What is a Yurt?
According to the dictionary, a yurt is “a tentlike dwelling of the Mongol and Turkic peoples of central Asia, consisting of a cylindrical wall of poles in a lattice arrangement with a conical roof of poles, both covered by felt or skins.”
Yurts are the traditional homes of Nomads in Central Asia. The traditional construction consists of a circular wooden latticed frame covered with felt. These homes worked especially well for the Nomads since they were designed to be dismantled and then carried by camel or yak to be built again at their next destination. Yurts were repaired as needed and were passed down, father to son, to the next generation.
Today Yurts are still used by herders in the steppes of Central Asia but have also been adopted and used in other areas of the world as shelters for Nordic skiers, housing and school rooms. Yurts are also available as an alternative to traditional hotels during our travels.
Modern Yurts offer European travelers the feel of a tent but with more of the comforts of home. In fact, some of them are down right luxurious!
Hoopoe Yurt Hotel – Andalucía Spain
“Camp in Style . . . allowing you to get back to nature without forgoing the usual luxuries you would wish for on your holiday.”
The Hoopoe Yurt Hotel is a complex of 5 yurts set on 3 hectare acres of olive groves and Cork Oak trees. The grounds offer amazing views of the Grazalema Mountains and the wilds of Southern Spain along with many hammocks and a chlorine-free swimming pool! The entire complex is run on solar power.
All of the yurts are individually decorated and include antique Mongolian furniture and antique linens from around the world. Each yurt has a private bathroom next door complete with a hot shower and “ecological loo”.
Each yurt has its own name affiliated with the area it came from. You can choose from the Afghani yurt, Mongolian yurt, Jaipur yurt, Safari yurt, or Maimani yurt. Each of these offers great views, seclusion and is decorated in traditional motifs.
Canvas Chic – Ardeche France
This complex is a small campground located near the Ardeche river and gorge in the Rhone-Alpes region of southern France. The area is known for its outdoors activities, prehistoric caves and stunning scenery.
The grounds of CanvasChic hold 11 yurts and 20 tent sights. The yurts are all handcrafted from oak and ash and are covered in canvas. There is a definite “rustic” feel to the lodgings but they are still very nice accommodations – they just have a campier feel to them!
There are shared showers and toilets as well as access to a shared kitchen complete with refrigerator, stoves and utensils. If you don’t want to cook, there is a café and bar onsite.
One thing to note, they offer a 10% “zero emissions” discount if you arrive on foot or bike!
Are you looking for alternative style lodging for your next trip to Europe?
Would one of these options be something you would stay in?
Tell me about it . . . why or why not?
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