Best Family Ski Resorts

Where to bring the brood for an incredible ski holiday.

Avoriaz

Recent €200 million improvement, Top snowboarding d...

Great for:

  • Freestyling
  • Families
  • non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Obergurgl

Long ski season, Chic and cheerful, Ski in / ski out

Great for:

  • Families
  • Tyrolean charm
  • Snow Sure

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Yllas

Short transfers , Northern Lights, Finland’s biggest...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

La Rosiere

Off piste snow cross, Ski France & Italy, Famille Plu...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Beginners
  • Kite Skiing

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Mayrhofen

Freestyling heaven, Tyrolean charm, Altitude & Snowbo...

Great for:

  • Families
  • groups
  • après ski

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Meribel

3 Valleys ski area , Excellent ski schools , Lively a...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Mont Tremblant

Traffic free village , Award-winning resort , Evenly...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Doorstep skiing
  • Short transfer

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Flaine

All round resort , 265km well-groomed pistes, Ski in/...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Intermediates
  • Snow-sure

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Lech

Some of the best snow in Austria , Traditional charm...

Great for:

  • Luxury
  • High Altitudes
  • Powder snow

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

La Plagne

Paradiski Ski Area, Bobsledding, High Altitude Skiing

Great for:

  • Beginners
  • Glacier Skiing
  • Off Piste

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Top 10 Most Popular

Nothing trumps a family trip to the mountains – especially one that begins with minimal hassle and ends with rested parents, beaming sprogs and a bunch of happy memories.

From fabulous learning facilities to fun activities and delightfully short transfers, these resorts have gone the extra mile to make family skiing holidays extra special.

Top 10 Ski Resorts for Families

Sleighs are the main mode of transport in Avoriaz (there’s a blanket ban on cars), plus the whole place is ski-in, ski-out – so holidays here are a super blend of exciting and convenient. A better resort for first timers you will not find. Only the thickest of hot chocolates will tempt them from the Village des Enfants’ private bunny slopes, obstacle courses and post-ski activities, where improving technique is made fun. It’s helped Avoriaz’s British and French ski schools earn quite the reputation for transforming tentative turns into confident carves. If the nippers want to start off on one plank rather than two, this also the only resort we know of where snowboarding tuition starts at the tender age of 3 (wait ‘til you get a load of the mini Burton park…). Teens go wild for the snowparks and The Stash, a tree-lined course riddled with organic obstacles made from local forestation. Meanwhile, experienced family members can ski wild and free in the goliath Portes du Soleil region. At the end of a smashing ski day, reconvene for recreation in Aquariaz - Europe’s highest waterpark - where paddling, spa time and waterslides keep the whole clan content.

Take a charming, traffic-free village, plonk it high in the Austrian Alps and fill it with child-friendly hotels and chalets. Then finally top it off with gloriously scenic, snow-sure pistes (for beginners and intermediates) and you’ve got an outline of Obergurgl. We love the fact that it’s so high in the Ötztal Valley, feeling worlds away from the office and school. Here your day job is to relax while the kids enjoy themselves, with the mountains as their classrooms and local instructors in the teacher’s seat. Perfecting their snow plough on the Mahdsthul nursery slopes will see beginners off on the sky high carvers in no time. Not that you’re pressed for it - a snow sure season here lasts from November right through to May, and conditions in the Christmas, Half term and Easter holidays rarely get better than these.

Joy to the world - a ski resort where it’s Christmas all season long can do no wrong when you have tots in tow. Re-kindle the yuletide magic even in deepest darkest March by having them meet the REAL Santa in his own home – trust us, one week here and you’ll all be believers. If they’re a little old for a one-to-one with St Nick to leave them grinning, a reindeer or husky sleigh ride should do the trick. For those here to ski, the gifts keep on coming – uncrowded, easy-going and groomed to perfection – the slopes are a parcel tied up in string for beginners. After an afternoon jamming on the pint-sized snow park, cook smores on its fire pits and repeat ‘she’ll be coming round the mountain’ to your heart’s content. The delights continue on the table in restaurants like Yllas Kota, where they cook pizzas on mini ovens brought to your table. The hearty reindeer goulash will keep tired parents ticking till bed time (just don’t tell the kids that Prancer’s on the menu...).

Even La Ros’ piste names seem to have been designed with children in mind: From ‘butterfly’ to ‘fox’ and ‘sheep’. They’re all en francais, of course, but that just means the kids can delight Mademoiselle with their newfound vocab back in the classroom. Among these, we couldn’t have come up with softer, more scenic routes for family skiing if we’d carved them out ourselves – including lots that cross the border into Italy. Sprogs always go nuts over the fact that they’ve skied between 2 countries (not to mention, REAL Italian pizza). This is the resort where, ‘children are royalty’, and some of our favourite family chalets are your castles, with loyal chalet childminders who care for the titchiest tots. Possibly the best bit of all: A resort-wide hush falls across the land come bedtime – the perfect conditions for sweet dreams, while you put your feet up with some well-deserved vino.

Whether you stick to one mountain, flit between both or spend all week in town, family members big and small will have a hoot in Mayrhofen. The Ahorn is all about the easy breezy: A handful of cruisey pistes, a beginner-friendly Funslope and the White Lounge Igloo Village – where little Eskimos can run wild while you sit back on a deckchair and enjoy a drink overlooking the Zillertal. The Penken Mountain’s your destination for adrenaline, where the intermediate slopes and freestyle features will make those with a few ski weeks under their belts feel all grown-up. Off the mountains, the tourist office have thought of everything, providing buggies for hire in recent seasons. They up the winter magic factor with activities like horse-drawn sleigh rides and outdoor ice skating, and lay it on really thick at Christmastime when traditional markets, torch lit walks and an endless supply of sticky sweet treats come to town… And it’s all within an hour of Innsbruck airport, keeping “are-we-there-yet”s to a happy minimum.

