The ultimate guide to the best family ski resorts in Europe with kids.
Skiing with kids in Europe is such a joy with so many resorts catering to visitors with children. Family ski holidays can be a great tonic.
We have pulled together our ultimate guide to the best family ski resorts for kids in Europe, all tried and tested. The perfect places to get on the snow.
If you’re looking for family friendly ski resorts this is for you. 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.
Read more: Our ultimate guide to skiing with kids
Austria (the ultimate guide to the best family ski resorts in Europe with kids)
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.
Saalbach Hinterglemm, Austria – best family ski resorts in Europe
There’s a really good ski school in Snow and Fun which is huge. They will take the beginners off to their lessons on a small train which they all really enjoy.
The resort is well priced and easy to get to from Salzburg airport.
There are some lovely resorts here including the Adler Resort which is all inclusive and has multiple swimming pools so provides the perfect retreat at the end of a day out on the slopes.
Read more with our feature on our trip skiing in Saalbach Hinterglemm with kids.
Ruka is a wonderful place to ski. It’s a proper winter wonderland and absolutely beautiful.
On the edge of the Lapland region it is packed full of all the delights of this area from visiting Father Christmas to going husky dog sledding and taking reindeer rides.
There is amazing snow coverage here for so much of the year and a good variety of slopes. For beginners there’s a whole area set up for lessons and my children really developed their skiing well here.
As with all these northern resorts they can get very cold (down to -22 when we visited but it gets colder than that). Luckily Ruka is well set up for this with plenty of fun indoor activities to enjoy around the skiing including a great Angry Birds playland and activities like bowling and soft play.
Ruka is small but has plenty going on in terms of restaurants and shops and doesn’t have the eye watering high prices of some of the Scandinavian resorts.
Ounasvaara, Finland – best family ski resorts in Europe
Ounasvaara is a very small resort just on the outskirts of Rovaniemi in Lapland.
There’s ski rental here and a lovely cafe which serves great food. It’s possible to get ski lessons and is a great place to learn to ski.
Rendi Park is an area of the resort just for beginners with a magic carpet and carousel to get your bearings.
There are black runs and more challenging slopes at Ounasvaara too.
Read our feature on our DIY trip to Lapland which features the skiing at Ounasvaara to find out more.
Katja from Globetotting says:
“Skiing is one of my all-time favourite family holidays and Yllas is certainly one of the best family ski resorts in Europe. I’ve been skiing since I was young and my two oldest children also started when they were little. They 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 almost 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.
France (The best family ski resorts in Europe with kids)
Belle Plagne, 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.
Courchevel, France – best family ski resorts in Europe
Courchevel is one of those resorts that has it all. Great skiing, a wonderful area full of shops and restaurants and a feel-good vibe.
There’s something here for everyone from complete beginners to off-piste daredevils. I love that there’s so much going on besides the skiing which is perfect to give some variety for a trip away.
We were especially fond of the Aquamotion Centre where you can bathe in the warm water surrounded by snow or head indoors to fun water chutes.
There are some fantastic restaurants here too and although it’s well known for its high-end shops there are plenty here to suit other budgets.
We loved it and had one of our best skiing experiences in Courchevel.
Read more about skiing with children in Courchevel here.
Flaine, France – best family ski resorts in Europe
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. There are lots of interesting and fun runs for them to start to get to grips with skiing.
It’s a great contender for one of the the best family ski resorts in Europe.
Read more about our trip skiing in Flaine here.
La Rosiere, France
“La Rosiere had been recommended by a number of people and we were not disappointed. 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, France – best family ski resorts in Europe
Les Arcs is a fantastic car free resort with a lovely chocolate box feel in the centre of 1950 where we stayed. This 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 trip.
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, France
“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. 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. The rest of us pottered on pretty blues and greens. I would definitely visit again.”
Read more from Helen at Actually Mummy here.
Les Gets, France – best family ski resorts in Europe
Situated just over the Italian border, 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.
Morzine, France – best family ski resorts in Europe
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.
Val Thorens, France
Valmoral, France – best family ski resorts in Europe
Italy – best family ski resorts in Europe with kids
Passo Tonale, Italy
Val di Fiemme, Italy – best family ski resorts in Europe
Trysil, Norway – best family ski resorts in Europe
Trysil is Norway’s largest ski resort and is a wonderful place to visit.
With 81 kilometres of skiing across 69 slopes there is a huge amount of variety.
One of Trysil’s real benefits is that green runs wind their way alongside blacks so groups of differing abilities can still ski together.
Set around two and a half hours from Oslo it’s a great location for a trip. This resort is run by Skistar who can organise all your accommodation, lessons and ski hire helping to create a seemless trip. Real all about our week skiing in Trysil here.