Destination advice - skiing *with* small children(34 Posts)
Hi I'm a first time poster and would like to ask advice on a holiday. We plan to ski with/spend time with our kids (5 and 3 - both skiing) in the main so childcare/crèche not needed, criteria are: Europe, snowsure in Feb, quiet green/ blue runs, maybe a kids area, a place with families with young children, kids activities- chance for socialising would be a plus. Short transfer - less than 2 hours. Can anyone recommend any destinations which fit the bill for us? Thanks.
Avoriaz was full of kids.. just next to centre of town is a easy ski.run.
swim pool aquatic park with slides and toddler area.
Sledging areas. Carousel.
Flims Laax Falera in Switzerland; specifically Flims village. Really beautiful and good for families, transfer time from Zurich is around 2 hours from memory...perhaps a touch more
Good snow is pretty much guaranteed and there’s a decent range of runs to suit all abilities
Suggest looking at packages with Powder Byrne-they have a great set up for family ski holidays in terms of nanny provision and family friendly accommodation etc.
Thanks cestlavie- Morzine-Avoriaz-Les Gets was a firm favourite of ours pre-kids, due to the big ski area and general vibe of the place. We plan to go back when kids are older. For now, we want to take advantage of the fact we don't need a big ski area - as we'll have the kids in tow- and the pay off (we hope!) is that we can avoid the crowds/queues of the popular resorts. We were trying to research some smaller places around that area that fit the above criteria, but no joy as yet!
Another vote for the Portes du Soleil resorts (Avoriaz, Morzine, Les Gets) with small children. The Swiss side - Champéry, Les Crosets - is quieter, but they all link up easily. Transfer time from Geneva airport around 1.25 hours.
We have stayed 3 times with Snowfocus in Chatel, which is on the quieter side of the Portes Du Soleil (and a shorter transfer). Really great set up with child care provided but flexible, lovely chalet and hosts. Last year we skied with our 3 year old and an instructor in the mornings and then he went back to the chalet with the nannies for the afternoon whilst we joined the rest of the adult group for more skiing. Would highly recommend.
Aussois small and family friendly. Look at Peak Retreats.
Thanks to everyone!- looking into some of the suggestions now. Just to clarify- we are not planning to use any nanny or childcare services during the holiday so not a feature we were looking for, and I think this is what drives the prices up for some of the "family" ski companies. Our emphasis is quiet long green/blue runs for them and not our own skiing. A kids club or something for the older child so she can socialise at points might be good though.
Sommand Praz de Lys is a great little resort, lovely runs for the kids and during the holidays lots of activities for them, great nordic skiing and walking trails. But it is a lot less developed in terms of social activities and quite oriented to the French / self catering market. It's even closer to Geneva than Lets Gets and snow in February not generally an issue.
Les Saises, Notre dame de Bellecombe, Crest Voland- all near each other about 10km from Megeve (and much cheaper...). Easy journey from Geneva or can even get the train to Albertville and then a bus.
What will you do with the 3yo when they get fed up? It'doesn't be very exceptional for a child of that age to cope with more that 1h30 at once/ in total in a day. I am only saying that as we booked a holiday on the premises of skiing with our 3yo and bloody hell it was torture. And she is a robust, high-energy, boisterous child.
I would avoid French mega resorts like the plague.
Aussois, Les Saisies are good calls. Italy generally does kids brilliantly well and is geared up to the non-skiing mamma so there are generally cafes/ bars adjacent to the kids areas.
I'don't pick somewhere with a wide range of non-ski activities and practically flat slopes if I were you. Maybe somewhere in dolomites? Corvara/ colfosco maybe? Ortisei? Alternatively somewhere like serf Australia in Austria?
I second Ortisei. Fab sunny easy but great slopes. Lovely town and great ski school.
Have been going as a child and now with children. Fab.
Do book yourself separately not with a package: it’s half price cheaper.
Esprit are ridiculously overpriced and hit you hard for extras IME. I really wouldn't bother with that sort of holiday unless you want to ski all day and have wraparound care.
We're maybe not the target responders as we tend to self cater with our brood (twin 4 year olds and a 2 year old toddler), but we're heading to St Gervais in the Mont Blanc area this year between Christmas and New Year and it seems really good. 5 star rating for beginners with lots of scenic blues and reds, and there's a garderie that works together with ESF to provide ski school and wraparound childcare. The childcare is right at the base of the Bettex lift, so it's low hassle for you as you can drop them off and go ski. Private rental properties are available and a lot cheaper than nearby Megeve which is like 10 minutes down the road. Prices are generally better and it's less crowded because there are no big ski companies operating in the village, which I rather like. If conditions are bad, they are meant to be pretty on it with snow cannons and if all else fails there a number of other nearby resorts to hit up, including glacier areas. Verbier is actually included in the overall Mont Blanc pass that you can buy I think. It's a quick transfer from Geneva. There's a thermal spa and lots to do and explore in the Mont Blanc region (cable cars, etc) if you want an off day.
I would avoid France in February as it's really busy with the French and U.K. school holidays. Italy is quieter and very family friendly. You also need ski in and out accommodation with kids that age. I'd suggest Bardonecchia.
We are trying out Montgenevre next year.
It’s about an hour from Turin airport and is a small resort with mostly blues and greens , also has an English ski school and the apartments we are going to have an outdoor heated pool and games room.
Have also looked at Chamrousse which is highly recommended for young families and is less than an hour from Grenoble.
Also to add in terms of busyness. We have been to Serre chevalier in Feb half term twice and not found it to be too busy at all - think because it’s that bit further away from things so I wouldn’t think montgenevre would be too bad either as most French will reject it as too easy.
We go to Les Arcs in France with 3 kids now we are forced to go in Feb HT. It's busy but not insane as such a large area. The resorts are quite ugly apart from 1950 which is lovely so we stay in 2000, a short lift from 1950 for lunch etc. Don't use Crystal or Esprit, book everything separately yourself and maybe drive and you can keep the price down (a bit).
We first went when the youngest was 4 and there is a nice drop in creche/nursery where we would drop him after his lessons if he wasnt up for skiing with us, worked well. Great skii area with plenty for beginners to expery skiers. We go with a mixed ability group including kids, people who have recently started skiing and people that are only interested in reds and blacks.
I like Austria. Feb half term should be ok snow wise look at resorts within an hour of Innsbruck. A lot of th3 Austrian resorts have a nice town pool with slides etc.and a more authentic feel than the big French resorts.. Defiantly booking you own skis can save a lot of money.
We used to do last minute deals with esprit then book our own ski lessons , supervised lunch and skis and it would come in very reasonably.
Fly direct to Sion then half an hour transfer to Veysonnaz part of the 4 valleys ski area., Flights from Luton Manchester London City Southend, Bristol, Southampton.
or from healthrow www.swiss.com/unitedkingdom/EN/uk-flights-timetable
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