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Croatia ranks 2nd in Europe for dog-friendly hiking trails

Written by  The Dubrovnik Times Aug 31, 2022

Exercise is not just for humans, dogs need regular walks to keep fit and healthy too. It is especially great for your four-legged friend to be able to roam freely and maximise their play with dog-friendly routes, however, many parks and areas require a leash. 

With that in mind, Liverugbytickets.co.uk sought to find out which are the best countries in Europe where your dog can roam free. 

These are the countries with the most dog-friendly hiking trails! 

Rank

Country

Land Area (km2)

Dog Friendly Trails
(No Leash)

Dog Friendly Trails Percentage
(No Leash)

Dog Friendly Trails per 10,000 km2
(No Leash)

1

Netherlands

33,893

1353

23.39%

399

2

Croatia

55,974

1320

46.35%

236

3

Switzerland

39,997

555

5.39%

139

4

Belgium

30,278

240

4.85%

79

5

Luxembourg

2,586

20

2.42%

77

6

Ireland

68,883

520

25.44%

75

7

Portugal

91,119

654

19.20%

72

8

Denmark

42,434

302

6.74%

71

9

United Kingdom

241,930

1647

6.95%

68

10

Norway

365,957

1982

33.60%

54

1. The Netherlands – 399 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2 

The Netherlands is revealed to be the country with the highest number of dog-friendly trails per kilometre square. In fact, there are approximately 399 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2, where owners can let their pooch roam free. One of the best dog-friendly trails in the Netherlands is Wandelroute Hoogtepunten Kaapse Bossen, a 9.2-km loop trail near Doorn, Utrecht. It is considered to be an easy route and some of its areas welcome off-leash pets. 

2. Croatia236 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2

In second place is Croatia with 236 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2, where pets can wander around with no leash. One of the best dog-friendly routes in Croatia is Bol - Vidova Gora, a 10.5-km out-and-back trail near Bol, Split-Dalmatia. It is considered to be on the more difficult side as trails go, but its year-round beauty is worth the effort!

3. Switzerland – 139 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2

Switzerland comes in third place with 139 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2. Grindelwald - Gacier Canyon is one of the most breath-taking dog-friendly trails in Switzerland. It is an easy 4.2-km loop trail near Grindelwald, Bern. It takes approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes to complete and dogs are allowed to be off-leash. 

4. Belgium – 79 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2

In fourth place is Belgium, with 79 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2. One of them is Tour of Lake Nisramont, a moderately challenging trail, near Houffalize, Luxembourg. It takes approximately 4 hours and 11 minute to complete, it’s great for hiking and running and your dog is allowed to be off-leash. 

5. Luxembourg – 77 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2

In fifth place is Luxembourg, with 77 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2. If you enjoy hiking, backpacking and road biking, and would like to do these with your dog by your side, you should try the Bavigne Loop, a 9.2-km loop trail located near Lac de la Haute-Sûre, Diekirch.

6. Ireland – 75 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2

Ireland comes in sixth place with 75 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2. The Connemara and Diamond Hill Loop is a 7.6-km loop trail near Letterfrack, County Galway. It is considered to be a moderately challenging route, as some parts are quite steep and rough. It is advised to wear boots as the weather can turn wet and muddy very quickly. 

7. Portugal – 72 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2

In seventh place is Portugal with 72 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2. Considered to be one of the most spectacular trails in the Peneda-Gerês National Park, the Xertelo (PR9) - Trilho 7 Lagoas trail is located near Cabril, Vila Real and it’s perfectly dog-friendly!

8. Denmark – 71 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2

Denmark comes in eighth place with 72 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2. If you live in or are visiting Copenhagen, Amarmino has beautiful hiking trails that stretch from DR Byen in the north, over Sydvestpynten in the south and to Dragør Fort in the east. A very popular trail for hiking, backpacking and birding, this trail is also dog-friendly. 

9. The United Kingdom – 68 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2

In ninth place is the United Kingdom with 68 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2. If you are looking for a stunning walk that offers amazing sights along the way, you should try Janet's Foss, Gordale Scar and Malham Cove, a 7.9-km loop trail near Malham, North Yorkshire. It is considered a moderately challenging trail and it’s dog-friendly. 

10. Norway – 54 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2

Norway takes tenth place with 54 dog-friendly trails per 10,000 km2. If you are looking for an easy trail to try with your pet, the Bondhusvatnet trail is perfect for you. This is a 4.7-km out-and-back trail near Ænes, Vestland with breath-taking views of the forest, hills and lake. 

 

 

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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