Blog Domecilië | five atmospheric domes at Camping BuitenLand in Drenthe

Domecilië | five atmospheric domes at Camping BuitenLand in Drenthe

We've discovered one of the most delightful campsites in our country: Camping BuitenLand! It's quirky, colorful, filled with unique accommodations, and tucked away in the woods of Drenthe – what more could you ask for?

BuitenLand, which translates to ‘abroad,’ is an initiative by five friends, one of whom may seem very familiar to you: Floortje Dessing! Drawing on their extensive travel experiences, this enterprising group of friends couldn’t resist creating a special place. In 2017, they stumbled upon this overgrown campsite, and today, they’ve transformed it into a quirky hotspot. But the story doesn’t end there. They continue to dream and build, ensuring that Camping BuitenLand will never truly be finished!

The forests of Drenthe

This site, spanning approximately 9 hectares, is nestled amidst the forests of Drenthe. Our affection for this province is unwavering, although the journey is undeniably lengthy. However, on the positive side, the duration truly fosters an experience reminiscent of being ‘abroad.’ We opted for a train journey to Nieuw-Amsterdam, a location distinct from the venerable (ha) Amsterdam. From there, a 3-kilometer stroll leads to the campsite. For those less inclined towards walking, a taxi can be arranged for €10. We never decline an opportunity to explore a new environment, so armed with our full packs and amidst 25-degree weather, we enthusiastically embarked on the journey.

Colourful, quirky and friendly

The campsite is not just quirky; it’s also a burst of colors! As soon as you arrive, you’re greeted by vibrant works of art, a pink barrier, and an abundance of colorful wildflowers. Despite our initial shock – post our walk – upon discovering that our accommodation was situated on the opposite end of the site, we received a warm welcome. Thankfully, one of the staff members promptly offered us a lift!

During the ride, we were treated to enthusiastic tales about the campsite – a place where everyone is genuinely embraced. While there’s plenty for families with (young) children to enjoy, it also stands out as a fantastic spot for young adults.

Accommodations

A campsite wouldn’t be complete without traditional camping spots, and Camping BuitenLand certainly doesn’t disappoint! There’s ample space available across various fields, each offering generously-sized pitches surrounded by lush greenery. Whether you have a tent, camper, or caravan, you can select the perfect spot for your temporary home.

For those without their own camping gear, an array of distinctive accommodations awaits! These unique lodgings are crafted by self-builders who have personally designed and adorned each structure. If you’re still yearning for that authentic camping experience, there are furnished Bell tents scattered throughout the fields. Alternatively, for a more luxurious camping adventure, you can choose from options like an Airstream, Blues Barn, Cabana, the Big Friendly Bus, Breaking Bad camper, or even a church (aptly named the Spaghetti Church)! With such a diverse range of choices, be sure to explore them all!

Domecilië

Domecilië, a small ‘village’ comprising five unique dome-shaped houses, captured our attention amidst the array of great options available at the campsite. Nestled in a picturesque spot at the forest’s edge at the rear of the site, these distinctive structures create a fairytale-like setting.

Crafted from natural and recycled materials, the domes exhibit a visible geometric structure that, combined with their warm interiors, gives rise to a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Despite their identical exteriors, each dome boasts a unique name (Bipindi, Lumbini, Woolloomooloo, Cochabamba & Bilbao) and is individually styled to evoke the ambiance of a specific continent. Accommodating 1 to 6 people, the domes encircle a car-free lawn. Whether you choose to bask in the ambiance of your dome’s veranda or gather around the communal campfire in the field’s center, the experience is both personal and communal.

It’s noteworthy that these accommodations do not feature private kitchens or bathrooms; instead, these facilities are shared with fellow residents of the village. This communal aspect adds to the overall charm of Domecilië, creating a sense of shared living and fostering connections among guests in this enchanting village setting.

Woolloomooloo

We chose to spend the night in the Australian-inspired dome, Woolloomooloo, named after one of the most special places in Australia! The coral-colored walls were the deciding factor for us. 😉

Inside Woolloomooloo, a vibrant atmosphere awaits. On the ground floor, there’s a comfortable seating area featuring a sturdy sofa (which can also double as a bed), durable butterfly chairs, and a charming corner seat. The dome is equipped with a convenient kitchenette for making coffee and tea, complemented by a cozy dining area featuring a dining table.

Sleeping options are versatile – you can choose to rest on the double bed with a box bed atmosphere downstairs or opt for the loft under the large skylight, where four single beds are arranged. Feeling a bit chilly? No worries! There’s always the option to crank up the pellet stove for added warmth and coziness. 

Exploring

We arrived slightly earlier than the others, and after thoroughly exploring our temporary ‘village’ and the other domes, we decided to venture further into the campsite. Unfortunately, as is often the case when we embark on camping or glamping adventures, rain started to fall. Seeking shelter, we found ourselves at the heart of the site: De BuitenBar.

This spot serves as the gathering point for camping guests and offers a unique blend of a living room atmosphere despite being outdoors. While De BuitenBar hosts regular entertaining activities and live music, our visit on this particular Monday was relatively quiet. Nonetheless, we enjoyed our time with a few glasses of good wine and some delicious food. BuitenLand is committed to minimizing its ecological footprint, a commitment that is reflected in the menu, featuring minimal waste, locally sourced ingredients, and a strong focus on vegetarian dishes.

Cool down or warm-up

The campsite is not only nestled in the heart of a forest but is also situated by a natural pool, known as De Zandpol. It’s an ideal spot for a refreshing dip or sunbathing on the beach, especially on hot summer days. Unfortunately, the rain thwarted our plans to visit, prompting us to enjoy a swim in the on-site swimming pool instead. Later, we discovered that there’s a distinctive hot tub, cleverly housed in a beetle! However, we haven’t had the chance to witness it ourselves, so you might want to undertake a bit of exploration to uncover this unique feature. 😉

BuitenLand or abroad?

We had a delightful evening, complete with impromptu guitar sessions courtesy of the instrument we discovered in our dome. Following a night of singing under the stars, we woke up in the morning feeling wonderfully relaxed, surrounded by the calming sounds of the forest and birds. After indulging in a refreshing iced coffee – a must at the BuitenBar – unfortunately, the time for fun came to an end, and we reluctantly made our way back home.

Whether you’re seeking a few days of tranquility, planning a camping getaway with friends, a family holiday with the kids, or simply desiring an escape from the city, Camping BuitenLand proves to be a fantastic alternative. If going abroad isn’t on the table or isn’t your preference, this campsite offers a wonderful retreat worth exploring! 

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Chapter Fernweh
by Kiki & Jazzie

We are Kiki & Jazzie – travel content creators based in the Netherlands. On our website and social channels, we share our European adventures, insights, and discoveries. From immersive travel guides and breathtaking photography to personal reflections and captivating video content.

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