As great as apartments and hotels are, they’re not usually very exciting forms of accommodation. Many Airbnbs contain the same standard IKEA furniture and, although many hotels have fancy lobbies, restaurants, or rooftop pools, most have very simple and, ultimately, uninspiring hotel rooms.
Many of us have spent countless hours trawling through sites like Expedia and booking.com looking for accommodation that’s a little different, a little more inspiring, only to come up short.
Glamping is short for glamorous camping. It’s staying in yurts, treehouses, safari tents, campervans, pods, tipis, cabins, cottages, and windmills as opposed to the two-man tent you bought in Decathlon. And, unlike the tent you bought in Decathlon, it’s all set up when you arrive and there’s no need to take it down at the end. Many of the glamping options above include luxurious like Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a coffee maker, fully-equipped kitchen, heating, and sometimes even a hot tub.
It’s perfect for special occasions like surprise birthdays, romantic getaways, and anniversaries when you’re looking for something that’s special enough to mark the special occasion.
Glamping Options in Portugal
There are an ever-increasing number of glamping options in Portugal. Many of these are in the Algarve, but you’ll also find “glampsites” dotted around the whole of the country particularly around Setubal near Lisbon, near Coimbra, and on Madeira and The Azores.
At the time of writing, Glamping Hub lists more than 120 glampsites across Portugal. This includes Bell Tents near Faro, yurts and tipis in the Alentejo, treehouses near Aljezur, and eco huts on Madeira. Like camping, glamping is a rural affair and it’s unusual to find glamping options in any of the big cities like Lisbon or Porto. Some of the nearest options are just on the outskirts of the city, though: in Lisbon there are private cabins in Cascais and a yurt in the Sintra-Cascais national park.
Airbnb can be another good place to find glamping options, although it’s hard to filter down to just glampsites and not see standard apartments in the listings, while sites like Booking.com do have some filters (e.g. ‘luxury tents’ and ‘boats’) but nothing that pulls together all of their glamping-style options.
There’s also Google, of course. While sites like Glamping Hub do a good job of listing all of the glamping options in a country, they don’t have all of the options listed yet. Sometimes it’s worth doing a quick search to see what comes up in Google or in Google Maps as well.
Have you tried glamping in Portugal? Where did you stay? Share your tips, reviews, and feedback with us and other Portugalist readers in the comments below.