Tree house holidays in Europe
Our selection of treehouse holidays in the UK, France, Portugal, Sweden and Turkey:
[updated: 9 Jan 2013]
Leaves rustle in the evening breeze; at night stars twinkle through the foliage. A night up in the peaceful boughs of a tree and you feel not just close to nature but a part of it. Fortunately, tree-house designs have come a long way from makeshift shacks of flimsy wooden planks and rope ladders; the latest installations are stand-alone structures supported by stable, steel frames with spiralling staircases that wind up to a large open room and an outdoor terrace. In these modern arboreal abodes, you can enjoy all the creature comforts of a hotel, lots of natural light and a bird’s-eye-view of the world. And if you've got kids, they'll be in den heaven. Here are some of our favourite treehouses:
Tree Houses in France:
Here's one for the kids. A series of tree houses are available to hire at seven of Keycamp’s family-friendly French campsites – at Carnac Grand Metairie and Dol-de-Bretagne (both Brittany), at La Croix du Vieux Pont (near Disneyland), La Forêt (Vendée), Le Château des Marais (Loire), Le Val de Bonnal (Jura), and their latest site - at Paris International - in a residential suburb of Maisons Laffitte in north-west Paris (the campsite is within walking distance of the local train station, which takes just twenty minutes to the centre of Paris and also goes directly to Disneyland Paris).
The domed, thatched tree houses (pictured above) are wrapped around the truck of a tree about five metres off the ground up a spiralling staircase. Each has one double and four single beds, plus a large decked terrace. Five nights at La Croix du Vieux Pont for two adults and up to four children costs from £449, including midweek Dover-Calais ferry.
>> For bookings and availability, see our full listing for Keycamp Treehouse Holidays
>> Read our Review of Keycamp's Treehouse in the Loire
Watch our video of what it's like to stay in one of these magnificent treehouses in northern France:
Treehouse in Normandy:
Retreat to the branches of a sublime treehouse at the top of an immense Chestnut tree overlooking the valleys of Le Perche Natural Park, Normandy. Breakfast delivered in a picnic basket to your balcony. You won't want to come back down to earth. Greentraveller's Catherine Mack says: "Suspended on four mammoth wooden stilts, and built organically around its magnificent natural infrastructure, this was not only my idea of getting closer to holiday heaven, but also immediately transported me back to my happiest childhood memories."
>> See the full listing for this magnificent treehouse: Perche dans le Perche.
Les Noctam'bulles Treehouses: Two wonderful tree-houses for 4-5 people at St Pierre Azif, part of the Ecodomaine of Bouquetôt. Costs from 140 Euros per person.
>> Les Noctam'bulles Tree House in Normandy.
Handy to travel there by ferry from either Caen or Le Havre. For more information about travelling across to France by ferry, see our Ferry Travel Planner: Ferry from Portsmouth to Caen and Ferry from Portsmouth to Le Havre.
Mas de la Solane, Languedoc Roussillon, France
Mas de la Solane is a small ecological holiday resort, tucked away in an unspoiled corner of the Eastern Pyrenean mountains. It is one of these places where you can get away of it all, a place to relax and enjoy complete tranquillity. One of these spots where the sky is dark at night and you can see all the stars, hear the owls and spot all the wildlife. It is right at the French-Spanish border with stunning views, walks, a river to swim in and one and half hour away from the Mediterranean Sea. Enjoy starry nights, river swimming and fantastic hiking at this unspoilt retreat in the Pyrenees. Choose from a treehouse or cabin, or pitch your tent amongst the trees. Stunning views look out across the valley to the mountain range beyond.
>> Mas de la Solane
Treehouse in the South of France: Live in the lap of luxury at one of four plush tree-houses near Nice on the French Riviera. The stand-alone tree-houses (right) are built among oak and pine trees, 30m-high, and are reached via an outer wooden staircase where you climb up to a large double bedroom and ensuite bathroom.
Back on terra firma, you can soak up the sun by a gorgeous natural swimming pool and it’s just a short walk to the pretty medieval village of St Paul de Vence. Treehouse costs from €150 B&B.
Train from London to Nice costs from £109 return from where you can take bus no 400 to Saint-Paul de Vence for €2.60 return.
>> See GreenTraveller's review of Orion B&B.
Treehouses in the UK
Bagthorpe, Norfolk: Gina & Tid, the owners, were captivated by the idea of staying outdoors, in comfort but in the midst of nature. The tranquility and beauty of their estate near Burnham Market made it ideally suited to the creation of Bagthorpe Treehouse. Nearby Burnham Market is easily accessible and has many recommended places to visit and dine out if you fancy. The charming streets are filled with old shops, cafes and galleries, in fact it's labelled as 'Norfolk's loveliest village.'
