Skiing with kids in Europe is such a joy with so many resorts catering to visitors with children. We have pulled together our ultimate guide to family friendly ski resorts in Europe with kids, all tried and tested and the perfect places to get on the snow. This list is organised by countries and then resorts, use the table below to click down through the countries or just browse through the list below.
- Belle Plagne
- La Rosiere
- Les Arcs
- Les Carroz d’Araches
- Les Gets
- Val Thorens
- Passo Tonale
- Val di Fiemme
- Kranjska Gora
The ultimate guide to family friendly ski resorts in Europe with kids – Austria
Visiting a Kinderhotel in Austria can make skiing with kids a breeze. The Almhof hotel in the snowy village of Gerlos in Tirol is a luxury retreat whose goal is to make the holiday enjoyable for everyone. Young kids learn to ski right outside the hotel in their own children’s area and if they lose interest, it’s just a hop skip and a jump back into the warm kids club. As their abilities progress, the hotel also has a small blue run where it also holds its weekly ski race. More experienced skiers can meet their ski instructors right outside the hotel who will then take them by bus to the main ski area of Gerlos, which is part of the Zillertal Ski Arena. With the kids well taken care of parents can enjoy their own skiing or sit back with a book and relax. Learn more about Gerlos from Kristin at Simple Family Travel here.
Katja from Globetotting says, “Skiing is one of my all-time favourite family holidays. I’ve been skiing since I was young and my two oldest children also started when they were little – and are already terrifyingly good! I’ve been lucky enough to ski the slopes at some of the world’s best resorts but in all these years, I’ve never skied on snow as perfect as what we found in Finland.” Located 150km north of the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, Sport Resort Ylläs is one of the country’s main ski resorts. It’s centred around the 718m-high Ylläs fell, which might not sound very high but it’s the highest ski resort in Finland. When you’re this far north, however, altitude doesn’t matter because once the snow starts to fall in October, it’s guaranteed that you can keep skiing right through to May. This is a wonderful place to ski; there are no challenging mogul fields and the resort is fairly small but the runs are wide and open, and the snow is the stuff skiers dream about. For families, Ylläs is an amazing place for a ski holiday and a great place to learn with no lift queues and empty pistes. One word of caution, however, it can get very cold (-18C on the day Katja skied) so make sure to wrap up warm. Read more from Katja here.
The ultimate guide to family friendly ski resorts in Europe with kids – France
Jade from Raising the Rings says, “Our time in Belle Plagne, with the kids was amazing. Our accommodation, aside from it being a catered chalet, was incredibly well suited to families of all different make ups. One of the best things about Belle Plagne is that it’s mostly car free. You can walk almost anywhere without getting run over which means it’s perfect for letting the little ones roam around without too much of a worry. From Belle Plagne you can catch the free Telemetro ride up to La Plagne which is perfect if you want something a little different during your stay. The boys particularly loved their hot chocolates and there are so many fantastic restaurants to choose from that are also child friendly. Belle Plagne is very central with lots of ski in/out options which is great if your little ones are headed to ski school and you want well positioned routes on to the slopes. Oh, and did I mention the views?”
Heavy on the black runs, Chamonix is not the obvious choice for families. Its reputation as an extreme ski resort may put some off but Chamonix is beginning to get its act together for families and has a lot to offer over smaller resorts. There are plenty of family friendly green and blue slopes within the valley with a pick of mountains to ski on. Les Houches’s Ski Camp is a family favourite, the beautiful gentle pistes at Le Tour or Brevent with its high altitude beginner area. Mags from The Family Freestylers says, “Our favourite area to ski is La Flégère,which boasts a kids play (snow) ground area as well as a kids piste with targets to bang, arches to duck and boxes to slide over. Chamonix is a full on town, not a tiny ski resort so there’s loads to do after skiing or if the snow’s lacking. Not just luging or ski skating but riding the Aiguille du Midi cable car to reach the highest peak in Europe – Mont Blanc, or taking the old cog railway the Montenvers train up to the 7km long, longest glacier in France, the Mer de Glace, where you can actually go into the glacier and explore caves carved out of ice. Chamonix has it all and I would highly recommend it to any family seeking winter adventures.” Read more from Mags here.
