For outdoorsy travelers seeking a creative way to vacay off-grid, yurts offer the best of two worlds – easy access to the outdoors, and heightened protection from Mother Nature’s elements. Traditionally used by nomads in Central Asia, the circular, dome-like yurt provides many comforts offered by traditional holiday accommodations, and they’re often found in spectacular nature locations where switching off is the idea, and a digital cleanse is par for the course. Curious about staying in a yurt? We’ve handpicked three totally different yurt experiences in beautiful corners of the world.
Photo credit: Three Camel Lodge
Set in the heart of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, Three Camel Lodge channels the free-spirited nomadic lifestyle into a luxury eco lodge that’s in tune with the natural surroundings. Guests reside in a refined version of the classic “Ger” – a traditional yurt-like tent handcrafted from from latticed wood, felt, and canvas – inspired by the ancient nomadic herders who’d pack them up and take with them along on their journeys. Each Ger gazes across unobstructed desert views to the Gobi-Altai Mountains, and takes in spectacular star-gazing through the central skylight. Horseback journeys to a healing mystical lake, dinosaur fossil treks, and birdwatching expeditions are all in a day’s work. Adventurous reward in the Flintstones-esque Dino Bar comes in local vodka concoctions and Gobi beer, while indigenous massage and spa therapies are also on offer. Farm-to-table fare features ingredients from a local oasis community and nomadic families, and the freest-roaming meats on earth.
Photo credit: Green Acres
Nestled in the quiet countryside of Elgin, close to Austin’s heart, Green Acres is an intimate boutique retreat designed to connect guests with nature, while taking the stress out of old school camping. Eco-lodging comes with a choice of two luxury yurts, an eco cabin, and vintage Spartan or Airstream trailers. They’re all surrounded by 25 lush-as-it-gets acres in Bastrop County, where nature’s orchestra is always at play. Owls, crickets, and distant coyotes are a common soundtrack. Yurts are suspended on timber platforms and decked out like luxurious bedrooms. Woodsy-chic furniture includes tree trunk bedside tables, plush timber beds, and tan leather ottomans, all with plenty of glamping appeal. Between walking trails in the woods, hammocks to chill on, and a communal open-air kitchen, there’s plenty to stay relaxed. Bring on the S’mores because each site has its own fire pit, and don’t forget to make friends with the resident donkeys and Alpacas.
Photo credit: Quinta M
Simplicity rules at this boutique inland haven, where horse lovers come to play, while the rest bliss out. Just under an hour from Lisbon, Quinta M sits on three hectares of serene Portugal countryside where wineries and olive orchards thrive. Named after Portuguese rivers, Quinta M’s four modern yurts (Douro, Tejo, Minho, Lima), come with homey cottage interiors basked in sunlight, and draped in sweeping portrait-worthy views. Elegant stables, top notch equestrian facilities, and handsome Lusitano horses set a magical stage for private lessons and dressage clinics for which Quinta M is renowned. Regional olive oil and wine tastings, bootcamp sessions, pilates classes, and Ayurvedic massage are all on the activities menu, with breakfasts and gourmet meals served in Quinta M’s chic main guesthouse. Meanwhile, the surrounding Ribatejo region beckons with beautiful wine routes ripe for exploring.