There are few more rewarding feelings than pitching your tent and spending the night beneath the stars. Whether you want to escape to a remote mountainside or find an idyllic coastal campsite, there are some spectacular locations to discover. From New Zealand to Finland, this is our pick of the best places to camp around the globe.
This article is inspired by our Rough Guides guidebooks — your essential guides for travelling the world.
You can’t talk about the best places to camp without waxing lyrical about New Zealand’s out-of-this-world landscapes. Aoraki (or Mount Cook) is the country’s highest mountain, and the surrounding rugged region is the South Island’s finest outdoor playground. Views from the campgrounds here are simply staggering.
Find more information about the camping grounds in the Mount Cook National Park at the Mt Cook National Park Visitor Centre.
The southwest of England feels a million miles from the rest of the UK. The campsites on Dartmoor and Exmoor are fantastic places to pitch a tent. However, you'll also find spots with unbeatable vistas along the craggy cliffs that sweep down to the Atlantic on the north Devon coast. Come in autumn, when you can watch a huge red sun dip slowly over the horizon.
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.
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 one of the best places to camp, made all the more special by the glittering night sky above.
See the local camping sites to find the perfect place to camp in the Alps.
Finland’s newest national park (which opened in 2017) is in the wild northeast of the country. You'll find here 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.
Long bright summer days pass delightfully slowly in Sweden’s most southerly region. Gentle countryside backs the coastline and there are many tranquil places to camp near Skåne's beaches, lakes or forests. As in much of Scandinavia, wild camping is positively encouraged under Allemansrätt, the "right to roam".
You'll find plenty of options for camping in Skåne, depending on your preferences. It's a good idea to familiarise yourself with the abundance of options in advance.
Zion is one of the most spectacular parks in the Southwest. It is known for its red sandstone cliffs, rugged plateaus and forested canyons. Watchmen and South are the established campgrounds. However, if you really want to get away from the crowds you can get a permit to overnight at one of the otherworldly wilderness campsites in the park’s interior.
Zion Park offers 3 camping options:
Vancouver Island's mind-blowingly diverse ecosystem gets ever more wild as you head north. Pacific Rim National Park and the West Coast Trail are spectacular places to set up camp. You might catch sight of orcas breaching offshore, sea otters playing in the shallows or brant geese flying overhead.
South America's southern tip, spanning both Argentina and Chile, is as wild as it gets. This is a great destination for anyone with an adventurous spirit. Follow the RN-40 to discover the best places to camp with wide open skies and snow-capped mountain vistas. This pristine landscape begs for outdoor exploration.
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.
The coastal region west of Galway cries out for leisurely exploration. Connemara's landscape is dramatic and windswept. Camping here isn’t for the faint-hearted, but you can't beat getting up close to the Atlantic seascape or exploring remote valleys just inland. Check the Connemara caravan and camping park to find one of the best places to camp.
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 best places to camp. There are three main campsites in the Simien Mountains: Sankaber Camping, Geech Camping and Chennek Camping in the east of the park.
Over 40% of Tasmania is protected within national parks and reserves. On an island the size of Switzerland, that means numerous wild and remote regions littered with beautifully sited campgrounds. Whether you're travelling with a tent or a camper van, popular spots include the highlands of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and the spectacular coastline of Tasman Peninsula.
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.
This sparsely populated, high-altitude region in Jammu and Kashmir conjures pictures of gompas nestling in the mountainside and colourful prayer flags fluttering in the wind. Once the mountain passes open in the spring, camps of pre-erected tents pop up, though hardier souls still carry in their own.
The shimmering lakes and sheep-studded hills of the Lake District provide a glorious, bucolic backdrop for slumber beneath the canvas. The whole area is peppered with the best places to camp, perfect for families, hikers and nature lovers. Buttermere, Ambleside, Borrowdale and Grasmere are particularly gorgeous camping spots. The National Trust website provides useful information about the best places to camp in this area.
Feel inspired? Check out our Rough Guides books and start planning your perfect trip.
If you prefer to plan and book your trip without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.
We may earn commission from some of the external websites linked in this article, but this does not influence our editorial standards - we only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.