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best ski resorts for children and families
edited December 2009
hi we are a family of four planning to book a holiday all 1st time skiiers and ages are 40, 33, 15, 8 could you recommend resorts for us please, thanx
You didn't mention if it was in the USA or Europe. In the USA I think Steamboat, Crested Butt and Beaver Creek do the best with families. Steamboat-stay on the mountain next to the gondola lift. There are plenty of buses into town. Crested Butt, stay at the base of the mountain or look at Treasury Point Condos. It is a great complex with pool and NICE! Directly on the bus loop to the slopes and town. Beaver Creek, stay in the village. For Europe we love Saas Fe, Switzerland. It is on the flip side from Zermatt. Fly into Geneve. Train up the mt. Stay at Hotel Christiana, a wonderful family hotel with the best rates. You can ski here for a week including all meals CHEAPER than a week in Colorado without meals etx...
I went to Morzine this winter with our children and stayed at a beautiful chalet called Treeline Chalets, it was amazing and the area was perfect for families especially on the Morzine les gets side. Lots of blues and very easy reds!! Such a great and vast resort, something for all abilities.
Full Circle Travel
edited May 2010
Again depends on whether you are looking to ski in Europe or US/Canada but we would recommend considering a Club Med ski holiday for first timers in Europe as it offers an all inclusive package. Your flights, transfers, ski passes, ski lessons and all food and drinks are included. You would need to pay for ski hire on top but apart from that do not need to spend a penny more.
Club Med have a great selection of resorts in Europe and we can help you choose the right resort. It is an excellent option for families, I take my own children and they absolutely love it.
edited July 2012
Alpe d'Heuz in France was really good for us. There is a vast ski area, with a range of slopes for all levels and it is much cheaper than the 3 valleys, verbier etc.
Solitude Ski Resort in Utah is GREAT for beginners, and a very family-friendly place to stay, as well...
St Martin de Belleville in the Three Valleys which is the biggest skiable domain in Europe offers an original skiing old rustic village atmosphere (very pretty) but well conected to the three valley ski network, great for famillys who want to enjoy an authentic rustic chalet style holiday. We have been everywhere in Europe but for us the best value chalet to stay in is Chalet Chardon Bleu, with Peak Pursuits which is about 8 mins out of St Martin de Belleville and its serviced by a minibus that drops you off in the morning and picks you up after your apres ski drink in a local bar. Free ski guiding and a gourmet quality three course meal adds to the perfect experience. Kids have a separate tea time giving them time to mix with other kids in the chalet and time to socialise whilst the adults have dinner. Everyone has time to thoroughly enjoy themselves. We loved it and will return again next year. They have really good reviews on Trip Advisor. Have fun!
edited June 2011
Hey i would like to add For families with teenage kids, Obergugrl, the highest parish in Austria, is a good option. Its a small, focused village with friendly Austrian charm and snowsure slopes, but not so many that the kids would get lost on their own.
hope u would like the place and choose it as ur destination..
La Roisere or La Plagne in France are great ski resorts for families, both offer wide blue runs ideal for learning and you wont have to be checking the piste map at every lift as all of them link to another wide blue.
edited March 2012
Lenzerheide is in Switzerland, just next to Austria and is a great skiing destination for all ages. There are a variety of ski slopes covered in a think layer of snow perfect for skiing abilities. There are a range of modern transport facilities to help you move around the resort and get up to the top of the ski slopes. There are also bars and restaurants along the way for refreshments.
Skiing is normally good until around mid April time so you can make the most of the snow!
edited January 2013
if are looking for best place to ski, and want some adventure in your lives come for skiing in kashmir
hii marian !!
we have best places to skiiing in north africa inMorocco exactly especially if you are still beginners .
there are two best skii stations in Morocco one in the hight atlas which Oukaimden station not far from toursitic city Marrakech .
and second one in the middle atlas which is called michlifen skii station very closed to Ifran city ( swistland of morocco ) .
these two places are wonderful for families and their children on these places you can find skii equipments for hiring them .
all the moroccan families who like to walk on snow or skking go to these places to spend weekend or al least journey .
enjoy moroccan nature !
I would recommend Alpe d'Huez! It has lots of beginner slopes and a big skiing area. The town is quieter than other resorts which is probably a good thing when you're travelling with your family. Lots of lovely restaurants, cafes etc, swimming pool, ice skating rink. Great for cycling in the summer as well
I loved Sainte Foy. The resort is great for all abilities. We've been going there for 5 years and have introduced our kids (both 3 and 4) recently and they love it. We stay with premiere neige cause they have their own childcare facilities, which the 2 boys use after their morning ski lessons.
We found that Sainte Foy is quieter than most bigger resorts during peaks too!!!
St. Anton / Tyrol / Austria:
The „Märchenwald“ Faritail Forrest near Nassereinbahn and the Kinderland at the Galzigbahn are made especially for children and support skiers and snowboarders in a decent and for children suitable way.
edited February 2015
Here is an old article we wrote that is useful on
Where are the best places in Europe to learn skiing?
Learning to ski is a great way to spend a winter holiday in Europe. With the right resort and good instruction you’ll be flying down the slopes within days of arrival –and best of all you’ll take home a skill that will last a lifetime. (It’s a bit like learning to ride a bike, except the falls are a lot softer.) Children make great pupils too, and will have great fun learning the ropes – giving parents a solid morning or afternoon time out from the little ones!
