Living a happy life with your dog is given even more of a boost when you can bring it on holiday with you. We know that many of our adventurers love canine companionship on their travels, especially our solo travellers, from watching them romp along the Rheinstag to ambling alongside you over the Alps. So, take a look at a few of our dog-friendly holidays below and pamper your pooch the natural way – because every dog should have its day.
The Camino with a canine companion
The last section of the Camino de Santiago is heavenly for hounds, with plenty of dog-friendly hosts waiting to welcome you. Your dog even gets its own Compostela Certificate, as does anyone who completes this last lap which covers 100km between Sarria and Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, with much romping to be done amongst Galicia’s glens and eucalyptus groves. Choose your pace between seven or eight days to walk this final 100km section of the Camino Frances, otherwise known as the French Way, because those who do the whole thing, start in France.
Saunter along the Via Spluga, Switzerland and Italy
Traditionally, the four-legged companions traversing this ancient trail would have been mules, but dogs are more than welcome on this 70km Via Spluga long-distance trail between Switzerland and Italy. Although this is most definitely alpine walking, it’s a moderate walking holiday, so you don’t have to push your pet to the limit. The highlight is the Spluga or Splügen Pass (2,115m) in the Lepontine Alps, connecting these two countries with the most beautiful of borders. After that, your dog can delight in a descent through the forests and meadows of Val San Giacomo all the way to Chiavenna in the northern Italian region of Lombardy. As with all our dog-friendly trips in this blog, Spluga is perfect for solo travellers.
Bring your hound on the High Passes of Valais
You don’t need a St. Bernard to bound over the eponymous pass, one of the highlights of the High Passes of Valais walking holiday in Switzerland. You and your dog can ramble and gambol to your hearts’ delight in the Valais region. With 41 mountains over 4,000m, in winter it looks like the peaks on a perfect Christmas cake. But in summer months, when these mountain landscapes between the Simplon and Grand St Bernard passes do their big reveal of flower-rich meadows, larch forests, emerald lakes and panoramic views, the Valais is verging on velvety. Walk the complete section between Brig and Grimenz in ten days, or divide it up into either the east in six days or the west section in seven days, all accessible by train too.
River rambles on the Lechweg Trail
Be prepared for much splashing and dashing on the Lechweg Trail, a long-distance 125km waymarked way following the alpine Lech River through Austria and Germany. Walk the complete Lechweg Trail in ten days between Lech am Arlberg in Austria’s Arlberg Mountains range and Füssen in Bavaria. Walking through Lechtal Nature Park in Tirol, this is a landscape of waterfalls, winding woodland trails, alpine foothills and villages. As well as being a dog-friendly trip where our local hoteliers welcome you and your best friend, it’s a luscious, cooling one in the height of summer. As well as the complete trail, you can opt for the Lechweg Trail highlights in eight days, or a Lechweg short break in six days.
Bring Rover on the Rheinsteig
The Rheinsteig is one of our top walking holidays in Germany, a 320km walking trail that hovers above the great river, allowing you to enjoy its twists, turns, ravines and, vitally, Rieslings. This is a short five day saunter on the steig, but you can take a longer eight day holiday with even more castles and vineyards along the way. Both holidays start and finish at train stations, which is much easier for dog owners and also great value given some of the special offers that Deutsche Bahn likes to run. In between, enjoy one splendid Schloss after another, a cable car up into the Middle Rhine Valley’s exquisite elevations, and plenty of other hund havens along the way.
Roamin’ Hadrian’s Wall Path
Dogs played an important role in Roman homes, and you will certainly be given a fine welcome at our dog-friendly accommodations along Hadrian’s Wall Path. With most itineraries, you start your trip in Newcastle on the North Sea and complete the Roman ramble of 135km at Solway Firth on the Irish Sea with your personal sentry by your side all the way. Also a UNESCO site, walking Hadrian’s Wall Path is a journey not only to historical sites such as Vindolanda and Housesteads Roman forts but also through natural triumphs such as Northumberland National Park. We have a selection of holidays along the Path, which are dog-friendly, avoiding some of the more challenging sections.
These are just a few of our dog-friendly trips so please don’t hesitate to contact us with any canine queries. For more information on taking your pet abroad, the best UK resource is Gov.uk and, for Ireland, Gov.ie. You may also enjoy reading Helen Mort’s book, Never Leave the Dog Behind: Our love of dogs and mountains, which features in our recent blog on best travel books.