Welcome to our Ski Guide for Families!
We know how important it is to maximize your time on the slopes, especially when you’re travelling with your family and some of those members are children. This is why we’ve prepared this family ski guide to help you find the best ski resort for you and give you the essential information you need to have a great time in the snow.
In this guide you’ll find ...
✅ The Best ski Resorts for families in Europe
✅ What lessons, nurseries and kiddies programmes you need to book
✅ How to find the best ski and snowboard equipment to suit your family
✅ Family Hotels and Apartments on Esquiades.com
✅ Tips and Advice to guarantee a successful family ski holiday
The Best Family Ski Resorts in Europe
As we have already mentioned, you need to make sure the ski resort has slopes for all levels. Make sure there’s a balance, you don’t want to find yourself going down the same 6 slopes because you forgot to check the ski map before booking.
Make sure there’s a kiddies area and a good entertainment programme. If the kids are happy and keeping busy, then everyone is happy!
The Best Ski Resorts for families in Austria
1. Stubai Glacier ski resort
❄ The best part of this ski resort is for children and teenagers. There’s an área called the Big Family Ski Camp where children can stay and be under expert supervision while you’re skiing down the slopes.
❄ There’s also a children’s restaurant in the resort.
❄ Other attractions are: a snow carousel and a special Kids’ Line in the Stubai Zoo Snowpark.
2. Skizentrum Schlick 2000
❄ Perfect for a family ski holiday, this ski area is only 15 minutes from Innsbruck and offers a great selection of restaurants and cosy lodges where you can make your pit-stop to recharge.
❄ In this ski area there’s Big Ron’s Kinderland, a children’s ski area with magic carpets, snow carousel and other attractions where kids can gain confidence on the snow and have some fun too.
❄ Those that are already feeling quite confident on the snow can head over to the Schanzlin practice area where they can ride lifts on a tow rope or a tow lift.
❄ There’s also a daycare centre located in the Schischule Stubai where kids as young as 3 months are looked after.
❄ It's one of the five sunniest ski areas in all Austria, so you’re in for a love ski holiday with the kids.
❄ Here you’ll find a total of 39 kilometres of pistes and it’s considered to be the winter paradise for families as it hosts loads of different events.
❄ At the top station of Acherkogel gondola is WIDI’s Kids Land where the little ones that have never skied before can practice skiing in a playful way. There are also four practicing ñlifts available.
❄ If you’re looking for a cosy ski resort to visit with your family, Mutterer Alm is perfect for you.
❄ Here there are 15 km of slopes with lengths between 700 and 4.200 metres.
❄ A great ski area if you want something laidback where the kids can gain confidence on the snow.
❄ There’s a Kinderland with 2 magic carpets close to the Almboden lift where there’s also a ski slope for beginners.
❄ The Fairy Tale Forest ski school is definitely the highlight of this ski area.
5. Serlesbahnen Mieders
❄ There are 6km of well-groomed ski slopes all of easy and medium difficulty.
❄ Perfectly manageable for beginners and families.
❄ There’s a special area for kids called King Serli Kids' Land where there’s a magic carpet and also the Stubai Tyrol Ski School.
❄ If there are snowboarders in the family, there’s a boardercross track.
❄ There’s also an off-slope ski área around Mt. Serles, ideal for a ski tour.
❄ Simply a 15-minute drive from Innsbruck city centre, it’s known as “the local’s ski resort”.
❄ There are 3 children's areas located on 3 different levels of the ski resort and a number of “family-friendly” slopes, so you can all ski down the hills together.
The Best Ski Resorts for families in Switzerland
1. Davos Klosters Ski Resort
❄ It’s one of the highest Alpine ski resorts in Europe and has a total of 6 ski areas.
❄ The mountains are not all interconnected and so, some of them are connected via bus.
❄ To make the most of Davos-Klosters you need to book a week’s holiday and that will allow you to spend a day on each mountain.
❄ There are several slopes for children in the different ski areas, however, if we have to point out the best one, that would be the Madrisa Ski Resort, located high above the village of Klosters, and has the biggest kiddies area called “Marisa Land”. Here the little ones can do tubing down the slopes, play in bouncy castles, build snowmen and also take ski lessons.
Head to our amazing ski offers in Davos Klosters and book your family week holiday to the Swiss Alps!
2. Grindelwald-Wengen Ski Rersort
❄ This ski resort has become very popular for families as it’s one of the hot spots for practicing tobogganing.
