Looking for a suitable destination for your family ski holiday? Here are some of our favourite resorts in Europe for families. We favour smaller, friendly resorts with quiet slopes, especially in Norway and Italy, where children are made to feel especially welcome. We can also offer flexible arrival dates and shorter stays so if you are shopping around for cheap flights you can travel mid-week if necessary.
This resort markets itself as a family destination, and for good reason. Childcare is available for children up to the age of 8, including infants, and fun ski lessons where the instructors speak excellent English let the children explore ski areas designed especially for them.
The Trollklubben kid's club on the Vestlia side has a children's area with magic carpet and an easy button lift. The slopes have a fun slalom style set up with colourful carton characters the children can turn around, and a fun trail through the woods.
Older children will enjoy the children's area over on the Slaatta side of the resort with more fun characters and forest trails, as well as a slalom course and some small jumps as well as a sledding run.
Where to stay: The luxurious Vestlia Resort is ski in ski out, and offers a huge soft play room and a bowling alley. There is a pool for families and a separate spa area for parents.
Another Norwegian resort, Hafjell is easy to reach by bus or train from Oslo airport. A small, friendly resort, it also offers 3 different dedicated fun areas on the slopes, including a family area at the bottom of the gondola station where the ski school meets, ideal for beginners, and another family area at the top of the gondola, including a kid's slope, a forest trail and a sledding run. For older children there is a terrain park for all levels and a BMW skimovie run that times and films you out of the gates until the finish line.
To keep them entertained after skiing, head to the huge Lekeland indoor soft play centre for 1-12 year olds open Thursday-Sunday. Alternatively head into nearby Lillehammer for a wander around.
Where to stay: The Hafjell Hotel is located close to the Lekeland centre and the ski slopes, with comfortable family rooms and a welcoming lounge where you can enjoy some board games after dinner. They also offer full board with the option to eat at one of the restaurants on the slopes at lunchtime, a great option for families.
This is a popular option for families thanks to its great value and the availability of family rooms for 4-5 people.
A small resort with a short transfer time (90 minutes from Bergamo airport) and ski in ski out accommodation, where everything is nearby. Maniva is a great place for families to relax, with virtually empty slopes during the week.
That said, for families with children not yet old enough to ski, there are no childcare facilities so it is more suited for those with kids who will be skiing all day.
Where to stay: The Locanda Bonardi is a comfortable, friendly hotel with a good restaurant. Family rooms are available in the annex next door, and larger groups can stay at the Chalet Maniva further up the slope.
I just wanted to say a BIG Thank You for organising our wonderful ski trip to Maniva and the Hotel Locanda Bonardi. Everything was just brilliant and the boys said it was one of their best holidays ever!!! The Hotel was great, staff friendly, food spot on and easy to get to the slopes. The ski instructor, Stefano was just superb and the boys loved his charm and friendliness.
This gem of a resort is located in the Trentino region of Italy, around 1 hour from Verona airport. It offers all sorts of facilities for children, including 3 baby parks for children aged between 4 and 12 with inflatables, entertainment and indoor spaces for when there is bad weather. There are also 2 nurseries for children aged 0-3 years.
The attractive village centre is a nice place to wander around after skiing and there is snow tubing and an indoor ice rink to keep the kids entertained.
Where to stay: The Alpen Hotel Eghel offers a children's play room and entertainment, as well as a heated outdoor pool. Located just 400m from the nearest lift, kids love to take the snow train to the slopes in the morning.
Baby park, Folgaria
One of the less well known Austrian resorts, Kals-Matrei is a sleepy little resort in the Eastern Tyrol, perfect for families with lots to keep the kids occupied. There are 2 main children's areas, one at the Matrei Goldreid mountain station and one at the Dorf lift over in Kals which offers a kid's club, magic carpet area and a large ski school area especially for children. Mascots keep the young kids entertained and there is a wave run and adventure course for slightly older children.
Off the slopes there is an exciting floodlit toboggan run and ice skating in nearby Huben.
Where to stay: The Hotel Hinteregger has spacious, comfortable rooms suitable for families.
If you like the look of any of these resorts and have any questions, feel free to drop us a line. Have you been to one of these destinations with your kids? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.