trips we ever enjoyed was our camping trip in Namibia. You might not think of an African country to go camping, but driving with our 4WD with a rooftop tent was the best way to enjoy Namibia.
Your Namibia trip will probably start and end in its capital Windhoek, where you’ll pick up our car and camping gear. We used a sturdy car with a rooftop tent to explore Namibia, driving about 5,000 kilometers to see all the big highlights and off the beaten track destinations.
Must-see highlights include the Etosha national park in the north to see the Big 5 and camp right next to a waterhole, the beautiful sand dunes at the Sossusvlei and the impressive Fish River Canyon in the south.
We mostly camped at official campsites, offering us electricity for our car cooler and showers and toilets to use. But our most memorable night was not at an official campsite, but off the beaten track at the Brukkaros volcano. The views were amazing and it was a unique experience one will never forget.
Contributed by Eva from Not Scared Of The Jetlag
One of the most remote places to go wild camping is the Sahara desert in Morocco. Depending on your experience and mode of travel there are many different options in a small area, all accessible from Merzouga.
If you are travelling with a 4×4 car, you can choose between setting up your tent in the dunes of Merzouga, in the dry river valley behind the dunes, or head further south into even more remote areas. There are so many beautiful views and if you pick the right place you will not meet anyone for days at a time. You can set up camp anywhere you like, just make sure to not leave anything behind, as it is a fragile environment. Here are some tips how to set up a tent.
In case you are not quite this adventurous or not travelling by 4×4, you can hire a guide and a few camels out of Merzouga and head into the dunes for a night or two.
If you are looking for activities, in Merzouga you can book camel rides, quads and dune buggies and boards for sand boarding. And from Taouz, 20 km south, you can go explore the local hills and find petroglyphs depicting gazelles and other animals that lived here in the past.
Weatherwise, the best time to go camping in the Sahara in Morocco is between late September and mid March. Just be aware that December and January can have very cold nights.
Make sure you pack enough water, you are in the desert after all. If you are worried about snakes and scorpions, know that they are more active in the summer. I have only seen one each when out and about and they were way more scared of me then I was of them.
Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California
Contributed by Monica from This Rare Earth
Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California is one of the best destinations in all of California for camping. The landscape in Joshua Tree National Park is unlike anywhere else on the planet. Alien-like plant life and giant boulders will quickly transport you to another world.
The Mojave Desert and Colorado Desert meet inside of park boundaries, which means that you will see two very different landscapes depending on which area of the park you are in at any given time. Camping is widely available in the northern end of the park, or, the Mojave Desert portion, and it is typically the most crowded area of the whole park. Camping is most popular from September through May, and campsites usually fill in advance.
One reason why everyone should experience camping here is because Joshua Tree National Park is a designated Dark Sky Park. This designation means that it possesses an exceptional quality of starry nights and nocturnal environment. It is specifically protected for scientific / natural / educational enjoyment.
It is the perfect spot for stargazing, well outside the bright light of Los Angeles. Astrophotography is a popular activity here for just that reason. When planning your Joshua Tree National Park trip, be sure to overnight camp so that you don’t miss this spectacular experience.
There are nine campgrounds throughout the park and reservations are required from September through May. Reservations can be made on the National Park Service website.
I would suggest spending several days here and explore the hiking trails, as well as the surrounding communities of Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs. Visit soon, you won’t regret it!
Skaftafell Campsite, Iceland
Contributed by Suzanne Meandering Wild
Skaftafell Campsite is located in the south of Iceland just off the main Ring Road 1. This is a large campsite and one of the few in Iceland that is open year round. Despite its size, it doesn’t feel ‘busy’. There are more than enough showers and toilets with plenty of hot water as well as a laundry that is useful given the climate. The pitches are unmarked, but the site is divided into smaller areas rather than one large field. There is no need to book ahead, in fact you can’t book ahead.
