Family ski holidays

Now updated! The only family ski holiday guide you need for 2023/24

Last updated 8th October 2023

From easy on the pocket secrets to once in a lifetime extravagances, Sean Newsom reveals the best family ski resorts for every type of skier. You’ll find affordable winter breaks for 2023 as well as snow-sure gems right up until April 2024.


Les Arcs Kindergarten, France © Tristan Shu

Easy does it: sweet family ski resorts for less spend


Affordable skiing and more at Pamporovo, Bulgaria

Try pocket-sized Pamporovo in Bulgaria for great ski schools

No-one would suggest pocket-sized Pamporovo as a destination for experienced skiers. But its gentle, tree-lined pistes are perfect for first-time families who don’t need childcare, especially those who also like their creature comforts.

Book a 7-night family ski break in Bulgaria from £515pp with UK flights

Sure, hotel standards aren’t quite as high as in western Europe, but in some school-holiday weeks you’ll get a comfortable, hotel-based holiday for the same price as a self-catering one in the Alps. Crucially, you’ll also get painstaking and patient tuition from its highly-rated ski school. Plus, a week’s course of 6 x 4 hour lessons costs less than half the price of 6 x 2½ hour lessons in many western European ski resorts.

Book a stay at Hotel Murgavets in Pamporovo


Ski the Three Valleys from Les Menuires, France

Les Menuires: one of most affordable Three Valleys ski resorts

Never mind its hard-edged, multi-storey architecture. Les Menuires is also part of the vast Three Valleys lift system, and many of the area’s best intermediate pistes are right on its doorstep.  Additionally, it’s where to find the underrated cul-de-sac of the Pointe de la Masse, a canny spot to ski if it’s packed elsewhere.

Book a 7-night family ski break in Les Menuires from £488pp with UK flights

Even better, family-friendly facilities at this ski resort include a nursery, a giant indoor soft-play area and two swimming pools. As an extra bonus, the ski school starts kids’ lessons from three years up.

Admittedly, you’ll pay a lot more here for lift passes, ski hire and lessons than you would in, Pamporovo. But if some, or all, of your family are already skiing well, they’ll relish the chance to tackle the world’s biggest properly-interlinked ski area.

Book a stay at Apartment SOWELL Les Menuires Pierre Blanche


Les Chalets de Flambeau, Val Cenis, France

Save on family ski holidays with a drive to Val Cenis in France

Drive yourself to the slopes, bunk down in a self-catering apartment, and you can shave hundreds of pounds off the cost of French ski resorts.

Target underrated Val Cenis and you’ll enjoy excellent skiing too. Beginners get the longest green-rated run in France. AKA  l’Escargot, it actually follows the track of a snow-covered switch-back mountain road. Meanwhile, more confident intermediates will love the ski area’s feisty, straight-down-the-mountain reds. Even better, buy the six-day lift pass and you get a day’s free skiing in each of five neighbouring ski resorts.

Book a stay at CGH Residences & Spas Les Chalets de Flambeau


Corvara combining prettiness and drama, Alta Badia, Italy

A taste of freedom: affordable and adorable Italian ski resorts

movi-hotel-alta badia-winter-funcross-corvara-ski-resorts-italy

Movi Apart-Hotel funcross, Corvara, Italy

Corvara wins hands down for family ski holidays in Italy this winter

New this winter, the Movi Family Aparthotel in Corvara offers a new level of flexibility for family-skiing trips. The accommodation is in roomy, upmarket self-catering apartments. But with buffet breakfasts included in the price, and access to a snacky lounge bar until 10pm you won’t be spending all your off-slope hours bent over the stove.

Meanwhile soft-play areas and an indoor pool with waterslides keep kids entertained once the lifts have closed. And there’s even a daily programme of supervised activities for 3-12 year olds if parents need some time off.

Save £150pp on 7-night family ski breaks in Corvara with UK flights

Out on the slopes one of skiing’s most ego-boosting playgrounds awaits. Corvara sits slap-bang in the middle of the vast Dolomiti Superski area. Known for its spectacular slab-sided scenery and broad, gentle pistes, families skiing at an intermediate level will love it here.

Book your stay at Movi Family Apart-Hotel


Budget conscious and beautiful La Thuile, Italy

La Thuile is one of the best Italian ski resorts for older kids and teens

Not all the pistes at La Thuile are steep. In fact, half-way up the mountain you’ll find a broad and gentle balcony of slopes to delight less gung-ho skiers.

Book a 7-night family ski break in La Thuile from £448pp with UK flights

But what really sticks in the memory here is the way the lower runs suddenly fall away through the trees on their final approach to the village. For energetic teens who love their skiing, it’s a mouthwatering prospect.

Meanwhile, their budget-conscious parents will be salivating over the cost and quality of mountain restaurants such as Le Petit Skieur. Here, a rich venison stew with polenta for just a few Euros is easily big enough for two.

