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The variety of alpine walks in the French Alps makes it the perfect spot for a dog-friendly holiday. From mountaintop treks to lakeside strolls, there’s something to suit walkers of all levels!

But if you’re looking for specific hikes to do with your four-legged friend, you may be wondering: what are some dog-friendly walks in the French Alps? In this article, we will go over some tips for walking with your dog, as well as a variety of 1-3+ hour summer and winter hiking routes in our top destinations, including:

  • The Aravis
  • Portes du Soleil
  • Mont Blanc / Chamonix
  • Espace Killy
  • Paradiski
  • Les 3 Vallées
  • Evasion Mont Blanc

Read on to discover our favourite dog-friendly walks in the French Alps…


Tips for hiking with your dog

Going on holiday to the French Alps with your dog can be a fabulous experience, with incredible hiking trails and dog-friendly chalets, restaurants and shops! Discover some of our tips to keep in mind when walking with a dog in the Alps…

Preparing for your holiday

Before setting off, it’s important to make sure that you have everything with you to make your holiday experience as smooth as possible – both for you and your four-legged companion! Find out how you can do this with our 5 tips to get your dog holiday-ready.

Take precaution

When out walking we’d always suggest you keep your dog on a lead. Some of our walks will take you across fields with livestock in them. In such cases, it’s best to know how to act, especially if the herd is accompanied by a guard dog. Check out our article on guard dogs in the Alps for our top tips on how to avoid an uncomfortable situation!

It’s also worth reminding that the hunting season in France runs roughly from September to February. The dates vary by department, so it’s important for you to check the period during which people are allowed to hunt for your destination to avoid any possibility of accidents.

Take a look at this blog post for more tips on walking with your dog in the French Alps.


Dog-friendly walks around the French Alps

The Aravis

Heading to the Aravis? Take a look at our hike suggestions around the area, including Thônes, La Clusaz, Manigod and Lake Annecy…

where to walk with your dog in the French alps
Circuit Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Location: Thônes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Duration: 1h 30mins

This walk is a short hour and a half loop along the River Nom, just to the North-East of the town of Thônes.

The trek is named after the Swiss writer Jean-Jacques Rousseau who stayed at a manor house situated in the hamlet of ‘La Tour’, which you will pass along the way.

Stop for a picnic along the way and let your dog enjoy the shallow riverbank!

A small wooden bridge on the dog friendly hike the hameau des alpes loop over the river in a shady woodland
The Hameau des Alpes
  • Location: La Clusaz
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Duration: 1 hour

This hike is a nice, easy one-hour loop through the La Clusaz valley.

As you walk you’ll find some interesting information points dotted along the trail, giving you an insight into the scenery, nature and local heritage of this area.

While you enjoy the environment, your four-legged friend can enjoy the numerous woodland smells! 

The metal cross at the peak of the Colomban, a great spot to enjoy the views with your dog
Croix de Colomban
  • Location: Manigod
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Duration: 3h 30mins

This walk takes a good three and a half hours. The hike will lead you from the ski resort of La Croix Fry, part of Manigod village, to the Croix de Colomban, which is situated high above the town of Thônes.

The path takes you through dense forests and Alpine meadows and you will feel totally immersed in the stunning scenery. On a clear day, you will even be lucky enough to see Mont Blanc! 

Further down from the Aravis Mountains is Annecy, a beautiful bustling lakeside town. This change of scenery offers many other walks that are dog-friendly too. Discover more about hiking in Annecy here

Roc de Chère
  • Location: Lake Annecy
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Duration: 2h 30mins

The Roc de Chère is a lovely natural reserve perched right on the side of Lake Annecy.

Dozens of pathways criss-cross through the woodland area, with the trees offering excellent protection from the sun. Also, the proximity to the lake makes this hike all the more worthwhile!

walking in the alps with a dog
La Cascade du Pissieu
  • Location: Lake Annecy
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Duration: 1 hour

The trek up to the Cascade du Pissieu is a truly superb walk through the woods that will lead you to a stunning hidden waterfall.

The walk is most enjoyable at the end of winter, or shortly after heavy rain as that is when the current is strongest.

Mont-Veyrier
  • Location: Lake Annecy
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Duration: 3h 30mins

Mont-Veyrier is the closest mountain hike to Annecy town centre. Make your way there to find the starting point, and just keep following the trail upwards.

Once at the top, the panoramic view over the lake and the surrounding alpine mountains is unforgettable!


Portes du Soleil

Despite its vast scale, the Portes du Soleil (literally meaning ‘The Doors of the Sun’) remains charming and unique, making it a hotspot for some of the best walks in the French Alps. Take a look at some of our favourites in the area…

Mines de la Lappiaz – Ferme de Séraussaix
  • Location: Avoriaz
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Duration: 1h 55mins

This trail is dog and family-friendly, with opportunities for a shaded break at the Lil-Stash snowpark en route. It is one of the few walks in Avoriaz that doesn’t require catching a lift.

You’ll pass through forests and meadows along the way, perfect for exploring with your dog! If you want to read more about walks in Avoriaz, then download their walking guide here and find this hike on page 8.

Montriond Lake
  • Location: Montriond
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Duration: 2h 15mins

Montriond Lake is the third-largest in the county, created after a landslide from the Nantaux mountain. This beautiful spot is a popular tourist area if you’re looking for a spot to relax and enjoy a quiet afternoon immersed in nature. It’s also a great spot for your dog to meet other four-legged friends!

