Great ski schools and fun activities can be the makings of a fabulous family skiing holiday. But the airport transfer also counts; you’ve driven to the airport, gotten parked and finally got everyone on the plane… The last thing you need is a lengthy journey to the resort once you’ve landed.
We’ve asked the ski experts at SNO.co.uk for their five favourite family ski resorts – that don’t take hours to get to!
Ridding your trip of “are-we-nearly-there-yets” and with all the necessities to make a week on the slopes amazing for all ages, these are the pick of the crop in the big ski nations.
Photo credit: Patrick Nouhailler
Nearest Airport: Geneva | 70km from resort | approx. 1 hour’s drive.
The best things about Flaine: It was built to make skiing easy – nearly the whole resort has doorstep skiing which makes getting around a breeze for grownups and tots alike. You’re not just skiing out onto any old slopes either… You’re skiing out onto the highest part of the Grand Massif ski area, and some of the best snow conditions in France.
Favourite family features: The free events they usually put on in the school holidays – choirs, shows and visits from Santa at Christmas, torchlight descents and fireworks at New Year’s, face-painting and carnivals at half term. You can’t forget the fairy tale themed piste ‘Ze Forest’ which makes skiing magical.
Photo credit: Bastian Stein
Nearest Airport: Innsbruck | 87km from resort | approx. 1 hour’s drive
The best things about Ellmau: It’s tiny and full of old-fashioned Austrian charm – with wood and stone chalets and a postcard perfect 18th century church. But the ski area doesn’t follow suit… Ellmau’s part of the enormous SkiWelt (the largest linked ski area in Austria) and the lifts and snowmaking are wonderfully modern.
Favourite family features: The ski school’s snow park, which has a bouncy castle and a snow tube merry-go-round.
Photo credit: Luca Galli
Nearest Airport: Turin | 100km from resort | approx. 1 hour 10 minutes’ drive
The best things about Bardonecchia: The food – this is Italy after all, so the meals are delicious. Even better, it’s super cheap compared to what you’d find in France or Switzerland – the average cost of a pizza is €8! To burn off the calories, you’ve got 3 ski areas, including Melezet’s huge snowpark (star of the 2006 Olympics) and the snow-sure slopes of Jafferau.
Favourite family features: The snowcat safaris, where you can all hitch a ride on a real ‘snow digger’ before bedtime.
Photo credit: Andrea Black
Nearest Airport: Mont Tremblant | 41km from resort | approx. 40 minutes’ drive
Also near: Montreal | 138km from resort | approx. 1 hour 30 minutes’ drive
The best things about Mont Tremblant: Of all the North American ski resorts it also has one of the shortest flight times from the UK because it’s on the eastern side of the continent. And when you get there, you’re met by a town that looks a little like Disney Land on the snow: Crayola-bright houses, cobbled streets and an infectious buzz of Canadian cheer.
Favourite family features: The ski school’s cool GPS system for under 12s, where parents can see their whereabouts on the mountain, and children can compare their skiing statistics at the end of the day.
Photo credit: Christopher Michel
Nearest Airport: Geneva | 120km from resort | approx. 1 hour 20 minutes’ drive
Also near: Bern | 124km from resort | approx. 1 hour 35 minutes’ drive
The best things about Villars: It’s one of the most eco-friendly resorts in the Alps, using renewable energy for the ski lifts, maintaining the ski area sustainably and encouraging the discovery of the resort without using cars. There’s good reason to thank Mother Nature here – as well as blessing the region with oodles of snow, she makes it super sunny and the sights of Mont Blanc are incredible on a clear day.
Favourite family features: The fact that under 9s have had free lift passes in recent seasons.
Like the look of these family skiing destinations? Head over to the UK’s favourite skiing holiday company, after all, they Sno better!