We’ve picked out our favourite resorts for families with older kids. Between the accommodation, skiing, activities and food, this is one holiday they’ll be bragging about for years to come.
Méribel’s a good base for intermediate-skier families who are new to the Three Valleys. It’s right in the middle of the ski area, so you can head out in any direction to explore the massive 600km of piste. When you’re not on the slopes, keep the kids entertained at the big indoor pool or ice skating rink at the Parc Olympique sports centre. Méribel can get pretty lively in the evenings, and Le Rond Point is a popular pick for music-lovers. Spend a couple of hours listening to live bands or DJs and still be home in time for dinner. If you prefer a quieter atmosphere, stay just up the road in Mottaret.
You might also like: Kitzbühel, Austria
If you’re after a more cosmopolitan vibe, go for Kitzbühel. The varied food scene will help avoid repetitive mealtimes – as well as hearty Austrian meats and dumplings, there are plenty of gourmet picks, from Italian to seafood. Kids who are fairly new to the mountains will like the smaller ski area – though there are still over 160km of green and blue runs to keep them from getting bored.
Canadian friendliness and our shortest North American flight time combine to make Tremblant a tempting choice for families. Most of the accommodation is ski-in, ski-out, so impatient kids won’t have to wait to get on the slopes. There’s a ton of restaurants to keep teenage appetites satisfied – from steakhouse specialities at La Forge Grill to poutine at Smoke’s. The small ski area is easy to get around, all of the slopes end up back in the same place, and there are long green runs that beginners will be happy to do again and again.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: SUN PEAKS, CANADA
All the charm and convenience, but with a much bigger ski area, Sun Peaks is a great pick for intermediate families. It’s got over 4,000 acres of soft powder, sunny bowls and quiet runs – perfect for uninterrupted exploring. The resort is ski-in, ski-out, so there’ll be no complaints from the kids about lugging their gear around. And loads of the hotel rooms have a kitchenette, so you can choose whether to cook in or eat out.
The whole family can let their inner children reign in Ylläs. Its Arctic Circle location means great snow right from the start of the season – ideal if you’re limited to the Christmas school holidays. The gentle ski slopes give beginners a chance to get their bearings, but this place is really all about the activities – snowmobile safaris, dog sledding and reindeer sleigh rides will have both teens and adults grinning all week long. And you’re never too old for a snowball fight.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: BEITOSTØLEN, NORWAY
Beitostølen is full of cosy cabins and modern apartments, making it a great pick for families who want something a bit more homey. The little village is quiet in the evenings – just right for laid-back teens who are happy to stay in and watch a movie or play board games. Everyone can learn the basics in the small ski area, and all of the slopes come back to the same place, so you can ski together or split up without any worries.
Snowsure Obergurgl is a top choice for the Christmas and Easter school holidays, when lower resorts may have poorer snow cover. The ski area is relatively small, and the lifts and slopes all spread out from the resort centre, so navigating is easy for first-time visitors. At lunchtime, head to the Top Mountain Crosspoint to refuel – the futuristic design, jaw-dropping views and onsite motorbike museum are Instagram gold. If your teens still have energy to burn, the Freizeit Arena in nearby Sölden has a huge indoor pool, tennis courts and a bowling alley.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: SELVA VAL GARDENA, ITALY
For families who want great snow quality on a much larger scale, it doesn’t get better than Selva. It’s part of the biggest linked ski area in Europe – the 1,200km Dolomiti Superski – so mile-munching teens will never run out of piste. The resort’s location in South Tyrol means the atmosphere is a mix of friendly Austria and laid-back Italy that will make everyone feel right at home. Plus, authentic pizza is always a winner for picky eaters.
The Portes du Soleil ski area has five snow parks to play in, so teens who want a break from downhill can try their first jumps. Avoriaz’s car-free centre is easy and safe to get around, and the accommodation is mostly self-catering apartments, so mealtimes can be as flexible as you like. Special events keep things lively, especially during the Christmas holidays, when light shows, ice sculptures, sleigh parades and fireworks light up the town.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: LES ARCS, FRANCE
Les Arcs is made up of five villages, each with its own vibe – from après-focused Arc 1800 to quieter Arc 1600 – so you can choose the mood that suits your family. It’s known for its great variety of slopes and reliable snow, so conditions won’t be a worry in early and late season school holidays.
Bring your family together for a week in the mountains and even the most independent teenagers will soon be begging to go back. Take a look at our latest deals to start planning your next adventure.