If you’ve decided this is the year to take a dog-friendly holiday, you’re in luck. Eurocamp has dozens of parcs where dogs are welcome. Now it’s time to narrow down your search to find the parc, and the place where you think your dog will be happiest. Because, after all, it’s their holiday. You’re merely their unpaid travelling companions. Right?
You can find out about just how easy it is to enjoy a Eurocamp holiday with your dog in our guide to dog-friendly holidays on our site. But if you’re looking for inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our eight favourite, dog-loving destinations to choose a real family holiday this summer.
Cap Frehel, Brittany
The great thing about a Brittany summer is that, usually, the sun isn’t so searing that it becomes tricky to keep your dog out for too long. That means you can enjoy a couple of hours’ walk without worrying about carrying a tank of water on your back. Cap Frehel in Northern Brittany scores extra bonus points because its sand-fringed headland faces in all directions. Perfect for chasing the sun, or hiding from it. Make for the top of the headland, where you can walk your dog off the lead to the lighthouse, or take the path down to the pink-sand beaches where, when the tide’s out, you’ll have acres of space to throw that frisbee!
Stay: Domaine Des Ormes
St Jean De Mots, Vendée
Most beaches have restrictions surrounding dogs, especially in the summer. But there are a handful that are more welcoming to your furry friend. The Vendee is a good region to choose- lots of coastal trails, off-shore islands to explore, and generally most resorts have a good sprinkling of dog-friendly restaurants too. The pretty resort of Saint Jean de Monts has a number of beaches which welcome dogs – providing you’re a responsible owner, which you are of course – try Plage du Petit Sochard just off the D38 coast road. It’s a lovely golden cove of gently shelving water. Look for signs to the racecourse (hippodrome).
Stay: Le Clarys Plage
Lac de Chalain, Jura
If, like us, you get frustrated at the ‘dogs welcome…but must be on a leash’ sign, you’ll love the 12 kilometre loop trail near Fontenu, in Jura. You don’t need to do it all (and on hot days, you don’t want to be out between 11 and 3) but this circular trail around the shores of lake Chalain is a beautiful leash-free paradise for dogs. Run, walk, dive into the clear waters, or simply snooze by the waterside. Jura’s gentle hills and easy-paced way of life offers a real back-to-nature experience. We think you, and your dog, will lap it up. Try also the dog-friendly trails of the mesmerising Hedgehog waterfalls at Menétrux-en-Joux, 15 mins away.
Stay: Domaine de Chalain
North Brabant, Netherlands
Drifting sand dunes, nature trails, forest and heathland. That’s the recipe in North Brabant, a captivating corner of the Netherlands. It’s full of enticing little routes through gloriously off-grid landscapes. Try the loop trail of Matmos, near Breda, North Brabant. It’s a 2.5 hour trek during which you’re unlikely to encounter anyone else. And, yes, dogs can roam free (unless there are signs saying otherwise). Forests, lakes, big skies and birdsong await. Or sample the drifting sands of Sprang-Capelle, on the circular trail of the Loonse en Drunense Duinen. Beach days don’t have to mean a day at the coast!
Stay: De Schatberg
Not too far to reach, if you’ve a dog on board, Friesland in the Netherlands has heathland, beaches, waterways for a quick doggie paddle, and dog-friendly pit stops in abundance. The level and easy-going heath of the Duurswouderheide is the largest natural landscape in the region, and full of trails and loops to keep you busy. Dogs can go off-leash where there are no sheep grazing. The Wadden islands, just offshore, are gorgeous. Terschelling island is a real gem. On the island, dogs can be unleashed in the forest and on the beach – and they’re the best bits! That’s what we call a Result!
Stay: Camping Blaauw
Le Manche, Normandy
Normandy’s wide open beaches, deep forests and pretty coastal trails (and its easy-to-reach location) makes it a firm favourite for +dog holidays. Good spots to explore with your pet include the magical pine forest of Bois de Tay, the forest of Andaines and the The Gorges of Villiers, formed by a burbling river – ideal to cool those paws down on sunny days. In summer time, dogs are usually allowed on the region’s terrific beaches before 11am and after 4pm – and on sunny days, you’d really not want to head out in the heat of midday anyway. For coastal rambles, the GR 223 footpath is well-marked, with lots of sections joyfully leash-free.
Stay: Chateau les Eaux
Black Forest, Germany
Germany is one of Europe’s most dog-friendly destinations – and nowhere is the more in evidence than the glorious Black Forest region of Bavaria. More a vast upland region of forest, mountain and picturesque villages than a dense, unrelenting cloak of trees, the area’s a perfect patchwork of dog-walking opportunities. The Titisee lake is great for walks, with dogs allowed to bathe on its southern shores. Elsewhere, try the banks of the mighty Rhine river (here just a pleasantly meandering waterway) for long walks through woodlands and vineyards, or the hills and valleys of the Kaiserstuhl range.
Stay: Campingplatz Herblozheim
Don’t overlook Luxembourg. We know, it’s so small it’s hard not to. But you’ll be surprised at just how diverse and charming this tiny country’s landscape is. Especially the forests and hills around Larochette. It’s a busy place, so walks in the morning or late afternoon are best for peace – but there are so many trails you’re bound to find a quiet one. Be aware that some trails require your dog to be on a leash, but some don’t. They call the Mullerthal area Luxembourg’s ‘Little Switzerland’ – spend a few days rambling around its contours and you’ll see why. Take a look at Giele Botter – the old mining area, which takes in a pretty nature reserve and cool woodlands.