Cool alternative campsites are back in vogue this summer. A new league of unusual types of camping offer not only comfort, but also adventure and are a great alternative to wild camping.
OK, let’s talk about cool alternative campsites. Many people think of the cliché of an overcrowded campsite or an old-fashioned caravan with folding chairs and garden gnomes when they hear the word camping. But camping is back in fashion, because the motto on vacation is – back to nature. There is plenty of choice for an active holiday in nature – canoeing, hiking, rafting or just camping are all the rage.
On holiday in nature, most people want to breathe a bit of adventure air and so wild camping came about. This type of camping, where you sleep far away from a campsite in the wilderness, is unfortunately forbidden in Germany. But that does not mean that those who shy away from camping have to do without camping altogether. There are now many cool alternatives all over Germany. Whether in a tipi, portaledge or covered wagon – we will present you the best alternatives to wild camping. What do these campsites have in common? Pure nature and a healthy dose of adventure for the whole family.
Below are 12 cool alternative campsites in Germany that are just a little different.
- 1. Cool camping with a view: Cloefänger, Saarland
- 2. Almost like wild camping: Tree Inn, Dörveden
- 3. For wine lovers: sleeping in a wine barrel, Black Forest
- 4. Also for little adventurers: Rhön Indian Hotel, Rhön
- 5. Camping without a tent: Wittgesteiner canopy bed, Bad Laasphe
- 6. Camping above the treetops: Robin’s Nest, Waldhessen
- 7. Special camping alternative: Heide Caravan, Lüneburg Heath
- 8. Camping according to Peter Lustig: Ruhrcamping, Essen
- 9. Cool camping very cool: Igloo Village, Zugspitze
- 10. Hotel with 1000 stars: Höllenschlucht forest ropes course, Allgäu
- 11. Legal wild camping in the Black Forest camp, Schluchsee
1. Cool camping with a view: Cloefänger, Saarland
Where previously only experienced alpinists could sleep, you can now sleep too: floating between heaven and earth on a portaledge. The Cloef hanger is located in the beautiful Saar-Hunsrück nature park and is something for real adventurers. This travel destination in Germany should be seen once.
Your sleeping place is not only in the great outdoors, but also floats freely in the air. Between the trees at a height of two meters you can look directly over the edge of the Saar slopes. Here you have an incredible view over the Saarschleife and at night of the starry sky above you. From the parking lot “am Märchenwald” you walk to the camp.
This is where your cloef hanger will be explained to you and together with the team you will attach your “bed” for the night. Afterwards there will be a joint dinner, of course, as it should be around the campfire. You will then be gently rocked to sleep on the Cloef hanger and in the morning you will experience the sunrise over the valley from above.
- When: Saturdays from June to September
- Price: € 119 per night and person including dinner. You have to bring your sleeping bag and sleeping mat.
- Special info: The minimum age is 16 years when accompanied by an adult. You should be physically fit, sure-footed and of course free from giddiness.
2. Almost like wild camping: Tree Inn, Dörveden
The Tree Inn in Wolfcenter Dörveden near Bremen offers the perfect mix between luxury and adventure. While you sleep in the fancy tree house, the wolves howl around you.
The tree house is located in the middle of the park and can be reached via a rope suspension bridge. The interior is equipped with a 7 meter long glass front and if that’s not enough for you, the roof terrace offers an incomparable view over the park and its residents.
The house can accommodate up to four people and is equipped with all amenities. You can eat either in the Wolfsrevier restaurant or with a cozy picnic in your tree house.
The wolves live in their enclosures so you can move around freely in the park. A special highlight are the photo flaps, in which you can take photos of the wolves without barriers.
- When: The Tree Inn is open year round.
- Price: From € 420 for two people including park entry and breakfast; the third and fourth person costs an additional € 35 each.
- Special info: If you want to get even closer to the wolves, go into the enclosure with a park employee. Make sure to book this tree adventure four weeks in advance.
3. For wine lovers: sleeping in a wine barrel, Black Forest
Are you wine lover? Then you are exactly right in the wine village of Sasbachwalden. Here you can not only sleep surrounded by vineyards, but even in a wine barrel.
The Wild family’s holiday farm offers a completely different kind of camping – you sleep in an 8000 liter, expanded wine barrel. The eight different barrels are in the middle of the vines with a breathtaking view over the Rhine plain.
Two barrels stand together – one for sleeping and a living / toilet barrel next to it. The barrels are lovingly decorated, have windows and can be heated, because even in winter sleeping in a wine barrel is a very special experience.
