Walkers of all ages will delight in this 19th-century auberge, and the mountain village it stands in. Don’t be surprised if you’re offered a beer on arrival; from the main St Gaudens-Spain road, Melles is reached by a single track with 22 bends in it! Since 2016, this welcoming 1900s auberge has been run with enthusiasm and energy by Nathalie and Camille, keen mountain excursionists and lovers of good food. The ‘menu du jour’ – a seasonal three courses, different each day – is put together with style and attention to detail, and they make plenty from scratch: smoked duck, smoked salmon, orange rum liqueur, luscious jams. Downstairs: gleaming parquet and large French windows. Upstairs: spotless white walls, blue-grey colours, a few antiques; bedrooms are comfortable and tranquil. Summer breakfast, a simple seasonal affair, is served on a terrace where you can smell the lavender and the crisp mountain air; in winter, dining tables overlook a wood-burner and an open fire. Climb to the hilltop chapel at Saint-Béat, nip over the border into Spain.