Make the right choice of destination for your first ski trip and it could be the start of a lifetime’s addiction to this healthy and exhilarating sport! So if you’ve got the winter gear and are ready to roll, here are 10 ideal resorts in which to learn how to ski while still having a great holiday.
Just because you’re learning to ski doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Europ e’s very best slopes. Case in point is Cortina, pride of Italy’s resort offerings. It offers astounding scenery and majestic views over the Dolomites. There are very good beginner slopes and plenty of long, gentle gradient cruise runs, just what recent ski school graduates need. Another plus in Cortina’s favour is that the instructors are skilled with kids and jittery adults.
Wengen takes pride in having one of Europe’s best known and most highly regarded ski schools. That means you learn faster, have more fun in the process, and pick up the right technique from the start. Wenger is positioned under the awesome north face of the Eiger, which has long held magnetic fascination for Alpinists. The learner slopes are right in the heart of the village and there are lots of long, gentle runs to move onto when one’s confidence allows. The only negatives are that with a relatively low altitude snowfall can be unreliable, and the après ski scene is a little subdued, so youngsters in a group will need to make their own party.
For those wanting something a little different from their ski learning experience the pretty town of Kranjska Gora might be the answer. Slovenia’s top resort is close to the both the Italy and Austrian border, at the foot of the Julien Alps. The resort is small and unpretentious, and the runs long and undemanding making Kranjska an ideal destination for beginners and those wanting to get off the beaten track. Slovenia is also more affordable than its more affluent neighbours so ski costs are markedly cheaper.
KosLech is for those that want to learn in style, at one of Europe’s most chic and expensive resorts. The price barrier has preserved Lech as a classic alpine resort with a small village atmosphere despite plenty of lively nightlife. The ski schools are excellent with experienced, English-speaking instructors and plenty of suitable runs for the learner skier. The position of the slopes also maximizes chances of snow cover and sunshine – perfect conditions to seduce a rookie. The snow season is also one of the longest in Europe, and at either end of the ski season ‘Snow Crystal' weeks mean ski passes are halved in price.
> Poiana Brasov,
Looking for great value and uncluttered slopes? Go east! The former eastern Europe republics have some excellent and underrated ski resorts that are rapidly catching on in popularity. Good value means beginner skiers can try out the sports without breaking the bank. Poiana Brasov has two nursery areas, and the sport’s friendliest instructors. There is plenty to do in the area as well, such as a trip to Dracula’s castle.
Despite its cumbersome name, the resort of Gurgl-Obergurgl is great for beginners and intermediates, with some of Europe’s most reliable snow, and a small village atmosphere that is undeniably charming. This resort gets a very high rate of returning skiers which is generally a good sign. The nightlife is quiet though, and the more experienced skiers in the party will quickly run out of challenges.
Andorra is one of the most popular places for learner skiers wanting to master the sports in a low-profile, good value environment before hitting the slopes in Europe’s more fashionable destinations. Soldeu has sacrificed challenge and variety in favour of abundant beginner and intermediate slopes. The ski schools are decent and the weather and nightlife both reliable and cheerful. Andorra offers the additional draw of being a duty-free shopping destination with simply the cheapest shopping on the continent.
KosChatel is part of the Portes du Soleil in France, the world’s biggest ski area. That means there are plenty of runs for skiers of all abilities. Access is convenient and cheap given the resorts close proximity to Geneva airport, and can even be driven to via Calais. There are plenty of beginner’s slopes and well regarded ski instructors too. A big plus of this area is the range of accommodation, including chalets for rent right on the slopes, close to the ski lifts.
Beautiful Bankso attracts budget-conscious skiers who like a bargain and relaxing skiing conditions that are perfect for the first-time skier. The lift system is excellent and the green slopes, to which beginners graduate after a few days, have gentle runs of up to 16km in length. In total 65% of the ski runs are for beginners and intermediates. The town itself was founded in the 10th century so has plenty of history and interesting attractions to explore. Don’t expect sophisticated dining and entertainment options though, this is a more down-to-earth scene.
Glenshee boasts the largest ski lift system in the UK, and its 36 runs are ideal for beginners and intermediates. The top of the Cairnwell Chairlift offers the best panorama of the Cairngorms to be seen from any Scottish ski area. The resort is conveniently situated, but snow cover can be unreliable and the slopes congested with day–trippers.
Get some lessons before you leave. Snow domes such as the Chill Factore in Manchester provide a realistic preview of the real thing.
Try to get a beginner’s package with your booking which includes lessons, gear rental and a lift pass if needed.
Rent gear to start with – find out how much you like skiing before spending money on expensive equipment.
Get insurance that covers ski-specific injuries.
Make sure your accommodation is conveniently located to the nursery slopes and ski school.
for destination advice
edited November 2015
I also recommend steamboat. They have a great ski day care that they call the KVC or kids vacation center.. I worked there, and then, they even had an evening kids/teens activity program thing so the parents could go out to dinner sans kids.
Another one from me, we went to La Tania last year - it's connected to the three valleys (Meribel, Courcheval, Val Thorens) by just one lift, but is cheaper and very child friendly being a smaller ski resort. Teenage children may get bored, I guess, but good for smalls.
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