Your dog may love the beach, but whether the beach loves your dog is a different matter entirely. Many beaches operate a strict “no pets” policy, making it difficult to indulge in a sunshine getaway without leaving your pet to pine at home. But take heart… in recent years, more and more beaches are relaxing their rules and allowing your pet to enjoy the sand as much as you do. Some allow free access; others permit pets in designated zones only. With a little research, you’ll have no trouble in finding a suitable option. To get you started, take a look at our choice of the top 20 dog -friendly beaches in Europe.
Bi Dog Beach, Fažana, Croatia
If you’re travelling down the coast of Croatia, by sure to stop by Bi Dog Beach. As its name suggests, four legged companions are not only allowed, they’re very welcome. No need to bring a leash; the beach is one of the few around that allows your pet to explore unhindered. The beach is accessible via the Bi Village campsite - a great, dog-friendly campsite that makes a fabulously cheap option for anyone looking to extend their stay. Entrance to the beach is free, and there’s no restriction on where or when your pet can bathe. Before you get to caught up in the beach’s charms, be warned: you may find it caters more to your dog’s comfort than it does to yours. Don’t expect loungers, water sports, or activities- this is a beach strictly designed for rest and relaxation. Bringing your own towel and a book to pass the time is recommended.
Balatonföldvár Dog Beach, Balatonföldvár, Hungary
This fabulously unusual beach destination for pet- lovers lies in the Balatonföldvár region of Hungary. Don’t come if you demand some sea with your beach; this atypical beach is set around the majestic Lake Balaton, Hungary’s premier tourist destination and one of the country’s most beautiful spots. The pet- friendly beach consists of a 8000 square feet playing area for your pooch to run around in to their hearts content, and enough shaded areas for them to cool down afterwards. The beach is open daily from 7am to 8pm.
La Prora Beach Village 41, Pescara, Italy
If you want a warm welcome for you and your canine companion, check out the delightful La Prora Beach Village in Pescara, Italy. With umbrellas, sun loungers and freely available dog bowls, fresh water, snacks, obedience classes and agility lessons, you couldn’t ask for a more pet friendly destination. To cap it off, the beach also offers a dog-friendly pizzeria.
Playa Can, Gandía, Spain
In Spain? Fancy a walk along mile upon mile of white, sandy beach with your four-legged friend for company? Then pack up your beach towel and head down to Playa Can in the Gandía region of Valencia. The Blue Flag beach makes an ideal spot to soak up the sun while your dog cools off in the gentle waters of the Mediterranean. As one of the few spots in the area to welcome pets, you couldn’t ask for a more pet- friendly destination.
Spyros Beach, Larnaca, Cypress
Finding a dog- friendly beach in Cypress can be a challenge, as the country has some of the strictest policies in Europe about where you can and can’t take your pet. So rejoice in Spyros Beach, Larnaca, a dog-friendly, idyllic spot within perfect travelling distance of Larnaca International Airport and the pretty village of Meneou. The clear, shallow waters that lap the beach are ideal for a cooling splash around. While the beach doesn’t have much in the way of amenities, it does at least allow you and your canine companion to soak up the Cypriot sun without being hit with the 85 Euro pet fine you’d get elsewhere on the island.
Burrow Beach, Dublin, Ireland
If you and the pooch fancy getting away from it all while still enjoying easy access to city amenities, Burrow Beach in Dublin, Ireland may be just the ticket. Easily accessible by either bus or car from the Irish capital, Burrow’s 1.2 kilometers of sandy beach can’t be beaten for a bracing sea walk. After even a short visit, you’ll leave with no question of why it was awarded the Green Coast Award in 2018.
Killiney Hill Beach, Dublin, Ireland
If you’re down Dublin way, put down the Guinness and refresh your senses with a stroll along Killiney Hill Beach. Don’t worry about bringing the leash; dogs are free to run this beach to their hearts content. Once they’re exhausted from their exertions, head on over to the “The Coffee Shop”, a peaceful little cafe with outdoor seating and a dog friendly attitude.
Howth Secret Beach, Dublin, Ireland
If your dog loves nothing more than a walk along a deserted beach, treat them to a visit to Ireland’s Howth Secret Beach. Its called secret for a reason, and even during the hottest months of summer, you’ll rarely encounter a soul as you stroll the pristine golden sands. As Pass Pawt notes, the sand is packed, which makes it easy for walking, and even better for digging. Once you’ve had enough of the beach’s sandy delights, head into the nearby fishing village of Howth, where you can explore the local craft market, or pick up some organic delicacies for you and the pooch at one if its many food stalls and eateries.
Noordwijk, The Netherlands
If you want a treat for your senses, the Dutch beach of Noordwijk is sure to appeal. Come in spring to witness the botanical delights of tulip season, during which the area is transformed into a multicolored patch of horticultural wonder. The pet friendly credentials of the connecting town can be seen in its abundance of dog- welcoming canteens, cafes and eateries, while the local tourist board has even gone to the effort of producing a local guide to the best dog walking routes in the area.