Flaine is a fantastic resort for families of mixed abilities, there are so many runs from easy blues and greens to much more challenging reds and blacks. There’s lots going on around the resort including ice skating, bowling, ice quad bikes and more so it’s easy to keep the whole family happy. The resort is largely car free and is filled with quirky architecture making it visually interesting. Designed by a skier for skiers most of the hotels are ski in / ski out and the resort has lots of thoughtful touches like all door handles ready for ski gloves to open and the first ski gondolas without steps. The ski school here is very well organised and set up for kids and there are lots of interesting and fun runs for them to start to get to grips with skiing. Read more about our trip skiing in Flaine here.
“La Rosiere has been recommended by a number of people and we were not disappointed as it provided us with everything we wanted in a ski holiday – fabulous accommodation, lovely bars and restaurants, lots of options for mixed-ability skiing, beautiful scenery and a great ski school. La Rosiere is a great medium-sized resort with some green runs, plenty of long cruisy blue runs and some more challenging red runs. For little kids there is a lovely little enchanted forest where young children can ski through the woods and ski through little tunnels and obstacles all around a St Bernard dog theme which our daughter adored. All of the skiing is above 1850m so it is “guaranteed” skiing well into April.” Read more from Carrie at Flying with a Baby here.
Les Arcs is a fantastic car free resort with a lovely chocolate box feel in the centre of 1950 where we stayed, which is my personal favourite area of Les Arcs. There are extensive runs throughout the area and it’s the perfect place for a family ski. The resort puts on lots of family friendly activities such as free mulled wine and lots of inflatables on check in day giving it a really friendly feel. It’s easy to travel down to other areas of Les Arcs and plenty going on across all of the levels including a really fun toboggan run and great swimming pool. It’s a really family friendly area and magnificent views over Mont Blanc in the distance. We also found it well priced in an area that can be notoriously expensive. Read more about our trip skiing in Les Arcs here.
Les Carroz d’Araches
“Les Carroz d’Araches is a less well-known ski resort, not far from Chamonix. Despite its lower altitude though, it has a stunning snow record, and we had great conditions during our February half term break. I was nervous about crowds during the French school holidays, but the resort never felt crowded, and the lift queues were never more than five minutes or so. Being popular with the French, Les Carroz d’Araches has that lovely village charm that’s such a delightful part of a ski holiday, complete with little bistros, and an ice rink in the centre. We self-catered, and loved shopping for ‘takeaway’ in the little Boucherie in town. There’s plenty of good skiing terrain of various levels, and my powder hound husband found enough to keep him challenged, while the rest of us pottered on pretty blues and greens. I would definitely visit again.” Read more from Helen at Actually Mummy here.
Situated just over the Italian border at the end of the Milky Way Hautes-Alpes, near the 2006 Winter Olympics venue, the village of Montgenevre sits on the sunny slopes with the main road buried in a tunnel, so it retains the feeling of a traditional alpine village. Pleasant and easy to walk around, and the cafes fronting onto the edge of the nursery slopes, there is a choice of restaurants, a supermarket and even a bar or two. At 1860m the snow is good and reliable whilst quieter than its more famous alpine relations, so even in UK school holidays you can get a table at lunchtime and the lift queues are manageable. A dedicated sledging area, ice rink, gentle nursery slopes and a new public swimming pool and spa with an outdoor hot tub offer activities for the whole family. For a family of mixed ages and abilities the runs are generous in choice even if the mix of drag and chair lifts means embracing a slightly slower pace of life. The ski school is excellent, both the day clubs for children and the adult lessons. If your entire party is composed of daredevil black run seekers you might run out of options after the first day, but for a family holiday there is enough to keep everyone happy. Rachel and family from The Little Pip have been returning to Montgenevre for family ski trips since her husband was in ski school himself and you can read more about their trips here.
