Glisten Camping - Col d'Ibardin

Europe France Aquitaine Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Space-age domes in the French south-west – modern glamping at its best

Some otherwordly structures have landed in the Labourd countryside. With their geodesic shape and strikingly white outer shell, visitors to these parts could be forgiven for thinking they’ve stumbled upon south-west France’s very own Roswell. Well, the little green men could do a lot worse than the dome village at Glisten Camping...

An innovative new holiday experience, Glisten Camping brings some truly unique glamping accommodation to sunny south-west France. Like the domes themselves, the concept is simple. The brainchild of Cornish-based camping nut Simon Thomason, Glisten selects the best locations in south-west France then sets up the distinctively stylish geodesic domes, which sleep a family of up to six. As Simon succinctly puts it, “the great outdoors deserve a beautiful indoors”. And then some. Inside, the domes are a triumph of ergonomic design that would have even Kevin McCloud struggling for superlatives. These stylish pods come complete with partitioned bedrooms, king-size beds and proper mattresses, hanging beds for the kids, and ultra-comfy Fatboy bean-bags. There's also a cool yet functional ‘plancha’ gas cooker and a spacious covered al fresco dining area for those long, lazy, holiday meals. So chic are these dextrous dome-iciles, it wouldn't surprise us if the St Tropez set migrated westward along the coast for a spot of glamping.

As all cool campers know, location is everything and Glisten certainly scores top marks for that. Col d'Ibardin, the first campsite on which the Glisten domes have been located, is a relaxed, family-friendly retreat that boasts all the bells and whistles we've come to expect of campsites in this part of the world (clean, modern facilities; swimming pools; decent bar & restaurant). This bucolic Basque bolthole lies at the foothills of La Rhune and is ideally located to explore the other natural delights the region has to offer. With its sweeping golden sands, enchanting pine forests and traditional mountain villages, Le Pays Basques – where France's Atlantic Coast meets the Spanish border – it isn't hard to see what makes this such a magnet for camping fans. And while it also boasts some of Europe’s warmest temperatures, the cooling sea breeze of this breathtaking Atlantic coastline means the only thing you need sweat over is what enchanting corner of this region to explore next.

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Space-age domes in the French south-west – modern glamping at its best.

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