Camping is about more than just pitching a tent, making s’mores, and telling ghost stories around a campfire. It’s also about experiencing nature in the best way possible by being totally immersed in it. Because the whole point of camping is to be outside the entire time, finding a beautiful campsite that has a lot to offer in terms of views, wildlife, and hiking trails is really ideal.
Fortunately, there are plenty of those all over the world. Whether you’re looking for a true wilderness feel in a dense forest full of towering trees, a more relaxed vibe by a sandy beach, or an adventurous moment somewhere unique, there is something for everyone to be found in countries around the globe (including the good old U.S.A.). Here are pictures of the most beautiful campsites that will inspire you to ditch your 5-star hotel dreams and become one with nature instead. You’ll be ready to plan your camping games, pack up your camping cookware, and start thinking about some make-ahead camping meals.
Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
Jasper National Park is widely known as one of the most beautiful parks in Canada, which is saying a lot. It’s also the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With rocky lake beaches, plenty of hiking trails, hot springs, biking, fishing, horseback riding, and more, this park truly has it all – along with stunning views of the mountains, of course.
Big Sur, California
There are plenty of campsites to be found in Big Sur, and all of them are so gorgeous that they look like they belong in a movie. Big Sur is a rugged coastline in the middle of California featuring towering redwood forests, incredible ocean views on any of the beaches, and tons of beautiful hiking trails. It’s a wonderful combination of coastal and mountainous.
Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht, German Alps, Germany
When you think of camping, you think of pitching a tent… on the ground. but Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht is a much more unique take on that idea. Campers will try out tree camping, meaning you’re staying in tents hung from tree branches high up in the forest canopy. Located in the German Alps, the stay offers unforgettable views fo the Pfronten mountains by the Austrian border, and an experience you’ll never stop talking about.
Garden Route National Park, South Africa
Located along the coast of South Africa is Garden Route National Park, where camping is readily available. This is another perfect combination of ocean and mountains, with amazing views of a dramatic coastline and plenty of adventure to be had. There are indigenous forests, there’s access to Otter Trail (known as one of the best hiking trails in the world), and so much more.
Denali National Park, Alaska
Denali National Park is one of the most gorgeous national parks in the United States, offering some of the best views and sites that Alaska—and the country – has to offer. There are magical meadows full of wildflowers, world-class views of the Denali mountains (the highest peaks in North America), plenty of trees, and lots of fascinating wildlife.
Hossa National Park, Finland
Hossa National Park is known as a legend in Finland for its raw natural beauty, making it a perfect campsite. The park is known for its incredibly clear and bright lakes and waters, which look almost too blue to be real. The waters and the rock paintings of Julma-Ölkky and Värikallio, which date back thousands of years, are some of the best things about this spot.
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
A decidedly more tropical feel, Corcovado National Park can be found on Costa Rica’s southwest Osa Peninsula. The park protects a variety of tropical ecosystems, meaning visitors will be in one of the world’s most biodiverse regions. Here, you can find 13 different major ecosystems, including lowland rain forests, highland cloud forests, jolillo palm forest, mangrove swamps, Pacific beaches, waterfalls, and more. There’s also a good chance you’ll run into some Costa Rican wildlife, including colorful birds and jaguars.
Sahale Glacier Camp, North Cascades National Park, Washington
Located in North Cascades National Park, Sahale Glacier Camp offers views of the Sahale Mountains. This is a magical spot in Washington full of alpine meadows sitting against the dramatic backdrop of the mountain range, and offers something different in each season. In summer, it’s covered in glacier lilies and in the fall you’ll find it covered in mountain blueberries. Expect a front-row view of the mountains and lots of flowers.
Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand
New Zealand is a nature lover’s dream, and Mount Cook National Park certainly does not disappoint. Mount Cook is the country’s highest mountain range, with a surrounding area that would make anyone want to explore for days. Between the scenic lakes, beautiful herb fields, and spectacular glacier views, this place is so gorgeous it looks like a postcard. Some fo the best mountain climbing can be found here, as well as some of the best stargazing you can imagine.
The Isle of Arran, Scotland
The Isle of Arran in Scotland has it all: rugged Scottish coastline, tall mountain peaks, beaches, forests, and even cultural festivals to take part in. Visitors can expect to spot wildlife such as red squirrels, deer, golden eagles, otters, seals, basking sharks and more. There are plenty of views of Goatfell, the largest mountain on Arran, and lots of history to discover.