❄ There’s a slope that goes from Faulhorn to Grindelwald and it’s the longest toboggan run in the Alps (15 km long).
❄ There’s also the “First Flyer” zip-line for children that is 800 metres long and reaches a speed of 84 kilometres per hour.
If a ski holiday to Grindelwald ski resort is on your wishlist for this season, we have very flexible ski packages where you can book a short ski break to a full week’s holiday with a 6-day ski pass. The choice is all yours!
❄ Our hotel deals for Zermatt do not include the ski pass but that should not stop you from booking on Esquiades.com as we can guarantee you an affordable holiday, especially if you’re travelling with children.
❄ Zermatt ski resort is a place everyone definitely needs to visit as it’s at the foot of Switzerland’s most famous mountain called the Matterhorn.
❄ It’s the highest ski resort in Europe and guarantees snow as early as November.
❄ This ski resort has a variety of ski trails and ski clubs to introduce kiddies and beginners to the world of skiing.
❄ The ski area Sunnegga is the most popular for families because there’s the Wolli Park, which is ideal for first-time skiers.
This is Madrisa, a family-friendly mountain resort in Klosters.
The Best Ski Resorts for families in France
1. Alpe d’Huez, the French Alps.
❄ This ski resort is perfectly suited for beginners as well as expert skiers and is also known for having the most extensive nursery slopes in the Alps, so we can safely say that skiing in this ski resort is a must if you’re going on a family Winter holiday.
❄ If there’s a family member that doesn’t want to ski, the resort is very easy to get around for non-skiers and there’s also an indoor heated pool and an ice-skating rink.
❄ All of the villages have their own ski schools and childcare facilities, however, if we have to recommend the best ski areas for a family holiday we would say recommend the ski villages of Auris and Vaujany.
Book a week’s ski holiday for the family to Alpe d’Huez and get everyone enjoying its runs and facilities!
2. Val Thorens, the French Alps.
❄ Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe and is part of one of the largest ski resorts in the world, Les 3 Vallées.
❄ All levels can travel to the heights of the Cime de Caron for the long red run and blue run served by the cable car, and forays into the territories of Les Menuires and St Martin de Belleville.
❄ There are several snow parks for children, a family park and a fun slope and also big airbags that are available in the afternoons. Val Thorens ski resort also has a great activity programme so you can all enjoy some time together. At the ski resort ticket office you can book activities like snow jet ski, dog sledding and so many more!
Have a look at our ski deals for the Val Thorens ski area and book one of our ski apartments so you can wake up to amazing views of the slopes!
3. Font Romeu, the French Pyrenees
❄ This ski resort is located in the south of France and is said to be France’s sunniest ski resort. The French Tourism board has given it the “Famille Plus” thanks to its excellent offerings for young skiers.
❄ The Espace Ludique area was created with beginners in mind as it has fun slopes with different features like mini-boardercrossers, a slalom run and a sledding area.
❄ The après-ski is focused on families so you can do different activities after skiing such as bowling, snake gliss or enjoy a delicious family dinner.
This ski resort is lovely during the holidays so why don’t you have a look at our Christmas and New Year ski deals to Font Romeu? If not, we also have some other great package ski deals for skiing in 2021.
4. Les Angles, the French Pyrenees
❄ This resort, also known as the village resort, is another great french ski destination for a family ski break.
❄ There are large snow areas for kids to have fun and an incredible beginners plateau at the top of the resort where beginners and children can gain some confidence and parents know exactly where they are at all times ; )
❄ This ski resort also offers a great variety of aprés-ski activities you can all do as a family before heading back to your accommodation.
If flexibility when booking dates is a must for you, here we also offer shorts ski breaks as well as a full week on the slopes. So, have a look at our ski offers to Les Angles and start planning your next ski holiday!
Val Thorens Ski Resort, Season 2020/2021
The Best Ski Resorts for families in Andorra
1. Vallnord Pal-Arinsal
❄ If you’re heading to Andorra with your family, the Vallnord Pal-Arinsal ski resort is perfect for you. On Esquiades.com we offer some great hotel and apartment ski deals to ski in Vallnord Pal-Arinsal located in both La Massana and Arinsal, both of which have direct access to the ski resort.
❄ If you’re driving to the ski resort, you can park right next to the access in Arinsal or drive up to the Pal ski area where there’s also a car park. This way you don’t have to deal with carrying the equipment rental around as well as having to keep the kids under control ;)
❄ Both ski areas have ski schools where you can take group or private lessons and there’s also a Baby Club for children aged 1 to 4 and a Pekepark for kids aged 4 to 8 where they get to experience skiing for the first time through different fun games. Making the most of your time with the family is a priority on a ski holiday, which is why we’ll deliver your ski pass as well as other extras to your hotel reception.
