Finding a Family Friendly Ski Resort
Here, we've tried to highlight some of the factors in choosing the best ski resort for your family.
Which country is best for family skiing?
As you might expect us to say, there is no absolute to this. Each country has its own merits for family skiing and you'll have to decide from personal preference, perhaps on a language basis, or ease of getting there.
Choosing between Europe and the US or Canada for skiing will depend on cost and travel time. With little ones in tow, you need to decide if you want to start and finish the holiday with a long haul flight, though the facilities and snow that await you are certainly rewarding.
Here are our tips on choosing a family friendly ski resort:
• Decide if you need only beginner slopes or a mix if you have advanced skiers in the party
• Check the childcare available, depending on whether you wish to use it.
• If you are taking non skiers in your party, choose somewhere with plenty of activities, like winter trekking, ice skating or a pool.
• Try and be as close to the ski lifts as possible, preferably ski in-ski out. It means being able to get back to your accommodation as quickly as possible in case of tired little legs, or if a quick change of clothes is needed.
• Make sure nursery slopes are in the sun. Shaded areas maybe too cold for little beginners.
• Consider your flight and transfer times and choose ones that suit your party. You know your children's tolerance levels to coach or car journeys.
And, if you want some help choosing the ski resort for your family, here are a few good ones for families starting out on the slopes...
La Flaine: Great for all abilities
This is more of a practical resort than a pretty one. However, choose one of the nearby villages such as Les Carroz for a very family friendly appeal. More advance skiers have a large range of slopes and off piste opportunities in the Grand Massif area and beginners can enjoy the long sweeping green and blue slopes that run between Flaine and the villages. Ski Kindergarten is offered by the Ecole du Ski Francais. The transfer to Flaine is reasonable at approximately 1 hour 45 minutes. See more from Neilson on La Flaine
La Rosiere France: Thomson's 5 star family resort
This is a highly rated ski area for families by many ski companies. Because of the glacier, you're guaranteed snow. It's a quiet and friendly resort, that offers good value restaurants. Other activities include an ice rink, dog sledding, and if you're a little tired of the white stuff; a bowling alley. Often with the higher resorts, the transfer times can be long and this is no exception at approx 3 to 4 hours depending on the airport you fly into. See more from Thomson on La Rosiere
Saas Fee, Switzerland
Saas Fee is a traditional family resort with good snow records and stunning scenery. As the village is traffic free, it gets a family friendly thumbs up from us. The famous Eispavillion here is the biggest ice pavillion in the world! The nursery slopes are excellent, so great for children learning. Note though, that the Swiss Ski School lessons only start from 5 years old. But kindergartens are available for younger children. See more from Thomson on Saas Fee
Here's another resort with breathtaking scenery. There are a wide range of slopes, so again something to please all abilities, and as it is linked to the Milky Way, there are 400km of slopes to never get bored of. Thomson and Crystal Ski run Whizz kidds and Pepi Penguin Clubs here at the Hotel Grande Claviere and the Hotel Miramonti. The transfer is good to at less than 2 hourse. See more from Thomson on Claviere
Still can't decide on a ski resort for your family?
You could try the Ski Club of Great Britain. They have a resort finder that you can filter for family friendly resorts and if you sign up to be a member, you can benefit from some great discounts.
Photo (top) courtesy of simon_music via flickr