The campsite is located on the edge of the Vatnajökull Ice Cap which can be seen from the site itself and very close by is the Svínafellsjökull Glacier Lagoon where you can get close to the icebergs. In the summer months there is lots of walking in the surrounding mountains, but in the winter access is restricted. Ring Road 1 stays open in the winter months unless severe weather is forecast making this a good place to plan a stop on the way to Höfn further east.
There are trails leading out onto the glacier from the campsite and guides can be booked for glacier treks at the onsite visitors centre. Shorter walks are possible to Skaftafell Waterfall which is surrounded by unique basalt columns.
This campsite is perfect for a trip around ring road 1 in Iceland and given the facilities available it is worth having as a fixed point in your road trip planning.
Húsavík is a quaint fishing village in the north of Iceland. As you will see, it is a gem not to be missed. And the best way to experience it is camping under the northern lights.
- Fewer crowds – northern Iceland sees fewer visitors than the south region
- Fewer clouds – less rain in the north is ideal for watching the northern lights
- Whales – Humpback, minke, and blue whales migrate to the rich feeding grounds of Skjálfandi Bay
While the south is the most frequently visited, the north offers fewer tourists and day-trippers. Late September to early October is an ideal time to go. Tourism falls off, the nights get dark, and a few whales linger off the coast.
Where to Camp Near Húsavík
Camping 66.12 North
Address: Mánárbakki 641, Húsavík, Iceland
1,500 ISK per person
Just 20 minutes north of Húsavík is Camping 66.12 North. The price includes the use of immaculately clean facilities. Heated bathrooms with warm showers, handicap accessible toilets, and a washing machine and dryer all make your stay a bit more comfortable.
They also have a common kitchen area to cook, clean, and eat a quick meal. It’s even stocked with some cookware should you come unprepared.
Situated on the northern tip of the Tjörnes Peninsula, you will have a front-row seat to the northern lights over Skjálfandi Bay. The campsite is at the edge of the field directly on the coast. Listen to the waves as the aurora borealis dance overhead.
What to Do
Sleep to the lapping waves and wake to watch the sunrise over the bay. Next, head into Húsavík, grab a cup of coffee and get set for a morning of whale watching.
We went with North Sailing on the traditional Icelandic fishing boat Náttfari. This was one of the most amazing mornings watching two humpback whales chasing the last morsels before making their way back to the Gulf of Mexico.
Follow up whale watching with lunch just steps away from the boat. Try some of the best fish and chips on the island at a place appropriately named Fish and Chips.
There are some charming little shops and museums along with a photogenic church right in town. But you could spend the afternoon at GeoSea, soaking in geothermal seawater. Head back to camp for another peaceful night before continuing your journey the next day.
Or, you may just decide to stay and do some fishing.
Contributed by Steph & Lewis from Book It Lets Go!
One of the top places for camping in the UK and indeed the world, camping in Devon is beautiful and budget friendly. There are many campsites in Devon from huge family friendly resorts with static caravans, campervan hook-ups and activity centres on site, to small farms with minimal facilities that only allow tents. If you are planning to camp for a week or longer, try asking for a price reduction as many campsites offer a reduced rate for longer stays. Being in England the best time to visit Devon is in the summer months between June and September, but this is also the busiest time.
Devon is a very diverse area that has everything from the beautiful beaches of the English Riviera to vast moorlands across Dartmoor National Park and the craggy Jurassic Coastline. Many of the activities and attractions are free and there is something to do for all the family. From historic sightseeing at the Castles and Museums to outdoor adventures like hiking, surfing, horse riding and scuba diving. You can also enjoy the British seaside vibes on the many award-winning beaches. You can also find some unique attractions in Devon including the largest model village in Britain at Babbacombe and the highest totally water powered railway in the world connecting Lynton and Lynmouth a must see for any railway enthusiast.
Wherever you stay in Devon you can’t miss the award-winning seafood platters featuring freshly caught crab and mussels. And of course, it would be a crime to miss out on a famous Devonshire cream tea, a lovely afternoon treat found across Devon.
