France away from the crowds: 10 readers’ travel tips

Skiing, gorgeous gardens, atmospheric châteaux and villages feature among our tipsters’ discoveries, all linked by delightful wine and places to stay

We took a Eurostar then a train from Paris Gare de Bercy via Clermont Ferrand to Le Mont-Dore, a spa town at the source of the Dordogne river in the Massif Central. It’s certainly hidden France: we met no other Brits there earlier this month (February). There were only two runs open in this gem of a ski resort, so we walked through woods to an impressive waterfall – La Grande Cascade – along a path leading to the top of the ridge for a sunny picnic. We forwent watching the Six Nations in our lovely Airbnb flat to drink hot rum at a jolly buvette in the square and saw France beat England on its TV. We spent less than £1,000 on fares, flat, ski pass and food for a week.
Liz Little

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