One of the best things about glamping is that it allows you to spend time in nature while enjoying comfortable amenities previously only found in hotels. For many, glamping is more accessible than camping and provides another sustainable option to stay in nature.
When it comes to glamping, there are numerous different types of glamping accommodations to choose from. Below, we’ll break down the different glamping types and some of our favorite eco-friendly examples of each.
What is Glamping?
If you’re new to glamping, glamping stands for “glamorous camping.” Glamping accommodations will be in remote areas, just like camping, but they’ll have more amenities. Sustainable glamping often includes a bathroom, some electricity, and running water, as well as a bed and some furniture to enjoy.
To ensure you’re glamping sustainably, look for accommodations that are built from eco-friendly materials, conserve natural resources, protect the surroundings, are energy efficient, and are locally run.
The 7 Types of Glamping Accommodations:
There are seven primary types of glamping accommodations to choose from. Each type provides different levels of comfort and is constructed from varying natural materials. When deciding between the different types of glamping, it can be helpful to know what is commonly found in the destination you’re visiting, and what best suits your preferences.
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Pods and Tiny Homes:
Glamping pods are small circular or A-frame-shaped structures typically made from wood. They originated in the UK and are most commonly found throughout Europe and North America. If you’re having trouble finding pods, look for tiny homes. These are also small wooden structures, often in an A-frame style, that provide the same level of comfort and size that glamping pods do, but are more common throughout the world.
Below are some examples of our favorite sustainable glamping pods and tiny homes:
Sustainable Scandinavian Cabin in the UK: The Bird Box
Location: Liskeard, Cornwall
If you’re looking for a rustic yet picturesque glamping cabin, this handcrafted stay from Unique hideaways is the place for you. It’s off-grid, with a wood-burning stove, no wifi, a fire pit, and an outdoor bathtub to relax in. To give you more space in the cabin, there’s a separate outhouse with a compost toilet and shower.
Eco Tiny Home in Australia: Bruny Island Hideaway
Location: Alonnah, Tasmania
This gorgeous, sleek, remote tiny home is made from local wood and locally run. It provides a surprising amount of space thanks to a lofted bedroom and strategically placed window walls. Located in a conservation forest, the pod is entirely off-grid with limited water and power.
Cabins and Cottages:
Glamping cabins and cottages are typically smaller and more rustic than your average cabin home. Additional glamping accommodation terms found under this category include treehouses or chalets.
Glamping cabins will be handcrafted, ideally from locally sourced wood, and will conserve natural resources. You can find glamping cabins or cottages easily worldwide, either on their own or as a part of a campground, like Getaway House.
Sustainable Glamping Cottages in South Africa: Suidster
Location: Montagu, Western Cape
Suidster is an off-the-grid, locally-run farm with two self-sustaining cottages on site. Each handcrafted cottage has everything you need to stay short or long-term. The cottages come with a wood-burning hot tub and equipped kitchen. You’ll be surrounded by natural wildlife and hiking trails.
Eco-friendly Glamping Cabins in Belize: Tobacco Caye
Location: Tobacco Caye, Stann Creek District
If you’re interested in staying in the middle of Belize’s barrier reef, you’ll want to check out these colorful off-the-grid cabins. The property is Gold Standard Certified and entirely secluded, with no stores or restaurants on the islet. They get all their electricity from solar panels and the water from recycled rainwater.
Camper Vans and Horseboxes:
Camper Vans (otherwise known as RVs or Airstreams) are a great sustainable glamping option. This is a wonderful way to upcycle former vehicles, or if the vehicle is still operational, camp while traveling.
Renovated trailers are a particularly popular glamping type in the United States but in Europe, it’s more common to find Horseboxes. These are former horse trailers that have been turned into glamping accommodations.
Vintage Airstream Glamping in the US: Tin Can Airstream
Location: Stone Mountain, Georgia
This photo-worthy vintage trailer is set in the woods on private property. It’s equipped with a fire pit, hammock, and a small kitchen. The owners renovated the airstream to include all the comforts you need while still being sustainable, with a composting toilet and limited hot water.
Eco Horsebox Glamping in the UK: Polly the Lorry
Location: South Molton, Devon
A Unique hideaways property, this eco-friendly horsebox was renovated using upcycled materials. The quirky and cozy space is nestled in the countryside with a wood-burning stove, a fire pit, no wifi, and solar lighting. There’s an additional smaller horsebox that was converted into a shower and bathroom. The owners also have an onsite vegetable garden and provide an ice box to store any produce you want.