❄ The Vallnord Pal-Arinsal Ski Resort has a fantastic activity programme for children aged 6 to 15. They can try driving snowmobiles in a closed circuit, challenge their navigational skills in orienteering circuits or whiz across the resort on a zip line!
2. Grandvalira Ski Resort
❄ If you’re thinking of visiting the Grandvalira Ski Resort and are travelling with children aged 1 to 4, there are 4 nurseries available for them in the following ski areas: Canillo, El Tarter, Soldeu and Grau Roig.
❄ If you’re travelling with teenagers, the best ski schools are located in Soldeu and El Tarter and these areas are also ideal for beginners and lower-intermediate of any age.
On Esquiades.com you will find the hotels in Grandvalira filtered by ski area to help you find the perfect ski hotel for you and your family. You can include ski lessons, nurseries and lunch tickets in your ski package deal and you’ll find all the information on your confirmation voucher.
Views of Soldeu, Grandvalira
The Best Ski Resorts for families in Spain
1. Baqueira Beret Ski Resort
❄ Located in the north of Spain, this ski resort has 3 ski areas: Baqueira, Beret and Bonaigua all of which have children's areas, playgounds and practice ski areas. The largest ski area is Baqueira.
❄ Our Ski and Snowboard experts recommend you to head to the Baqueira ski area as it's where you'll find the largest kiddies area called "Parc Infantil 1800". Children from 2 and a half years old to 7 can play and learn to ski and the lessons take between 3 to 4 hours.
❄ There's also an ice rink in Vielha, a great après-ski activity with the kids.
❄ On Esquiades.com you'll find a great selection of hotels and self-catered apartments of different price ranges to suit your budget.
Have a look at our ski offers for Baqueira Beret and start planning your next family ski holiday!
2. Boí Taüll Ski Resort
❄ It is located in the Catalan Pyrenees and despite having numerous red and black runs, thanks to its geography it is ideal for skiing with the family.
❄ Its funnel shape means that, just like Port Ainé Ski Resort, all the slopes end in the same place, so that parents don’t have to worry about the children getting lost in the resort.
❄ There are several conveyor belts and lifts that take you to green, blue and red slopes where any child can take their first steps on the skis. They even have a nursery ski school, located in the middle of the slopes, so that the little ones have a first contact with the snow.
Does this ski resort sound like a place you’d like to visit with the family? Have a look at our ski package deals for Boí Taüll resort.
3. Sierra Nevada Ski Resort
❄ Located in the South of Spain, this ski resort is easily accessible from your hotel or apartment as most of them are located whithin walking distance from the main access or faily close to a chairlift. This is perfect for a hassle-free holiday with the kids.
❄ There's an international ski and snowboard school you can book lessons private or group lessons for the kids (you can add this service with Esquiades.com).
❄ If it's your first time visint the snow with the kiddies, there's an excellent area called the Alpine Garden located in Borreguiles ski area where the children can gain some confidence in a safe and fun way. This place is ideal for children aged 3 to 5.
❄ If the kids aren't into skiing, there's a family kids club (children aged 3 to 12) where the kids can spend the day under the supervision of professionals. Esquiades.com does not provide this service, however, our customer service can give you all the info you need to book this service before heading to the Sierra Nevada Ski Resort.
❄ If there are adults and children that aren't going to ski, they can give the Mirlo Blanco a go! It's next to the Pradrollano Square (the main acces of the ski resort) where there are loads of activities for the kids and you don't need a ski pass to access this area.
Our ski holidays in Sierra Nevada ski resort are totally flexible when it comes to booking dates and durations and you can add different extras to help you customise your booking.
Baqueira Beret Ski Resort, Season 2020/2021
What you need to know about the ski schools and nurseries
for the perfect family winter holiday
- If this is your first time travelling with your family, you need to find a ski resort that has services for every family member.
- Kids can start skiing and snowboarding from the age of 3 but you might want them to first take an initiation programme that combines games in the snow and skiing/snowboarding lessons.
- If you’re travelling with a toddler, you’ll need to find a good ski nursery where they can spend the day while you are on the slopes.
- If there are teenargers in the family, you can either find group lessons so they can meet other children their age or book a private lesson if you think they need one-on-one assistance.
