Dog friendly road trip ideas

  • Pets
  • France
  • 8 min read
Dog friendly road trip ideas

France is a fantastic country to take a road trip – and when you travel with LeShuttle, there is no need to leave your dog at home.

France is an incredible country to take a road trip with your dog. 

There are so many welcoming hotels and villas, and eating out with pets as part of your family is easier than in the UK. The great news is that as an award-winning pet travel company, LeShuttle is the ideal way to drive to France to begin your road trip with your dog. They can stay with you for the entire duration of your crossing, and we also have have dedicated pet exercise areas! 

Furry friends and France – the perfect combination! 

Planning a road trip with your dog

What to take

Pack all the essentials for your pooch – their blanket or bed, favourite bone, food and water bowls, spare collar, harness, treats, toys, medication, poo bags. Don’t forget their EU pet passport or animal health certificate, and ensure their microchip corresponds to the number on their documentation.

Travelling safely with your dog

There are a few things to keep in mind before leaving for France with your canine friend. Make sure your dog is comfortable being in a car for long journeys. Restrain them securely in a harness or carrier, give them access to water and plenty of chances for exercise during the trip. Check for signs of motion sickness, such as panting, drooling or swallowing excessively.

Wherever you go in France, take your beloved dogs with you

Planning your route

If you’re planning a road trip with your dog, try to ensure that there is plenty of opportunity for them to stretch their legs during the journey. They are just like us really! There is safe green space at most service stations in France, and if the journey is going to be a long one, consider making an overnight stop somewhere on route.

Dog friendly accommodation

Everywhere you go in France you will find dog-friendly destinations. Hotels, gîtes and villas will state if they allow dogs. You should have few problems finding accommodation that is welcoming to your pet, but if you are in any doubt, check with the provider before you book.

Some road trip route ideas

Here are some ideas for going to France with a dog. The first two are real epics, and would require a couple of stopovers. Have fun putting your road trip itinerary together!

Paris to Nice

Travelling from the capital to the Côte d’Azur takes you through some of France’s most brilliant and historic cities. You will be driving for nearly 1000km, so do this over two or three days.


What can be said about Paris that hasn’t been said a thousand, a million times already? From the Eiffel Tower to the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre to Notre Dame, it has so many unforgettable sights that one trip is never enough. There are beautiful buildings and historic landmarks around every corner, leisurely strolls to savour, memorable museums and fabulous food. Here’s what to see if you have to fit it all into two days.

Your pooches will adore Paris!


Lyon is a mecca for food lovers, culture vultures and those looking for adventure. Lyon is celebrated as the food capital of France, famed for its cheeses, cookery schools and fantastic restaurants. There will be plenty that will welcome your dog! Wander around its historic Renaissance cobbled streets, soak up the warm climate and bask in a boat cruise down the Rhône and Saône rivers.


A hidden gem just to the south of Lyon, Valence is known as the gateway to the south of France. It boasts narrow cobbled streets, elegant parks, canals, a marina and stunning views of the Vercours and Ardèche mountains. The town’s pride is the Champ de Mars, a botanical park with lawns and fountains that is a lovely spot to walk your dog on a lead.


Avignon is best known for being the place where the Papacy was based for most of the 14th century. The city retains its compact size and much of its medieval character. Make sure you visit the Palais de Papes, where the popes lived, and the Pont St-Bénezet, which famously only extends halfway across the river.  If you’re in Avignon in July you could catch the Festival d’Avignon, one of France’s great arts festivals.

The famous half bridge of Avignon


A cosmopolitan, vibrant melting pot of cultures on the Mediterranean, Marseille is an unforgettable French city. There is history in abundance here, from the Old Port to the Fort Saint-Jean and the Notre-Dame de la Garde, which keeps watch from on high over the city. Passion runs high in Marseille over many things, especially football! 


Nice is one of France’s most captivating and sun-kissed cities. With its beaches, markets, world-class museums and Mediterranean climate, Nice is a vibrant, beautiful, exotic, passionate and warm city – even during the winter! Take your furry friend for a walk along the 4-mile long Promenade des Anglais, or mooch around the Marché aux Fleurs, one of the most famous flower markets in France. 