Cala Llevadó, Spain
Located on Spain’s Costa Brava, right by the ocean, is Cala Llevadó. Campers stay in the shade of a forest just steps away from quiet, picturesque beaches. This campsite offers carefully spaced apart pitching areas, but there are also wooden cottages and chalets for those who prefer a bit more luxury. Views of the beautiful Baie de Llorell bay and the mountains beyond, as well as access to a Mediterranean botanical garden and plenty of of outdoor activities make this spot truly special.
Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Maasai Mara National Reserve stands out as an epic campsite where, not only can you sleep under the stars in one of Africa’s greatest wildlife preserves, but you can also get the chance to spot the Big Five (elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, and rhinos). There are luxurious camping tents, bush camps, safaris, sky diving, hot air balloon rides, white sand beaches, and so much more.
Waiʻanapanapa State Park, Hawaii
There’s plenty to see at Wai’anapanapa State Park when camping, but one of the most unique is the beaches the area is known for. This is home to one of Maui’s v0lcanic-sand beaches, meaning the sand is black, which is truly special to see. There are also freshwater caves, a natural stone arch, towering palm trees, forests to explore, and wildlife to see. It’s hard to go wrong when camping in Hawaii, but this spot is one of the best.
Boya Lake Provincial Park, Canada
Boya Lake Provincial Park in Canada is known for its stunning crystal clear blue waters. It has a clear aqua-green hue that makes it possible to see straight down into the white marl bottom. It’s also warm enough to swim in, which is hard to find in the North region. Aside from the lake and mountain views, the wildflowers and animal life are also incredible.
Camping likely isn’t the first thing you think of when you think of Italy, but maybe it should be. Sardinia, a mountainous region of Italy sitting in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, offers some of the most beautiful nature the country has. There are small desert areas, marshes, beaches, woods, and plenty of wildlife, with lots of history to explore as well. Italian food, the Mediterranean, and mountains – what more could you want out of a campsite?
Yosemite National Park, California
A list of beautiful campsites wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Yosemite National Park. Located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite is known for the ancient sequoia trees. There’s also Tunnel View, which is a look at Bridalveil Fall and the granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome. This is American wilderness at its best, and it’s a popular campsite that never feels too secluded.
Lake Myvatn, Iceland
In the summer, Iceland is plenty warm enough for camping, and one excellent option is Lake Myvatn. Iceland is a nature-lover’s paradise, and Lake Myvatn is no exception. It is located in Northern Iceland and is one of the largest lakes in the country, boasting a beautiful hue and plenty to see all around it. Here you can see glacial canyons, lava formations, ice caves, natural springs, nature baths, waterfalls, and more.
EcoCamp Patagonia, Chile
Another unique destination is Patagonia, Chile, where you can choose to try glamping at EcoCamp Patagonia. The geodesic domes are comfortable and very Instagram-worthy, and are located at the foot of the Torres del Paine National Park. Here you’ll get stunning views of the mountain ranges, glaciers, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and even the Southern Ice Field, which is the second largest ice field in the world.
Acadia National Park, Maine
There are plenty of places to camp in Acadia National Park, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. The park itself is very large, but every part of it is beautiful – there are mountains, forests, ocean coastlines, and plenty of lakes, ponds, and wetlands to explore. You’ll see the rocky Atlantic coast, sandy beaches, fjords, and even a lighthouse. This is one of the most beautiful national parks on the Northeast to explore.
North Stradbroke Island, Australia
There are tons of things to do on beautiful North Stradbroke Island, which is known as “Straddie” to locals. It encompasses some of Australia’s signature idyllic beaches, as well as unique activities like whale watching, snorkeling, diving, and surfing. This is a wonderful coastal camping experience with so much to see.
A short boat ride away from Hiroshima lies Miyajima, a small island in Japan ideal for camping. With cabins or tents nestled among camphor and cypress trees, there are views of both the beach and the forest. Take a break from nature in one of the villages and explore history by a beautiful temple.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park is one of the most impressive national parks in the United States, which fairytale alpine meadows full of wildflowers, forests full of towering trees, a rugged mountain view, and clear lakes. There is so much to see, with plenty of hiking trails and campsite spots to explore. It’s the best of Montana’s wilderness and makes for perfect camping.
Tartaruga Camping in Zakynthos, Greece
Tartaruga Camping in Zakynthos offers a fantastically different view of Greece. Located in the Bay of Laganas, this is known as one of the most beautiful spots in Greece. Camp among the olive trees, steps away from quiet pebble beaches. A short boat ride takes you to the tiny island of Marathonissi. This beach-side campsite is a lovely way to view nature in Greece.
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