Spain has been a hugely popular tourist destination ever since the 60s and 70s, thanks to a mild climate boasting 300 days of sunshine a year, almost 5,000 km of coastline along the Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean, coupled with great cultural cities and stunning countryside.
Spain is the second most visited country in the world, with 82 million tourists last year who spent around €87bn. Brits made up the largest numbers with 16.9 million visitors last year followed by French, Germans, Italian and Americans.
Therefore it’s not too surprising that the glamping industry is hugely popular in Spain with over 350 glamping resorts listed on GlampingHub.com from tree houses to yurts and pods to teepees.
Of course GlampingHub itself was the creation of Spanish guy David Troya, who after overhearing a conversation about glamping whilst studying at the University of San Francisco, returned to his home town of Seville and launched the website in 2012. Today this world leading online booking platform manages around 30,000 unique accommodations in 80 different countries.
The Spanish camping sector has always been popular and this has become the second holiday accommodation offer after hotels, generating a turnover of €1.5bn per year. The arrival of bungalows was a revolution to the 1,170 Spanish campsites, many of which have since upgraded their image and offer by incorporating glamping into their resorts.
Apparently of the 770,000 available camping spaces, bungalows now account for 50 per cent of the offer with the remaining for caravans, campervans and tents. Meanwhile the evolution has gone beyond accommodation with large scale entertainment services now on offer, aquatic parks replacing swimming pools and high end catering and spa facilities.
The glamping options in Spain vary from Balinese and Tahitan themed bungalows in the large Marjal Camping and Resort on the Costa Blanca for example to tree houses, ecolodges and cabins at the Monte Holiday Ecoturismo resort in the Guadarrama National Park in Madrid to luxurious Mongolian yurts in Lanzarote.
Newcomer to the glamping scene in Spain is the beautifully tranquil Riverheart Retreats which opened in June 2017 in Coin, a traditional Spanish rural village located 30km inland from Marbella on the Costa del Sol.
Riverheart offers accommodation via cosy wooden cabanas, a Sami Lavvu Scandinavian teepee, a geodesic dome and a bell tent. The accommodation can be linked with in-house workshops and courses in anything from yoga, meditation, painting, Qi Gong or creative writing plus working project exchange programmes.
Founder Samantha Short said: “My family and I were looking for somewhere to run a retreat that was warm with good transport links and a friendly atmosphere but we’d never heard of Coin and were brought here purely by chance on the last day of our week long house hunting trip across Spain.
“We fell in love with the place as we walked through the gate and within half an hour we’d put an offer in and moved in four months later. I think Spain is very open to visitors and travellers and the glamping market is being recognised as a growing part of the Spanish economy. I think its popularity lies in a desire to get back to the basics in beautiful weather.”