If the temperature drop has you dreaming of après fondues and cosy chalets, a family ski holiday to child-friendly resorts in Andorra, Finland and Slovakia could be on the cards for your winter break.
As ski season approaches, winter sports enthusiasts are gearing up to return to freshly powdered pistes and frosted festive wonderlands – and there’s no need to leave the kids at home.
The keenest skiers start early, so family-favourite ski spots with gentle terrain, wide nursery runs and patient ski schools can be ideal for little legs to get the hang of the slopes their first few times around.
While skiing in the school holidays can be a pricey pursuit, a late-season February half-term package can ferry the whole family to kid-centric resorts from Italy’s Abruzzo to Les Contamines in France without breaking the bank.
Here are the family-friendly winter destinations that toddlers, teens and in-betweens will love to inspire your next ski holiday with the whole clan.
Read more on ski holidays:
Les Contamines, France
Best for: Budget breaks
At the foot of Mont Blanc, Les Contamines is a quiet and traditional resort with 120km of varied slopes above 1,200m altitude, suitable for all abilities of skier. Families will particularly enjoy the dedicated beginner’s areas and cruisy blues of the Loyers and Nivorin slopes in the heart of the village – often open for torchlight descents during the school holidays – Ludopark fun runs and evening snowshoe outings followed by rich fondues in traditional Mongolian yurts.
How to ski in Les Contamines
With Action Outdoors, families can spend seven nights at the Les Contamines UCPA centre on a “Family Half Time Ski” package for £760pp (kids under two go free). A Les Contamines lift pass, 12 hours of ski instruction, skis, boots and shared airport transfers are included in the cost. An indoor climbing wall, games room and in-house spa promise to entertain youngsters while complimentary packed lunches save families from splashing out at piste-side restaurants. Departs 30 December 2023.
Return flights from London Stansted to Geneva Airport from £71 with easyJet in December.
St Johann, Austria
Best for: Family-friendly chalets
There are 210km of groomed pistes and toboggan rides awaiting broods visiting the alluring St Johann resort, 60km from Salzburg. Think famed schnitzel at cosy huts, slopes for both seasoned and shaky skiers and the tranquil family area of Hahnbaum, with its mini-cross course for kids, in this enchanting Austrian Tirol ski destination. Off-piste, Murmi’s Kinderland indoor playground, indoor climbing walls at Koasa Boulder and water slides at Panorama Badewelt promise to entertain little ones.
How to ski in St Johann
Inghams is providing a seven-night half-board holiday to Sporthotel Austria in St Johann, three minutes’ walk to the Harschbichl gondola, from £849pp including return flights from London Gatwick, airport transfers and daily après-ski snacks. There are two children’s playrooms, a sun terrace and cosy lounge bars to unwind in as a family after a day on the slopes. Departs 13 January 2024.
Best for: Rest and relaxation
Andermatt’s fun slopes, toboggan runs and slopeside family car parks make the rising Swiss ski resort a wonderland for groups with children. The Nätschen-Gütsch-Sedrun area offers a welcome range of gentle green and blue slopes for beginners after cruising terrain, traditional wooden chalets meet luxury hotels in the town’s centre and midway up the Gütsch-Express, the Matti Bear Cave restaurant provides family-friendly après for those with kids.
How to ski in Andermatt
Ski Solutions is offering a four-night B&B holiday to The Chedi in Andermatt from £2,595pp including return flights, rail transfers and access to world-class wellness facilities that feature heated swimming pools, hot tubs and saunas for parents to enjoy while the kids are at ski school. Views of the Swiss Alps, Andermatt Village and Schöllenen Gorge bless The Chedi, just a six-minute walk from the Andermatt Gondola. Departs 10 January 2024.
Best for: Ski schools
A family trip to Soldeu in Grandvalira, Andorra’s largest ski area, features 210km of slopes easily accessible for all ages, including a dedicated “Snow Garden” for children between three and five years old, under the guidance of well-loved ski and snowboard schools. The tree-lined valley’s relaxed atmosphere and quaint accommodation suit holidaymakers with little ones, and kids under six fine-tuning their ski skills are entitled to free lift passes across the ski area.