What if, you don’t need to book them into any school or nursery because the kids are advanced skiers/snowboarders so they can hit the slopes with total confidence but you want to make sure they can’t go too far or get lost.
- Most ski resorts have been improving and adapting their services to make sure there’s something for everyone but some ski resorts may be more suitable than others. We will advise you on where you can go, however, something you should always look out for is a certification called “Family Plus”. This name may vary depending on the country but the idea is to look out for a type of certificate that confirms the ski resort is perfectly adapted for families and children of all ages.
Do you have to wear a helmet to ski?
In some resorts it’s compulsory to wear a helmet for children under the age of 16. So, we recommend that you check the ski resort’s details before heading over there. Regardless, as it’s your first time in a ski resort, you should definitely wear protection to feel safe and confident.
Children usually get this included for free in their equipment rental however, adults will have to pay extra for this service. You can check the rates in the shop.
- Most ski resorts have lots of ski and snowboard schools and they each offer different group sizes for children and have multilingual ski instructors. Most of them are based in the ski resort, so they are very easy to find and most of the time the meeting point is at the ticket office. For children aged 5 and above, you can enroll them in group lessons according to their level. The ski and snowboard schools offer programmes for all the ski levels. For children aged 3 and 4, there are the snow gardens where they get to have fun with the snow and play games in a safe environment. If you’re travelling with toddlers aged 1 or 2, the ski resort can give you information about hiring private babysitters.
The ski instructors will make sure your children in the correct group so they can learn to ski with other children of their same level.
Renting equipment for a family ski holiday
When it comes to renting equipment, it all depends on your ski/snowboard level. On Esquiades.com, we offer different ranges of equipment.
The names of the ranges vary as each brand or shop can call them differently. However, what you need to know is that there are usually 3 categories of ski and snowboard equipment:
Bronze/Economy: This type of equipment is suitable for beginners and is the most affordable option.
Silver/Evolution: This equipment is for those who wish to improve their skills and look for skis or a snowboard of better quality so that they can gain speed on the runs.
Gold/Performance: This is for advanced skiers and snowboarders. The equipment is considered to be top of the range and thus, the most expensive option. People that go for this option are those who usually have their own equipment but for some reason have not travelled with their own equipment or are thinking of buying new gear during their holiday.
What should you look out for when booking a family ski holiday?
1. If you are looking for something budget-friendly and convenient, a self-catered apartment is the way to go. When you are travelling with kids, especially toddlers, it can be hard to stick to a schedule so you are probably better off with doing your own thing. This may not be possible in a hotel if you have to stick to restaurant opening times.
2. Apartments are usually located by the slopes so you have more ski-in/ski-out options, which is ideal when you are travelling with kids.
3. You need to think that you have to head to the rental shop and ski school / ski nursery before heading to the ski resort, so you really need to find something with the best location. Carrying equipment isn’t fun, especially when you are also carrying your kids stuff!
3. Food can also be an issue when you are travelling with toddlers so, if you’re in a self-catered accommodation, you won’t have to worry about any tantrums. And, if you ever want dinner out, you can always treat the family to an evening meal in a nice restaurant!
4. If your kids are a bit older and can carry their own equipment, you can look at booking a hotel within walking distance or a short shuttle ride, and with Half Board. This way you won’t have to worry about cooking dinner ;)
5. One other thing! Make sure the ski resort has lockers so you don’t have to carry your equipment to the resort every day!
Top tips and advice for a succesful ski holiday with your family
Here's what our ski and snowboard experts have to share with you about going on a ski holiday with children:
1. Make sure the ski resort has a variety of restaurants. If you're on holiday for a full week, you'll want to avoid eating at the same place most days.
2. Make sure you don’t leave anything behind! We’ve prepared a checklist to help you pack your suitcase ;)
3. Don’t teach them how to ski! This is crucial to guarantee a good experience. Knowing how to ski doesn’t automatically turn you into a ski or snowboard instructor. Book ski/snowboard lessons with a professional.
4. Do your research. Check the ski resort map and read other customers reviews. On Esquiades.com our customers can also share their experience as a family.
5. Take the kids to an indoor snow centre. Skiing for the first time can be quite daunting for a child so, if you leave close to an indoor ski centre, you could take them there before your ski holiday!
Have we not answered all of your questions? Contact our ski and snowboard experts - available Monday to Sunday from 9 am to 10 pm on +44 (0)2 036 959 406 or send them a message via our contact section.