Need some inspiration for your next camping trip? Take a look at some of the best destinations around the world; from volcanoes to idyllic beach settings, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Best Camping Destinations in ASIA
1. Ladakh, India
Located between Pakistan, Xinjiang Province, and Tibet, this is one of the best places to experience the magnificent Indian Himalayas. With jagged, supernatural landscapes, remote Buddhist Monasteries, and activities such as hiking and rafting, this is a once in a lifetime experience.
Best time to visit: from June to October. The snow has melted, temperatures are still mild, and you can experience colourful festivals like the Hemis Festival.
2. Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, Indonesia
Four hours’ drive from Surabaya in East Java, Mount Bromo is one of the most iconic volcanoes in Indonesia. It’s easily recognised as the entire top has been blown off and it’s relatively easy to hike up to the summit. Camp under the stars and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the Tengger Caldera.
Best time to visit: during the dry season, which is April to October.
3. El Nido, Palawan
Located in Palawan, El Nido is a stunning ecosystem in the Philippines. With more than 50 beaches and many different types of forest, it’s easy to find a great camping spot. You’ll fall asleep to the sound of the waves and various animal sounds, and wake up to a magnificent sunrise.
Best time to visit: during the dry season, from November to May
Best Camping Destinations in EUROPE
4. Lake District National Park, England
An area of outstanding natural beauty, the Lake District is home to the highest mountain in England and boasts rolling hills, green valleys, and of course, plenty of lakes. As well as breathtaking hiking routes, it’s also a great place for cycling and boating. There are campsites within the park, but there are also spots for wild, remote camping.
Best time to visit: the peak season is April to October. In spring the hills are dotted with daffodils and autumn offers spectacular colours, but the driest month tends to be May.
5. Sardinia, Italy
This island in the Mediterranean sea has over 40 campsites to choose from, and many are just a few metres from the beach. Crystal clear turquoise water, lush woods, and mountainous terrain make it an incredibly popular destination. Explore the towns, go island hopping and enjoy the local food. You won’t be bored for a second.
Best time to visit: April and June when the flowers are in bloom, or September to October when it’s cooler and less crowded.
6. Cala Llevadó, Spain
Located in the Costa Brava, Cala Llevadó is generally less busy than famous counterparts like Tossa and Lloret de Mar. You can enjoy stunning coves, warm water, plenty of beaches, and a variety of activities like snorkeling and hiking. There are many camping spots within the area, but Cala Llevadó Campsite has one of the best locations and outstanding facilities.
Best time to visit: anytime from mid-March to the end of September, but August is very hot and busy.
7. Brittany, France
Brittany is a vibrant and diverse area of France located between the Channel and the Atlantic Ocean. With towns full of character, high cliffs, small islands, festivals, and a great gastronomic scene, it’s the perfect camping destination. Head inland for a quieter trip or stay close to the beach for a great atmosphere.
Best time to visit: from March to September, but August tends to be incredibly busy.
Best Camping Destinations in AFRICA
8. Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Enjoy incredible African wildlife while you camp on the banks of the river Mara. Going on safari doesn’t always involve shelling out for luxury accommodation, and there are several camping spots in the area which offer stunning views.
Best time to visit: from July to October, so you experience the annual migration of zebra, wildebeest, and gazelle to and from the Serengeti.
9. Garden Route National Park, South Africa
Considered to be one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, the Garden Route has 9 camping areas which vary from “roughing it” to glamping in fully equipped tents. Most are in nature reserves or wildlife parks, and being so close to the coast, you’ll have your pick of fun activities including kayaking and mountain biking.
Best time to visit: although it’s an all-year-round destination, September is the best month for whale watching, while February to April has great temperatures without the crowds.
10. Sahara Desert, Morocco
Why not book a camel trek from Merzouga and make your way to the desert in style? Guides will help you set up camp, talk about their intriguing culture over dinner, and show you the best dunes for watching the sunset and sunrise. Camping really doesn’t get more special than this.
Best time to visit: between May and October when the daytime temperature is mild.
