A ski holiday can be a wonderful, fun-filled travel experience for the whole family.
If you’re planning a skiing holiday this year, here are some of the best family-friendly resorts to help with your decision.
Galtür is a part of the giant Silvretta ski area which stretches across The Austrian-Swiss area between Ischgl and Samnuan. Altogether, there are nearly 240 kilometres of piste. Galtür itself has a family-sized 40 kilometres of local slopes, named the Silvapark and specially designed to be family-friendly with separate sectors for different ability levels and snow sports styles. While children from as young as two are looked after in the guest ‘kindergarten’ and from three in ski school, older children have a full week of activities including lessons on the right way to do the perfect ski/boarding jump, a treasure hunt; night skiing sessions and much more.
Les 2 Alpes, France
Les 2 Alpes is one of the world's biggest resorts, and one of the most snow-sure thanks to its high-altitude glacier slopes. It also goes the extra mile for families. From the age of one, children can experience sliding on snow with the 'Baby Snow' device invented by one of the resort's instructors. At the other end of the child age spectrum, older kids can try a risk-free ski jump with the Big Air Snowbag, experience a simulated avalanche in the Robocoaster, ride a winter Segway, mini snowmobile, or ice glider, and help open the slopes with the ski patrol team. The resort organises a special family week right at the end of the season when most other ski centres have closed and have a website dedicated to families detailing the numerous family activities both on and off the snow.
Northern Finland has a reputation as a place to take toddlers to meet Santa and indeed it's great for that, but there's also a lesser known thriving market in full-on family activities that suit older children and teens better - dog sledding, reindeer safaris and snowmobiling for example. The slopes are not as extensive as in the Alps but that's not a problem for creating excellent terrain parks, again very popular with youngsters and, because it's often very cold, large hotel complexes incorporating lots of indoor activities.
Along with being easy to reach and family-friendly on and off the slopes with a great range of restaurants, there are lots of activities offered for all age groups. Aquaclub La Source is a particularly good indoor/outdoor water theme park and there’s also dog sledding, tubing, ice climbing, snowmobiling, a high ropes course, and much more.
Sweden’s most popular resort puts the Scandinavian’s common sense, practical attitude to all things family at its forefront, with special family-zones on the slopes, discounted lift tickets (children go free until age 8), lots of family-friendly accommodation and restaurants and plenty to do besides ski. The mile-long toboggan run is particularly famous and has been operating for more than century.
Madonna Di Campiglio, Italy
Madonna di Campiglio, which recently established a lift-link to nearby Pinzolo, is a long established resort that has recently peaked in popularity with families. It works out good value compared to other destinations, and is generally sunnier and with more popular dining options keeps all the family happy.
Avoriaz has always had a strong draw for families. It is the only truly pedestrianised ski resort in France and its central nursery and ski school has won many awards over the years. Aquariaz is a sub-tropical water park built within a huge glass dome at the top of a mountain. The facility includes some high-adrenalin water slides for adults and older children. With 650km of lift linked pistes just outside your door and the option to ski over the border in to Switzerland, venturing outside is a must.
Image via Pinterest.