Hello post-haircut holidays! The kids are restless, but the money’s tight, so clearly an all-inclusive week in Santorini isn’t an option. But then neither is a staycation (basically the daily grind but with added beach trips!). Fret not: there’s a frugal yet fun solution to the holiday/finance conundrum… Glamping.
Don’t panic, this isn’t camping. We’re not asking you to pile offspring, pets, and lilos into a two-man tent while you spend the next week of your life cursing the fact there’s not more money to go round. Glamping is the stylish version of outdoor living. It’s glamour and camping in one; the hipster version of a holiday that is “likely to satisfy any city slicker seeking a little refuge in nature without foregoing any of life’s luxuries,” according to glamping.com.
Think safari trips in the 1900s, and you’ve got the idea: tents are usually involved, but the facilities border on luxurious rather than basic, and there are often a host of added extras such as activities and meals. And it just so happens that Cyprus has a number of glamping options on offer: this summer, holiday in style without breaking the bank!
The original local glamp, Larnaca’s Cyprus Glamping Park has been around for a couple of years now: a home away from home. Billed as “a stress-free zone within natural surroundings, an inclusive space of tranquillity, peace and love amongst the olive trees”, it’s located in the village of Ayios Theodoros – close enough to the sea for a morning swim, but high enough into the foothills for a breezy lunch.
Consisting of nine wooden cottages (named, oddly enough, for cities), the park is a real retreat, but with amenities. You get a mini bar, wifi and air conditioning in every cabin, an on-site bike rental service, and breakfast and dinner options (for a charge) from the park’s restaurant. Every cottage has at least one double and one queen (a few offer two doubles and a queen), and the Park promises “modern décor, stylish furniture and state of the art facilities.” Starting from €50 a night per cottage, that’ a steal!
Prices from €50 per night per cottage
Located next to the Kakomali State Forest in the Limassol District, Friendsland is glamping with a twist: the whole place is yours! “For rent exclusively for you and your friends” – or extended family, one imagines – it’s a shaded field complete with six upscale tents (each containing a double bed) and oodles of facilities.
“Just bring your clothes your food, drinks and best mood,” suggest the owners, who have provided pretty much everything else you could ask for: a barbeque, fridge, ice machine, tables, chairs, sun umbrellas and loungers, along with all those little details (plates, cutlery, private showers and loos!) which turn camping into glamping. Possibly aimed more at the younger crowd, the venue seems designed for the perfect ongoing party, with its sound system, oodles of table games (anyone for Boggle?), volleyball facilities, bean bags, and hammocks. But there’s nothing to stop a few families from renting it out for a long weekend: starting at €130 per night for 4 persons (€25 for every extra guest), this certainly makes for the ultimate ongoing summer play-date!
Price from €130 per night for 4 persons
PAPHOS – YURTS IN CYPRUS
High in the hills above Paphos lies Yurts in Cyprus, one of the island’s most idyllic glamping spots. Located in a rural valley just outside Simou village, this is the ultimate glamp: three authentic Mongolian yurts and a wooden cabin, perfect for a family getaway. Qadan sleeps two in a king, both Nasu and Engke are family yurts with added futons and space for four, while the Koliba cabin can accommodate another four visitors on two levels: ground and mezzanine.
“Experience the wilderness without really roughing it!” suggest the owners, who emphasise “an ecologically friendly stay within nature which demonstrates that being conscious towards the planet needn’t be uncomfortable.” There’s no air conditioning (but you won’t need it, we’re told: even in August it’s cool and breezy up in these hills), but you do get wifi throughout – perfect for sharing those stunning pics of the scenery.
With private showers and toilets, breakfast and dinner available from the main house, and a smorgasbord of activities on offer (yoga classes, guided dog walks, Ayurvedic massage, star gazing, bird watching), yurt glamping is both environmentally and wallet friendly: prices start at €85 per night per yurt, with breakfast for two included.
Price from €85 per night per yurt, breakfast included
TROODOS ADVENTURE MOUNTAIN PARK
Yes this actually is camping. But the addition of the Adventure Mountain Park adds so much excitement to the mix, it really qualifies as glamping. Plus, the tents can be provided (a night’s stay is €10 per person, €6 if you fancy bringing your own equipment) so it’s not like you have to spend hours struggling with poles and ropes if you don’t want to…
Located just outside Kyperounda, this mountain retreat sells itself as the island’s “longest running provider of quality outdoor adventures, renowned as much for its extensive range of skills-based adventure sports activities as it is for its surrounding breath-taking nature trails and views.” There’s paintball, orienteering, rock climbing, archery and laser tag to keep you busy during the day, a botanical garden for moments of quiet contemplation, and an on-site restaurant for meals when you’re too tired to cook. And while the sleeping facilities may not match up to a Mongolian yurt or purpose-built cabin, and there’s no wifi out here in the forest, there’s simply so much to this experience at the Park that it definitely qualifies as glamping.
Prices from €6 per person per night