Where to go on vacation with your dog this summer? “Italy is the most dog friendly country”

INTERVIEW – Mélanie is the founder of the website “Chien Voyageur”, where she describes her holidays with the border collie Maido and gives good advice for successful human and dog holidays. She shares her favorites with us.

This is an image of Epinal. Van, two kids in the back, a barely closed trunk. And the Golden Retriever’s head is sticking out the window. In France, one in three pet owners would rather go on vacation with their animals than to adopt them or take them on a plane. Despite the stress, extra costs, preparations. Because it has to be said: Even if 15 million dogs, cats and ferrets live in French homes according to Icad (Identification of Native Carnivores), taking them on vacation still feels like an obstacle course.

To focus on solutions rather than pitfalls, Mélanie created the site “Chien Voyageur”, where she compiles tips, learns to work alongside her dog Maïdo, a border collie who follows her on her trips around the world. This great traveler has also prepared five guides, the last of which is dedicated to Savoie, available in PDF format (€14.90). Because let’s remember that tens of thousands of animals are abandoned on holiday routes every year. An animal that leaves with its owner is a shortage of animals in the SPA. With car !

FIGARO TRAVELS. – What is the ideal foreign country to go with your dog?

melanie – I can say Italy without hesitation! It is a particularly dog ​​friendly country. There are many accommodations and restaurants that accept dogs. Some supermarkets also: This is the case for the Conad or Unes chains. In Unes, small and medium breeds even have access to specially equipped cars! Beaches are also suitable for dogs: this is the case with Baubeach in Rome, Dogbeach in San Vincenzo and even Baubeach near Venice. Finally, there are reserved parks almost everywhere in major cities, be it Rome, Florence, Naples or Milan. And if dogs are not allowed in historical monuments, there are excellent dog hostels in Italy.

What is the most welcoming accommodation you’ve tested with Maido?

We have had many great stay experiences with Maïdo, but our favorite lodgings are those that take special care of our dogs. In particular, I’m thinking of Camping 2 la Plage in Treffort in Isère, which greeted us with a welcome set (blankets, bowls, etc.) for Maido. The Port de Moricq campground in Vendée is 100% dog-friendly and treated like family members with all the equipment and care they deserve: “toutoudouches”, “toutousnack” and even “toutouparc”! Some hotels also stand out. Located in Bangor, the hotel La Désirade in Belle-île-en-Mer provided a welcome kit for dogs: blankets, bowls and even towels for returning from a walk. Unfortunately, this kind of welcome is rare.

Do you have a recommended beach to go to with your dog?

You should know that while many are banned, others are only accessible at certain times of the year. Still, we had a chance to browse some very beautiful beaches with Maido! At Var in Ramatuelle, dogs are welcome on all beaches, provided they are kept on a leash. Escalet beach even has a villainous shower that lets you rinse your dog after a swim. There are also very beautiful beaches in Corsica that accept them, such as Santa Giulia. On the ocean side, Quiberon bay has some amazing beaches where dogs are welcome all year: Mané Gwen in Plouharnel, Le Lizeau in Saint-Pierre Quiberon, or la Jument in Conguel.

Which is the most dog friendly ski resort?

For me, a dog-friendly ski resort is a resort that incorporates them into their range of activities. You can easily find dog-friendly accommodation, dog-accessible snowshoe trails, chairlifts are allowed, and you can ski with your dog in parts of the area. I am in love with Haute-Savoie and especially Massif des Brasses. The Môle et Brasses Tourisme destination also received the Toutourisme label, which guarantees a quality welcome to visitors accompanied by a dog.

What is the most beautiful dog-human walk?

Most of the time we admired the coastal roads, the mountains, the plain. My favorites? GR 34 is also called the customs road, starting from Mont-Saint-Michel and ending in Saint-Nazaire. The landscapes passed are of incredible beauty, there one discovers all the richness of the Breton coast. On the mountain side, I recently fell in love with the Massif de Belledonne and its high-altitude lakes in the Northern Alps. It is neither a national park, nor a regional park, nor a reserve, so it is entirely open to dogs! Maido is a great hiking companion: her inexhaustible motivation is a valuable ally when fatigue strikes. When we reach the summit, we enjoy our victory together in front of breathtaking views.

The best encounter while traveling thanks to Maido?

For a year, we postponed organizing our summer vacation. We also wanted to go to southern Brittany, which is a very touristy place that requires you to anticipate your accommodation reservations, especially if you want to go with your dog. When we looked for a place to stay, there was nothing left. We were ready to stop changing our plans when the idea of ​​removing the “pets allowed” filter on the online booking platform came to mind. I contacted several owners of accommodations who were shown not to be dog friendly to reassure us that we were respectful and Maido was well trained. A lovely couple trusted us and accepted our reservation request. We were greeted with a bottle of cider and two bowls for Maido in a gorgeous apartment on the beach. Unexpected! We had a wonderful week of vacation and left the apartment completely clean and tidy. We hope they want to welcome other dogs in the future!

Even when it says “pets allowed” there are sometimes things that are not mentioned.

Unexpected little problem you encountered while traveling with Maido?

Even when it says “pets allowed” there are sometimes things that are not mentioned. For example, we ended up with a rental that only accepts small breeds. We found out when we got there. The owner was a bit annoyed by noticing the size (25kg) of my border collie. He eventually accepted our dog, but imposed restrictions on us that we were not prepared for: Maïdo must stay at the entrance, not be left alone in the accommodation… make sure of the upstream reception conditions.

Is there any place to avoid when traveling with your dog?

Based on my experience, I think it’s important to choose accommodation based on what you can do with your dog nearby. Ideal is to take walks starting from the hotel, reach the beaches not far away, activities to share nearby. In this way, you get rid of the hassle of traveling for miles. It is also important to choose activities that will please both humans and dogs: the Maido is a very sensitive dog that does not like crowds. It prefers large areas, so we take this into account when developing our program.

What do you need to take with you when traveling with your friend?

When traveling with Maido I always plan two bags: one for the car, which I always have with me and where I put the lanyard, the harness, the health record, the European passport, a bowl and water, a brush and a first aid kit. . In the second, I put chewy candies, toys, a life jacket, a fluorescent vest if we’re out hunting. Also, if we extend the vacation, I buy too many kibbles for the food bowl and bed. It is important to bring familiar objects so that the dog has some direction in a new place, this puts him at ease.

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