15 of the best off-grid places to stay in Europe
15 of the best off-grid places to stay in Europe


With no wifi to bother you, nature, starry skies and wilderness take centre stage at these huts, pods, cabins, treehouses and more
 The best off-grid places in the UK

Teacher’s Cottage Faroe Islands

 Keep it simple … Teacher’s Cottage on Dímun, a sparsely populated island in the Faroes. Photograph: PR

Island isolation, Faroe Islands

Teacher’s Cottage on Stóra Dímun, the smallest inhabited Faroe Island, gets snapped up fast (bookings for 2020 go live on 1 January). The island is a great place for stepping away from the world – just seven people live on Dímun (and hundreds of sheep). The cottage, sleeping eight, with kitchen and shower room, is normally used for a teacher but let from mid-June to mid-August. Access is via helicopter three times a week (from £30 return, – and with no shops you’ll need to bring supplies. The family that owns the cottage offers guided tours. Helicopter timetable at
 From £115 a night, plus £13 adult, £7 child, email [email protected] 

Monastic calm, Italy

Eremito, Umbria, Italy


 Photograph: Marco Ravasini

In an extensive nature reserve in the Umbrian hills, Eremito (pictured on the cover) is dedicated to peace and quiet – its former fashion designer owner bought the entire valley so no one else would be around and a 4x4 picks guests up for the last 3km. The hotel feels centuries old, but is actually a new-build, using natural materials, with underfloor heating and solar power. A spiritual vibe (rooms are styled on monastic cells) – is paired with stylish comfort (rich fabrics, marble sinks, thick hemp sheets). There’s a spa with heated pool dug from the rock, and vegetarian cuisine, with produce from local organic farms, is served at communal tables (candlelit by night) and there’s wine). Walks in the woods along the Chiani River and horse riding are among available activities.
 Doubles from €210 a night full-board,

Hiking base, Crete

Milia Mountain Retreat in Crete


High in the White Mountains of western Crete, Milia is an eco-farm and guesthouse on a site used by the resistance in the second world war. The owners have carefully reintroduced animals on land that was once overgrazed, and planted trees and crops. Its 13 guest rooms are in houses built in local chestnut wood and stone from the foundations of the old 15th-century village. The dining room offers meals made from their own organic produce: maybe baked rabbit with soft mizithra cheese; potato, chestnut and onion stew; pork roasted with orange; and little cheese pies with courgette or potato. Six walking trails ranging from 5 to 18km start from the door, and there are also mountain bikes to borrow.
 Doubles from €75 B&B,

House on stilts, Norway

River Eye Treehouse


Up in the forest canopy is the handcrafted River Eye Treehouse in southern Norway’s Tessungdalen valley. Built on stilts on a river bank, with open deck, huge windows, skylight, and no water or electricity, it offers full off-grid immersion. There’s a well for drinking water, and bathing is in a tub with heated river water. There are other cabins on the site and a communal campfire each day, but River Eye is rustic and secluded. Towels, bedding and lanterns are provided. Spend long days hiking and kayaking, or owner Isaac offers wildlife-watching tips and leads treks into the wild. Accessible via public transport from Oslo. 
 From £170 a night, sleeps nine (three beds, three mattresses),

Treehouses, France

Treehouse Les Cabanes de Fontaine-Châtel Normandie


 Photograph: E Mena

Les Cabanes de Fontaine-Châtel are 10 treehouses in 100-year-old trees in an extensive forest near Rouen, Normandy. All spaced well apart in the trees for a secluded stay, they range between four and 12 metres off the ground; some are easy to reach – others require a harness and a zipline. A hamper is hung at the base of the trees in the morning, which guests hoist up for a high-rise breakfast on their private terrace. It is a great spot for wildlife watching – the forest is home to wild boar, deer, pheasants and buzzards. Visitors use showers in the separate toilet block.
 From £104.81,, or

Islet lighthouse, Croatia

Lighthouse on a small island Sveti Ivan near Rovinj


 Photograph: Andrej Safaric/Alamy

Sveti Ivan lighthouse stands on a tiny islet at the southernmost point of the Rovinj archipelago. There are two two-bedroom apartments in the lighthouse building, and fantastic sea views from the 23-metre tower. The lighthouse has a water tank and solar power, but no wifi. Two beaches with shallow water on opposite sides of the islet are best for swimming, plus there are rock slabs for sunbathing, and good spots for fishing, diving and dolphin-spotting. Provisions must be bought in Rovinj, which is 30-45 minutes away by boat, depending on the weather.
 From €120 a night for four, three-night minumum, plus €135pp transfer,

Pyrenean bubble, France

Moontain Bubble France


Two transparent “bubbles” have been installed high above Argelès-Gazost in the Haute-Pyrénées, 650 metres above sea level. The solar-powered domes allow uninterrupted views of the mountains and the starry night sky. The smaller bubble has a combined living/sleeping space, an eco-shower and a terrace, while the larger one has a separate sleeping area and a hot tub on the deck. Breakfast is included, and tasting boards can be ordered for dinner (from €20pp), including cheese, charcuterie and wine from a local vineyard. Lourdes, with its basilica, castle and funicular, is a 10-minute drive away and the stunning Cirque de Gavarnie is 50 minutes to the south.
 Evening Star bubble from €100 a night for two,