Yurts and Domes:
Yurts are the original tent — a semi-permanent, easily assembled structure that originated from Central Asia. Yurts are circular domes, often made from wooden poles with a canvas tent attached for covering and insulation.
Today, domes have become an increasingly popular option similar to a yurt. They are often made using steel frames and fiberglass coverings so you can stargaze from the bed.
Solar Yurts in California: Borrego Yurt
Location: Borrego Springs, California
This cute, solar-powered yurt is perfect for a weekend getaway in the desert. You’ll have limited propane heating, no running water, an outdoor solar shower, and a composting toilet. Located on a private, remote property, you can enjoy the sweeping views or stargaze from your patio.
Eco Domes in Argentina: El Nido
Location: Las Heras, Mendoza
This remote dome complex is situated along the Potrerillos Dam. The owners offer breakfast, propane heating, wifi, and ample shared common spaces including a fire pit, mud oven, and grill. Electricity is generated from solar panels and there is limited running water. Each pod is beautifully decorated and has stunning views of the surroundings.
Glamping tents are the closest you’ll get to traditional camping, but with more comfort. Glamping tents are semi-permanent tents, typically made from durable canvas. They will generally be more spacious than your tent at home and will have a bed or some modest furnishings inside.
Eco-Friendly Tent Glamping in Canada: Crater Basin Campsite
Location: Faraday, Ontario
If you’re eager to have a secluded tent glamping experience, then this is the place for you. This canvas bell tent is located on a raised deck, constructed from upcycled local wood.
You’ll be on top of a private pond, surrounded by hiking trails, with a fire pit and outdoor kitchen. The tent has a double bed and wood-burning stove inside, while the outdoor bathroom has biodegradable toiletries, an incinerating toilet, and a seasonal shower.
Bell Tents in France: La Prairie Étoilée Glamping
Location: Crozon-sur-Vauvre, Centre-Val de Loire
This bell tent is the perfect choice to have your own sustainable tent glamping retreat. Here you get to stay in a private meadow, with a clear roof so that you can stargaze from the comfort of your bed.
The property uses sustainable linens and solar lighting with a separate private bathroom. There’s a shared bamboo kitchen, an unheated plunge pool, and a fire pit. The owners offer meal baskets made from local and organic ingredients, as well as the option to rent bikes.
Another type of glamping that originated in the UK is shepherd’s huts. These are tiny huts that look similar to wagons. They were meant to provide a warm place for farmers to sleep while watching over their flock. Now, they are often refurbished and used as popular glamping accommodations or tiny homes.
Sustainable Shepherd’s Hut in Scotland: Birkenshaw
Location: Highland Council, Scotland
Tucked away in the Scottish Highlands, this off-the-grid shepherd’s hut has everything you need while glamping. It’s filled with vintage and upcycled decor, organic bedding, a fire pit, and a separate bathroom with a compostable toilet. You’ll have access to running water, a kitchen, and an organic vegetable garden at the local family’s main house.
Eco-friendly Shepherd’s Hut in the UK: Jasmine
Location: Falmouth, Cornwall
If you’re interested in staying in a luxurious and cozy shepherd’s hut, this property from Unique hideaways is a great choice. The hand-built, bright hut is equipped with wifi, a kitchen, a wood-burning stove, and a separate shower house. The property has electric car chargers, a shared indoor pool, and a gym, and is considered a zero-emissions eco property.
Final Notes On Eco-Friendly Glamping Accommodations
Overall, different types of glamping provide a variety of options to suit most styles, needs, and interests. It’s easy to have a sustainable getaway with so much to choose from but it’s important to remember that glamping isn’t automatically sustainable.
When choosing an eco-friendly glamping accommodation, look for properties that clearly state what eco measures they are taking, like the ones above.
About The Author:
Alicia Briggs is a writer & editor specializing in slow travel & sustainable living. She’s worked in journalism since 2016 and currently writes for a variety of publications such as Sustainably Chic and Hidden Lemur. She has been a full-time traveler since 2018 and runs her own blog, Learning the Local Way, where she covers responsible travel & living tips.