Travelling with your pet: discovering Luxemburg, Belgium and The Netherlands
Did you know that dogs are as intelligent as 2 year old children in average? They are capable of understanding more than 250 hand gestures and words, depending on the style of training they have received. They can even count up to 5 and do understand the words spoken to them, not just the tone of your voice.
This all means that taking them with you on vacations truly is an entire experience for them. Firstly, they will bond with you on these trips, it will bring joy for you both while secondly, these experiences can and will shape their brains, because learning new things is essential for a dog as well. In the past, it might have been a challenge to find accommodation and things to do for groups who also have a four-legged burst of energy as part of the family nucleus, but some countries and places do make this very easy for dog owners. Let’s see some great options form western Europe.
Discover the seaside – Belgium & dog friendly beaches
Some dogs are actual seals who grew sturdy legs and have gotten integrated into our society, always yearning in secret for the fresh breeze of the seaside. You can identify this elusive species by the pure enjoyment they are able to display, whenever they are close to the sea. Most Belgian beach towns are accommodating towards our doggy friends, and there are even beach patches designated for them during off-seasons (October – May) and early mornings and evening during the summertime.
If you would like to frolic in the sand with your excited little buddy, hit up some of the favorite beaches of dog lovers like De Panne, Knokke-Heist, Ostend and Middelkerke. Vallée les Etoiles vacation park is located in Blaimont, a mere 2 hour drive from the seaside, and has a very dog friendly attitude, offering many more opportunities for dog-centered people who would like to take their family pets on an awesome vacation!
Bruges and Ghent – welcoming your tail wagger with open arms… and bars
Most dog enthusiasts know about the most famous Belgian pup: Fidèle. The calm Labrador was a real tourist attraction, who could be seen lounging half-asleep on a windowsill facing the Groenerei canal in Bruge. Tour boats would stop and take pictures of the dreamer and he even made an appearance in the cult favorite move In Bruge.
The town is famous for its dog lover attitude, just like Ghent, where café and restaurant owners are more than happy to serve your dog with treats, a drinking bowl and a friendly pat on their heads. Again, Vallée les Etoiles is an exceptional place to stay at if you would like to discover Belgium, taking your dog along on the road. Bruges is a 2-hour drive from the calm, green park and Ghent is even closer, you can get there in about an hour and a half, easy-peasy.
Enjoy a refreshing beer in Luxembourg with your pupper by your side
There are a lot of restaurants and bars in Luxembourg, which have been created with dogs as integrated members of the family in mind. For example, Le Grand Café – Redbeef on the Place d’Armes gets a golden star for how it treats furry guests, but the Um Plateau, Nirvana Café, the JFK Bar & Kitchen and Happ all are perfect choices to enjoy a refreshing drink and plan the next part of your grand adventure, together with the smartest person in the room: your dog. For this experience, one of the best ideas might be La Sapinière vacation park to stay at, which is dog and family friendly, and is located in the midst of nature hiding you away from the hustle and bustle of the city, offering everyone in your group a secluded place to sleep well, eat better and enjoy quality time together.
The dog friendly Bourscheid Castle – experience history together
If you are a fan of castles and history, you can show your best friend the wonders hidden behind the castle walls in Bourscheid, which is open all year long and dogs on leashes are welcome! First mentioned in 1000, it is one of the oldest in the region, having a very imposing aura, perched atop a hill, overlooking the entire region and waiting for you to come and discover its well-hidden secrets between thick stone walls and lush greenery. The ideal place for a puppy-friendly afternoon, what can be better than enjoying the best history can offer all while spending time with your best friend? Bourscheid Castle is located at a 20-minute drive from Hosingen, Luxemburg, which is the location of La Sapinière, the pet friendly holiday park.
Hike The Ardennes with your furry best friend
Dogs absolutely adore the scent of the forest and most of the time enjoy a nice walk outside the city limits, tapping into the wolf living in their little souls. The Ardennes is a safe woodland region, which can be reached from various countries, such as Belgium or Luxembourg.
There are more than enough trekking routes to choose from, ranging from easy ones to others aimed at more experienced hikers. If you have a smaller pup, you may even rent a bike, and enjoy a leisurely bike trail between hills, trees and castles, a magical land to make memories, with the entire family present! The Ardennes can be experienced both from Vallée les Etoiles and La Sapinière holiday parks, depending which country and lifestyle you would prefer during your trip!
Keukenhof – a pet friendly afternoon between flowers
Located about an hour outside of Amsterdam, very close to the shore of the North Sea, the Keukenhof Gardens are waiting for you and your pet to experience the blooming beauty and colors. The place is best known for its tulips but there are many more types of flowers, plants and even relatively friendly swans living their best lives in a pond. The pièce de résistance of the place are undoubtedly the large tulip fields, which can be hard to comprehend by the human brain, stretching far into the horizon, dominating the entire field. The park is open to the public between March and mid-May, and even has restaurants with tons of outdoor seating, where you can enjoy a nice little lunch in the company of your friends, family and dog buddy. This flower heaven is located at a 2-hour drive from Hof van Zeeland holiday park, which is famous for its pet loving attitude. Along the way to the land of tulips, you can also hit up The Hauge and take a stroll on the shores of the North Sea with your amazing little four-legged friend!
200,000 tonnes of olive oil. 240,000 traditions
Near the old coastal village of Vieste, the Deluca family has been growing olives for four generations. The oil they produce this way is relatively unknown to the general public, but around Vieste you will see a can of Olio Extra Vergine d'Oliva Deluca on many a terrace and kitchen window. It is a fairly soft, golden oil with an almond aftertaste that is characteristic of the Ogliarola Garganica olive variety. The variety gets its name after the Gargano National Park, where many families have been growing olives for centuries.Read more
Saint Jean d'Aulps: A Village of Four Seasons
The imposing façade of the d’Aulps Abbey is the only part left of this massive Cistercian church perched high above the valleys of the French Alps. Its foundations stem from 1090, and it served as a place of piety and pilgrimage until its near destruction in the aftermath of the French revolution. Yet, since then, the fierce façade withstood howling winds, blizzards, rainstorms, and parching heat in the 230 years that followed. It has resolutely weathered the four seasons of Saint Jean d’Aulps time and again. It’s a resolution that is shared by most of the folk in the region.Read more
A magical Christmas in The Ardennes
Situated in the southeast of Belgium, The Ardennes region is one of those natural, unspoiled areas with rich fauna and flora, large forests made up out of broadleaf and fir, intertwined with rivers and picturesque villages. It is a place where traditions and folklore still live on, conserved and untouched by modernity but with all the luxuries and amenities of a comfortable, modern life.Read more