Fabulous off-piste snowboarding. A freestyle-park. Mostly blue runs. Lots of red runs. Top childcare. All-inclusive accommodation and meals. Views to die for. The checklist of "likes" for skiing and snowboarding holidaymakers is almost limitless and very individual. Where you choose to go will also be dictated by time, money, recommendations from friends and your thirst for new or familiar.
[caption id="attachment_928" align="alignleft" width="320" caption="Happy kids = happy ski holidays"][/caption]
As a first in a series of blogs we have come up with some recommended ski resorts for families. While every family has different needs, in general they will be looking for:
* Short transfers from airport to resort
* Family-friendly accommodation and food
* Welcoming ski schools, with English-speaking instructors
* Flattering green and blue runs
* More cable cars and chair lifts, less button tows
For a range of reasons, and some of those included above, the family-friendly resorts that we like include:
Valmorel, France: The French resort that shows that purpose-built doesn’t have to equal horribly functional. Advantages include a pedestrianised centre, a road that loops around the resort giving easy access to accommodation and the excellent Club Piou Piou offering comprehensive childcare and child ski tuition.
Flaine, France: Short transfers from Geneva, all runs leading back to central bowl so it's difficult to get lost, numerous flattering blue runs and plenty to keep all abilities and ages happy all week long.
Claviere, Italy: Small, quiet and with a good range of family-friendly pistes. It also has easy to access another pretty Montgenevre area. Hotels geared up for families.
Puy-St-Vincent France: Guidebooks often cite this resort as as one of Europe's top family resorts. It’s because of the British creche, two ski schools and superb snow record.
Nassfeld, Austria: The acclaimed chain of family specific Austrian hotels, Kinderhotels, has a place here, which makes it an excellent choice for families.
Vemdalen, Sweden: Very friendly with a huge dedicated children’s area, a crèche, a much-loved ski school and many child-friendly evening entertainments.
Morillon, France: One of a few resorts to have won the French government's “Famile Plus” label for excellent children's facilities. A “village des enfants” is ideal for younger kids.
Anyone else got a family-friendly ski resort recommendation?