No hip hotels or cool apres-ski scene - it's Auvergne

At some point in the history of ski, apres ski was invented, then came designer ski a la Colorado, then Posh and the kids posing for the cameras in the latest git wear. Well if that's your bag head off to ponceville for a two week posefest.

If, on the other hand you actually want to go to a ski resort and do some skiing - shock, horror- what a thought! then you could do worse than check out the Volcanic Auvergne region in the centre of France. Smaller queues on the piste, a day pass for about €20 and warm n cosy BnBs for about €60 - what more do you want?

The Auvergne is a national park of 80 craters and glacial lakes. Beautiful in summer, the dramatic landscape becomes nature's gift to skiers when it is covered in snow. It's ideal for exploring on cross-country skis or snowshoes. Or you could try mushing your own pack of Siberian huskies, kite skiing, or Nordic skijoring, where a horse gallops through the snow with the skier clinging on to a harness behind! (This is the time that holiday insurance should be brought up.)

The nearest budget airport is Rodez, about three hours drive from Le Mont-Dore and served by Ryanair, ryanair.com from Stansted, with returns from £28.

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