Skiing is a fantastic way to spend a family holiday. Plenty of fresh air and exercise in beautiful surroundings is great for children and adults of all ages. There are many ski resorts all over the world, but it can be difficult to know which one to pick when you are catering to the needs of children and adults of different abilities on the ski slope.
Skiing holidays also don’t come cheap, and if you are on a budget, there is a lot to consider, from the price of flights and accommodation to the less obvious smaller things that can really add up, such as the price of soft drinks with your lunchtime meal. If budget is important to you, then it is important not to overcompensate and pick the cheapest place if you are travelling with a family, as certain things will really make the difference to your trip. For example, nursery slopes next to the resort village for young children and a resort with something for teenagers to do in the evening are two things definitely worth considering.
Here we have selected three resorts we think are ideal for a family ski holiday.
Tirol is a picturesque Austrian resort with traditional wooden chalets set at almost 2000m making it one of the most reliable destinations for snow in Austria. The resort is extremely family friendly with the nursery slopes being right in the village which has no through traffic. The resort also offers Kids Ski Free programs, free ski lessons and excellent slopeside childcare centres. There are also indoor childrens clubs for when the little ones get tired of the snow.
For experienced skiiers the main slopes are an easy shuttle bus away and Tirol is also well linked to the Wildschönau ski area in the next valley. The slopes suit beginners and intermediates best and therefore may not be ideal for those advanced skiiers looking for a challenge.
Tirol remains quieter than some of it’s busier neighbouring resorts making the slopes pleasantly sparse and an après ski scene free from rowdy student groups. Furthermore, cheap food and drink can be found easily keeping the prices for families on a budget.
Sun Peaks, British Columbia, Canada
Sun Peaks offers families almost 3700 acres of terrain over three linking mountains from a purpose built village with ski-in/ski out accommodation and nursery slopes within the village centre.
Child care for non skiiers is available for children eighteen months to five years and ski lessons are on offer for children from three years. The wide ranging terrain has something for everyone at Sun Peaks. Novice skiiers will be able to enjoy the many long green trails ideal for progressing and developing skills. For confident skiers there is a great selection of challenging black runs around Mount Tod.
The village itself is a pleasant place to stroll around with plenty of family friendly restaurants, coffee shops and bars with relaxed nightlife on offer in the evening. Mid week the slopes are never too busy and only on peak weekends will the resort feel slightly crowded, usually with locals who have headed up to the resort for a weekend on the slopes.
Known for its five star luxury, Courchevel set in the world famous three valleys is a large resort with a massive range of pistes for skiiers of all levels. With stunning scenery, great snow and plenty of sunshine it is no wonder that this resort is so popular.
For children, Courchevel’s Village des Enfants has 5km of child only pistes, making it the largest ski area in the world. For children who have developed the basic skills, themed areas across the mountain are a delight, including Piste of the Wicked Fairy Godmother and the Indian Piste in which children are set on a mission to find the Grey Wolf and the Chief of the Indian tribe who once found encourage the children to try out some archery and fancy dress.
As well as being ideal for families with younger children, Courcheval will suit families with teenagers old enough to enjoy the vibrant apres ski culture.
Courchevel really does have it all, fantastic family friendly skiing with pistes for all abilities, a huge selection of restaurants and bars and some of the best chalets and hotels in the whole of France.