Hitting the ski slopes with your kids is one of the most magical holidays you can have. But some resorts are better than others when it comes to hosting mini skiers. Here are a few of our fave family-friendly ski resorts.
With access to over 200 pistes across the Portes du Soleil ski area, there's no time for the family to get bored in the car-free village of Avoriaz, France. Drop the kids off at the Village des Enfants ski school in the morning for some plough-tastic fun on the snow while you explore some backcountry powder bowls. Teenagers can get a serious amount of airtime with no less than ten snowparks to choose from. And no one will go hungry with a vast array of mountain restaurants. Need a break? Head to the tropical-themed waterpark 'Aquariaz.' The groms can splash in the fun pools while you chill in the sauna. Utter bliss!
If you've ever been skiing with young kids before, you'll know how important it is to have easily accessible accommodation. If you have to walk anywhere, you'll be the donkey carrying everybody's kit. The good news is, Flaine has heaps of ski-in, ski-out accommodation. It's also renowned for having plenty of snow, so getting around the car-free resort with your mini brood is easy-peasy! As one of the most popular family ski resorts in France, the slopes can get busy during the school holidays, but there's usually loads of activities for the kids to get involved with. And there's plenty to keep the litt'uns entertained off the slopes, too - take a spin around the ice rink, scramble up the climbing wall or jump on a husky sledge ride through snowy forests. Mush!
La Plagne is a classic family favourite. Made up of several purpose-built villages, this charming car-free ski resort oozes Alpine character and access to the mountain is hassle-free. Plus, with the majority of accommodation being self-catering, it's a cost-effective choice for young families who want to cook themselves. Renowned for its kid-friendly ski schools, La Plagne has dedicated beginner zones and heaps of gentle blues to help get the groms started. For big kids, the vast Paradiski area boasts plenty of variety, from cruisy tree-lined runs to gnarly powder bowls. Tired legs? Take some time out in the fun pool, slide down the mountain on snow tubes, or fly across the valley on a zipline adventure. Scream if you wanna go faster!
Varied terrain. Excellent ski schools. Relaxed apres ski. It's no wonder that La Rosière is a popular family ski resort. Les Galopins Kids' Club will keep the kids entertained from as young as 18 months old. And the Piou Piou ski lessons show mini skiers how to confidently cruise around the fun zone. Big smiles all around! Adults will love the mellow local blues. And if you fancy skiing two countries in one day, hop over the border to the neighbouring Italian resort, La Thuile, to discover steep red runs. To mix things up, race the kids down the toboggan run or book older kids onto the super wriggly Snake Gliss sledge ride. Ready to eat? Head into town to share cheesy fondue followed by chocolate crepes - mouthwateringly delicious!
The sky-high altitude of Obergurgl means it's one of the most snow-sure resorts in Austria. Cue great skiing all season, even during the Easter holidays. Easy-to-access nursery slopes are ideal for novice skiers, and little rippers who have already mastered the basics can build their confidence on gentle blues. Weeee! Family-friendly hotels and restaurants welcome kids with open arms, and the car-free village centre boasts loads of traditional charm. For fun off the slopes, get your skates on for a whiz around the ice rink. Or race down the mountain on toboggans.
With one of the largest ski schools in Austria, dedicated family areas, and heaps of gentle slopes, Zell am See is ideal for families with young children. Drop them off in the morning while you get in some kid-free cruising down beautiful tree-lined runs - the views of Zell lake and the surrounding snowy peaks are out of this world. Then enjoy a big plate of schnitzel and chips together in the grom-friendly mountain restaurants. Delish! There's loads to do off the slopes, too. Whiz down the alpine rollercoaster, explore snowy meadows on a horse-drawn sleigh or glide around the ice rink. Book a half-board hotel deal for hassle-free dinners, and enjoy a super quick transfer time of just over an hour from Salzburg.
If you're looking for a budget family skiing holiday, Andorra's Arinsal ski resort is a good bet. Set in the heart of the Pyrenees, there are usually lots of deals to be had, including free lift passes for kids under 6yrs, making it great value for money. From the Baby Club and Snow Garden sessions for young kids to group ski lessons for older groms, there's plenty of childcare options. They will have an absolute ball playing in the snow. And you'll get time to enjoy the easygoing blues and cruisy reds close to the main village. Win-win! Fancy some time off the skis? Have some old-fashioned family fun on the toboggan run, or hit the trails on snow bikes. The evenings can get pretty wild in Arinsal, but the bowling alley and table-football sports bars are family-friendly.
The quiet slopes of Passo Tonale offer excellent value for families, even during the school holidays. Not only will the kids love the delicious Italian pizza and gelato ice cream, but they'll also have heaps of snowtime fun. Bundle the kiddies off to the Fantaski Mini Club for a jam-packed morning of ski lessons, snow tubing and sledging. And take some time for yourself to explore reams of pristine pistes running down from the Presena Glacier. Cruise control on! Back in the resort, the evenings are chilled and laid back. Look out for the Fun Kid's Evenings with face painting, music and torchlight processions. Or head to the spa for a bit of R&R time - at 2753m above sea level, the views are spectacular!
Lech is the ski resort of choice for a deluxe family skiing holiday. At the heart of the vast Arlberg ski region with links to Stuben, St Christoph and St Anton, this is an epic ski playground for small and big kids alike. Bring it on! Gentle bunny slopes close to the village are perfect for the kids to master their snow ploughs. And oodles of easy blue runs will get them carving down the hill in no time. Powderhounds will get a kick out of the vast backcountry terrain. And teenagers can practice tricks in the Snowpark. So there's something for everyone in the family! Foodies won't be disappointed either, with high-quality restaurants and cosy bars to enjoy both on and off the mountain.
If you're worried about crowds during peak ski weeks, the purpose-built French resort of Les Arcs is well-equipped to handle the rush. Even during the school holidays, the resort doesn't feel overcrowded. Arc1950 is especially good for families. Self-catering apartments surround a central plaza with everything you need for a fun and hassle-free holiday. And access to the slopes is simple. Thinking of an Easter trip? The slopes reach as high as 3,000 metres, so the snow is usually good until late April. And for something a bit different, take some time off the slopes to visit the Ice Grotto with its spectacular ice sculptures. Or maybe even treat older kids to an overnight stay in the Igloo Hotel!
Hopefully you've found the gem you are looking for in our top ten, but if you need more advice, call our super friendly Heidi team. There is nothing more they love doing than talking about ski holidays!