How to ski in Soldeu
Crystal Ski Holidays has seven nights at the Hotel Galanthus and Spa in Soldeu, half board, from £706pp. Return flights from London Gatwick, 20kg checked luggage per person, transfers, a free child lift pass and one free spa entry per person are included in the offer. A daily shuttle also ferries families into the heart of Soldeu Village. Departs 17 March 2024.
Best for: Winter activities
A winter wonderland for the whole family, Ruka in northern Finland sees 200 days of snow blanketed across 24km of slopes and 159km of cross-country skiing trails. The Rosa and Rudolf Family Park features wide slopes, six magic carpets and a tubing hill, complete with charming elf houses along the Rudolf Run and an outdoor fireplace for grilling sausages. Skiing aside, a Ruka itinerary includes snowmobiling, husky sledging, Northern Light hunting and reindeer sleigh rides for guaranteed festive fun at Christmas.
How to ski in Ruka
Baltic Travel Company features a four-night “Ski Holiday in Northern Finland” in Ruka from £1,090pp, B&B, including return flights from London Heathrow, 23kg of luggage per person, transfers and three-star accommodation. A three-day ski pass and ski equipment rental of skis, poles and ski boots for complete beginners or active skiers are also included in the price. Daily departures between October and April.
Best for: Great-value skiing
Jasna, Slovakia’s largest ski area in the Tatra Mountains, has 50km of steady slopes running down two sides of Mount Chopok for a great-value classic ski getaway. Easy pistes, peaks above 2,500m and affordable bowls of spicy goulash at slope-side restaurants make the Slovakian ski resort an inviting destination for families. A fenced area, Maxiland, also offers safe skiing for children and beginners away from more experienced skiers.
How to ski in Jasna
Jasna Adventures is providing seven-night half-term packages to Riverside Apartments from €578pp (£499.40) for a one-bedroom apartment that sleeps four, half board, including six days ski hire, private lift shuttles, two-course dinners and a winter gala BBQ. Departing 11 and 18 February 2024 for British and Irish half-term guests.
Return flights from London Luton to Poprad Airport from £317 with Wizz Air in February.
Beaver Creek, Colorado, USA
Best for: An American adventure
Beaver Creek in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains has a relaxed rhythm of gentle glade runs, rolling forest pistes and sun-soaked on-slope restaurants. Picture cruising down blues that all abilities will enjoy, wood-fringed nursery slopes and an efficient lift network connecting 54km of runs, all complemented by luxury lodgings. Better still, come Christmas, torchlit parades, sleigh rides and twinkling ice rinks greet visitors to Beaver Creek – you can even expect a visit from Santa.
How to ski in Beaver Creek
Heidi has seven-night packages to The Pines Lodge, Beaver Creek, self-catering, including return flights from London Heathrow, transfers and a superior room with two queen beds from £2,182pp. Travellers will stay a seven-minute walk from the slopes and the whole family will have access to swimming pools, hot tubs and ski hire on site. Departs 1 January 2024.
Best for: La dolce vita
The Abruzzo region, to the east of Rome, boasts not only the 3,000m peaks of the Appenine Mountains and a pretty solid snow record, but a ski season from December to April that welcomes families for half the price of some of the big-name resorts in the Italian Alps and Dolomites. Beginners slopes in Aremogna offer wide blue runs while the beginner’s ski school area at the base of Roccaraso-Pizzalto teaches youngsters technique, safety and how to master the dreaded button lift.
How to ski in Abruzzo
Ski Abruzzo is offering a six-night half-term ski holiday at the family-friendly Hotel Trieste, Roccaraso, half board, from €499pp (£435pp) for a family of four. Return transfers from Naples Airport, three-course evening meals and daily guest shuttles to the ski slopes are included in the cost. Departing 10 and 11 February 2024.
Return flights from London Luton to Naples Airport from £46 with easyJet in February.
Read more of our great escape tours