Best Camping Destinations in NORTH AMERICA
11. Yosemite National Park, California, USA
Get close to nature and enjoy spectacular views in this vast national park. It’s 95% wilderness, which means no electricity and no buildings, so you’ll need to bring all provisions with you. Hike up to Glacier Point to look out over Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls.
Best time to visit: from May to October.
12. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA
This is one of the best camping destinations for spotting wildlife. It’s one of the only intact natural ecosystems in the world and is home to hundreds of animal species such as bears, wolves, bison, and elk. The park spreads into Montana and Idaho too, and with dramatic canyons, rivers, forests, hot springs, and geysers (including “Old Faithful”), you’ll be lost for words.
Best time to visit: from mid-June to the end of August to enjoy warmer weather and best wildlife viewing opportunities.
13. Haleakalā National Park, Hawaii
Home to the dormant Haleakalā volcano on Maui, this national park with a stark volcanic landscape and subtropical rainforest is an extraordinary place. Visitors can trek to the summit of the volcano to watch the sunrise for an unforgettable experience. The park has two primitive wilderness camps which are only accessible by trail.
Best time to visit: this is an all-year round-destination
14. Boya Lake Provincial Park, Canada
The crystal clear water in Boya Lake attracts campers from all over the world. It’s one of the few lakes in the north which is warm enough to swim in, and there are plenty of watersports to keep you entertained. The area was carved out by glaciers, and there are hiking and mountain bike trails so you can explore the islands and lakes they left behind.
Best time to visit: from mid-May to the end of September.
Best Camping Destinations in SOUTH AMERICA
15. Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador
If you fancy an adventurous camping trip, head to Cotopaxi National Park near Quitos. Watch the sunrise over one of the world’s most active volcanoes, hike up to the summit with a guide, go horse riding, or take a photo with one of the many friendly lamas. Nights here get very cold, so make sure you have the right sleeping bag for the conditions.
Best time to visit: during the dry, windy season, which is mid-July to early October.
16. Tayrona National Park, Colombia
To the east of Cartagena and along the Caribbean coast, the Tayrona National Park is an area of outstanding beauty with unique scenery. There are lots of peaceful places to camp; you can spend one or two nights in a hammock or pitch a tent if you’re staying for longer. The location is quite remote and involves a hike made memorable by thick jungle to one side and the ocean on the other.
Best time to visit: during the dry season from November to April, but December and January are the busiest months.
17. Pan de Azúcar National Park, Chile
This nature reserve on the coast of Northern Chile is wild and remote. As well as hiking, snorkeling, and enjoying immense sunsets, you can look out onto an island with a huge community of Humboldt penguins, marine otters, sea lions, and pelicans. The area is rustic though, so it’s more about nature than high-end facilities.
Best time to visit: this is an all-year-round destination, but spring is a great time to visit to see the cactus flowers.
Best Camping Destinations in AUSTRALIA
18. Booderee National Park, NSW
Located in Jervis Bay on the New South Wales coast, Booderee offers great camping and other activities like snorkeling, boating, surfing, and swimming. There are three main camp areas in this natural setting, but it’s best to book online in advance as they’re incredibly popular.
Best time to visit: it’s an all-year-round destination, but come from June to early July to experience the whale migration.
19. Kosciuszko National Park, NSW
Home to Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, this park offers impressive alpine bushwalks. When it’s snowy in winter, there are plenty of winter sports available, but hiking and camping are best enjoyed in the summer.
Best time to visit: from December to March, but be prepared for cold weather at any time
20. Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
This stunning, dramatic environment with 14 fiords has achieved World Heritage Status and offers spectacular natural scenery. The beautiful lakeside town of Te Anau makes the perfect base to go exploring and has several camping options. Milford Fiord, one of the most famous in the area, should not be missed.
Best time to visit: spring to autumn, which is October through to April.
About The Author: Cal Bailey runs Mountain Leon – a travel blog he started after two years on backpacking around the world. If you want to learn more about life on the road or tips for travelling, you should read his latest blog posts.