Morzine and the easily accessible area of Portes du Soleil is the perfect place to take your kids skiing, being only an hour 15mins flight from Gatwick airport and only an hour and a half drive from Geneva airport. With great facilities, and a range of nursery slopes as well as areas for beginners there are also lots of other snow activities for children. There are a wide range of green and blue slopes and lovely wide red ones for the more adventurous children as well as snow parks and off piste areas. A brilliant run for children is Chemin des Zou Zou. 2 kilometres long, it runs through the trees below the Pleney cable car and features lots of different animals, including a pheasant, a family of gorillas and even a unicorn. There are lots of activities off the slopes too including indoor and outdoor ice skating, a swimming pool, carousel and a land train trip around Morzine. Kaz from Ickle Pickles Life and Travels visited Morzine and you can read about her trip here.
Val Thorens is one of the highest resorts in France and is ideal for families, reducing the risk of low levels of snow it means that your family will get a full skiing experience. On the slopes you can’t miss out on the fun park which even as an adult is worth a go as it’s a full multisensory skiing experience through sound tunnels and over jumps. But off the slopes is where the resort shines for families. With family friendly accommodation with many having ski to the door routes, it’s perfect for families as no long treks with ski boots on and carrying skis. There’s also plenty of après ski activities ideal for families from the Toboggan Run a white knuckle fun ride for the family to race each other down the mountain to the bowling alley ideal for some indoor warm after a day on the slopes. Cerys from Rainy Day Mum visited Val Thorens and you can read about her trip here.
The ultimate guide to family friendly ski resorts in Europe with kids – Italy
Passo Tonale, an Italian Alpine resort on the Trentino/Lombardy border, is friendly and safe for even the youngest kids. Its wide, open pistes are a good place for first-timers to beef up their snowploughs and parallel turns. Passo Tonale has plenty of challenges for seasoned ski-dogs, too. The exceptional local ski schools, which cater for three year-olds through to seasoned black run afficionados, offer a varied programme, which takes in the 3,000m Presena Glacier as well as the pretty tree-lined red and black runs of Pointe di Legno, only a cablecar ride away. Nell from Pigeon Pair and Me says, “Skiing on the glacier was the highlight of my trip. I’m a novice, so I was most comfortable sticking to the glacier’s blue run, but my husband went for it, whizzing down the red and black. Non-skiers can travel up the glacier on a gondola, take a sauna in a mountain hut, and then enjoy a glass of local fizz at the top while admiring the view. We travelled with Crystal Ski, whose new Whizz Kids club had just opened in our hotel, Grand Hotel Paradiso. It was probably the most relaxing time you could ever have on a ski holiday with kids. All we had to do each morning was take the children downstairs after breakfast, in their socks and thermals. The Whizz Kids staff did the rest, kitting them out in salopettes, skis, jackets and jumpers. Our eight and five year old did us proud on the slopes, and made some good friends in Whizz Kids. They’ve been clamouring to go back ever since.” Read more about Nell’s trip here.
Val di Fiemme
The beautiful region of Val di Fiemme, Trentino in the Italian Dolomites is an ideal family holiday destination and might surprise you as a fantastic place for skiing. It’s located a couple of hours’ drive from Venice or Verona airport in the northern part of this beautiful Mediterranean country. Both Easy Jet and British Airways fly directly from the UK and there are plenty of car hire options at the airports. From child-friendly hotels and impressive restaurants to an amazing range of activities ensuring there is plenty to do no matter the weather. There are ski buses running all day ready to carry you from your hotel to the slopes. Experienced ski instructors will teach you and your little ones how to conquer the snowy pistes. After a day of skiing, you can relax in the luxurious public pool of Cavalese. Find out how Nadia from Scandimummy got on at Val di Femme here.
The ultimate guide to family friendly ski resorts in Europe with kids – Norway
Beitostølen is the most beautiful winter wonderland. This is the perfect resort for beginners and the kind, gentle Norwegian manner is the ideal place to get kids learning to ski. The snow here is deep and reliable and the whole area just picturesque and beautiful. Beitostølen has a range of snowy activities including husky dog rides and ice fishing but the skiing really is at the forefront and this is the perfect place to indulge in it. The resort itself is small with a scattering of restaurants and amenities and it’s the kind of place that is so bewitching that once you’ve been you’ll just long to return. Read about our trip skiing in Beitostølen here.