Lakeside cabinsFinland

Immelmokit cabins, Finland


Eighteen log cabins hug the shore of Immeljarvi Lake, next to the Levi ski resort in Finnish Lapland close to the Swedish border. The Immelmokit Cabins have no wifi but are otherwise well-equipped, with fireplaces and their own saunas. Each sleeps between 7 and 10 people. There is plenty to do outside of the ski season – summer activities include cloudberry safaris, wild food workshops, paddleboarding under the midnight sun and riding Icelandic horses. And in the autumn and early winter it is an ideal place to view the northern lights. 
 From €50 a night,

Organic farm, Italy

Podere Vallescura Italy


 Photograph: Lottie Davies

Get away from it all at Podere Vallescura in the Umbrian hills a few miles north of Perugia, a farm that produces olive oil plus lavender and other herbs. Accommodation is a two-bedroom apartment in the 17th-century farmhouse, surrounded by 93 hectares of land. Electricity is produced by photovoltaic panels and a wind generator, hot water is powered by solar panels, and drinking water comes from a spring. Guests can help to harvest the herbs, which are made into soap and oils, meet the animals and collect new-laid eggs.
 €50 a night for two,

Ski or hike, Switzerland

Cabane du Mont Fort, Verbier, Canton of Valais, Switzerland


 Photograph: Alamy

Cabane du Mont-Fort, 2,457 metres above sea level near Verbier, sleeps 58 people in 15 dorms plus one double. It is reached on skis in winter and on foot in summer – it is a stage on the Chamonix-Zermatt hiking route. The hut has been managed by guide Daniel Bruchez since 1983, and is known for its fondues. Facilities are basic, as you might expect of a mountain hut (showers are operated by token) but the views more than make up for it. Guests might spot chamois, ibex, marmot and golden eagle.
 From £28pp a night, open winter and end of June to mid-September,

Wooden wonder, Bulgaria

Restored and newly decorated timber frame house, Bulgaria


This traditional timber-framed house, a few kilometres from small resort town of Apriltsi in central Bulgaria, has been spruced up but lots of original features remain, such as the open fireplace with bread oven at the back. Woodburners are used for heating; there is no wifi. The barn has been converted into an open-sided dining room with views of the mountains. The forest comes right up to the garden, which is full of apple, pear and plum trees – bears have been known to eat the fallen fruit. The house is within walking distance of the village of Kravenik.
 From £14pp a night based on six sharing,

Truckloads of fun, Portugal

Conscious Earth - Portugal Host Unusual


Conscious Earth is a 40-hectare eco-retreat in the hills of southern Portugal, with no wifi and minimal phone signal. Guests can relax in the sweet-scented orange groves, swim in the river or sparkling lakes, read books on Hammock Island and meditate in the stone circle. Accommodation includes the Shambhala Gypsy Truck, which sleeps two in a colourful, all-wood interior where the bed is above the driver’s cab and the cute lounge has a woodburner. Other accommodation on site includes the Roundhouse, made of earth and stone and sleeping eight; Wysteria Lodge and House, which sleeps 12; and a Fijian-style cabin for two by a stream. The beautiful medieval city of Silves is just 7km away, but with no light or noise pollution, many guests prefer to stay put and leave the bustle and pressures of modern life behind them.
 From £17pppn in Shambhala, three-night minimum,

Sauna in the forest, Sweden

Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge, Sweden


 Photograph: Lasse Modin

In a forest in central Sweden, 12 charcoal huts are camouflaged among the trees, covered in mud, grass, mushrooms and, in season, blueberries that guests can pick. There is no electricity or running water, but each hut has a fireplace and guests chop their own wood. The beds have inflatable mattresses and sheepskin rugs, breakfast is included from April to November, and there’s the use of the sauna all year round. There is a compost toilet but no shower; there is a stream nearby to wash in, or a lake for a full dip. Guests can rent canoes or book activities such as wildlife tracking, where a guide leads a search for moose, beavers or even wolves.
 From £66pppn (including breakfast),

Mountain retreat, Spain

Green Mountain Yurt - Glamping in the Alpujarras Ecological camping in a Yurt


Green Mountain Yurt, on the southern flanks of the Sierra Nevada in Andalucía, is made from chestnut wood and is light and airy thanks to two windows and a skylight. Inside is a logburner, double bed, sofa and table. There’s an outdoor kitchen, eco-bathroom with shower and compost toilet, and a garden. Hot water and lighting come from solar panels and the hob uses gas, but guests can borrow a solar cooker. The yurt is near two villages, Pitres and Pórtugos – the former has an open-air swimming pool, but there are also waterfalls and natural pools close by. It is just over an hour’s drive to the coast, a little longer to Granada. 
 From €56 a night, sleeps two adults and a child,

Harbour house, Ireland

Ardara, County Donegal


 Beach near Ardara, Co Donegal.

This old-fashioned Donegal cottage stands by the tiny harbour of Port on the far western Atlantic coast, moments from a pebble beach; the nearest neighbours are three miles up the valley. There is no mains electricity, but solar panels provide hot water and lighting (most of the time). The cosy living room has a woodburner, and there is a kitchen (but no fridge), a double bedroom and a bunkroom sleeping four. Activities on the doorstep include kayaking, rock climbing and surfing. Ardara, a town with a strong folk music tradition, is half an hour’s drive away.
 From €85 a night,

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