Source: P.Lechien on Wikimedia Commons


What are yurts?

Yurts are a type of nomadic accommodation that originated in Central Asia and are still common amongst herding communities in Mongolia. When tribes relocated with their herds to pursue fresh pastures, yurts offered a semi-temporary house that was both easy to assemble and portable. These round structures can be erected in a few hours and are traditionally built using flexible wooden poles and then covered in felt. Yurts are open-plan houses with the stove located at the center and operating as the heart of the property.

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Modern yurts are a luxurious accommodation option for travelers looking for off-beat and unique rentals. These yurts combine traditional design with modern elements, such as insulated windows and floor heating, to create a decadent glamping experience. Yurts can be found near popular national parks such as Yosemite or in top holiday destinations such as Hawaii.

Growing popularity of yurts as vacation rentals

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As more people travel to destinations that were once considered remote or off-beat, they also want to set their travel experiences apart. Due to this, some yurt owners have listed these properties as unique accommodations on platforms such as Airbnb.

Yurts are generally simple structures, but they have been given an indulgent spin to make them more appealing to travelers. Modern yurts are elevated structures built with an outdoor deck that can include a hot tub. They also usually include plush beds with 1,000 thread count sheets, Turkish rugs, and heating.

The difference between a yurt and a tent


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Source: Li Yang on Unsplash

Structure and shape

Circular and sturdy accommodations built to last.

Tents are polygonal in shape and are erected with the support of a metal frame and waterproof material.


Since they also serve as houses, they are spacious with areas dedicated to lounging and cooking.

Come in a variety of sizes but essentially serve as a place to rest.

Building materials used

Constructed using flexible wooden poles covered with felt.

Made using canvas, nylon, felt, and polyester.


Well-maintained yurts that can easily last 20 years.

Since tents are usually carried to extreme outdoor spaces, they need to be replaced every few seasons.


Yurts can take a few hours to assemble and need to be done by an experienced hand. These are temporarily fixed structures.

It is easy to pitch and pack up tents, which is what makes them a favorable option while camping.

Types of yurts

  • Traditional Mongolian yurts (ger)

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While there are many variations of a yurt, the Mongolian ger is one of the oldest designs and is the inspiration behind modern yurts. This design features a heavy center frame supported by indoor poles, intricately carved doors, and a wool exterior made from sheep or yak hair. The roof or the crown helps filter light and is usually passed down through generations. This lightweight yurt has sections that could be easily dismantled when the tribe moved to greener pastures.

  • Bentwood yurts or Turkic yurts

Source: Skyes Cottages on Flickr

These yurts are inspired by the Mongolian gers and feature similar latticework but use lighter yet more durable materials. However, modern yurts are not built to be assembled multiple times a year and are usually constructed on a wooden deck frame. These yurts include insulated windows, multiple doors, and high-quality fabric. These yurts can have en suite bathrooms, air conditioning, and even an electric fireplace.

Perks of staying in a yurt

Free Picturesque view of small settlement with yurts in hilly area on sunny day on background of blue sky Stock Photo

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  • Unique and comfortable camping experience

Staying in a yurt offers a more comfortable and one-of-a-kind camping experience. Yurts are known to be well-ventilated, which means that they can accommodate larger groups of people and provide ample space for sleeping, cooking, and relaxing. They are now equipped with several modern amenities, such as electricity, heating, and even Wi-Fi.

Yurt rentals are also available near several national parks, making them a better alternative to camping. They are warm, plus they are fully decked as a hotel room. Therefore, offering visitors a stay in the wild without actually roughing it.

  • Suitable for any weather

The aerodynamic structure of a yurt makes it suitable for any weather. The outer material in modern yurts is waterproof, keeping guests warm and dry even during a torrential downpour. Yurts are well insulated due to their felt or thick canvas outer layer. But rentals in cooler areas, such as Alaska, will also include heaters and an outdoor fire pit.

  • Access to nature while still having modern amenities

Yurt camping also provides a unique opportunity to connect with nature. Yurts are often located in remote and scenic locations, which means that you can enjoy breathtaking views and explore the surrounding wilderness. Many yurt sites also offer a range of outdoor activities, such as fishing and hiking. This way, you can have an adventure-packed vacation.

Modern yurts are designed as a 5-star experience and can have hot tubs, an outdoor deck, Turkish rugs, and heating.

  • Eco-friendly and sustainable

This lodging is also a unique way of experiencing the great outdoors while enjoying the comforts of a cozy and comfortable shelter. One of the main benefits of staying in a yurt is that it provides a more sustainable and eco-friendly form of camping. Yurts are also typically made from natural materials, a lot of which are renewable and biodegradable.

