Family friendly holidays in the Vendée

Telephone: 00 33 (0)6 43 37 87 74

Maison Lairoux Blog Posts

We have lived in this beautiful part of France since 2006 and we have visited so many parts of this varied area - the flat plains along the coast, the rolling hills of the Vendée Bocage and everything in-between!

We thought it was about time that we shared some of our Vendée secrets with you, so here is the start of our Vendée Blog! We may also include some blogs about areas that are not in the Vendée, but are close enough that you can visit when on holiday.

The area is perfect for family holidays, with lots of activities for toddlers, young children and teenagers, so we will spotlight some of the main attractions in our up and coming blogs.

To get you in the mood for a holiday to the Vendée, here are our first couple of blogs about our favourite beaches here in the Southern Vendée and what to do if travelling to France with your Dog.
Travelling to France with your Dog

Top Tips for Travelling to France with your Dog

Are you planning a holiday to France with your furry friend? The beautiful Vendee region is a perfect destination for dog-friendly holidays in France. Whether you're exploring stunning landscapes, enjoying pet-friendly accommodation, or just relaxing on a summer break, both you and your dog are in for a treat. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you with travelling with your dog to France smoothly and make the most out of your holiday.

Preparing for Your Trip: Procedures and Requirements

Passport and Microchip

Before setting out, ensure that your dog has a valid pet passport and Animal Health certificate. This document is essential for travelling with your dog to France. Your dog must be microchipped, and the chip number should match the details in the passport. The AHC needs to be issued 10 days before you travel (at the earliest) and is valid for travel within the EU for up to 4 months (or until the rabies vaccination expires if that is earlier). If you leave the EU within that time, you will need a new AHC to return to the EU.


Ensure your dog is vaccinated against rabies. The first vaccination must be administered at least 21 days before the Animal Health Certificate can be issued and it should be up to date. This vaccination date and other details must be recorded in your pet's passport. The vaccination certificate is valid for 3 years.

Tapeworm Treatment

For dogs travelling to France from the UK, tapeworm treatment is no longer required before entering France. It is required for leaving France and returning to the UK though – we can book an appointment for you at the local vets in Luçon – they are very good and speak a little English if you don’t speak French.

Veterinary Health Check

A general health check by your vet is a good idea to ensure your dog is fit for travel. While not mandatory for the journey, it's beneficial for peace of mind.

Pet friendly holidays in the Vendee
Happy dogs equal happy owners on holiday

Travelling to France

By Car

Driving is one of the most comfortable ways for travelling with your dog to France. It allows for regular breaks and gives your dog a sense of familiarity. Ensure you have a pet harness or travel crate for safety.

By Ferry

If you choose to take a ferry, most companies offer pet-friendly services. Check with the ferry provider about their pet policies and book a pet-friendly cabin if available on a longer crossing. Ensure your dog is familiar with the ferry's environment to reduce stress.

By Train

The Eurotunnel is an excellent option for pet travel. Your dog stays with you in your car during the journey. Ensure you have all necessary documents ready for border control checks.

Travel to France with your Dog
Dog friendly holiday cottages in the Vendee

Staying in the Vendee: Dog-Friendly Accommodation

Pet-Friendly Holiday Cottages

Here at Maison Lairoux Holiday Cottages in the Vendée, we are very dog friendly. We have two spacious and welcoming holiday cottages that would be perfect for your four-legged friends – they are designed to make your dog feel at home with large gardens, shady seating areas, a basket of dog toys, dog treats on arrival and lots of nearby walking paths and trails – including several dog friendly beaches.

Local Pet Services

We have a lovely veterinary practice in the nearby town of Luçon, and we are happy to ring them to make an appointment on your behalf if needed. Here is a link to the Website for Clinique Vétérinaire d'Aunis in Luçon.

There are also several pet food stores and supermarkets in the town selling all the main brands of dog food – including raw and fresh food.

If you would like to pamper your pooch whilst on holiday, then you can visit one of the dog-grooming salons in Luçon – we can organise that for you too!

