It’s time to plan the next family holiday, so why not go all out with a trip to the slopes of Europe. There are a lot of great family-friendly ski resorts to choose from that will ensure you can have fun skiing in Europe with the kids.
But let’s face it; Europe is not a quick hop over to New Zealand or easy trip down south to Falls Creek or Thredbo.
There is more to planning a ski holiday in Europe as the slopes and powder here are on a whole other level! So let’s check out some of the best ski resorts in Europe to take the family to below.
Location, location, location – can make or break your holiday. You want to look for resorts that have some of or all of the following:
• Less bus trip = longer slope fun
• Child and youth skiing and snowboarding lessons
• Other outdoor or indoor activities to keep the kids entertained
• Or resorts that offer child care facilities
Avoriaz is ideally located in the middle of the Portes du Soleil ski area, with access to high-altitude skiing. Portes du Soleil is made up of twelve resorts between France and Switzerland, making it one of the largest ski areas in the world, offering 650 kilometres of happiness. This resort offers a range of pistes to suit all levels and offers a great family skiing experience that will appeal to skiers of all ages.
• Traffic-free village with vast area of slopes
• Safe and convenient
• Village des Enfants – a childcare haven that is full of activities and special children slopes
• Has indoor and outdoor pools
• Highest and most snow-sure slopes in the Portes du Soleil ski area
• Free lift pass for children 4 years and under
The altitude of this resort guarantees snow cover from December to April, with an average of 8 metres of snow each winter.
Obergurgl, Tirol, Austria
This ski resort is a winter paradise, offering absolute snow guarantee, and is known as the "Diamond of the Alps". There are 24 mountain lifts and 110 kilometres of immaculate ski slopes for your family to explore, and absolute must-sees during your ski vacation is the Top Mountain Star panorama bar at 3,080 metres above sea level.
• Offers snow guarantee set in the traditional atmosphere of the Austrian Alps
• Famous Bobo Skiclub for outdoor activities
• Bobo kindergarten for indoor fun
• Range of slopes from easy to intermediate, as well as experts
• Modern, high-speed chairlifts and gondolas
• Nederhutte, famous for family-friendly live music and dancing
If you want to head off-piste the “Diamond of the Alps” is a skiing el dorado. There are countless off-piste routes and slopes offering superb conditions for skiers and riders of all ability levels. This is freeriding heaven.
This ski resort is part of the Jungfrauregion region and is considered to be great for people who don’t take their skiing too seriously and for families. The resort offers skiers 4777 feet of vertical descent and has 112 kilometres of terrain over 53 pistes.
• Traffic-free village offering wonderful scenery
• Great for relaxing breaks
• Covers the slopes of Grindelwald and Murren
• Good nursery slopes in the middle of the village
• Kindergartens, from as young as six months
• Free lift pass for children five and under
• Charming ice rinks and cinema, that frequently shows films in English
• The views of the Aletsch glacier, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are breathtaking
• The cog railway at 3,450 metres is the highest railway station in Europe
What child wouldn’t love skiing around the sunny, easy slopes of Cervinia and lunching on pizza? Cervinia is one of Italy’s leading ski resorts and one of the biggest ski areas in Italy with 350 kilometres of pistes. But, it doesn’t stop there. This high-altitude resort also has a lift linked to Zermatt in Switzerland. Skiers and boarders also have access to one of the world's longest ski runs, an epic descent of more than 20 kilometres from the Klein Matterhorn above Zermatt down to Cervinia's lift-linked neighbour, Valtournenche. So they’ve got you covered, but what about the kids. This resort pays special attention to the little ones. Right at the foot of this “huge pyramid”, they can learn to ski in safety whilst having fun too.
• Kindergartens both in resort and at Plan Maison
• Playgrounds and ski areas dedicated to the children
• Highest play area in the resort at 2,500 metres at Plan Maison, reached via the cable cars from Cervinia
• “Wild West Zone” playground is ideal for beginners and children, equipped with jumping castles, three magic carpet lifts and a Wild West village
• Scuola di sci del Cervino’s Mini Club
• The Baby Club Kinderheim cares for children from birth to age nine
• Virtually guaranteed snow from December to the end of April
The ski season in Europe runs from December to April. For these and many more family-friendly ski resorts in Europe visit www.skitheworld.net.au or give us a call on 1800 156 856.
What to pack?
• Ski Sun cream
• Ski goggles and sunglasses
• Ski socks and base layers
• Après ski clothes
• Ski lip balm
• Ski helmet and hats
• Ski and après ski gloves
• Universal travel plug adapter
• Passports, insurance and don’t forget your travel documents
• Pre-book everything – ski classes, kindergarten, lodgings, ski hire, ski passes
• Always bring a Ski Emergency skiing pack – spare gloves, hats, plasters, tissues, sweets and chocolates
• Insurance – be sure you and your family are covered
• Exchange currency – you can get better rates at your local bank than at the airport
• Bring your gadgets – ski resorts have Wi-Fi
• Make a list of everything!
• Check the weather forecast!
Most importantly, have fun and carve up some of the finest powder on earth in Europe.