I'd like to take a group of about 8 friends mountain biking in France for a week this year, and I'm looking for ideas of places to go. I've not been mountain biking in France before, so I don't know what the key areas are. We were thinking of taking a couple of cars over and hiring a cottage/chalet for a few days (lets say not more than 7 including getting there and back). The people I am taking are fit, but relatively new to mountain biking - I took them on their first red a couple of weekends ago, and they did fine and enjoyed it, but I think a black would be beyond them for the minute. People either have trail hardtails or full sussers of about 5 inch travel.
My other friends who are downhillers recommend Morzine, but having looked at Morzine, although it looks well set up, it seems quite full on. Are there more trail-ish options that are easy to find there?
What other options do I have?