Retreat from society and relax in these idyllic cabins around the world

The cabin is an icon. Think of the legendary mountain man Jeremiah Johnson building his own home in the Rocky Mountains, or the teams of lumberjacks that once shared a meal after a long day of work in the forests of Eastern Canada. The log cabins built by those settling the Oregon Trail were the symbols of a life on the edge of the frontier, and as far back as the viking age, the massive wooden structures were the centers of family and community life. Even today, cabins evoke a sense of comfort and freedom, representing a refuge from the stresses of modern life and serving as a symbol for shelter against the harsh elements of nature. Moreover, cabins are popular across the globe — the perfect lodging for both summer and winter vacations. Below are some of the coolest cabins around, all of which mesh the function of an everyday shelter with unique design.

Glass Cabin (West Virginia)

Photographer Nick Olsen and his partner Lilah Horrowitz of Milwaukee, Wisconsin built this cabin as their retreat from their busy lives. Nestled in the West Virginia mountains, the getaway features an impressive wall of windows for taking in the view of the sunset.

Lion Sands Game Reserve Treehouses (South Africa)

An open-air design built from an old photography platform offers breathtaking views of the South African landscape. This cabin is a part of the Lion Sands Game Reserve, and it has everything you’d want from vacation housing — a fully furnished bedroom, bathroom, and all manner of predators just a few feet below you.

The Nook Treehouse (Surrey, England)

This luxurious cabin, built by Blue Forest in Sussex, England looks like something out of a fairy tale. However, not only is it very real, you can book it for your next vacation.

Brooklyn Garden Studio (Brooklyn, New York)

City life is busy, hectic, and finding a moment away from it all is hard. This tiny cabin, built in a Brooklyn, New York backyard, makes finding a little piece of the great outdoors in the concrete jungle a little easier.

Timber Moose Lodge (Timber Lakes, Utah)

Timber Moose, this enormous fortress-like cabin, is the largest privately owned cabin in the US. It features a swimming pool, massive kitchen and dining areas, a crow’s nest, and enough room to accommodate you and 60 of your friends.

The Manta Resort (Pemba Island, Tanzania)

While exorbitantly expensive, the Manta Resort’s tiny floating lodging is unlike any other cabin on this list — or the world for that matter. Situated just off shore, the cabin still provides the astonishing views one would hope for, but of the clear blue sea, instead of verdant green woods.

Eagle Brae Highland Log Cabins (Beauly, Scotland)

Scotland’s Eagle Brae resort has several cabins available for vacationers to take advantage of. These log homes are the real deal: log frames, turf roofs, fur carpets, taxidermied game, and all manner of expertly crafted wood furniture. The Loxia cabin unit as pictured above.

Plusvilla L (Southern Finland)

It seems obvious that the Nordic countries would be have some of the most impressive cabins in the world. This Finnish home has a modern look that manages to blend contemporary aesthetics with its woodland surroundings.

Juvet Landscape Hotel (Gudbrandsjuvet, Norway)

This subtle cabin is part of a Norwegian mountain resort, Juvet. Like many other contemporary cabins, the design is minimalist and more about taking in the views than standing out against them.

The Ski Hut (Pagosa Springs, Colorado)

Tiny homes are all the rage these days. With their tiny footprints, ease of construction and low cost, they make the dream of a home off the grid accessible to almost anyone. Plus, they’re mobile, so you can build one in your backyard and wheel it to your destination. This model outside Pagosa Springs, Colorado was built with logs off a local ski slope, along with roofing, rafters, and even a front door salvaged from an older home.

The Wand (Iceland)

Iceland is a backpacker’s paradise, and adventuring through the island country is made easier and more comfortable thanks to a number of easily accessible, cozy cabins dotting the countryside where travelers can stay and find some shade in the midnight sun.

The Elliðaey Hunting Association Lodge (Vestmannaeyjar islands, Iceland)

Well, not ALL of Iceland’s cabins are easily accessible. This hunting lodge is located on Elliðaey, the largest of Iceland’s Vestmannaeyjar islands, and while difficult to get to, it offers a uniquely isolated getaway for a hunting holiday.

Airplane Home (Hillsboro, Oregon)

OK, so this isn’t truly a “cabin,” but it does have a cabin, technically. This Boeing 727 has been stripped and retro-fitted to become to center piece of this 10-acre Oregon home, built by retired engineer Bruce Campbell (not that Bruce Campbell).

The Black Shed (Isle of Skye, Scotland)

The stark, sweeping highland landscapes of Skye, an island in northern Scotland, is the perfect location for a remote retreat, and this tiny cabin is situated on a Hebridean hillside.

Hawk House (Santa Barbara, California)

When it comes down to it, humans don’t need all that much space to live comfortably, but sometimes it feels good to stretch out. The Hawk House is a tiny, one-room cabin that has about as much interior space as a small studio apartment, but can be opened up to turn your entire surroundings into living space.

Garage (Vashon Island, Washington)

This home, crafted by the design studio Graypants, takes the best aspects of the classic cabin profile and melds it with modernist design.

Victory Lodge (June Lake, California)

Victory lodge is an apt name for this massive log home in California. From the enormous rooms and nearby Mammoth mountain, to the long dining table and the largest antler chandelier in the world hanging in the main dining area, this “cabin” is the perfect location to celebrate victory with a leg of lamb and keg of ale.

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