Top 8 Activities: Winter Experiences

Here are the coolest (literally, see what we did there? 😉) dog‑friendly places we visited or stayed at throughout the years, from the French Alps and Switzerland to Scotland and Wyoming... We hope to inspire you to visit them in the future ❄️


GENERAL SAFETY & COVID NOTES:

‑ to avoid injuries to yourself, fellow animals or humans, please make sure to keep the humans on leash / under control on or near ski slopes in the Winter and because of the presence of wildlife or livestock in the Summer.

‑ to avoid stress and theft, NEVER leave your human to go inside a shop or café whilst you are waiting for them outside.

- please note that there may be some restrictions currently to the following activities due to the pandemic. Please always check local restrictions and guidelines before travelling.



1 - Iglu‑Dorf Zermatt (Alps, Switzerland)



From the gorgeous, pedestrian only village of Zermatt (@zermatt.matterhorn) embark the Gornergrat Bahn train (the world's first fully electric cog railway) up to the ephemerary @igludorf igloo village where you can stay for the night with your pup and wake up to admire the magnificent pink sunrise over the legendary Matterhorn. Both the train and igloo village welcome dogs and well behaved owners. The experience even just a day time visit is well worth the cost of the train and stay, once in a lifetime one!


There are several Iglu-Dorf villages in Switzerland, usually open from December to April depending on the location.


2 - La Mer de Glace & Chamonix-Mont Blanc Mountain Resort (Alps, France)


From the super dog‑friendly ski city of Chamonix (@chamonixmontblanc) in the French Alps, another scenic railway (Chemin de Fer de Montenvers) takes you up to “La Mer de Glace”. Arriving at the station at the top, it’s quite the adventure (not suitable to those not fit) to get to the glacier and the ice cave that were built underneath! First a small gondola lift then 430 steep metal grid steps (which dogs might not like, I was carried down and up) to go admire the sculptures. Several gondolas lifts in Chamonix as well as the Montenvers railway and the ice cave are dog friendly. Getting up and down those 430 steps can be done with a dog but many won’t like it and might need carried resulting in quite the workout for those humans!


Whilst going up the actual Mont Blanc is not something for a dog (or untrained human), the ski town of Chamonix (@chamonixmontblanc) and surrounding mountains are also fantastic to explore together in all seasons. It’s rare in our experience, several local gondola lifts and the scenic Tramway du Mont Blanc welcome dogs on leash in the Winter too (Chamonix – Planpraz gondola. Brévent cable car. Praz ‑Flégère gondola). Superb viewpoints at the top of the liftsnevi, including on the Mont Blanc, and walks to be had.



3 - Nevis Range Mountain Experience (Scotland)


The station is located 7miles away from Fort William (our preferred way to get to Fort William is on board the dog‑friendly @caledoniansleeper train) and can be accessed by car, cycling, on foot, taxi (some allowing dogs) or the 512 Shiel bus (dogs not allowed unless small and in fully contained carrier). Dogs are welcome to use the @nevisrange gondola to get to the top, free of charge. Loads of fun to be had in the snow in Winter, walks on trails all year around... and fantastic viewpoints! Please note that dogs can sit on the terrace but are not allowed inside the restaurant and café both up and down the mountain (something about hygiene... as if humans with snow boots full of muddy snow were more hygienic 😬) so if your human is alone and needs a warm drink or the loo, it’s going to be tricky...


4 - Singdean Alpine Chalet and B&B (Scottish Borders)




Surrounded by beautiful nature, the eco‑conscious @singdeanalpine retreat is a fantastic place to stay with your humans (complete with delicious home made breakfast and a wood fire heated hot tub for them to dip in). The self-catered cosy cabin is a child free zone but dogs are most welcome to stay in Christa and Del's haven. There is also a room adjacent to the main building that functions as a B&B however this one is for humans only. A real treat in the Winter and all year around. Great for those in need of a recharging break from social media too as there isn't much signal (but there is in nearby villages).


5 - Teton Pass, Wyoming (USA)


We were pleasantly surprised to find out that some of the trails welcome dogs as long as their humans are kept in their sight and under control at all times (there are moose and bears in the area, you really don’t want them to bring one back to you). Trail maps and rules for dogs visiting can be found in the PDF document HERE


6 - Les Arcs 1800 Paradiski Mountain Resort (Alps, France)


Marcel's first time in the snow in 2014, the ski resort got snowed in the night after we arrived and it was at least 3 corgis high! The gondolas and lifts @lesarcs do not allow dogs in the Winter but several cafés / restaurants do, inside or on their terrace (thankfully as one of us is a big fan of “après‑ski”). Tons of snow to play in around the resort and some nice walks with superb views too!


7 - Saint Jean d'Arves ‑ Les Sybelles Mountain Resort (Alps, France)


The free bus picking up skiiers from nearby villages to go to the ski resort welcomes dogs. Gondolas and ski lifts don’t for safety reasons but there are many trails to explore @lessybelles, and restaurants/bars (as well as some shops) to take your human to. Think raclette, fondue... The night time torchlight walk (with cheese tasting and hot chocolate) is a must and dogs are welcome to join (and try some of the local cheese). Plenty of self catered accommodations are dog friendly too all year around, situated in traditional chalets, residences or renovated farms with superb panoramas and a great village atmosphere (we stayed at Résidence Goelia Les Chalets des Écourts in March 2019, in a 2-bedroom apartment that cost a total of EUR375 for a week).


8 - "Ice Watch" at Tate Modern, London (UK) - Dec. 2018



Well that one is unexpected! Back in December 2018, 24 melting iceberg pieces were placed in front of the Tate Modern museum (@tate) in London, the latest work of Scandinavian artist Olafur Eliasson in partnership with geologist Minik Rosing. A reminder of global warming, the "Ice Watch" installation saw the two dozen blocks of ice, which weighed between 1.5 and 5 ton (and were were fished out of a fjord in Greenland after detaching from an ice sheet) melt in Central London as a reminder that Arctic ice is melting contributing to a rise in sea levels.

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