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France - - Les Nouvelles -

TRUF­FLE TOUR

For the ul­ti­mate gourmet get­away, look no fur­ther than this trip to the Lot Val­ley. As part of a small group, with the help of knowl­edge­able, English-speak­ing guides, you will have the su­perb op­por­tu­nity to hunt, buy, cook and – cru­cially - taste the re­gion’s fa­mous truf­fles, along with fine lo­cal cui­sine and de­li­cious wines. Price is from £1,658 pp (two shar­ing) for a six-night hol­i­day in­clud­ing two nights in Toulouse and four nights in Quercy, with meals, wine, truf­fles and gen­tle walk­ing, as well as flights, trans­fers and ac­com­mo­da­tion with break­fast. The tour de­parts on 2 and 9 Fe­bru­ary 2019. kirk­er­hol­i­days.com

NEW YEAR IN PROVENCE

With its vi­brant flora and fauna, it may be more renowned as a spring des­ti­na­tion, but there’s also plenty of things to see in Provence in win­ter. This eight-day hol­i­day is a bird­watcher’s dream: blue rock thrush, snow finch and alpine chough are some of the more un­usual birds you might spot through your binoc­u­lars. As well as wildlife, there’ll also be a chance to marvel at the re­gion’s stun­ning Ro­man-in­flu­enced ar­chi­tec­ture, in­clud­ing the walled me­dieval city of Aigues-mortes. Price is from £1,495, stay­ing at a comfy, fam­ily-run ho­tel in Ar­les with all food in­cluded. De­parts 28 De­cem­ber. na­ture­trek.co.uk

LOIRE BY HORSE

Be­gin­ners and ex­pe­ri­enced riders alike will en­joy see­ing the sights of the Loire Val­ley, with its breath­tak­ing cas­tles and vine­yards, from the sad­dle. Whether it’s con­fi­dence-build­ing lessons you’re af­ter or sim­ply some re­lax­ing rides out through the coun­try­side, this hol­i­day is suit­able for ev­ery abil­ity of rider. A real high­light is the pic­nic ride, where you can eat lunch near the gar­dens of the gor­geous Château de Vil­landry. Non-riders are wel­come, with Sau­mur and its at­trac­tions just a 40-minute train ride away. Price is from £495 for four nights B&B and three won­der­ful rides out, plus a pri­vate les­son if re­quired. eques­trian-es­capes.com

CHALET SPLEN­DOUR

For some après-ski lux­ury, look no fur­ther than this 200-year-old farm­house in Morzine that has been ren­o­vated to the high­est stan­dard. Af­ter a day on the slopes, noth­ing beats re­lax­ing in the out­door hot tub with breath­tak­ing views across Morzine. Guests can also re­quest to ‘Dine with Kat’, the owner of the hol­i­day com­pany and an award­win­ning chef who de­lights in the un­pre­dictable. A week’s catered stay at the chalet, from 9 Fe­bru­ary, costs from £1,606pp. alikats.eu

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