- When: The wine barrels are open all year round.
- Price: Packages including overnight stay for two, breakfast, vespers and wine for € 156.
- Special info: Children under 16 years are not allowed.
Wine lovers take note: This article describes great wine routes in the south of France. The sun-drenched region of “Languedoc” is known for its fine wines.
4. Also for little adventurers: Rhön Indian Hotel, Rhön
You can go wild camping in a different way at the Rhön Indian Hotel, which belongs to the Bio Hof Gensler and is located on the Wasserkuppe. A Rhön vacation in the great outdoors is combined here with Indian romance.
Surrounded by two streams, there are 12 tipi tents on a picturesque meadow area that you can rent during the summer months. There is also a fireplace, a large community tipi and a swimming pond.
The tipis themselves are equipped with comfortable seating and sleeping facilities, and some even have fireplaces. Of course there are also grill packages and firewood.
There is an exciting program, especially for children, with the Indian Olympics, archery and pony rides. Adults also get their money’s worth, of course, and a visit to the tipi village is ideal, especially for team events or a company outing.
- When: The tipi village is open from May 1st to October 31st.
- Price: € 22 per person for the first night, € 17 for each additional night. Children under 5 years of age come along for free.
- Special info: sleeping bags, pillows and towels must be brought with you.
Do you like to sleep in a tent? These luxury tents have it all – so-called glam tents increase the comfort when camping.
5. Camping without a tent: Wittgesteiner canopy bed, Bad Laasphe
If you have to think about uncomfortable sleeping mats and sleeping bags that are too cold when sleeping in the open air, we recommend a night in the Wittgestein four-poster bed.
Inspired by a guest who once absolutely wanted to sleep in the garden, the Wittgestein four-poster beds have become an integral part of the Klein Pension. When the weather is nice, you can spend the night outdoors in a cozy bed and with a down duvet.
It’s not a bed in a cornfield, but the garden surrounded by forests is romantic enough. The cast iron bed, which dates back to grandma’s time, provides a touch of nostalgia, as do the linen shirts and sleeping hoods that are available to you for the night.
In the evening you fall asleep under the starry sky to be woken up by the birds in the morning. If it does rain, there is an extra room available in the recently renovated pretty guesthouse.
- When: on request. You should check the weather 1–2 days before arrival.
- Price: € 98 per night for two people including a champagne breakfast.
- Special info: toilet and shower are available in the guesthouse.
Do you like the peace and relaxation here? Then try meditation journeys. Not yet very well known in Germany – but there are already some providers.
6. Camping above the treetops: Robin’s Nest, Waldhessen
At the tree hotel Robins Nest, everything revolves around living in harmony with nature. What could be better than sleeping on and surrounded by trees in the magical hinterland of Waldhessen. The tree house hotel trend has long been no secret outside of Germany either:
There are now three tree houses, a stilt tree house, a tree ball and several tree tents in the small village in the middle of the forest. All houses are sustainably built from recycled materials, offer cozy sleeping possibilities and of course a beautiful panorama of the countryside. Berlepsch Castle is very close by and can be reached on foot. Here you can experience medieval adventures and take a hot shower in the morning. The forest bar is the central point of contact for all guests and a vegetarian organic breakfast as well as coffee and cake are served. Lunch and dinner can be booked in advance, and stick bread from the campfire is available for children. Wild camping in the middle of the forest!
- When: Robin’s Nest is open all year round.
- Price: The houses cost from € 150 per night. A surcharge has to be paid for short stays of less than one night and for weekend bookings.
- Special info: Robins Nest is currently planning a zero-emission spa on the edge of the forest, which will only be based on solar and wind energy. The NaturSpa is currently being financed through crowdfunding.
7. Special camping alternative: Heide Caravan, Lüneburg Heath
Saying goodbye to a hectic everyday life and really relaxing is the goal of many on vacation. A trip in the Heide Caravan is a very special camping alternative that promises not only relaxation but also adventure.
Pulled by a horse in a beautiful covered wagon, you set off through the heathland. ‘Erich the Great’ or ‘Freddy the Funny’ are not only a four-footed accomplice in your own western, but also quickly become part of the family.
Before each trip, you will learn the secrets of the horse-drawn carriage in the courtyard, discuss your route and learn how to make the best campfire.
The covered wagons themselves are lovingly handcrafted and equipped in such a way that your adventure is not only stylish but also really comfortable.
- When: March to October.
