Our top alternative family friendly ski resorts
Skiing holiday with the kids? Get away from the crowds and find out our pick of family friendly ski resorts.
So you're planning your first ski trip as a family? Or maybe you're seasoned pros but you want to try somewhere new this year. Skiing is a great holiday for the whole family to enjoy, but with so many ski resorts to choose from it can be overwhelming to decide where to go. So here's our rundown of some of the best alternative family friendly ski resorts for you to try.
La Tania, France
Photo courtesy of Tania & Artur
Opened in 1990 as a designated Olympic village La Tania has great small pedestrianised centre - making the whole resort walking friendly and ski-in/ski-out. This is a smaller, cheaper and quieter resort, but when you want to go a little further afield you are on the doorstep of Courchevel and Meribel - both with great family-friendly fun parks.
Skiing & Activities
With 2 beginners magic carpet areas, which are sectioned off, it's a great place for kids to learn to ski - with a nearby green run ready for when they gain a bit of confidence.
If your kids are a little bit older then there's a great selection of fast red and black runs that will keep them entertained.
There's a wide range of resturants to suit even the fussiest little eaters, and with early seating there's plenty of time before a great dinner before you get them off to bed.
For families with younger children there's a great creche in the village centre, allowing you to hit the slopes without worry. There's also some great English friendly kids clubs such as the Magic Snowflake Club - which arranges great activites like snowman building, sledging, piste picnics and more.
Photo courtesy of Ski Magic
Sainte Foy, FrancePhoto courtesy of www.saintefoy-ski.com
Nestled among the trees is this picturesque alpine village - that we almost don't want to tell you about so we can keep it for ourselves! This quiet little village is a great choice for your first family ski trip - with mostly ski-in/ski-out resorts and no long queues for lifts this is a very accessible resort for all abilites.
Skiing & Activities
The beginner slopes have two free to use magic carpets which are perfect for the youngest in the family. And although the number of green and blue slopes is limited, the ones that are there are beginner and family friendly as they are largely uncrowded. And for the older kids or more confident skiiers there are some amazing off-piste opportunities here - you can really ski the whole mountain.
When you're ready for some time off the slopes there's a wide range of activites to keep everyone entertained - from free toboggan runs, snowshoeing, husky sledding.. you name it.
We won't lie - this isn't the most bustling of nightlife scenes but, what it does have is charm. There are a number of different restaurants you can try with a friendly and warm atmosphere. If you're looking for a a little more apres-ski then it's also not far to Les Arcs or Val d'Isere.
Kids 3-11 are welcome at Les P'tits Trappeur - where they can enjoy a range of activites whilst you hit the slopes. They also work closely with the ski school meaning you can relax knowing they can get from childcare to ski school safely. There is also the Snow Patrollers club for children aged 4-10, where they can even get stuck in building igloos.
Sainte Foy is a very environmentally friendly resort, so it's perfect for those eco-minded families. The snow grooming vehicles run on bio fuels and at the end of the season the slopes are combed by locals to pick up and recyle the litter.
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Why not leave the Alps behind this ski season and head somewhere a bit different - and where better for families than the home of Santa Klaus.
Levi is a compact, charming village which has an air of magic about it, and as it's much further north the ski season here is longer - meaning you have more chance of escaping the crowds and if you time it right you might get to see the Northern Lights.
Skiing & Activities
Levi offers 43 slopes accessed by 27 lifts - plus 200km of cross country trails - so there's plenty to get stuck into here. There are 10 children's slopes with free lifts, including 2 magic carpets - this makes it a perfect place for their first ski trip.
If you're travelling with older kids then they are sure to love South Park, a 1km long area with a half pipe, railes and boxes - so they can practise their jumps and rail tricks. Or if you are seasoned pros and are looking for a challenge then why not try the the black World Cup run which has a 52% gradient.
But what makes Levi extra special are all the other activities you can take part in when you need a break from skiing - as Levi is really set in the wilderness there are amazing husky and snowmobile safaris which will offer you an unforgetable adventure.
You can also visit Spa Water World with a number of indoor and outdoor pools and slides, great fun after a morning on the slopes. Let's not fogret it is the home of Santa Klaus, so maybe the kids will be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of him at work!
There are around 30 resturants in Levi with a range of menus - so you won't get bored with the food choices, but whilst in Finland make sure to try a local speciality such as reindeer meatballs! After dinner you can look forward to a night of music, whether you see one of the many live acts which perform here year round or whether you hit the karaoke bars - they might even let you dance on the tables.
Whilst you and the older kids hit the slopes Kids Land, just next to the front pistes, offers sleding and other activites to keep the younger kids entertained - plus indoor day care when they want to keep warm! There is also an excellent ski school where they are sure to gain confidence on the slopes and even make some new friends.
If you are looking for a more affordable family skiing resort then Pamporovo is an excellent choice. They pride themselves on their sunshine, which means the temperatures never get too low and visibility is good. The village is compact and uncrowded - with log chalets nestled amongst the pine forests of Snejanke (or "Snow White") - peak.
Skiing & Activities
Pamporovo has plenty of gentle and easy to navigate slopes which is what makes it a great resort for families and beginners. The pistes are well linked making it easier to navigate for families and with 10km of blue runs there's plenty of chance for younger skiiers to build their confidence.
For the more advanced skiiers or older kids then you can take on the "Wall" - a steep black mogul field! Or you can visit the world-famous FunPark which gives you the chance to practise your freestyle on jumps and half-pipe.
When you need a break from skiing then strap on your ice skates - or for a more laidback experience take a sleigh ride through the snow landscape.
There are plenty of places to relax off the slopes in Pamporovo - with numerous resturants, pubs and taverns to try. This is definitely one of the most afforable apres-ski experiences - but it lacks nothing in cosyness and charm. There's traditional dishes available, but also plenty of simple family friendly menus to try.
Children from the age of 8 are welcome at the highly rated English-speaking ski school - which is one of the cheapest in Europe. Here they can learn in a fenced off ski garden with it's own mini drag lift. Younger children can spend the day doing activites at the ski kindergarten.
At Holiday Extras we want to help you get a hassle-free beginning and end to your well-deserved winter break. Need some help booking all your holiday extras? Want to talk to someone about other options at the airport?
How about meet and greet parking, so you don't have to worry about dragging your gear (and the kids!) from the airport car park to the terminal building? Or an airport transfer, to help get you from the airport to your resort so you're ready to hit the slopes!
Whilst we know that you'll have fun, we know that sometimes accidents happen - that's why we can offer a range of comprehensive, flexible holiday insurance policies, designed to suit snow lovers everywhere.
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Need some help booking all your holiday extras? Want to talk to someone about other options at the airport?