Motorhome holiday with a dog
The ideal combination of relaxation, nature and long walks.
In spring, it was time for me and my 3 dogs to pack our motorhome and hit the road. And that was in our Sun Living S70SP. For me, a motorhome holiday with dogs is the ideal combination to combine relaxation with sightseeing, nature, hiking, and a dog-friendly holiday.
Certainly, taking dogs along requires various special features in the organisation and implementation of the tour, but I'm happy to put up with that. My dogs are simply part of it and yes, sometimes it is time-consuming and a little inconvenient, but the joy of the shared adventures outweighs it.
Thanks to its large rear garage, which I had converted to be dog-friendly, the Sun Living S 70SP is perfectly suited for taking along and travelling with dogs. Despite the conversion, there is still plenty of storage space left over, but as a predominantly solo traveller, I don't usually use it to the full. Nevertheless, I am always amazed and delighted at the generous amount of space in the S 70. And that's just at 7 metres in length.
But now to our journey: First, I started with a highlight - the sightseeing tour of Strasbourg. The night before we had spent outside Strasbourg on a campsite in the middle of the forest. When choosing a campsite, I always make sure that it is suitable for dogs, i.e., that it offers at least good opportunities for walking. I'm happy to forego "luxury" for this, because it's important to me that the dogs have had enough exercise, especially before visiting cities. Our pitch was perfect, right on the edge of the forest with great paths to walk on and still only a good 9 kilometres from the centre of Strasbourg.
In Strasbourg itself, I had chosen the car park at the North Cemetery, from where you can easily get to the city centre by public transport. Strasbourg itself is a lively city with some nice sights. Besides the quarter "La petite France", with its traditional half-timbered houses, small alleys and many restaurants and cafés, I found the cathedral and the parliamentary quarter particularly worth seeing. The river Ill, which meanders through the whole of Strasbourg, gives the city a special charm.
After the city visit, we were drawn towards nature and drove along the Alsatian wine route, also called the "Route des Vins". This stretches 170 kilometres through the wine-growing region of Alsace and is one of the oldest tourist routes in France. The landscape is simply magnificent: rape fields, vineyards, wineries, picturesque villages and lush green meadows against the mountain backdrop of the Vosges.
The route is super suitable for motorhome drivers and the Sun Living S 70 was fully in its element. We drove leisurely from village to village, stopping where we liked, strolling through the small villages and enjoying the Alsatian flair. The view of the vineyards and the lovely countryside was totally relaxing. Driving was just total fun. There is a wide choice of pitches and campsites, so you can also enjoy one of the many wine tastings on offer and then relax at the end of the evening. It's simply nice to have your house on wheels with you and then make yourself comfortable in the camper van! I think the dogs also really see the camper van as a "second home" and were able to relax in it.
Along the wine route are the towns of Obernai, Dammbach La Ville, Ribeauville and Kintzheim, which we also visited. We stayed overnight in Obernai directly in the vineyards on a simple car park and in Kintzheim at the bird park. Both are not official campsites, but there are no prohibitions there either. The walking possibilities were ideal in both cases and the dogs found these stops super! Thanks to the solar panels, inverter and body battery, the Sun Living can be self-sufficient for several days. I find that a huge advantage. Most campers know and love this feeling of freedom, independence and flexibility.
Nevertheless, I always take great care not to disturb anyone, neither by my presence nor by the parked camper van or the dogs. We leave no litter, try not to attract attention and abide by the local rules. Especially as a multi-dog owner, this is always an important concern for me.
From the French wine route, we continued into the mountainous region of the Vosges. I had chosen the famous "Route de Cretes", also known as the Vosges Ridge Road. It is one of the most impressive mountain roads in France and runs along the main ridge of the southern Vosges at an altitude of almost 1,200 metres with a total length of 75 kilometres. It was originally built by French troops during the First World War as a supply road. Snow can still be present here until April, so driving with a motorhome is recommended from May to October.
From the Col du Bonhomme in the north via the Col de la Schlucht, Hohneck, Markstein, Grand Ballon and Cernay to Thann in the south, the route passes several World War I sites and touches the highest mountain in the Vosges, the Grand Ballon. Most of the time, deciduous and mixed forests line the road, or there are magnificent views of the forested slopes of the Vosges, the Rhine plain and the Black Forest on the opposite side. On clear days, the distant view reaches as far as the Swiss Alps and Mont Blanc. In short - a paradise for serpentine lovers and adventurous motorhome and campervan drivers. Certainly, the route, which is also very popular with racing cyclists and motorcyclists, requires some driving skill, but it is not exceptionally difficult to drive.
There are several spacious parking areas along the route to enjoy the view, go hiking or mountain biking or stop at a restaurant. In the winter months, you can also enjoy winter sports here. There are also plenty of camping and parking spaces, so you can certainly spend several days here. Two very beautiful lakes, Lac Blanc, and Lac Noir are directly on the route, but parking is somewhat limited.
The Route de Crete ends in Cernay, but I decided to take a shortcut and head for Colmar. Colmar is the third largest city in Alsace and exudes a particularly endearing charm. The old town is characterised by cobbled streets and half-timbered houses from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. "Little Venice" impresses with canals that run through the cityscape. Nowhere else can you find better tarte flambée.
In Colmar itself, I stood at the Camping De I'lll campsite directly on the river. With a view of the river, it was always particularly nice in the morning to open the blind and the window of the rear bed of the S70 and enjoy the idyll.
The only downside: the very noisy motorway on the other side of the river. But the view, the very nice campsite operators, the clean sanitary facilities and the spacious meadow site right on the river bank made up for it. The walk to the centre of Colmar is a bit long at just under 30 minutes, so bicycles are definitely a good idea here. Unfortunately, the walking possibilities are somewhat limited due to the location, but for one night it was ok with the dogs and the dogs were welcome. However, despite the beautiful campsite, I wouldn't want to stay there any longer because it wasn't quite ideal for my purposes.
From Colmar, I set off again with the 12 Paws towards Germany. We want to drive along the wine route on the German side and get to know Rhineland-Palatinate.
Our first stop is Wissembourg, right on the border. Here we fill up the diesel tank and the wine supplies again, we simply have to. I'm always pleased to see how well-equipped France is when it comes to campers. The network of pitches and supply stations is very large, apparently the French are generally very fond of camping. It is also noticeable that you are greeted a lot while driving. There is also always a great willingness to help, which is often a great benefit to me as a predominantly lone traveller.
Wissembourg is a nice little town, worth seeing is the old town with the quarter "Le Bruch" along the town wall and the old wash house on the Lauter. It is also not far from the German Wine Gate, which is definitely worth a visit.
We continued along the German Wine Route, which is just as beautiful to drive as on the French side. The landscape almost reminded me a little of Tuscany. Typical for the Wine Road are not only vineyards as far as the eye can see, but also kilometre-long almond tree avenues that colour the countryside pink in spring. Many events and guided walks take place during the "almond blossom".
Countless hiking opportunities, excellent cuisine and nice villages quickly drew me in and so we spent a few more very relaxing days at the campsite in Klingenmünster. This is even free of charge and offers electricity and waste disposal facilities for a fee. A visit to the Landeck ruins concluded our Alsace and Wine Route Road trip before the Sun Living S70 brought us safely back home. And as we all know, after the holiday is before the holiday, so hopefully we will soon be planning our next trip!
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