If you'd love to take your dog on vacation, why not forget the kennel costs and set off on a dog-friendly trip to the Dordogne Valley? Here is all the traveller information you need for travelling with pets and taking Rover on the holiday of a lifetime!
Travelling by Ferry, Plane and Eurostar
With the Pet Travel Scheme, dogs can travel between all European countries using an approved Pet Passport. Most ferry companies require owners to keep their pups (except guide dogs) in the vehicle during the crossing, however some are equipped with kennels.
The cost of transporting a dog by ferry depends on if a kennel is required and the length of the crossing, but expect to pay anything from £16.50 to £50 each way.
It costs £15 each way for dogs to travel on the Eurotunnel. If you're traveling by plane, pets must be secured in a cage provided or sold by the airline in the hold. Fees are specific to each airline.
If you're pet is unfazed by boat journeys and is in his element on the road, then the ferry would be your best shot.
River and Beaches
If your pup loves the water, the Dordogne Valley is the perfect destination for a dog-friendly holiday. With hundreds of beaches dotted along the river(s), your canine will be spoilt for choice with places to run, sniff, dig and splash about in. Regular dips in the rivers and streams are the best way of ensuring your dog doesn’t get overheated in the region's hot weather.
If you're planning a canoe trip down the river, taking Rover won't be a problem as dogs are allowed on board.
Be aware that not all of the leisure lakes open their gates to our furry friends, so remember to check before setting off. Some parts of the Dordogne have a strong current especially around Argentat where the river in narrow, so please be careful (otherwise it could be bye bye Rover...)
Pet-friendly accommodations are available throughout the Dordogne although your best bet is to take a cottage vacation. A popular option with pet owners, hundreds of house rentals can be found in the countryside with room for the pup to run around in the garden and offer great walks along the country lanes and fields of sunflowers.
Another suitable choice is camping with nearly all campsites rolling out the red carpet for those furry friends of yours. Hotels and other types of accommodation are reasonably pet-friendly although you may want to call ahead to ensure that Rover's welcome.
Visits and Shops
Steeped in history, the Dordogne Valley is the ideal cultural break with your four-legged companion. From medieval fortresses and Renaissance castles, to magnificent gardens and charming boutiques, most of the historic hubs welcome dogs on leashes. However, you may find that most of the geological and prehistoric caves do not permit animals for preservation reasons.
Dogs are often welcome in shops provided they're well behaved. In fact, it's rather a rare sight to see them tied to a lamppost patiently waiting for their owner to finish their purchases (but of course it’s always best to ask first.) Here's a list of the dog-friendly visits you may want to check out.
Many restaurants and cafés are quite happy to have your pup accompany you on outdoor terraces and patios, provided that they’re leashed (and don't get up to mischief.) However some places may pose more of a challenge welcoming Rover inside the establishment. Again, it's propably best to ring before booking.
You may find that some brochures have a symbol next to the restaurants that welcome pets.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or casual trekker, the Dordogne Valley is a fantastic destination to enjoy a walking holiday with your dog. Explore the Causses du Quercy Regional Natural Park or the forests of Xaintrie with your hound as well as the miles and miles of paths and trails across the region – all accompanied by gorgeous countryside, picturesque villages and famous ancient sites.
And after all that walking, why not settle down in one of the many dog-friendly restaurant terraces and cafés and enjoy a well deserved glass of white?
All cats and dogs are allowed on trains, although you’ll often need to pay a half-price fare for animal companions. Smaller animals are required to sit in a basket or cage and larger dogs must be leashed and wear a muzzle for travel (but it’s still better than boxing them up in a carrier). The same rules apply for buses.