Book a stay at TH La Thuile Planibel Residence

Childcare champions: ski resorts where everyone gets time to ski


Chalet Genevieve, Riberty 2000, France

Find Reberty 2000 at the higher, cuter end of Les Menuires, France

At the higher, cuter end of Les Menuires, lies the low-rise suburb of Reberty 2000, home to a Brit-friendly collection of catered chalets that are more or less all ski-in-ski-out.

They’re particularly good for families with first-time kids. The ski-school meeting point and nursery slope sits just across the piste. You’ll find a friendly restaurant next door for lunchtime gatherings. Plus, several of the chalets are run by the Family Ski Company, which offers combined childcare and ski school packages.

All this leaves parents free to click into their skis each morning and take off into the vast Three Valleys network. And from here, easy connections to both the top end of Méribel and high-altitude Val Thorens give you some of Europe’s best quality snow.

Book a stay at Residence Les Alpages de Reberty


Another stunning snow day, La Plagne, France

Add Ski Famille to your family ski plans at Plagne 1800

Chalet Delphine is one of two catered chalets in Plagne 1800 that have been built to Ski Famille’s specifications. It’s just three minutes’ walk from the children’s ski school meeting point and features several self-contained family suites. Additionally, there’s a playroom as well as an in-house childcare team and kids’ club.

Book a 7-night family ski break in La Plagne from £452pp with UK flights

Beginners can get started on Plagne 1800’s own nursery slope. Then, once they’ve mastered their snowplough turns they can head up to the ski area’s high, central plateau. This offers one of the biggest and most varied networks of easy-intermediate slopes in the Alps, and it’s the perfect place to build your confidence.

Should a snowstorm blow in and visibility drop, you can also descend to the sheltered tree-lined slopes around Plagne 1800. Look out for extra enchantment as the lowlights cast by the forest add definition to the snow.

Book your stay at Residence Plagne Lauze Maeva Home


Tignes ski waterslide, France ©Greg Mistral

Tignes is one of the best ski resorts in France for late season snow

With broad, steady pistes in almost every direction, and links over to neighbouring Val d’Isère, Tignes is a fabulous place to ski in any week of the season. You might experience the odd low-visibility day when the clouds come down, but that’s a minor niggle.

However, Tignes really comes into its own at the beginning and end of the season. With a lift system that rises to the eye-watering height of 3,456m, it can cope with the mildest Decembers and sharpest spring thaws.

Book a 7-night family ski break in Tignes from £547pp with  UK flights

Easter in particular can be joyous: bathed in brilliant sunshine and edged with a happy-to-lucky, end-of-term atmosphere.

In the village of Tignes Val Claret – close to the key glacier lifts – Mark Warner’s Chalet-Hotel l’Ecrin makes a comfortable base. Here, you’ll find both family and interconnecting rooms, as well as English-speaking childcare in the on-site nursery and kids’ club. The atmosphere is relaxed and chatty and – surprise, surprise – you’ll find almost every family is just like yours: sporty, outdoorsy and in love with the snow. If they are at all outgoing your kids will soon make friends.

Every little helps: ski resorts that go the extra mile for families

Try easy going El Tarter in Andorra for extraordinary family ski coaching

Book the Hotel de Clos in El Tarter with active-holidays specialist Neilson, and you’ll get at least two free 2-hour coaching sessions with a Mountain Expert. This is a looser, more freewheeling format than a normal ski lesson and led by a local ski instructor who’ll share tips on technique as they guide you to the slopes best-suited to your ability. Skiers who are confident on red and blue-rated pistes are also welcome and, during school holidays, children aged 12 and up can take part.

The sessions are a great way to explore the broad, intermediate-friendly pistes of the Grandvalira ski area. Some skiers will also find they improve more quickly in the relaxed, up-for-it atmosphere. Of course, normal ski lessons are also available, as are Neilson’s in-house nurseries and kids’ clubs. And with children occupied, parents might even find time for a full-body massage in the hotel’s wellness centre.

Book a 7-night family ski break in El Tarter from £479pp with UK flights


Pretty and peaceful Galtür village, Austria

Galtür: our pick of the pretty and peaceful Austrian ski resorts

In winter, the Bielerhöhe pass above Galtür is blocked by snow, and this pretty little village acquires an unhurried, end-of-the-line atmosphere. Yes, there’s a good mix of pistes here, from gentle blues to straight-down-the-mountain blacks. However, there aren’t enough of them to satisfy mileage-hungry skiers, which leaves the slopes refreshingly uncrowded for families.

Save £155pp on 7-night family ski breaks in Galtür with UK flights

But the real draw here, aside from the reliable snow and gob-smacking scenery, is the way the lift company has made the pistes super-exciting, especially for kids who can already ski. In the company of their instructors they’ll love zooming round the banked turns of the mini-ski-cross course and racing each other through the giant-slalom gates. And while they’re busy on the slopes, parents can mix their own skiing with a little me-time back at the chic Vaya Galtür hotel in the village. It has its own swimming pool and sauna.