>> Bagthorpe Treehouse, Norfolk
The Treehouse, Somerset: Ever wanted to fulfil that childhood dream of having your own treehouse? How about a treehouse filled with the latest luxury, from a six foot master bed with Egyptian cotton linen to a squishy leather sofa? A unique get away, the seductive Treehouse is nestled in the tree tops and made entirely of wood, with cedar shingles on the roof. Its surrounding location is stunning, with Exmoor national park and the Quantock Hill in sight. A fantastic luxury treehouse with a private self contained garden and stunning views. Explore the countryside then relax in the cedar hot tub or in front of the wood burning stove. Perfect for a family or as a couple's retreat.
>> The Treehouse, Somerset
Kinlochlaich House, West Highlands, Scotland: A unique octagonal eco treehouse on the grounds of an historic country house in its own beautiful gardens, close to the sea with views of the mountains. This is a unique and beautiful building, constructed in 2007. It sits amongst the trees in the old orchard, perched off the ground overlooking a woodland burn, with an oak tree in its centre! The Tree House is designed for an extra special totally original self catering holiday, It is ideal as a get-away for a couple, but the gallery can sleep up to 2 children.
>> Octagonal Treehouse, West Highlands
The Mighty Oak Tree Climbing Company in St. Columb Major, Cornwall: tree-climbing courses as well as the chance to spend the night up a tree. You’re tied in at all times by a rope and harness and the idea is you try to sleep perched on a hammock suspended at all four corners – so it’s more like a tree camp than a tree-house. A guided climbing session and one night’s tree camping costs from £140 per person (www.mighty-oak.co.uk, 07890 698 651). Nearest train station is Lostwithiel.
Treehouses in Portugal: A glorious treehouse and lovingly restored farmhouse in a beautiful valley in the Algarve with beautiful views, mountain streams and a lovely swimming lake - great for afternoon dips. If you can steal yourself away from the peaceful surroundings, then not too far away are some of the most stunning beaches of the southern Portuguese coast. Costs from 1,000 Euro per week.
>> For booking and travel information, see: Walnut Tree Farm, Algarve
Treehouses in Turkey: In the heart of the Taurus Mountains, Turkey ‘Kadir’s Tree House Hotel’ is a backpacker’s mecca on Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast. The rickety tree-houses (for four to six people) come in all quirky shapes and sizes (including some semi-covered platforms) and expect crowds of people in the height of summer when it’s one big party. Vegetarian food is served all day long and there are lots of activities nearby, including mountain-biking, canoeing, rock-climbing, and a forested walk to the sea. Prices from about £10 per person per night. (www.kadirstreehouses.com; 90 (0)242 892 12 50).
Treehouses in Sweden
Hotell Andrum, West Sweden: High up in a cluster of trees in beautiful Falköping is this white-rimmed wooden cabin. Andrum literally translates as 'breathing space', and that is one thing you'll find in abundance, particularly if you choose to spend a while sat out on the spacious balcony as the sun filters through the treetops. Fully insulted for the winter, Andrum sleeps two people in a spacious double room where guests can drift off to the sound of wind passing through the leaves. On arrival, you'll find a fruit bowl and other produce waiting for you, plus you'll also be able to hoist up your own organic breakfast every morning, delivered straight to your treehouse.
Seventh Heaven: Found on the same site, Seventh Heaven is Hotell Andrum's larger and arguably more luxurious neighbour. Built into a large oak tree, the outside has been designed to resemble a fairytale house in the treetops, complete with towers and pinnacles. The interior boasts an impossibly large double bedroom, a sizeable little kitchen and cosy seating area. Guests can sleep out under the stars on the balcony and, like with Hotell Andrum, hoist up a fresh breakfast every morning.
NB there is no online booking or email reservations for both these treehouse. Booking is by telephone only, see the website: http://islanna.com.
Article Watch: "Treehouse holidays are going up in the world, but the new Treehotel in Sweden's Lapland, with its futuristic pods, aims to soar above the rest", says Rhiannon Batten. Read her article in the Guardian on this futuristic treehouse pods near Stockholm: Rooms at the top
>> See all our Treehouse Holidays.
This featured was inspired by the Tree-house Holidays feature in Great Escapes, pubished by Rough Guides, co-written by Richard Hammond and Jeremy Smith (former editor of the Ecologist).
See also our luxury camping feature on Yurt holidays in Europe.