HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR FAMILY SKI RESORT

Categories Families

Choosing the right ski resort for your family holiday can take a bit of planning, particularly if it’s your first time skiing together. Keep these pointers in mind and you’ll have a new family tradition before you know it.

Small is beautiful

More compact resorts tend to be easier to get around, because everything you need is close by and nobody needs to walk too far. Consider choosing a smaller ski area too, so that learners can build up their confidence on a set of familiar runs and meeting up for lunch is a breeze. And if your little ones are still little, look for resorts with short transfers, childcare, family-friendly accommodation and highly rated ski schools.

Why not try:

Flaine, France: Purpose-built, lots of family-friendly hotels and a short transfer.

Niederau, Austria: Quiet and compact, with lots of gentle blues that come down into the village. 

Soldeu, Andorra: Peace and quiet, excellent hotels and free lift passes for under-11s.

Ski slopes for all abilities

Nobody’s at the same stage of their ski life, so choose a resort with a range of runs and the whole family’s happy. Our resort pages give ski area ratings for beginners, intermediates, advanced and snowboarders, based on the expert knowledge of our team on the ground. You can filter any search by each ability, and there’s also a filter to show resorts that we know are good for all abilities. Throw in beginner zones and snow parks and you’re all set.

Why not try:

Kitzbühel, Austria: A sophisticated medieval town with a beginners’ snow park. 

Flaine, France: Big beginner zones and runs that all lead back to the same area. 

La Plagne, France: Beginner zones, snow parks and plenty of kid-friendly activities.

FAMILY WINTER ACTIVITIES

Having a family is the perfect watertight excuse to finally try ziplining, snow biking or dog sledding through the forests of Lapland. Non-ski activities are something new that you can all enjoy together and kids love them. Most resorts have a good range to choose from – be it tubing, snowshoe walking or cross-country skiing – but Canada and the Scandi countries top the list.

Why not try:

Levi, Finland: Easy slopes, winter-wonderland activities … and Santa himself.

Banff, Canada: Huskies, glacier walks, outdoor ice skating, all in national-park scenery.

Zell am See, Austria: A proper town with a mountain rollercoaster and loads of activities.

LOTS TO DO IN THE RESORT

Pick a resort with a bit of life to it and you can fill your evenings and any ski-free afternoons with quality family time. Ice rinks, climbing walls and all-singing, all-dancing swimming pools with flumes, lazy rivers and spas – whatever you’re into. Some resorts also have special kid-friendly activities, such as hot chocolates at the bottom of the slopes, kids’ winter markets and regular light shows in the evenings.

Why not try:

Alpe d’Huez, France: Sunny slopes and a very kid-focused resort.

Tignes, France: Swimming pools, slopeside sweet treats and evening light shows.

Sölden, Austria: A lively beginner resort with adventure pools and a sauna village.

Aquariaz water park in Avoriaz

FAMILY-FRIENDLY PLACES TO STAY

Convenience is key with family stays. Look for somewhere close to the slopes or ski-in, ski-out so you’re not carrying your ski gear too far. And have a think about which type of accommodation is most convenient for you. Some families love the space and flexibility of a self-catered apartment – you can eat where and when you want, and there’s extra space for family films or grown-up time once the little ones are tucked up. Other families prefer to relax in a hotel, particularly if the kids like to make new friends and you like to be looked after too. Or take a catered chalet with grandparents or another family, and you’ll have a real home from home.

Why not try:

Avoriaz, France: Ski-in, ski-out convenience, horse-drawn sleighs and a fun water park.

Arinsal, Andorra: Loads of budget-friendly hotels and apartments, and great runs for beginners.

La Thuile, Italy: Good-value stays close to the lifts and ski school, and quiet intermediate runs.

Browse our best family ski deals to get started. Or read more on our top ski resorts for young families.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.