Book a stay at hotel VAYA Galtür


Club Med all-inclusive ski holidays, La Rosiere, France

Club Med masters all-inclusive ski holidays in La Rosière, France

On paper, skiing with Club Med looks dearer than it does with other tour operators specialising in childcare. But that’s largely because Club Med holidays are all-inclusive. Food, drinks, ski school, lift pass and well-run kids’ clubs are covered by the price and only ski hire is excluded.

If you stay in one of the company’s new generation of Alpine hotels, you get state-of-the-art accommodation too. These mountain behemoths are equipped with big, well-lit playrooms, as well a gym, yoga studio, ski-hire centre and a giant lounge. They’re also ski-in, ski-out and have their own ski-school meeting points, right outside the locker rooms.

Launching your family onto the slopes each morning has never been so easy. For first-time families and those relatively new to skiing, Club Med La Rosière is a canny choice. Its sunny slopes suit beginners and intermediates best. And you get the added bonus of a snowy microclimate, as well as gob-smacking views across the valley towards neighbouring Les Arcs.

Book a 7-night family ski break in La Rosière from £569pp with UK flights

See you at the top: divine ski resorts for dream ski holidays

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Canada

Wild and wonderful skiing at Lake Louise in Canada

Skiing in Banff National Park is different. Yes, okay, the fundamentals of whizzing down a snowy mountain are the same as anywhere else. Although at Lake Louise, the park has one of North America’s best mid-sized collections of lifts and pistes. However, what’s truly extraordinary and thrilling about Banff is what lies beyond the bounds of its ski area: absolutely nothing.

Nothing that is, except mountains, trees and wildlife. Human settlement is limited and tightly controlled here. So in place of all the ski towns, second homes, sawmills, farmhouses and quarries you find in the Alps, there are wolves, bears, moose, elk and lynx. It’s not a wilderness exactly, though for kids it feels pretty close.

Keep in mind that ski schools, lift passes and ski hire are all significantly more expensive than in Europe. But for the chance to show your family what winter looks like in such a remarkable place, you may well think it worth the price.

Book a stay at Fairmont Château Lake Louise

Experience the luxury of skiing into May at Obergurgl Austria

High-altitude Gurgl is synonymous with snow-sure skiing. Set at the end of the long, cold Ötz valley, hard up against the main Alpine ridge, it usually starts its season in mid-November and runs all the way into May.

The hotels here are studiously traditional in style and most are family-run. And adding to the cosy, gemütlich atmosphere, several offer free childcare too.

Book a 7-night family ski break in Obergurgl from £764pp with UK flights

The Hotel Alpina Deluxe has one of the best programmes as well as the largest playrooms, and its indoor pool is the perfect place for families once the lifts close. Upstairs, its A3 junior suites have been refurbished in modern, Alpine-chic style and comfortably sleep four. Settle in here and you’ll quickly understand why Obergurgl can inspire extraordinary loyalty. Occasionally you’ll even meet three generations of the same family who’ve all learned to ski on its broad and forgiving slopes.

Book a stay at Hotel Alpina Deluxe


Val d’Isère village, France

Club Med Val d’Isère: one of the most carefree and indulgent French ski resorts

Last summer, Club Med rebuilt its hotel in Val d’Isère and relaunched it as its first top-of-the-range, Exclusive Collection resort in the Alps.

At a stroke, it’s also raised the bar for upmarket family ski holidays in this famously hard-skiing resort. It’s not so much the sumptuousness of the décor. Although the interiors are both understated and chic, and you can deepen the sense of luxury by booking a family suite. What really matters is Club Med’s trademark childcare. Teams of ever-smiling, multi-lingual staff will keep your kids active whenever they’re not at ski school as well as entertained before bedtime with energetic song-and-dance stage shows.

Meanwhile the almost-endless buffets at breakfast, lunch and dinner will satisfy even the fussiest tastes. With the young’uns so busy and well-fed, parents can try a yoga lesson, book a massage or feel free to test themselves against some of the finest pistes in the Alps.

Book a 7-night family ski break in Val d’Isère from £558pp with UK flights


Ski school, Courchevel

Welcome to sheer luxury of  Courchevel

If you think the holidays mentioned so far look expensive, brace yourself. At the top end of the ski market there’s a whole new level of luxury, service and expense on offer and the hotels in Courchevel which fall into France’s five-star, “Distinction Palace”, category are the epitome of that.

Save up to £720pp on 7-night family ski breaks in Courchevel with UK flights

Spacious suites sleeping up to six hint at how much opulent Hotel Le Chabichou indulges families. Although with its Michelin starred restaurant and thoroughly decadent spa, if you want to feel like a non-parent for a little that’s perfectly possible here too.

Book a stay at Hotel Le Chabichou

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