The countryside of the Pailherols plateau that surrounds the aptly named Auberge des Montaignes is starkly beautiful. It lies between two mountain ranges (the Aubrac and the Puys) and is magnificent walking country. It is owned and run by the warmly welcoming Combourieu family, who are fourth-generation innkeepeers. Fresh and bright, with splashes of colour here and there, the bedrooms are split between three buildings. The main one also contains the cosy beamed sitting room and bright, cheerful restaurant, which is the heart of the place and devoted to producing an excellent cuisine de terroirc. A well-equipped games room, indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, gym, climbing wall and open-air activities on the doorstep make it a great place for energetic families. 'Unbelievable value for money' says a discerning visitor.