Fun Activities to Enjoy with Your Dog

Exploring Beaches

The Vendee boasts some of the most beautiful dog-friendly beaches in France. Plage des Conches and La Terrière are popular choices where dogs can run freely during certain times of the year. The long beach at La Faute sur Mer has several areas that are dog friendly, and the majority of other beaches will allow dogs on their leads throughout the year.

One thing to be aware of – the sand can get very hot in the summer, and this can be a problem for your dog’s paws! It’s best to visit either early morning or in the evening when the sand is at its coolest.

Here is a link to a list of Dog Friendly beaches in the Vendée: Dog Friendly Beaches

Dog friendly beaches in the Vendee Western France

Walking Trails

For the more adventurous, the Vendee offers numerous hiking trails.
• The Val de Yon has swimming areas along a boulder-filled river, plus a walking trail along the riverbanks.
• The Forest of Mervent is a stunning area with trails of varying difficulty. It's perfect for a day out with your dog, exploring nature and enjoying the fresh air.
• For a coastal trail – follow the Dyke Walk from La Faute sur Mer down to the Point D’Arcay.
• Lac de Finfarine – a circular walk around a lake, surrounded by forests – very tranquil!

Cycling Paths

If you enjoy cycling, the Vendee’s extensive network of cycle paths is dog-friendly. Bring a dog trailer or basket to ensure your pet travels comfortably. The trails through the Marais Poitevin are particularly scenic.

Dog-Friendly Attractions

Many attractions in the Vendee welcome dogs. The Chateau de Talmont and the Parc Floral de la Court d’Aron are great spots to visit. These places allow dogs on leads, making it a pleasant experience for both you and your pet.

Forest trails for dogs in the Vendee
Beach walks for dogs in the Vendee

Dining Out with Your Dog

Pet-Friendly Cafes and Restaurants

France is known for its dog-friendly culture, and many cafes and restaurants in the Vendee will welcome your dog. Outdoor terraces are particularly accommodating. Always ask in advance and be considerate of other diners.

Local Markets

Exploring local markets is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the French culture. Markets like those in La Tranche sur Mer and La Rochelle often allow dogs on leads. Enjoy fresh produce and artisanal products with your furry friend by your side.

Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday

Keep Hydrated

Always carry water for your dog, especially during the warmer months. Portable water bowls are handy for day trips.

Respect Local Rules

While many areas are dog-friendly, it’s essential to respect local regulations regarding leashes and cleaning up after your dog. Always carry waste bags and dispose of them properly.

Familiar Items

Bring along your dog’s favourite toys, bed, or blanket to help them feel secure in new surroundings.


If your dog is not used to being around other dogs or people, try to gradually socialise them before your trip. This will help reduce anxiety during your holiday.

Please also be aware that we have 3 cats here at Maison Lairoux – they are friendly, but do not enjoy being chased by dogs!

Amazing beaches for dogs in the Vendee
Keeping guard at Le Vieux Cafe

Travelling with your dog to France for a holiday can be a delightful experience with a bit of preparation. The Vendee region, with its stunning landscapes and dog-friendly beaches, offers everything you need for a perfect getaway. Follow the necessary procedures, plan activities that both you and your dog will enjoy, and you'll create unforgettable memories together.

So, pack your bags, grab the leash, and embark on a fantastic dog-friendly holiday in France!

Safe travels and happy tails!

If you have enjoyed this article, please feel free to share on social media…


Annette & Jason Khan
Annette Khan (Entreprise Individuelle)
Maison Lairoux Holiday Cottages
3 rue de la Motte, 85400 Lairoux, France

Maison Lairoux Holiday Homes

Tel: 00 33 (0)2 51 28 43 98
Mobile: 00 33 (0)6 43 37 87 74
WhatsApp: 00 33 (0)6 43 37 87 74
Siret: 53011496600019

This website uses “cookies” to help us provide a better user experience. Please note, if cookies are disabled, the online browsing experience may be limited.
We do not use cookies to track individuals or to store sensitive information such as your name, address or credit card details. For more details, see our Privacy Policy