There’s a lot to consider when it comes to planning family ski holidays, particularly with kids of different ages: How much will it cost, is the resort snow-sure and will everyone have a good time?
Ski resorts with nursery slopes and plenty of easy slopes are an obvious choice for family beginners, whilst bigger resorts with snow parks and great après ski activities are usually on the wish list for older siblings.
To try and help make your decision a little easier, we’ve put together the 5 best family ski resorts in France:
Which is the best family ski resort near Geneva?
Located only an hour’s drive from Geneva airport, the ski resort of Chamonix earned its excellent reputation whilst hosting the very first Winter Olympics in 1924. The resort offers magnificent views of the Mont Blanc and has more than 150km of slopes.
The ski schools in Chamonix have their own ski nurseries for very young learners and there are 6 beginners areas lower in the valley. Skiers with more experience also have plenty of options to practice after lessons, as there are 30 blue runs and 55km of red runs within the resort.
Boarders and freestylers will also find plenty to do in Chamonix: The Les Grands Montets area has excellent off-piste trails and there’s a freestyle zone and speed piste in the Flégère-Brévent area. With pistes and terrain for all abilities, families looking for the best family ski resort near Geneva will have an unforgettable skiing holiday in Chamonix.
Avoriaz: For teen boarders and little skiers
Whether skier or snowboarder, Avoriaz is hard to beat. The resort is visually stunning, with elegant, wooden-clad apartments and traditional horse-sleigh transportation. Avoriaz also has excellent kid’s facilities and a large childcare centre plus many child-friendly aprés ski events & activities.
Ski schools in Avoriaz have 2 instructors per group for their first-time skiers. This means that beginners receive focused help and can quickly progress from the learner slopes to the blues. Within the resort, 7 snow parks for beginners to pros ensure that kids of all ages can have fun aside from the regular slopes.
With so many opportunities for both skiers and snowboarders, It’s not without reason that Avoriaz has been awarded Best European Ski Resort, Best Family Ski Resort and Best Snowboarding Resort.
Alpe d’Huez: Out of nappies and onto the slopes!
Alpe d’Huez is the ski resort with the highest annual number of sunny days and the well-earned nickname ‘l’Isle du Soleil’. The resort has 250km of slopes including some exceptional off-piste terrain up on the Pic Blanc glacier. The ski schools in Alpe d’Huez offer freeride lessons for all ages including kids from 13yrs, so that also younger skiers can discover the joys of freeriding.
In Alpe d’Huez, lesson options are particularly focused on young skiers. Budding Dave Rydings and Chemmy Alcotts from 2yrs can already playfully learn their first moves on the slopes in one of the ski kindergarten areas. Lesson prices are very reasonable and can be booked with ski hire inclusive for children up to the age of 17yrs. For ski holidays with toddlers, Alpe d’Huez can’t be beaten.
Family ski chalet holidays in Méribel
Founded by the British skier Peter Lindsay in 1938, the traditional ski resort of Méribel celebrated its 80th birthday in 2018. The resort has stunning views of the Mont Blanc and extends over 4 traditional stone and wood villages, which are well-connected and provide mainly chalet accommodation.
Méribel has plenty of slopes for beginners, with two nursery areas and more than 30 easy pistes. Some ski schools in Méribel offer lessons with ski hire included, which makes travelling as a family a great deal simpler. Beginner lessons for kids are in groups between 3-6 children, meaning that littler skiers receive focused help and can progress much more quickly.
With excellent facilities for children and an extensive choice of accommodation, Méribel is the perfect destination for family ski chalet holidays.
Cheap family ski holidays in La Plagne
La Plagne comprises of 10 villages and a range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. Each village has its own character and advantages: Plagne Soleil offers convenient ski-in/ski-out accommodation, Belle Plagne is the most scenic and Plagne Centre has nursery slopes directly within the village.
La Plagne is part of the extensive Paradiski area, so the more experienced family skiers have 425km of pistes to choose from. Those who are happy to stay within the local skiing area can buy the local ski pass, which accesses around 200km of slopes, with lots of blues and reds.
Ski schools in La Plagne offer beginner lessons from age 3yrs, to freestyle lessons from 14yrs, so every family member will have their fun on the pistes. Thanks to the nearby glacier, snow-sure slopes combined with a wealth of accommodation, La Plagne is top of the list for cheap family ski holidays.
I have always loved snow but winter in England was usually more grey than white. Now living in Austria, my kids have inherited my passion for skiing and we make most of every winter, getting out in the snow whenever we can!