Family Ski Holidays France
Skiing with the family is such a rewarding holiday especially when you have planned it right. It's extremely important to choose a resort that is geared towards families and children, as not all resorts are! Of course, within resorts, there are a number of different residences that are more suited to families than others.
Choosing the best options for family ski holidays
Val Thorens is a large resort that offers excellent ski possibilities for all types of groups but not all the residences in the resort would be ideal for families due to the facilities on offer. La Rosière is also an excellent family resort and very popular with our clients and all the accommodation is suitable for families. With this in mind, do give the team a call on 023 9289 0960 and we can help advise you on both the resort and accommodation options available to you and your family.
Remember: If your children are of school age then school holiday availability in the popular family resorts get booked up early, so it is worth bearing that in mind if you want to guarantee a specific resort or residence.
Travelling to the resort
When choosing a resort it is worth bearing in mind how you are planning on getting to the resort.
The benefit of self-drive is obviously the flexibility it affords you with not only time but also the amount of luggage you can take. We have lots of information and tips about driving to the French Alps.
For resorts in the Paradiski, Tignes-Val d'sère and Les 3 Vallées areas then it is worth bearing in mind the ski train which takes you to the heart of the Alps to either Bourg Saint Maurice or Moutiers and only a relatively short transfer from the major resorts.
If you prefer to fly and this is an excellent option especially if you are interested in skiing in the Southern Alps, it is worth considering the transfer time between the airport and resort, with the Southern Alps resorts offering relatively good transfer times and costs to the majority of resorts. The value for money these resorts offer are an excellent reason to consider them for a great family ski holiday.
Suitability for ski ability
Is the resort suitable for everyone's ski requirements? It is not necessarily the case that all members of your party will be beginners, therefore are there enough challenging runs available to those more competent? There are resorts with a relatively small ski domain which in turn links up to larger domains offering a much wider range of runs to those of all abilities.
Residence location important for families
The location of your accommodation is another important consideration for a number of reasons. First of all how far is the residence from the centre of the resort?
Although your accommodation may be self-catering you may still like to go out in the evenings to the local restaurants and entertainment venues. Therefore, somewhere that is only a short walk to the resort centre is a real benefit.
Is the residence offering doorstep skiing? This is great for children as it's not fun to walk too far in their ski boots and you will certainly be left carrying an armful of ski equipment to the nearest lift! We are talking from experience here! Else, look out for the local bus transfers. Many accommodations that don't offer doorstep skiing will have a bus shuttle service which stops near the property. These are easy to jump on and off.
The majority of the resorts that Ski collection feature are what are referred to as purpose-built resorts. This simply means they have been developed primarily as a ski resort rather than being a traditional village resort. The traditional villages offer excellent ski opportunities but can have their own disadvantages as they were not developed with the skier in mind. This is where purpose-built resorts come into their own. There are some resorts that are car-free with everything you need close at hand and also benefiting from doorstep skiing. An excellent example of such a resort would be Val Thorens and Flaine.
We are big advocates of ski lessons and they really are not just for beginners. Older children can hone their skills and learn the mountain, and younger ones can learn to ski in safe hands.
It is important to consider the location of ski schools to your residence!
Never overestimate your child's ski ability. Ski schools will group your child with others of their ability to ensure all the children get the most from their lessons. Our team can help you chose which level to put your children in to.
If you do not have your own kit, many of our residences either have a hire shop within them or very close by to hire from. Again, talk to us about this. We can pre-book ski hire, lift passes and ski school for your family ski holiday so you have peace of mind that everything is organised before you leave and you won't have any surprise costs in the resort.
Lift pass prices vary from resort to resort. In most resorts, children under five will get a free lift pass. Children will need lift passes if they are going to ski school.
As a minimum, we recommend you pack the following.
- Sunscreen & SPF lip balm - you can get sunburned in the middle of winter at altitude
- First aid kit - just all the basics
- Adapters for chargers including the in-car if you're driving
- Books, toys, colouring books and card games
- Ski gloves - these should be good quality, warm and waterproof
- A multi-purpose headscarf/bandana/neckwarmer
- Snowsuit or a jacket and salopettes
- Clothes to layer under jackets – vests, fleeces, t-shirts etc
- Warm hat
- Snow boots
- Ski socks - we recommend a pair a day as little people tend to get them wet walking about!
- Small rucksack
- Little packs of tissues for those runny noses!
The majority of our team ski with their children every season, and their top tips are...
Make time for a breakfast packed with carbohydrates (e.g. cereal) to provide energy for skiing. Full bellies make happy skiers!
Wear warm, waterproof clothing – several thin layers are best as they trap warm air.
Good gloves make a big difference to little fingers. Do make sure the gloves are waterproof.
Apply sunscreen (Factor 30 or higher) and lip balm with SPF before you head out for the day and take spare lip balm and sunscreen with you.
Before your child heads off to ski school or snow kindergarten (the equivalent for little ones) make sure you pack them a little chocolate or sweet treat plus some fruit to keep their energy levels up, and something to drink. They will have a snack break. For the older kids, we pop them in pockets.
Alternative activities available for family ski holidays
You will be surprised at how much energy children will have (even after a hard days skiing) and we know from experience that residences with pools are much loved by the little ones, as are those with any sort of games room. Some resorts offer other activities such as ice rinks, husky dog sledging, snowshoeing and bowling alleys. These are all excellent alternatives to skiing if the children get tired of the slopes on any day.
If you're looking for accommodation with extra facilities, give our Alpine experts a call on 023 9289 0960.
Our handpicked selection of the best ski resorts for families.
The resort that we feel is our 'best family resort' as voted for by our reservations team is La Rosière. Stay at Les Cimes Blanches, Lodge Hemera, Chalet les Marmottons, Les Balcons de la Rosière and Le Refuge.
We have also listed below the resorts and residences we know are great for families. However, the best way to ensure that we can best match the resort to your needs is to call us and discuss your specific requirements.