- Price: From € 799 in the high season for a 4-day trip with 3 nights.
- Special info: a car driver’s license and two adults are required for the trip. Each caravan is designed with sleeping places for four.
Do campfires and adventures sound good to you? In these 8 camps in Germany you can expect a natural change from daily work stress:
8. Camping according to Peter Lustig: Ruhrcamping, Essen
Whether alone or as a couple: Ruhrcamping is ideal for everyone who is looking for relaxation. “Rest on the Ruhr” is the motto and chilling out is definitely desired in the small camping idyll right by the river.
That works particularly well in one of the eight site trailers that are reminiscent of Peter Lustig. They exude a charming, rustic campsite atmosphere, are decorated with geranium tubs and are named after Essen districts. In addition to sleeping for two, each trailer is also equipped with a small kitchen or kettle and refrigerator.
The “Überruhr” car for two people is particularly pretty. It stands directly on the water and also offers a small garden with seating and a view over the Ruhr.
- Price: From € 40 per night, weekends can only be booked in full.
- Special info: Ruhrcamping is ideal for adults who like it quieter. Children are welcome, but there is no playground and the embankment to the Ruhr is not fenced.
9. Cool camping very cool: Igloo Village, Zugspitze
You will find cool camping in the truest sense of the word in the Igloo Village again this year. A total of seven villages are built fresh every year and one of them can be found at an altitude of 2600 meters on the Zugspitzplatt.
In one of the most popular ski areas in Germany, you can camp in a real igloo surrounded by a beautiful mountain panorama from December to April. All requirements are catered for, regardless of whether you are traveling for a romantic night for two or with the extended family.
The igloos are rebuilt every year and lovingly decorated by artists from all over the world according to a certain motto. Even when it’s freezing outside, you can sleep warm and cozy in the igloo on lambskin blankets and in an expedition sleeping bag. In between, you can either warm up with a fondue in the igloo bar or in the sauna.
- When: The igloos are available from December to April, depending on the snowfall.
- Price: € 119 per person in a 6-person standard igloo including breakfast, hot drinks and an expedition sleeping bag.
- Special info: The very eager can even build their own igloo, a so-called love nest, under expert guidance.
10. Hotel with 1000 stars: Höllenschlucht forest ropes course, Allgäu
The forest ropes course Höllenschlucht with its 11 courses offers fun and adventure for the whole family not only during the day. You can also go up here at night: Sleeping in the portaledge or on a podium is the order of the day.
For good reason it is also called the hotel of 1000 stars because a view of the starry sky is of course included. For families with children, the night on a platform in the forest ropes course is suitable. Those who like it a little more adventurous sleep in the portaledge between the trees. In order to get into the floating bed, you will be instructed beforehand in the necessary climbing and rope techniques for getting on and off.
If that sounds too tame for you and wants to start your night with a real adrenaline rush, there is the possibility to sleep on the rock. You will sleep on one of the many rock faces in the Pfronten mountain scenery with an unobstructed view upwards and downwards.
- When: May to September and by arrangement depending on the weather.
- Price: € 125.00 per person for an overnight stay on the platform, € 250 per person for the night in the portelage in the tree, € 890 per person for an overnight stay on the rock.
- Special info: Children from 8 years can sleep on the platforms and young people from 16 years in the portaledge. You sleep secured by a belt and rope protection.
Are you in the mood for more altitude, adventure and adrenaline? These travel destinations are particularly suitable for you:
11. Legal wild camping in the Black Forest camp, Schluchsee
Whether glamping in a tipi or legal wild camping – at the Black Forest camp you are spoiled for choice, because here you will find the right type of camping for all requirements.
In the middle of the forest are the pretty tipis, sometimes with simple and sometimes with luxury equipment for glamping. The tipis stand on wooden platforms surrounded by blueberry bushes and trees and are equipped with a comfortable double bed. You will also find a cooking box and a fireplace here – campfire romance is on the agenda.
For those who want a fresh breeze to blow around their noses at night, the tree tent is ideal. Here you sleep at a height of 2 meters between the spruce trees and in good weather you can even remove the tent roof to watch the stars.
A night in the “Gisela” gondola, which until recently was in service in the French Alps, is also very special. Now she is firmly grounded in the Black Forest camp and offers a cozy place to sleep for two.
- Price: From € 59 for two in a Basic Tentipi, € 79 in a tree tent or € 89 for the Gisela gondola.
- Special info: If you want to pitch your own tent, you will find your “favorite spot” in the western part of the camp.