THE ALPS, FRANCE
The dominion of skiers in the winter months, the Alps transform as the snow thaws. Once the balmy spring weather arrives, so do hikers and campers. You’ll find beautifully fresh alpine air and quaint villages nestled in the foothills. It’s a magical place to camp, made all the more special by the glittering night sky above.
SIMIEN MOUNTAINS, ETHIOPIA
Recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the jagged Simien massif and its deep precipices rival the Grand Canyon for beauty. The landscape is phenomenal and the best way to explore is on a guided trek, sleeping under canvas in one of the park’s basic campsites.
HOSSA NATIONAL PARK, FINLAND
Finland’s newest national park (set to open in June 2017) is in the wild northeast of the country, a rugged landscape of rivers, lakes and old-growth spruce forests. Finland welcomes wild campers and the park is dotted with remote lean-to shelters and rustic cabins, all with spots for campfires.
MOUNT COOK NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND
You can’t talk about camping without waxing lyrical about New Zealand’s out-of-this-world landscapes. Mount Cook (or Aoraki to the Maori) is the country’s highest mountain and the entire surrounding rugged region is the South Island’s finest outdoor playground. Views from the campgrounds here are simply staggering.
THE SETO INLAND SEA (SETONAIKAL), JAPAN
In the wide, watery expanse between Japan’s Honshū, Shikoku and Kyūshū islands you’ll find a little-known idyll made up of many tinier islands. Exploring by bike is becoming popular as seven modern bridges now link the islets. At night, it’s possible to camp beside the subtropical white-sand beaches.
LOCH LOMOND & THE TROSSACHS, SCOTLAND
The scattered peaks, valleys and villages of the Trossachs – often called the Highlands in miniature – make an incredibly scenic backdrop for a camping trip. Amid these romantic lochs and glens you’ll find everything from sprawling caravan parks to remote wild camping spots; be sure to read the Outdoor Access Code before you go.
Time has stood still in this massively underrated region of northwest Spain, where villages cling to lush green mountains and fishing communities dot the craggy coastline. Some of the most beautiful campsites in Spain can be found on the coast here, along with delicious food and welcoming hosts.