For those of us lucky to spend extended periods of time in the valley, Autumn rapidly becomes the favourite season. That's not to say that Winter and Summer aren't fantastic but Autumn has a special character all of its own and the pace of life, never hectic it has to be said, slows down a little further.

A holiday might take a little more organisation because restaurants and shops aren't open every day, although the traditional weekly produce markets continue as usual, but the stunning colours, blue skies and bright sunshine more than make up for it.

Daytime temperatures can be around 22 - 24°C in September and 15 - 18°C in October with cool nights, which are perfect for relaxing in front of the wood burner with the first vin chaud of the season after a day out in the fresh air.

Mornings in the valley can be misty and foggy but a short walk or drive is often rewarded with fantastic views above the cloud sea.