As you walk, you will come across a few notable spots, including the Ardent waterfall, the Albertans hamlet, and the majestic Roc d’Enfer. Find out more about Montriond activities here.

Discover our pet-friendly properties across the French Alps

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Mont Blanc / Chamonix

World-renowned for its stunning scenery and a multitude of Alpine activities, it comes as no surprise that the Mont Blanc is also home to some of the best walks in the French Alps! Here are some of our recommendations to help you plan your holiday…

Hike to La Floria
  • Location: Chamonix
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Duration: 1h 15mins

This trail is fantastic during the summer, as most of the path is shaded by forest trees. The itinerary begins along the road from Les Nants to Le Belvedere, where you can head up Chemin de la Floria up to the Petit Balcon Sud footpath.

This dog-friendly hike along a forest track is perfect for an afternoon out in nature with your four-legged friend. Don’t forget your camera to capture the breathtaking views over the Aiguilles de Chamonix, and stop by the refuge at the end of the hike for a taste of authentic Savoyard dishes!

walking in the alps with a dog
Bellevue Walk
  • Location: Les Houches
  • Difficulty: difficult
  • Duration: 2h 30mins

If you (and your dog!) are up for a challenge, have a go at the walk up to Bellevue lift station. Though this hike is a bit steeper, you will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the Chamonix valley!

Make your way from Les Houches to the Bellevue car park on the road towards Chamonix. From there, follow a windy road past various chalets until you reach the starting point for the Bellevue walk.


Espace Killy

Heading to the Espace Killy during your next mountain retreat? Check out some of our hiking suggestions to bring your dog along for a fun afternoon out…

walking in the alps with a dog
Vallon de Prariond Hike
  • Location: Val d’Isère
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Duration: 3 hours

Starting from the Pont St Charles parking, you will progressively make your way through the Gorge of Malpasset, with amazing views over the river. You will soon find yourself in the valley of Prariond, a green little paradise overlooking the nearby glacier. When you’re done, simply return to the parking lot by the same route!

Note that you may come across marmots on your way, so be sure to keep your dog on a lead in case they come to say hello!

Tignes Lake
  • Location: Tignes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Duration: 1 hour

Fancy a shorter walk around the area? Simply follow the trail around Tignes Lake! This is a great opportunity for dogs in the summer to cool off, and a great hike for the entire family.

If you want to extend the walk a bit, you can head off from Val Claret towards the lake and back, which makes it roughly a 1h30 round trip.

Though this walk is relatively easy, you’ll be sure to enjoy views of the reservoir/dam and a waterfall.


Paradiski

Taking your dog to the Paradiski area? Check out these walks around Les Arcs and La Plagne to make the most of the views with your dog…

Les Arcs 1600 to Les Arcs 1800
  • Location: Les Arcs Ski Resort
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Duration: 2 to 3 hours

Open in the winter season only, this is an enchanting walk from Arc 1600 to Arc 1800, where you walk through the trees. Just follow the Bellecôte path leading to the Hotel Arcadie and the Adret apartment building.

You can also take the option to loop around the Arcs, but bear in mind this does involve walking on the road for part of the journey.

walking in the alps with a dog
Parchey – Notre-Dame des Vernettes
  • Location: Peisey-Vallandry
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Duration: 45 minutes

If you want a quick walk open all year round, make your way to Peisey-Nancrois for a 3.9-kilometre trail around wildflowers (or snow if you choose to go during the winter season!)

Suitable for all skill levels, the trail is mostly used for hiking and nature trips. We recommend you go between June and October to best enjoy the natural surroundings.

Blanchets Lake
  • Location: Plagne Villages
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Duration: 3 hours

This walk is ideal for families with older kids and pets, especially during the summer. From the top of the mountain, there’s a great view of the Bourtes. Why not stop for a picnic with your dog and take in the sunny sights!

Starting from the Plagne Villages, follow the Col de Force marked path. Make your way to the top before turning left towards the Blanchets lake.


Other walks …

Le Plan de l’Eau
  • Location: Les Menuires
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Duration: 1 hour

Running parallel to the cross-country piste, the Plan de l’Eau in Les Menuires offers stunning mountain views, as well as a stream for dogs to swim. What’s more, is that this walk is not too long, making it perfect for smaller dogs.

Please note that you may come across cross country skiers while walking, so it’s best to keep your dog on a lead and don’t let them step in the tracks!

Auberge de Colombaz
  • Location: Les Contamines
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Duration: 1 hour

From the Parking de Bapteau, make your way towards Les Contamines’ authentic mountain restaurant with your four-legged friend! Enjoy the stunning views of the Mont-Blanc mountain range, as well as the charming wooden chalet in which the restaurant sits.

Though the restaurant is quite out of the way, it is a popular destination for tourists around Les Contamines. We would recommend booking in advance and letting them know you are bringing your dog – get in touch using this link.


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About Author

Hi, I'm Andrew and I am the Social Media Manager at OVO Network. I live in La Clusaz and love everything about life in the mountains. My favourite things to do are skiing, mountain biking and chilling by Lake Annecy with my little family! - andrew.goodman@ovonetwork.com