Camping is growing in popularity in Bavaria. New accommodation options go beyond mere tents and caravans. For novice campers and/or those who love their creature comforts there are now sleeping pods and barrels, log cabins, shepherd’s huts and much more besides
Glamping in Bavaria
So much for “nine months of winter and three months of cold”! Whatever conventional wisdom claims about the Bavarian Forest, this summer weekend begs to differ.
In Bavarian Canada, the region around Viechtach, the thermometer has just hit the 30 degree mark. Clouds? Not one! The only water to be found far and wide is the Black Regen river, which flows past the picturesque location of the “Adventure Camp Schnitzmühle”. A fine bathing opportunity.
In the dim light of dawn, a couple of swimmers are braving the gentle current before returning to land at the place where canoes used to be launched into the water before the boating ban of summer 2020. How great that campfires are once more permitted on the campsite - a wildly romantic way to keep warm.
Campfire romance 2.0
A good tip: for a couple of euros, guests can rent an upcycled washing machine drum to use as a firepit, including firewood from the wheelbarrow. Flickering flames, cold drink, chirping crickets: this is true relaxation.
“Cheers!” to the neighbour who you met earlier at the lounger sit-in at the “Bongo Bar”. “Cheers!” to the strumming guitarists under a string of lights on the other side. Earlier they had kindly asked whether you would like them to bring you fresh bread rolls from the campsite shop the next morning. Yes, please! And thanks for the tip about the unusual organic tea and the home-made lemonade!
A bunch of hippies, right? The odd one, for sure, but you don’t need long hair or a Ban the Bomb sticker on an H-reg Citroen 2CV these days to put your tent up here. You don’t even need your own tent, as three are available to rent.
Sky Lodges: Double-decker camping!
The “Sky Lodges” enable you to camp on more than one level. The inviting ground floor has a larch floor with a private terrace and lounge furniture, while the second floor gallery can sleep up to four people. “Hard-core nomads,” says the campsite operator, “call this luxury. We call it cosy.”
The Daffner and Nielsen families agree: adventure is all a matter of perspective. Everyone finds their own personal level on one and the same site. At the “Schnitzmühle” you can rent not only your own private caravan but also the so-called “Buenas Lodges” and five “Black Houses” - small, cool bungalows on the riverbank.
Thai-Food instead of pork chops
Camping + Spa + Style = Glamping
Wherever you sleep, the “Thai Bay Restaurant”, whose single-column menu features schnitzel, tofu burgers and Panaeng Gai curry, is open to everyone and reassures even the most sceptical campers that camping cuisine is not just about convenience food, barbecued frankfurters and tinned ravioli.
The “Emoji Sphere Spa” with its rock sauna and outdoor whirlpool is not what you necessarily think of as a campsite. Hence the coining of a new word, glamping, short for “glamorous camping”. This trend emerged in the UK and the USA and has been gaining traction in Bavaria for the last few years. It comes in many forms.
Nature wagon or cosy cabin?
“Via Claudia Camping” in the Allgäu. In this campsite, with its beautiful location on Lake Lechstau, holiday makers can spend every night in a different sleeping environment. But why the stress? Better to decide - and book - in advance. Perhaps a shepherd’s hut, which could be the setting for a Pippi Longstocking film. For children, however, a fairground trailer with the nostalgic circus atmosphere is a dream come true, even without the horses and monkeys.
This casual holiday home on wheels has plenty of space for four people, both in the two “bedrooms” and in the bright kitchen with its stove and table. The covered mini-terrace along the length of the wagon also acts as a window seat for watching rare flora and flora in the neighbouring biotope, while Lake Lechstau and the wildly romantic Lake Baderwäldle (which has fortunately not yet been discovered by Instagram gurus) offer the opportunity for extended bathing sessions.
The Kuschelkota, or cosy cabin represents a rare glamping opportunity. This hexagonal pine log cabin with its pointed roof and curtains in its miniature windows features a double bed. In short, the perfect hideaway for (temporarily) child-free couples, offering special moments together.
In a slightly different respect, the same also applies to the grill huts, which can be found in two other locations on this extensive site. They offer indoor barbecues as a service for guests in the neighbouring log cabins and pods. Pods are simple, semi-circular, minimalist shelters, with the smallest version measuring just 6.5 square metres. Down-to-earth types can take a bit of pleasure from the less chi-chi accommodation where you sleep very close to the ground indeed. The sleeping arrangements are somewhat loftier in the galleries of the sleeping barrels. They may be small but they are very cosy, and offer a little more storage space and a few more frills.