The BEST family ski resorts in Europe

June 7, 2018

It can be tricky to find a truly family-friendly ski resort. There are so many resorts out there, a lot of different needs to take into account, and it can be a headache to make sure everyone enjoys their holiday.

You want your trip to be the best it can be: only the best is good enough for your family. The snow, accommodation, food, aprés ski… There’s a lot to research.

Here are a couple of tips of what to look for when planning a family ski holiday in Europe and a list of the best family ski resorts in Europe.

What to look for when planning a family ski holiday in Europe

Start by making a wish-list of what you need from your perfect family ski holiday. Don’t forget child care, ski lessons and non-ski activities, if needed.

Some challenges to keep in account while looking for your family-friendly ski destination:

  • Everyone in the family has different needs.

Some want to ski as much as possible during your ski holiday, others want to explore the area, are looking to relax, or just want to try as many activities as possible. Try to find a resort with many different options where you’ll all find something fitting your needs.

  • Not all of you have the same ski abilities.

Whilst parents and grandparents may have decades of experience on the slopes, kids may only have a couple of years or could be just starting out.

Consider a ski area with a wide range of slopes and ski schools to suit all levels of ability.

  • You’ll want some quality time, whether it’s one-on-one or with the whole family.

There have to be a couple of things outside of skiing that you can enjoy together, but you’ll also want the time to actually be spending quality time, instead of in a plane or car.

A bonus point for family-friendly ski resorts that are near an airport and don’t require too much travel to get around.

Ski resorts aren’t just for skiers!

Ski resorts cater to all kinds of visitors, including those who aren’t the biggest fans of skiing. There are plenty of other things you can do, both on and off the snow.

Modern ski resorts are home to world-class dining, amazing spas and health clubs, and offer a plethora of incredible in- and outdoor activities such as dogsledding, aprés ski, ice-skating, glacier walks, fat biking, ice driving, paragliding, snowshoeing, bobsledding, and much more.

The BEST family-friendly ski resorts in Europe

To compile this below list of the best family ski resorts in Europe, we have looked at quality of accommodation, atmosphere, range of non-ski activities, unique highlights, and family-friendly facilities such as a variety of slopes, ski schools, and child-care.

Resorts are included which suit young families with children who are just learning to ski, as well as families with teens, or multi-generation families looking to ski.

Les Gets

The French town of Les Gets is an attractive, family-friendly resort. It has a great atmosphere, partly because it has grown from a small farming town into a fantastic skiing destination.

Les Gets’ slopes are shared with Morzine (more about that resort later in the list), and they are the most extensive linked ski area in the Alps.

Let Gets has really gone out of its way to cater for families and is richly deserving of its ‘Familie Plus Montagne’ tag. A great example of its family-friendly facilities is the Le Grand Cry, an area of mountain dedicated to children only.

Although the village can appear quite scattered, most facilities are within reach, hence are the perfect option for family ski holidays in Les Gets. If you’re staying farther from the main lift station, you can take a road-train shuttle or free buses around the village. There’s also a fun mini-train which tours around the village.

The Milka Mauve slope is also a great experience for kids, with animal cutouts, and lots of fun and educational extras.

Madonne di Campiglio

This family-friendly resort in the Dolomites boasts an authentic Italian charm that’ll make you fall in love with the resort upon arriving. This where the Italians themselves ski!

The resort has a large number of ski schools, and with many ski-to-door hotels, so you don’t have to drag your gear around.

Madonne di Campiglio is centrally located in the ski-area of Trentino. Skiing in Trentino, at the foot of the Brenta Dolomites offers lots of intermediate terrain, which is perfect for families with kids who want to explore the mountain.

Ski holidays in Madonne di Campiglio offers some of the top ranked piste grooming, with great nursery slopes for beginners and ski enthusiasts of all ages.

La Plagne

La Plagne is a gigantic ski area in the French Alps. In fact, together with Les Arcs it makes up Paradiski, one of the world’s largest ski areas.

The resort is one of the world’s most visited ski area, with about 2,5 million visitors a year.

It’s a paradise for those learning to ski, with over half of their pistes being green and blue pistes. That’s good news for kids, nervous skiers, and other beginners. More experiences skiers can go to Les Arcs, the other part of Paradiski.

Offering numerous child-friendly chalets, plenty of gentle slopes for your little ones to build confidence, and top value for money, La Plagne is a favourite for families with kids of all ages.

Christmas is a major event for families in La Plagne, with markets, parades and even Santa himself making an appearance.

Cervinia

Cervinia is one of the top ranking ski resorts in Italy for grooming, making it’s nursery slopes some of the best for beginners. The high-altitude resort is well-known for good early and late-season skiing.

The area is a paradise for skiers of all levels: from nursery slopes to thigh burners. Did you know Cervinia is home to one of the longest runs in Europe, at 13 km at 2000 m vertical?

Cervinia’s village centre is compact and has an attractive high street, fantastic bars, eateries and friendly locals.

Morzine

Morzine is a big town but has a friendly village atmosphere. Morzine’s first ski lift was created in 1934, so the resort has lots of experience in giving visitors unforgettable ski holidays.

Families with young children don’t need to worry. Morzine has child-friendly cafes and bars (including sittings before 7 pm), and a local child-care. There are even private nannies available to hire.

Morzine has special runs designed specifically for kids and ski schools with a brilliant reputation. The area is excellently maintained, including modern chairlifts and great snow-making facilities.

Morzine is home to many cafes and restaurants (there are 90 restaurants in the area) and it’s only a 90-minute drive to Geneva Airport.

Crans Montana

They welcome many young families annually offering a wide range of nursery slopes, family-friendly hotels, and other fun activities.

Crans Montana is one of the best destinations for families that want to do more than just skiing. The resort is a top-destination for a spa holidays, there are Michelin star restaurants, and activities like ice-skating, swimming, and tobogganing.

Denis Emery – photo-genic.ch

Crans Montana is located atop a sunny plateau in the Rhone Valley, and has stunning views of the famous nearby Matterhorn.

Madesimo

Madesimo is a more budget-friendly destination out there.

The resort is nice and compact and has a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere. During the week it’s not too busy and the food around Madesimo is delicious.

Madesimo is perfectly located in the ski area, with many pistes easily reachable. The ski area is outfitted with a super modern lift system, and a wonderful selection of well-groomed pistes and a couple more challenging sections.

Courmayeur

You won’t believe this: Courmayeur has a crèche on the mountain! They’ll look after the youngest of your family, while the rest of you enjoy a view of Mont Blanc during your descent.

The picturesque village has a compact, pedestrianized centre with boutiques, nightclubs, and restaurants and cafes.

There’s a thermal spa, a cable car up Mont Blanc (where you can enjoy the panoramic views and even do a glacier walk with a guide), and you can go dogsledding, fat biking, ice driving, and more.

Are you excited yet about your family ski trip? Planning is made a lot easier now that you have a checklist of tips to plan the ultimate ski trip for your family and a list of the best family ski resorts in Europe.

All that’s left to say is have fun!