Being such a massively popular resort among Brits, young ones’ll have no trouble making new friends in Meribel, whether it’s in one of millions of family-friendly chalets or the bustling good fun of ski lessons. Speaking of which, the quality of schooling is terrific: Independent British companies and beginner “Zen” and “Cool” zones are the perfect pairing for initiations to the snow. There’s plenty to enjoy together, including child-orientated slopes dotted with exciting features, like the Inuit Piste where they can combine skiing with igloo building, and Moon Wild – an animal themed trail accessible to both skiers and non-skiers.

Tell them they’re skiing in Whoville and they’ll probably believe you - Mont T’s brightly coloured buildings look like they’ve come straight from a Dr Seuss book, and the activities on and off the slopes are just as magical. The learning facilities are state of the art, with the TAM-TAM kid’s zone an idyllic mix of wide pistes and meandering forested runs dotted with games and animal sculptures. The ski schools provide GPS armbands, so you’re always on top of their whereabouts and they can compare speeds and distances with new pals. Fussy eaters will find something to please among the mix of French and American eateries, from fondues to fabulous Maple Taffy. Add the fact that this is one of the easiest North American resorts to reach from this side of the pond (not to mention has a delightfully short transfer when you land) and you won’t need to ask the British regulars here why they always return.

Don’t knock a purpose built resort – especially if, as in Flaine’s case, it was designed for the purpose of making skiing nice and hassle free. Those savvy engineers made sure that you’re only ever moments from the nearest slope or lift anywhere in Flaine – i.e. no more trudges to and from the fairy-tale Forest ski run for the young, or the Grand Massif’s greatest powder hits for the more experienced. Save some praise for the excellent ski schools, which ensure everyone’s raring to go in the mornings. The snow quality is nearly always spectacular, good news for Christmas and Easter school holidays – when they also put on all sorts of free kids activities and events, from fireworks to face painting.

It’s not often a resort with this kind of gourmet and spa cred also actively courts fame for family skiing, but Lech has never been one to follow rules. That ski area, for starters: ridiculously snow sure, with absolutely everything from wonderfully groomed blues for beginners to white knuckle off-piste (family skiing’s not just about the kids). For relatives in the first category, the tuition’s fantastic (no surprises there) – the Arlberg school, one of the oldest and biggest in the world, teaches kids from 3 in small groups of no more than 5. And for those higher up the scale, the Arlberg’s legendary powder and first class guides await. Accommodation doesn’t let the side down, with ski out options up on the mountain as well as traditional lodgings in the village, which is, as it happens, one of the prettiest we’ve ever set eyes on.

Everything about La Plagne is big and varied, but it still somehow manages to feel like home. There are purpose built chalet hubs, old world hamlets and everything in between among its 10 villages, so you’re sure to find somewhere that keeps everyone happy (if you’re bringing little ones, Plagne Centre, 1800, Aime, Soleil, Belle Plagne, Bellecote and Villages each have their own kindergartens). These accommodation options are almost as boundless as the 425km Paradiski area, where you can ski near, far, high, low, gentle or gnarly all the way over to Les Arcs. Then there are the off-slope activities – when you can pick from skidooing, bobsleighing, husky sledding, igloo village visits and ice caves, keeping the kids entertained until bed time isn’t a problem (but choosing might be…).

Best ski resorts for families

Choosing the right resort for your family ski holiday is perhaps the most important factor in ensuring you have a great trip. Key things to consider when choosing a family ski resort include: the transfer time, whether there are child friendly ski areas with special lifts and outdoor play areas, what child care options and ski schools are available and what is there to do off the slopes. If you have a particular country in mind, our Top Ten lists for family resorts in France, Austria, Italy and Switzerland might come in handy.

Less pretty but more practical purpose built resorts are worth considering as they often have better access to the slopes -a big advantage when getting going in the morning can take a bit longer with families. A wide variety of non-skiing activities like ice skating, bowling and tubing are useful if you’re not skiing all day every day, and resort transportation is also important. Read the descriptions below of some of our favourite family ski resorts and call us for help finding your perfect family ski holiday.

Top resorts for family skiing

Ski resorts for young children
The best ski resorts for very young children are the ones with lots of childcare options and especially any which boast ski holidays with childcare included. Resorts with great nursery slopes like Meribel and Val d’Isere are great places to take young children who are ready to learn to ski, because the superb local ski schools will make it fun and allow you to ski with the grownups for a while. Our favourite ski resort for families with small children is La Tania in France, because it has a relaxed and family friendly atmosphere, wonderful nursery slopes and direct access into the incredible 3 Valleys where adults can enjoy the most extensive skiing in the world.

Ski resorts for teenagers
If you’re skiing with teenagers, consider resorts with good terrain parks for them to hangout in, plus accommodation with games rooms, teen clubs and good transport so that you don’t need to ferry them around. Choosing a smaller and more contained resort in France or Austria could also be good option if you plan to allow them a bit more freedom to explore on their own.

If they’re older or adult teens, take a look at Mayrhofen, Val Thorens and St Anton where the nightlife is as exciting as the snow sports.

Ski resorts for non-skiers and grandparents
Why not include the older generation into your family skiing holiday. With so many resorts having lots of alternative activities away from the slopes it is great way to enjoy time together and perhaps get some help with the childcare. Some good examples of resorts with plenty to explore would be Chamonix and Zermatt which are real mountain towns with oodles of history and so much more than mere “ski resorts”. Check out all the best ski resorts for non-skiers for more ideas.


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