Le Touquet, France
If your dog has energy to burn, they’ll love the opportunity to stretch their legs along La Touquet’s 7 kilometer stretch of sandy beach. Although it’s one of the few beaches on our list to allow dogs to wander unleashed, there’s more to Le Touquest than just an unencumbered run. Dotted along the beachfront are a series of pet- friendly eateries, making it the perfect place to test your pet’s palette with some traditional French cuisine. Tickle their taste buds with some delicious moules-frites to give them a holiday to remember.
Carradale Beach, Scotland
If you like to take in some local scenery while you’re walking Fido, the stunning Carradae Beach in Scotland is sure to keep you satisfied. Thanks to its backdrop of dramatic mountains and glades of mountain flowers, few beaches in Scotland (or, indeed, the world) can claim such beautiful surrounds. Once you and the dog are tired of walking, pop into nearby Carradale, which has plenty of pet friendly eateries on offer, along with a number of accommodation options should you choose to extend your stay.
Potami Beach, Samos, Greece
If your dog likes to paddle, Potami Beach on the North-East coast of the Greek Island of Samos will be sure to tickle their fancy. The pebble beach is ringed on one side by the crystal- clear waters of the Mediterranean, and on the other by dramatic, densely forested cliffs. If lounging around the beach all day makes your dog yawn, treat them to a walk to the nearby Potami waterfall, a stunning example of what makes the area one of the hottest destinations for both locals and tourists alike.
Pineta Beach, Porto Recanati, Italy
If you don’t want to leave the pooch behind while you grab some Italian sunshine, head over to Pineta Beach on the northeast coat of the Marche region. Boasting a 2 km strip of sandy coastline, the town is a seafood lovers delight, with multiple restaurants competing to offer the best locally caught lobster, sea bass and calamari. If your dog would rather soak up the area’s beach life than sample its cuisine, they’ll love the amenities of this doggy paradise, which include free pet showers, food bowls, waste bags and a playground.
Llevant Beach, Barcelona, Spain
If you’re heading to the Spanish capital of Barcelona, take a break from the nonstop tapas and sangria for a walk on Llevant Beach. As one of the few beaches in Barcelona to accept dogs, Llevant offers an ideal playground for your pet, with dog urinals (no, no idea either), drinking fountains, and even dedicated showers to help them cool down after a hard day’s digging. But be warned: if you want to enjoy the beach’s pet- friendly vibe, you’ll have to be get there early- we don’t know who’s counting, but the beach will accept a maximum of 100 dogs at any one time.
Skateholm Beach, Sweden
If your pet is made of stern stuff, they’ll enjoy a dip in the ice-cold waters that lap the pristine white sands of this premier Swedish destination. After they enjoy their cooling swim, why not take in some local history with a visit to the local Mesolithic settlement… although, as a word to the wise, it may be best to keep them leashed for this particular venture. There’s nothing quite like the sight of a dog with a 6000-year-old bone in its mouth to stir up some Swedish wrath.
Saunton Beach, Devon, England
With a stunning backdrop of the UK’s most extensive series of sand dunes, Saunton Beach in Devon may just be one of the most pet- friendly beaches in England. Its annual Paws on the Beach event is a doggy delight, with a dog show, agility competition, and the UK’s only dog surfing event featuring special trained dogs from the Paws on Boards Surf School.
La Spiaggia di Pluto, Bibione, Italy
From May to September, you and your pet can enjoy sunbeds, water bowls, free poop bags, dedicated doggy showers, playgrounds, and unlimited access to the pristine waters of the Mediterranean Sea at this Italian paradise for pets. The beach doesn’t just cater to the immediate sensory pleasures of your pet, it also takes care of their safety with free, readily available information about local veterinary centers. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also free agility lessons, pet games and, for naughty pups, an obedience course to get them back on the straight and narrow.
Lido de Fido, Grado, Italy
If you want to treat your dog to some Mediterranean sun, head on over to Lido de Fido, Grado, Italy. The beach is equipped with all the amenities you’ll need for a pet-friendly excursion, including beach umbrellas, deck chairs, beach beds, leash holders, dog waste baskets, freely available water bowls, and an easily accessible parking area. You‘ll also be treated to a dedicated dog washing area. If that all sounds to good to be true, just bear in mind the beach has some pretty stringent rules in place. Before you even consider venturing onto the sand, check that your pet is micro-chipped; if they aren’t, you’re going to need to find an alternative destination. Your pet may take a dip in the sea if they feel so inclined, but they’ll need to restrict their splashing to the designated areas only. Dogs that breach the barriers are unlikely to be greeted with a friendly pat on the head.
A warm welcome awaits your four-legged pal at Croatia’s first officially dog-friendly beach, Crikvenica. The pebbled beach offers plenty of shade for your dog to cool down after a vigorous splash in the Adriatic, while Monty’s Beach Bar takes things to the next level with a dedicated doggy ice cream, and “Snuffle”, a special, non-alcoholic pet “beer”.
Rimini No Problem Dog Beach, Rimini, Italy
If you want to enjoy the delights of this Italian beach in Rimini, you’d better have a dog by your side. Unlike most beaches that allow dogs only if accompanied by a responsible human, this beach bucks the trend by accepting humans only if accompanied by a responsible dog. As you’d expect, there’s no shortage of dog-friendly amenities on hand, including doggy showers, dog mats, water bowls, and even an agility area. If your pet is feeling sociable, they may like to leave you to soak up the sun while they make some friends at the free training classes.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker