A family skiing holiday can be a fantastic chance for the whole family to spend quality time together and at the same time have an exhilarating and satisfying holiday. Children love the snow almost as much as they love to slide on anything slippery. Skiing combines these two passions and throws in a large dose of fresh air and some healthy exercise. In Austria and France, resorts meeting certain criteria can register and advertise as being family-friendly. Columbus Direct discuss this in more detail whilst listing five of our favourite family friendly ski resorts in Europe.
Les Gets - France
One important aspect of a family friendly resort is the amount of alternative activities offered for younger children who are not wanting to spend all day on the ski slopes. Les Gets does this extremely well with a chocolate workshop and a mechanical museum. The resort itself has an unspoilt traditional village charm about it and has built itself a reputation as one of the most family friendly resorts in the Alps. There are also ample child care facilities and reasonably priced crèche facilities too. Les Gets is also known for having plenty of great mountain restaurants and we are told that La Grand Ourse at the top of Mount Cherie has the best food with some of the best mountain views in the world. The British Ski School has a reputation for producing real improvements in the abilities of most skiers that come to them for instruction.
Levi - Finland
Levi is the fastest growing ski area in Finland. Two gondola lifts give access to 230km of well maintained ski trails (28km of which are illuminated) on slopes that are linked by a free bus service and secondary lifts that operate from 9.30am to 7pm.When not on the slopes the resort has a sports and fitness centre with a spa and indoor and outdoor pools, plus Jacuzzis, saunas and steam rooms. For children there is a Children’s Playhouse and a bowling hall. If you fancy a spot of snowmobiling there are over 886km of Finland’s best snowmobiling trails in the area. Ice Hotels and Ice Bars make fascinating places to visit and there are plenty of providers offering excursions like visits to Santa Land in Rovaniemi and trips to see the Northern Lights.
Åre - Sweden
Probably the most popular resort in Sweden, Are is also known as being one of the most family friendly. With 54% of its ski runs being categorised as suitable for beginners, this resort is a great place to take the family skiing holiday. There are 5 ski areas with a total of 40 ski lifts and 103 runs. The village is situated at an altitude of 372 m, and the skiing area stretches nearly to the peak of Åreskutan at an altitude of 1420 m.. The Scandinavian love of, and regard for the needs of children is very evident here with family zones on the slopes, free lift tickets for under eights and plenty of family accommodation available. There are some great family friendly restaurants and plenty of things to do besides skiing. One particular attraction is the thrilling mile long toboggan ride that has been open since 1910.
Part of the Silvretta ski area which stretches across the Austrian/Swiss border between Ischgl and Samnuan, the resort features nearly 240 kilometres of piste in Galtür itself you will find the Silvapark which has 40km of local slopes especially designed to be family-friendly by providing sectors for different ability levels and snow sports styles. There is a guest kindergarten for children as young as 2 and places in the ski school for children 3 and upwards. Activities and opportunities for older children include lessons on the right way to do the perfect ski/boarding jump, a treasure hunt around the resort, night skiing sessions and even an off-piste ski safari. Every Friday a mini Winter Olympics is held, with electronic timing and award ceremonies where medals and winner's cups are given out.
Selva – Italy
The Dolomite Mountains are a kaleidoscope of colour as they change from a dreamy pink in the morning to fiery red at sunset. The Italians simply adore children and in Selva this is well in evidence with a special ski touring route for them that features obstacles and play parks. For family members who are experienced skiers, Selva is part of the Dolomites Superski, with 1,200km of well-groomed and accessible slopes, connected by over 450 lifts plus a network of ski buses. In this area there are a range of popular ski tours which guide you around a route and emphasise different aspects each time. You get opportunities to stop at wonderful panoramic viewpoints and to sample local culinary specialities in mountain huts. Off slope activities include indoor sports facilities, a swimming pool and a cinema.