Moulin de la Pique, France
Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels
RCN le Moulin de la Pique is a beautiful campground in the Dordogne in France. The Dordogne is a beautiful region in the South of France. There’s lots to see and do on and around the campground. Hiking in nature, ancient towns and castles abound. The campground is on an historic estate. It is a 5-star campground with lots to do for kids, among them a swimming pool with 4 pools and 3 slides.
Not to be missed activity on the campground is pizza night. Eating together with others outside is fun. Do eat at least once at the restaurant at the castle. Participate in the kids activities like dancing and pony rides.
The campground is not open year round, in winter it’s closed. The campsite is open from April till September. The weather is beautiful in this period and can be even hot.
Next to fun things to do on the campgrounds there’s plenty to do in the vicinity. Go to the Grottes du Roc du Cazelle, the beautiful medieval town of Beynac, make a ride on the Gabarres de Beynac, visit Château de Castelnaud or Lascaux.
This campground is where you go to for the beautiful surroundings, the great weather, friendly owners, the peace and quiet and the beautiful estate. Last but not least the aquaparc. With it’s 4 outside swimming pools and 3 really cool slides, you want to be here when it’s warm.
This 5-star campground has many facilities, among them an animation team, a restaurant, a small store, playgrounds, ping pong tables and large comfortable camping spots with full hook-ups.
We had a wonderful experience here and a lovely week.
New Forest, UK
The New Forest is one of the most magical places to camp in England. This large area was originally created as a hunting ground for William the Conqueror. Now, it is home to all sorts of native flora and fauna, the best known example being the New Forest ponies. When driving through or spending time in the villages of the area, visitors must be mindful of these free-roaming, gentle creatures.
There are numerous camp grounds in the New Forest, ranging from budget to glamping sites. Visitors who plan to pitch a tent must book into one of these, as wild camping is not permitted in the national park. Whether you’d prefer a small, peaceful site tucked away among the trees or a larger camp ground with lots of modern amenities, there are plenty to choose from.
A New Forest camping trip is all about making the most of the great outdoors, enjoying the scenic landscapes and close encounters with nature. Simply being in this area means lots of fresh air and a relaxing atmosphere. There are some great options for adventurous types, who can explore the cycle and footpaths or enjoy encounters with nature.
A key highlight of a stay in this part of Hampshire is also the lovely towns and villages of the area. Burley, Brockenhurst and Beaulieu are among the most popular, and the latter is home to the National Motor Museum. The region also borders the south coast, meaning that coastal towns like Lymington, Christchurch and Bournemouth are also within easy reach.
I love the area so much that – like many others – we relocated here in 2003. This means we are now free to enjoy the New Forest whenever we like.
Queenstown, New Zealand
Contributed by Jennifer Parkes from Backyard Travel Family: Active Family Travel Specialists in New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand is an amazing place to camp. It is the perfect mixture of tourist activities, beautiful mountains and the amazing Lake Wakatipu. It is only a small town, but has so many things to do. It is an absolute must stop on your South Island road trip.
The best time to camp in Queenstown is during the summer, as it can snow and be very cold during the winter and even in shoulder seasons. It is a beautiful alpine region right on the lake, giving an almost Swiss tourist feel to the area.
Queenstown is known for its amazing adventure activities. You can bungy jump and sky dive, jet boat and paraglide, all from the tourism mecca of Queenstown There are a lot of fun things to do in Queenstown with kids if you are looking for a family holiday. You can sail on an old steamship, the TSS Earnslaw (in fact if you are looking for an off the beaten track campsite you can take the steamship to the campground at Walter Peak Station), bike along the cycle friendly trails and ride the Skyline Gondola for incredible views over the lakes and mountains. Or you can bring a pro scooter and scoot around.
You have a number of options when it comes to camping in Queenstown. You can choose from a list of cheap Department of Conservation local campgrounds with few facilities such as Moke Lake, or head into a fully kitted site such as the Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park with full kitchens, kids play areas and lounge rooms. One thing to note is that you cannot freedom camp (ie. stay in a campervan or tent on the side of the road) in the Queenstown township, so you will need to pay to camp at a designated site.
Which is your favorite camping spot? Do share in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!