When you’re travelling with children, in order to try and reduce stress, it’s important to think about the resort that you’re travelling to. There are many aspects you can think about which are going to help make your life a little easier. We’ll run through a few of our favourite ski resorts for families.
Flaine is Andys favourite resort, he absolutely raves about it! Flaine sits in the Grand Massif ski area, giving you access to 265km of piste. The resort itself, which faces Mont Blanc, sits at around 1600m and reaches heights of 2500m, so there are heights to go to to help with snow levels. With a good number of beginner areas (there are even two beginner lifts in the village that you don’t actually need a lift pass for), green and blue runs there are also a good number of red runs as well as black runs and a good amount of off-pistes. Another really beneficial feature for the kids is a number of “fun” areas in the ski area which break the monotony of going up and down the mountain.
A great thing about the skiing in Flaine is that it’s situated in a bowl, which means no matter which piste you take, you end up in the same place, which is great for social skiing and minimises the risk of “losing” people!
Another HUGE benefit of Flaine is its proximity to Geneva airport and the short transfer. With the transfer taking only around 1 – 1.5 hours, it’s a great option for those with children who don’t want to endure 3 hours on a coach, or for those who are looking for a shorter stay to maximise skiing time.
La Plagne consists of a number of different villages, Belle Plagne being the newest, which is more purpose-built. Belle Plagne itself sits at an altitude of 2050m. The village is pedestrianised, and pretty much completely ski-in/ski-out, making it super easy for families.
La Plagne gives you access to 225km of piste, but also sits within the wider Paradiski area. The Paradiski area gives you access to a total of 425km of pistes, 70% of which are over 2000m which really helps with snow levels. Belle Plagne has a central location meaning it’s easy to access the entirety of La Plagne and the Paradiski area.
Belle Plagne suits beginners with lots of long, wide cruisey runs, as well as lots of dedicated beginner areas. For the kids there are also lots of fun zones to keep the kids entertained including chairlift selfies. Not to mention the off-mountain activities such as ziplines, ice rinks and bobsleigh runs.
We love Les Balcons de Belle Plagne, consisting of 4* chalet-style apartments, available self-catered or half-board, a great option when you have kids in tow!
Arinsal in Andorra is a little smaller than other resorts that we’ve looked at, but also benefits from being one of the significantly cheaper options. Sitting within the Vallnord Pal-Arinsal ski area, the village itself sits at around 1500m but the ski area goes all the way up to 2570m. There are a large number of blue runs, as well as some more intermediate runs towards the top. The resort is largely focused towards beginners, and groups of mixed abilities, so whilst there are a few more intermediate runs we probably wouldn’t recommend this resort for a group of all advanced skiiers. The ski and snowboard schools here offer an outstanding level of tuition and are well recognised for this.
In resort you’ll find that the prices to eat and drink out are significantly cheaper than the French alternatives. When it comes to eating out there are a wide variety of different restaurants in Arinsal suiting all tastes, from steaks to curries, roasts to sushi! It’s easy to find something that your younger members will be happy with. To entertain the kids off the mountain, check out the bowling alley!
Alpe d’Huez is a great ski resort for families. It’s a large resort in France, which offers 250km of pistes. Set across 6 different villages, Alpe d’Huez sits at around 1860m and its highest point, on the Pic Blanc glacier, reaches up to 3300m meaning even if snow levels aren’t great at resort level, you can head up to the top and still get decent snow. Due to its height, this resort is a great option for early or later in resort.
The resort has been given the nickname “L’Isle du Soleil” meaning the island of the Sun, due to its reputation for the most days of sunshine on the ski slopes (around 300 a year!).
With a healthy range of greens, blues, reds, blacks and off piste options, there is something for everyone within the group. The lower slopes are wide and open, with lots of nursery slopes and greens, it’s great for giving beginners the opportunity to go on adventures and not just being stuck on the same runs all week! Heading a little higher up, you come to more blues and reds, and the opportunity to develop your skills further. Don’t forget to check out the infamous La Sarenne (the longest black run in Europe) or if you’re feeling particularly brave, La Tunnel but we warn you, this isn’t for the faint-hearted!
The transfer to Alpe d’Huez from Grenoble is only around a 1 hour 45 minutes which is great for the young ones who can’t sit still for 3 hours!
We’ve looked at it in previous blogs, but Val Thorens is a jack of all trades and can cater for families, beginners, advanced groups, groups of mixed abilities, groups looking for apres ski, there’s something for everyone!
The ski school in Val Thorens that we work with, ESF, can cater for children from as young as 3 months old in their nursery group. Once the children have reached the age of 3 they can join in groups that start to get them more used to snow and the mountain, and by 4 they will be in group ski lessons. The ski school meeting point is very close to Cheval Blanc and Village Montana Val Thorens.
Whilst Val Thorens has a reputation for its lively nightlife, which is more true in the resort centre, you can head to the higher parts of the resort around Les Balcons de Val Thorens where it is out of the hustle and bustle but without being too far away from shops and restaurants.
Les Arcs also sits within the Paradiski area, so again you benefit from 70% of the slopes being over 2000m and 425km of piste. Over 60% of the resorts within the Paradiski area have snowmaking facilities which is really helpful for any weeks which lack the white stuff falling! Similarly to La Plagne, there are lots of wide cruisey blues for those that are quite new to skiing as well as some steeper reds and blacks for those that are more confident.
Made up of 4 different pedestrianised villages, Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000, each one is slightly different with some being quieter than others in relation to nightlife, and some newer than others. There are lots of options off the mountain for when the kids get tired, including laser tag in Arc 1800. Other activities include an ice rink, bowling alley and Aquatic centre!
In summary, a few key things to think about when travelling with kids are the transfer length, the variety of beginner slopes and non-skiing activities. If you are going on holiday with kids, be sure you check out our blog with top tips for skiing with kids.
Request a quote here and we can help you find the perfect trip for your family!