The ultimate guide to family friendly ski resorts in Europe with kids – Slovenia
Kranjska Gora looks like something out of a fairytale, this is a real, living community that has quite a different feel from some of the other ski resorts. The Slovenian manner is very gentle making it a great place for kids to learn and intermediates will find plenty here to keep them occupied too. One of the best things about Slovenia is how great it is for the wallet too, the prices here are incredibly reasonable. The resort is small but has everything you need including supermarkets, bread shops, restaurants and the sweetest of gift shops. You can take day trips to Ljubljana or Venice and the scenery is beautiful. We loved skiing here and found plenty to keep families occupied. You can read more of our trip skiing in Kranjska Gora here.
The ultimate guide to family friendly ski resorts in Europe with kids – Spain
The ultimate guide to family friendly ski resorts in Europe with kids – Switzerland
Emma from A Bavarian Sojourn says, “Think of skiing in Switzerland, and it’s easy to envisage flashy resorts more suited to the swanky “see and be seen” crowd than for a family trip, but there are lesser known Swiss resorts that make for a perfect getaway, Andermatt is one of them. With 80 miles of quiet slopes, 3 mountain passes, and the snow sure heights of the Gemsstock at 2963 metres, it’s especially suited to those with children that are proficient skiers, and for those with husbands who like to err on the side of “frighten your wife” when it comes to an addiction to the more adventurous stuff (it’s famous for off piste terrain…). For those less confident on the slopes, but happy to base themselves in Andermatt’s picture postcard environs, you have the best of both worlds with the gentler runs of Sedrun up the road. Andermatt is a great option for those who want the whole Swiss package: adventurous skiing, beautiful scenery, and plenty of decent food options too (did anyone say Fondue?)” Read more here.
Jurga from A Full Suitcase says, “Engelberg in Switzerland is our family’s favourite place for a ski break. We have been going there for 4 years in a row now and the kids always say that it’s the best vacation of the year. Engelberg has a huge ski area with a big variety of slopes for all levels of experience. On top of that it’s easily accessible by car and also by train, and with the highest peak Mt. Titlis at 3,238 there is snow certainty during the entire season. But there is so much more to do in Engelberg in winter than skiing. You can walk inside an ice grotto, admire the views over the Alps from Europe’s highest suspension bridge, go snowshoeing, have a drink in an ice bar, sleep inside an igloo, or go sledding and snow tubing in the winter fun park. If you are looking for a nice place for a family winter break, you cannot go wrong with choosing Engelberg.” Read more here.
Julia from Inspire World Travel says, “If one ski resort makes your bucket list, Zermatt should be it. The views of the iconic Matterhorn from the vast network of groomed slopes at its base are majestic. The high altitude guarantees snow year-round. The village itself is adorable and car-free, so kids can safely dart around to check out the Alpine-themed souvenirs amongst the fancy watch stores. The famed après-ski scene is chic and lively; the whole family will enjoy traditional Swiss fondue or raclette for dinner. A highlight for kids and adults alike is the mid-piste igloo village, which makes for a great break between runs. Kids can explore the cool snow structures and sculptures, while the adults can sip mulled wine or cold beer. If you plan ahead, you can even spend the night there. Imagine relaxing your ski-sore muscles in a jacuzzi under the stars and “moon shadow” of the Matterhorn. Despite its swanky reputation, Zermatt’s lift ticket prices are surprisingly affordable (really!) when compared to North American ski resorts, and with a wide range of accommodations, great values are not hard to find. Kids under 16 ski free on Saturdays. You can even ski over to the Italian side of the resort for even more variety. Zermatt is truly the ski resort of dreams.”
Do you have a favourite family friendly ski resort in Europe with kids? Get in touch and let us know.
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