  • Affordability

Yurts are a luxurious yet affordable accommodation option that allows travelers an opportunity to get close to nature. They offer upgraded hotel-like amenities in secluded and private rural settings, all the while not being too heavy on the pocket.

Activities to enjoy during your yurt stay

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  • Stargazing

Since yurts are usually in remote areas away from cities, guests are rewarded with clear night skies. Guess can view the stars from the comfort of their outdoor deck while sipping on a glass of wine, from the outdoor hot tub, and in some instances, from the comfort of their bed.

  • Bonfires

While tents are usually pitched in campsites with little privacy, yurts are surrounded by ample private land. Guests can enjoy a seamless indoor-outdoor experience and enjoy the fire pit for cozy bonfires, spooky stories, and delicious s'mores.

  • Cooking outdoors

Many yurts include barbecue grills, while lavish yurts can include a functional outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven. Cooking outdoors can be an excellent family bonding experience.

  • Hiking and nature walks

Since yurts are a form of glamping accommodation, there are numerous hiking as well as biking trails that can be easily accessed. These trails can take visitors through state parks or open grounds.

  • Fishing

Yurts can also be found near lakes or rivers that are popular fishing spots. Some yurt properties even have a river flowing adjacent to the grounds. In addition to fishing, guests could also boat and kayak on these water bodies.

  • Wildlife viewing

Glamping sites are top places for wildlife sightings since they are surrounded by protected areas. Bird-watching is also an enjoyable activity that guests can indulge in.

  • Taking photos

Remember to click photographs of yourself as well as your surroundings. This will help encourage others in your family and friend circle to try this unique and sustainable holiday experience.

  • Meditating and unwinding

The quiet surroundings provide the ideal environment for self-reflection and morning meditation sessions. While internet access is available, it might not be the fastest service due to the location, but that just means that guests can disconnect from the world and enjoy a few days without email interruptions.

Top destinations with yurts around the world

Yurts might have originated in Central Asia, but they have found a presence around the world as a unique accommodation choice. These sustainable structures are a wonderful way to get close to nature and spend an outdoorsy holiday. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular places for a holiday in a yurt.

Destinations with yurts in the United States and Canada

  • Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia

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Part of the Appalachian Mountain Range, the Blue Ridge Mountains are a phenomenal attraction in Virginia. From afar, the mountains give off a bluish tinge. The scenic Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most popular drives in the country, and it helps connect Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

There are plenty of yurts near the Blue Ridge Mountains, where travelers can spend a few nights exploring the region. These secluded yurts offer plenty of privacy and are miles from other properties. The town of Floyd is located on the foothills of the range and has excellent glamping options close to urbanization. Hiking and biking are popular activities in the mountains, but guests can also visit vineyards. If you like the experience, you can exclusively book yurts for the rest of your stay in Virginia.

  • Glacier National Park, Montana

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One of the most visited national parks in the US deserves a few days to fully grasp the sheer size and magnificence of it all. Glacier National Park is packed with mountains, lakes, and glaciers and offers countless activities for millions of annual tourists. However, visitors can take a break from crowds when they book a secluded yurt in and near Glacier National Park. If you are unable to book a yurt, there are several other glamping sites available near the park.

  • Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

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This popular island is located off the northern tip of Nova Scotia and allows visitors an insight into Celtic culture. One of the main draws to the island is the biodiverse Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The island also offers numerous scenic hiking trails and world-class golfing facilities. While Cape Breton Island has much to keep visitors busy, it is also a top choice for a romantic getaway where couples can retreat in their bubbles. Secluded yurts are a unique and luxurious accommodation choice to explore the island's beauty.

Destinations with yurts in the United Kingdom

  • Lake District, England

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This stunning region has rolling hills, rugged mountains, and spectacular valleys. Waterfalls and rivers also dot the landscape. This beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site is also dotted with waterfalls and rivers that have helped boost its standing as one of the most popular camping destinations in the UK. Don’t worry, as yurts in stunning glamping sites make it possible to immerse yourself in the beauty of the region but with an ensuite. Some sites are within the Lake District National Park. Yurts are also readily available near main towns in the region, such as Windermere, Ambleside, and Keswick.

  • Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

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Boasting a rugged coastline, rich history, and cultural attractions, this beautiful part of Scotland has a little bit for everyone. Brighouse Bay is popular for coastal walks, while Loch is recommended for fishing and sunsets. Galloway Forest Park, a designated Dark Sky Park, is one of the best places to view stars in the UK. If you don’t want to head into the forest at night, there are plenty of secluded yurts in Dumfries and Galloway that will offer a similar experience.

  • Llanberis, Wales

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Llanberis is a charming little Welsh village on the shores of Llyn Peris and within the green bounds of Snowdonia National Park. A train ride or hike up Snowdown, the tallest mountain in Wales, is one of the top things to do in Llanberis. When in this part of the country, visitors should skip the hotels and choose to spend their nights in cozy yurts surrounded by green hues as far as the eye can see.

Destinations with yurts in other European countries

  • County Donegal, Ireland

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The county is named after the town of Donegal, which was once the seat of the O’Donnell dynasty. The pristine surroundings of Glenveagh National Park, the second largest in the country, are a top attraction with visitors. Beautifully designed yurts in Country Donegal with ample indoor and outdoor space are one of the best ways to experience the county.

  • Andalusia, Spain

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The sunny Andalusia is famed just as much for its impressive Mediterranean coastline as it is for its Moorish architecture. World Heritage Sites such as Alhambra and Cordoba and the stunning Costa del Sol stretch attract millions of tourists annually. Secluded yurts in Andalusia with decorative interiors allow visitors to experience the region's beauty without the crowds.

Destinations with yurts in Australia and New Zealand

  • Byron Bay, Australia

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Byron Bay boasts a more tropical climate, with warm temperatures year-round. This popular coastal town is home to long stretches of sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and even a thriving surf culture. The area is also known for its hinterland, which features lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. What’s more, Byron Bay attracts many visitors who want to go yurt camping.

  • Montville, Australia

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This quaint town is situated in the Sunshine Coast Region. Here, expect the climate to be mild and temperate. You can stop by Kondalilla National Park and Flame Hill Vineyard if you want to make the most of your time in the town. Plus, Montville is home to many yurts.

  • Ohakune, New Zealand

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This small town on North Island is an attractive year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking and biking are popular during summer, while skiers take over the sloped during winter. Visitors can canoe along the Whanganui River, explore Tongariro National Park, and walk along the Hapuawhenua Viaduct. Visitors can stay in luxurious modern interpretations of yurts in Ohakune, which offer indulgence while being close to natural surroundings.

Factors to consider when renting a yurt

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  • Budget

Yurt accommodations can be on the expensive or budget-friendly side. You have to think about your budget and choose the accommodation that suits your preferences.

  • Duration of stay

Yurts are a unique accommodation choice that can be rented for a short or long-term holiday away from cities. They can also be an excellent choice for workations as you deeply explore a national forest or an offbeat part of the world.

  • Location

Most yurt accommodations are located amidst nature, providing a serene experience and atmosphere. Some yurts are right by a body of water or in the middle of the forest, and you can choose which location you prefer.

  • Size

While most yurts are quite spacious, and smaller variants are also available. Guests should check the size beforehand and ensure there is enough space for multiple guests. You need to also keep in mind that yurts are open-plan rentals.

  • Build quality

Before booking, check the images, or if in doubt, get in touch with the host to understand the temperature conditions within the yurt. Most modern yurts include air-conditioning and heating, making them ideal accommodation choices around the year.

  • Amenities and features

Check the list of amenities available in the yurt so you can make a list of things you would need to pack. Some yurts feature functional kitchens, while others might have a more rudimentary set-up. Guests should also consider hot water and heating if booking a yurt during the winter.

  • Nearby attractions and activities

Yurts are usually in the countryside or small towns that serve as the gateway to mountains and national parks. Nearby attractions are primarily nature-based and can include kayaking, hiking, skiing, and boat rides. Visitors can also use their stay at a yurt as a time for self-reflection and self-care.

Explore the beauty of nature from the comfort of a yurt

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With all of these listed, it is safe to say that yurt camping offers a wonderful way of experiencing the great outdoors. Staying here is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle and be able to reconnect with nature. Plus, yurts are often associated with sustainability and comfort. Here, you get the best of both worlds—the thrill of adventure and the comforts of the resorts at the same time. You can ditch the plan of spending your next holiday in some swanky hotel; book a yurt instead and go yurt camping with your friends. You will make memories for a lifetime.

Yurts in the United States

Yurts in the rest of the Americas

Yurts in the United Kingdom

Yurts in other European countries

Yurts in Australia and New Zealand

Yurts in other destinations around the world

FAQ's about Yurts

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