Hitting the slopes of Europe’s family friendly ski resorts

In Europe, Ski & Snow, Travel Inspiration by KerrynLeave a Comment

Create lasting memories with your children this winter (Photo: Val Gardena)

Create lasting memories with your children this winter (Photo: Val Gardena)

Whether you’ve got toddlers or teens, skiing holidays with kids can be a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors during winter and create special memories. Spending quality time with your children while you enjoy crisp mountain air is just priceless and with so many great destinations to choose from you’re sure to find one that’s a perfect fit for your family. Here are some excellent locations for a family ski adventure:

Hochkönig

Austria

Hochkönig flies under the radar of most British tourists (Photo: Mario Sormann)

Hochkönig flies under the radar of most British tourists (Photo: Mario Sormann)

Just an hour’s drive from the Austrian city of Salzburg you’ll find the Hochkönig ski area. Hochkönig has over 150km of pistes, spread over 8 mountains and divided into five ski resorts:  Maria Alm, Hintermoos, Hinterthal, Dienten am Hochkönig, and Mühlbach am Hochkönig. Thanks to the ideal microclimate and high snowfall the area has long ski season which usually runs from late November to the middle of April. There is a free ski shuttle bus service between Maria Alm, Dienten and Mühlbach, which makes getting around easy. There are also numerous mountain huts that serve tasty treats if your kids are working up an appetite on the slopes. Families with small children will love the nursery slopes at each resort as well as the off-piste activities like horse drawn sleigh rides and tobogganing. The region flies under the radar of most British tourists so there are no queues for the 36 lifts, and best of all, it won’t cost you a fortune like many of the more famous ski resorts. With all the amenities a family could wish for, it’s a great choice for those traveling with kids.

Aletsch

Switzerland

Stop for a snack on the slopes in Aletsch (Photo: Diriye Amey

Stop for a snack on the slopes in Aletsch (Photo: Diriye Amey)

The extensive Aletsch ski area is another great choice for families with kids. It’s located in the popular Valais region and offers 104km of pistes. Aletsch surrounds three delightful car-free villages: Riederalp, Bettmeralp and Fiescheralp, with ski schools for kids in all three villages. The ski school at Bettmeralp has a special area for 3 year olds, tow ropes for older children and child care facilities for children under 2 years old. There are 40km of beginner’s slopes which are ideal for children, and there are child safety restraints on some of the ski lifts in the region. The Aletsch Arena has been awarded the “Families Welcome” quality seal by the Swiss Tourism Association thanks to the excellent family amenities available. The ski season here runs from the beginning of December to the end of April.

Morillon, Grand Massif

France

Morillon in France is a great place for the family to hit the slopes (Photo: Jérôme Decq)

Morillon in France is a great place for the family to hit the slopes (Photo: Jérôme Decq)

If you’re looking for a ski resort where you can enjoy advanced slopes and après skiing without having to worry about the kids, you’ll love Morillon. This fantastic resort has been awarded the French government’s “Famille Plus” label thanks to the excellent facilities for children.  There is a “village des enfants” which takes care of kids from 6 months to 8 years. When your kids are not learning to ski on gentle slopes, they can enjoy activities like dog-sledding, tobogganing and ice-skating.  They can end the day with indoor entertainment and hot chocolate. Morillon, along with Samoëns, Flaine, Les Carroz, and Sixt, forms part of the Grand Massif ski area which has a total of over 265 km of pistes and 73 lifts.

Ylläs

Finland

The quiet Finish resort of Ylläs has gentle slopes for the whole family (Photo: Leo-setä)

The quiet Finish resort of Ylläs has gentle slopes for the whole family (Photo: Leo-setä)

If your family is looking for something different, you can always skip the traditional Alpine skiing holiday and head to Finland. Ylläs is a quiet resort located in the Lapland province of Finland and is a great alternative to other European resorts. There are 34 pistes and 280km of cross country trails. There are also terrain parks and 3 half-pipes for snowboarders. When your family is not hitting the slopes you can enjoy great family activities like husky-sledding, reindeer sleigh rides and snowshoeing, or relax in your Ylläs holiday rental.  Your kids will also love taking a day trip to the Lainio Snow Village, which is constructed every winter. The best time of year to visit is in March or April when there are more daylight hours than in the middle of winter.

Selva

Italy

Families can enjoy great childcare services in the Selva Gardena ski area (Photo: Val Gardena)

Families can enjoy great childcare services in the Selva Gardena ski area (Photo: Val Gardena)

It doesn’t get more beautiful than the mountain village of Selva, located at an altitude of 1563m in the Italian Alps. The ski area of Selva Gardena is part of the Dolomiti Superki region which has more than 1220 km of slopes including the famous circular ski route, Sella Ronde. The scenery is magnificent. Not only can you enjoy the majestic surroundings, but families can also enjoy the great childcare services of the ski resort. There is a nursery for children 4 months to 3 years, as well as a Snow Club and Cocoa club for older kids staying at chalets in Selva Gardena. Alternatively, parents not staying at the resort can arrange childcare with Casa Bimbo, a popular childcare service.  There are several ski schools for kids, as well as activities like ice-skating and snowshoeing and playgrounds for the little ones.

Have a look at our holiday ideas section for more inspiration about family ski holidays.

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KerrynHitting the slopes of Europe’s family friendly ski resorts

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