It can feel like a military operation organising your annual family ski holiday as you plough through all the resorts researching the best family ski destinations.
Europe offers a range of fantastic family ski destinations with an abundance of family friendly resorts to keep the whole of the group entertained. Access to these European destinations is also extremely easy with all resorts being serviced by one-two airports with transfer times from the airport to resort ranging from a very reasonable 1-2.5hrs.
One of the most popular countries when it comes to ski destinations is France which offers some of the world’s most famous ski areas to skiers of all abilities.
The Portes du Soleil offers a huge range of resorts and terrain and is ideal for family groups. Morzine is a popular resort of choice with families in the Portes du Soleil and offers a great variety of activities both on and off the slopes. Morzine is a very pretty town retaining all the charm of a traditional mountain village. The slopes are all connected providing a vast and varied terrain to explore and has something for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Everything is extremely accessible in Morzine making it nice and easy when transporting the children to ski school in the morning. It has a great choice of some leading ski schools for the children and provides good crèche facilities, both with English speaking instructors and nannies. For the grown ups in the group there is also a fantastic selection of Après Ski bars and restaurants.
The resort of Les Gets which is the next village along from Morzine (about a 5 min drive and also accessible from Morzine via the slopes) is also a top favourite with families holidaying in the area. Similar to Morzine it has lots of family friendly activities both on and off the slopes and great ski schools and crèche facilities. It is quieter on the nightlife front in comparison to Morzine, however, still has a good range of restaurants and a few bars to enjoy a bit of après ski.
Chatel in the Portes du Soleil is also great for families and totally geared up for keeping all ages occupied whilst on holiday with it being awarded the “The Family Plus” label. This reward is recognised as a national tourism label and means that the resort and its provision of family friendly services and activities has been approved and recognised by the French Ministry of Tourism. One of Chatel’s many family friendly areas is the Pré-la-Joux, that offers a range of family fun in the snow including two free sledging areas (one suitable for the ages of 2-6yrs old and the other for 6yrs old and above), a game area and a themed play path. The linked ski area of the Portes du Soleil also means that there is an abundance of on and off piste fun for the grown ups in the group with you being able to ski over to the areas of Morzine, Avoriaz and Les Gets and really enjoy all that the Portes du Soleil has to offer. Aswell as there being a good variety of ski schools to take care of the skills of the little ones.With regards to childcare facilities there is a fantastic crèche located in the centre of resort called Les Mouflets Crèche. The crèche is staffed by friendly childcare professionals (the majority of which are English speaking) and caters for children between the ages of three months and six years. The crèche offers you the ability to book a full day session, morning or afternoon session depending on your needs.
The Three Valleys is also a must to consider when looking for the best family ski destinations. In particular the resort of La Tania is an ideal place being totally geared up for the family ski holiday. The resort of La Tania in the Three Valleys is located just below Meribel at 1400m and is completely pedestrianised and traffic free, meaning parents can rest easily with their children playing outdoors in the snow. The resort is ski in ski out making ski schools extremely accessible and hassle free as you will not have to load the gang and all their gear onto a bus or into the chalet minibus each morning. There is also a great range of ski schools and childcare available to ensure the little ones are in safe hands at all times. Off the slopes there is also lots of family fun to be had in the children’s sledging area and Les Maison des Enfants keeping children entertained with their programme of indoor and outdoor games aswell as the ESF Kindergarten especially for the under three year olds.
Another family friendly ski resort in the Three Valleys is the resort of Meribel. On the pistes it provides lots of adventure for the adults in the group with its linked pistes covering 375 miles and providing access into the resorts of Val Thorens and Courchevel. For the younger ones in the family Meribel provides a great range of ski schools alongside lots of fun off piste activities including snow biking, swimming, bowling and dog sledding. There is also some great après ski destinations for a well earned vin chaud after a day up the hill for the grown ups!
Whether it be the Portes du Soleil or the Three Valleys be sure to bare all of these resorts in mind when looking for the best family ski destinations.