Calais to Bordeaux

On this 982km route you travel through Hauts-de-France, Normandy and Brittany to the wine mecca of Bordeaux. A couple of overnight stops would make this a road trip to remember.


The port city is more than just the location of our French terminal. Calais has plenty of attractions of its own. You can indulge in some tax-free shopping at Carrefour Cité Europe, one of the largest hypermarkets in the area, and visit the lighthouse, which offers panoramic views over the quay and on a clear day across the Channel. To feel the wind in your hair take a drive out to the Côte d’Opale. There are some wonderful dog-friendly beaches here.

Escape to the dog-friendly beaches of Normandy and Brittany


Abbeville is the gateway to the Somme Bay, with its wide sandy beaches, nature reserves, medieval heritage and impressive views to soak up. Your dog will love exploring the huge expanse of sands along these beaches and splashing around in the water. The town of Abbeville is also home to one of the oldest belfries in France. Climb up 30 metres for views of the surrounding French countryside from this UNESCO protected site.


The historic city of Caen was founded by William the Conqueror, and more or less destroyed during the Battle of Normandy in World War II. So it is brimming with interest for history lovers. The Chateau de Caen was William’s home and the place where he hammered out much of his strategy and policies. 

The Caen Memorial Museum offers moving insights into what life was like during wartime, and is one of the best memorials in Europe. Caen is also known for its art, boutiques, markets and restaurants.


Avranches is well worth a visit, especially for military and history buffs. The town, heavily bombed during World War II, was the scene of a major battle in the D-Day campaign. It is also home to the Scriptorial d’Avranches, containing manuscripts from the monastery of nearby Mont St Michel. There are glorious views of the bay of Mont St Michel from the town’s Botanical Gardens.

Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux


With its bustling mix of modern art, nightlife, eateries and historic buildings, the quirky, trendy city of Nantes is an ideal destination for your family travelling to the north-west of France. There is history and culture, wonderful museums, amazing architecture – and a mechanical elephant! At the head of the Loire Valley, Nantes is also a great spot from which to explore, with beloved dog in tow, this beautiful region of wineries and châteaux.


Your final destination: capital of the world-famous wine region, and a sensory feast of neoclassical architecture. Queen Elizabeth II called Bordeaux ‘the very essence of elegance’, and the city combines cosmopolitan delights with classic gastronomy in beautifully appointed streets. Its boulevards are some of the grandest outside of Paris, replete with stunning museums, opera houses, theatres and boutiques. Make sure you book a vineyard tour!

Loire Valley road trip

Follow the winding course of the Loire through a land of enchanting châteaux and wonderful wineries. Your dog may not appreciate the grapes, but they will love the open space and the riverside walks. You could easily do this route in a day, with stops at Blois and Amboise.


Linked forever with Joan of Arc, the historic city of Orléans celebrates her life, from the stained glass windows of the cathedral to the equestrian statue in the Place du Martroi. The city has a wealth of cultural attractions aside from Joan, including the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Hôtel Groslot, an original Renaissance hotel.

Chinon, a beautiful medieval town on the Loire


Next stop in the Loire Valley is the city of Blois, dominated by its Château in the centre of the city. Home to several French kings, this royal residence is particularly notable for its ornate interior decoration, with a number of gleaming state rooms carefully restored during the 1840s.


Amboise is best known as the site of another Château that played a role in French history. King Francis I grew up in the Château d’Amboise, as did Mary, Queen of Scots, and you can explore its magnificent royal chambers, underground passageways and beautiful gardens. Nearby is Château Clos Lucé, where Leonardo da Vinci spent his final years and died in 1519. The Château celebrates the artist’s life and achievements with a permanent exhibition and series of regular events.


Saving the best till last, Chinon is a medieval masterpiece – a walled fortress stretched out on the cliffs over the Loire, the town surrounded by vineyards. It is a French classic – half-timbered houses, steep narrow streets, charming waterside cafés and peaceful town squares.

Book your road trip with LeShuttle

Feel the magic of the open road in France, and take your dog with you. We can’t wait to welcome you at LeShuttle. Check in at the pet reception and don’t forget your doggy documents. Bon(e) voyage!

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