“If you are lucky enough to own a dog, you will probably agree that they are an integral part of the family and bring great joy to leisure time. Otherwise, why would we choose to share our homes with them? shouldn’t have to abandon our dogs when we go on vacation, a moment to bask in the company of our loved ones. Last summer, for this very reason, I avoided flights to distant lands in favor of a walk slow and quiet through Europe with my German Shepherd, Bear. It was inconvenient in so many ways – putting him in my little Fiat 500 with all our luggage, finding pet-friendly accommodation along the way, not to mention the food that didn’t upset his stomach – but we raged through the Swiss mountains, explored the German spa town of Baden Baden and frolicked in the ocean at Antibes. end to Chris stopher Hotel in Windsor, the most charming Fido-friendly boutique we have ever stayed in. Trust the Brits to do their best when it comes to our canine companions.”
For dog-friendly beaches and restaurants in Gijón, Spain
Located on the north coast just two hours from the Santander ferry port, Gijón is a dog-crazed city with over 20,000 dog-owning families. It’s the perfect place to bring the pooch if you’re looking for sun, sea and a siesta, with dog-friendly stretches of sand around El Rinconcín Park and the town’s main beach, San Lorenzo. Outdoor terraces abound for a dog-friendly meal on the region’s traditional fabada (stew), and there are more than 40 green parks where the dog can run off-leash. Book at NH Gijon for great sea views, and look for signs in shop and restaurant windows saying your dog is welcome inside.
NH Gijon (nh-hotels.com) offers double rooms from £90 per night B&B; £20 per dog per night.
For wine tasting and vineyards in the Douro Valley, Portugal
It’s a six-hour drive from the ferry port of Santander in Spain to Portugal’s bucolic Douro Valley, but it’s well worth the effort. This wine region is best known for its fortified wines – think Port from Taylor and Cockburn – but there’s plenty more to taste, with powerful reds and crisp fruity whites found on tables overlooking vine-covered hills of the valley.