Who could leave this face at home?
Taking your pet on holiday with the family is a wonderful experience, as you get to build memories together and don't have to leave the dog at home. It's important to keep our furry friends happy when travelling, and while they might enjoy the excitement of sticking their head out the car window, what really gets their tails wagging are trips to scenic walking spots. So grab the lead, and check out our favourite places for dog walking in France.
Whilst peak summer months ban dogs from the busy parts of the beach, late summer and autumn is the perfect time for a dog walk.
A stone's throw away from Calais is the small village of Escalles. Surrounded by the green rolling hills that are typical of the Pas-de-Calais department, Escalles boasts a wonderfully large beach, which is perfect for running around with the family dog. The sand here is flat and there's plenty of space to get active, whilst the surrounding cliffs provide a scenic backdrop for those picture-perfect moments. There's even an old windmill and a WWI monument nearby, but remember that dogs need to be kept on a leash at all times.
North west of Montpelier in the south, the commune of Liausson sits in the Hérault département of France, in the mountains. Walking through this part of France is perfect for dogs, as you have space to let them run around without worrying too much about livestock, as this is often the main reason why dogs have to be kept on leashes in the countryside. Hills and mountains surround you, and there are some great walks that take you around the scenic Lac du Salagou. Take a stroll from Route de Liausson to Col de Portes for a brisk hours' walk.
Let your dogs take a break near the water in Liausson
Montagne de Beaune
In eastern France, in the Côte d'Or department, you'll find the Burgundy's wine capital, Beaune. This town is incredibly picturesque, and nearby lies the area of Montagne de Beaune (Beaune Mountain), which is a great place to take the family (and dog!) for a walk. Gentle slopes guide you alongside the mountain, and the vineyards of Sur les Grèves carpet the hillsides, producing some of the region's finest wines.
Haut Jura Regional Park
It's worth noting at this point that, particularly in the French countryside, there are limitations on where you can take your dog. All but one French national park (Cévennes) have a complete ban on dogs, but several of the regional parks do permit our furry friends to walk around, as long as they're kept under control. Right on the eastern border to Switzerland sits the Haut Jura Regional Park.
This park is a fantastic wonderland for dogs, with the Jura Mountains boasting peaks of up to 1600 metres. Walking through this part of France is a revitalising way to throw yourself into nature, and most of the walks here will take you through thick forest. There are some farms dotted around too, so remember to keep the dog on the lead when you hear cowbells!
Watch out for livestock when walking through the Haut Jura hills!
During the summer months, dogs are banned from all guarded public beaches, so look out for "wild" or unguarded beaches when taking your favourite pooch for a walk, or go further down the beach where it's quiet. It's also worth noting that hunting season in France runs from September to March, and when exploring the countryside it's not uncommon to come across snares and other traps, so remember this when walking near or through farmland.
Ready to go?
Taking your pets on holiday has never been simpler, all they need is a pet passport and return ticket with
Eurotunnel Le Shuttle
, which takes you from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes.
Who could leave this face at home? - Image by Céline on Flickr
It's a dog's life - Maciej Lewandowski
Perfect time for a dog walk - Damian Gadal
Let your dogs take a break near the water in Liausson - Alfred Brumm
Watch out for livestock - Patrick Nouhailler