Thermes du Mont-Dore

Parc Naturel Régional des Volcans d'Auvergne

Le Mont-Dore's graceful 19th-century buildings grew from its centuries-old spa heritage, which long pre-dates its reputation as a ski hub. See the source of its hot springs on a 45-minute guided tour of the grand bathhouses (French only; adult/child €3.50/2.50; 2pm, 3pm and 4pm Monday to Friday). You'll admire neo-Byzantine architecture, including gold-leaf-dappled tilework, be shown 'treatment rooms' (the vapours are thought to cure respiratory ailments), and take a sip of the water – brace yourself for a warmish, metallic-flavoured mouthful.

Alternatively, book ahead for a spa treatment (from €35). The Thermes are also open during school holidays in February or March, check with the tourist office.

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