Top 5 Family Ski Resorts
Elizabeth Willis | 03 September 2019 | Family Ski Holidays
Family ski holidays can provide our most treasured memories. Why not enjoy quality time together this winter and get the children outside enjoying the fresh air? There’s nothing better!
But what makes a resort good for families? There are several things you should consider when choosing where to go. Short airport transfer times are key for restless children. Once you're in resort, great ski schools, childcare and fun après activities are important to keep them busy both on and off the slopes, or on days when the weather might not be so good. For larger families, affordable accommodation options with easy access to the slopes can also be a crucial deciding factor. Finally, a large ski area keeps the whole family entertained, from the beginners to the experts!
With this in mind, we’ve selected our top 5 resorts for family ski holidays this winter.
High up in the Ötztal Valley, Obergurgl is a small, traditional village that is great for a family ski trip. With an excellent snow record and a very long season, Obergurgl offers some of the best skiing around half-terms and the Christmas or Easter school holidays. The area has over 100km of skiing, around half of which are blue runs. There’s a large beginners area for those less confident on their skis. Transfer times from Innsbruck airport are also short, at around 1.5/2 hours.
The village itself is very accessible. Most of our properties offer ski-in/ski-out convenience, but where ever you stay, you’ll never be more than 50m from the slopes! All ski schools meet in the centre of the village, which makes dropping the kids off and collecting them later very easy.
Popular with the rich and famous (including Princess Diana and Hugh Grant), the friendly, pretty village of Lech is an excellent choice of family ski holidays. It’s connected to the huge Arlberg region, Austria’s largest ski area with 306km of runs and 200km of off-piste. The transfer time from Innsbruck airport is relatively short, at around 1.5/2 hours.
The local ski school, Skischule Arlberg, is one of the oldest and biggest ski schools in the world, and offers a large number of options for ski lessons for all ages, including a kindergarten for those who are too young to ski, or just don’t fancy it.
Neighbouring Zurs is easily accessible by the free bus, and has plenty of wide, often almost empty runs. The best ski-in/ski-out accommodation can be found in Oberlech. Just 200m up the slopes from Lech, this satellite resort is only accessible by cable car in the winter months.
La Plagne is made up of 11 separate villages spread across the plateau, ranging from the modern and purpose-built to traditional farming villages. The resort is popular with British families, as its high altitude makes it a snow sure option throughout the winter season. The transfer time from Chambery airport is usually under 2 hours. On the whole, La Plagne Centre has the best facilities all round, but this does make it one of the busiest areas.
Connected to the huge 425km Paradiski area, so there’s something for everyone here. With miles of wide, gentle pistes (great for building confidence), there’s still a range of red and black runs, and sufficient off-piste, to keep the experts entertained. The runs stretch above and below the treeline, which means there are still many options for those days when the visibility might not be so good.
There are many excellent, child-friendly properties to choose from, lots of which offer ski-in/ski-out convenience, and a wide range of ski schools. Most of the villages have their own kindergartens for the youngsters. There’s also plenty to keep the kids occupied once the ski day has finished, including husky sledding, igloo villages and ice caves.
Les Gets is connected to the Portes du Soleil region, the biggest inter-linked ski area in Europe with 650km of piste to explore. The area around Les Gets mostly consists of blue and red runs, making it a popular base for beginners and families, however there is a variety of skiing to suit all abilities. The resort has a very short transfer time, located just 1 hour from Geneva airport.
Les Gets itself has a very French feel, with plenty of great food and wine on offer. It is an attractive, sunny village with lots of traditional, chalet-style architecture. It has a real alpine charm. The resort is popular with British families, and the minimal queues and uncrowded pistes make it an excellent option compared to some of the other French resorts, which can get very busy.
There are some fantastic nursery slopes around the centre of the village, perfect for children’s very first time on skis, and a great snow park for the more adventurous. The local ski schools are excellent, and several have won awards. The outdoor ice rink offers great entertainment after the ski day has finished.
French tourist ministry has bestowed the label of Famille Plus Montagne on Les Gets, which means the resort fits a huge range of criteria that ensure it offers the very best options for families with children ages 18 months and over.
Cervinia is high and snow sure, and boasts one of Europe’s longest seasons. With a transfer time of 2 hours from Turin, Cervinia is the perfect resort for beginners and intermediates, and an excellent choice for a sunny, Easter ski holiday.
The resort has miles of long, gentle runs that a great for building confidence in the 150km area. Whilst the beginners practice on the nursery slope in the village (with a long magic carpet), the experts can head over to Zermatt for more challenging slopes. What sets Cervinia apart is the scenery, with impressive views of the Matterhorn.
The resort offers good value for money, with prices are much lower than in neighbouring Switzerland. Accommodation is mostly based around the centre of the village, although there are some ski-in/ski-out options on the outskirts. There are great bars and restaurants scattered across the resort.
Whilst all these resorts are fantastic, this is by no means an exhaustive list. Other great resorts for family ski holidays we have to mention include Valmorel, La Rosiere, Meribel and Val D'Isere. There's lots of useful information and helpful tips in our guide on the best family ski resorts.
Give us a call on 020 7801 1080, and our ski experts can help you choose the best resort for your family ski holiday this winter!