The half-term ski break is a great time for families to get away from the hectic school routine and explore some of the best resorts and activities in the Alps. Family ski resorts offer runs that cater to a range of levels, snow tubing hills and nursery slopes for children’s ski lessons, as well as providing a wide array of family-friendly activities.
There’s a lot to see and do in just a few days, so here are our top tips that can help you get the most out of your February half-term family ski holiday in the Alps without breaking the bank.
Family Resorts with the Best Activities
There are many fun activities for the whole family during this half-term holiday. Here are our favourite resorts to make your vacation one to remember this ski season…
Being such a massively popular ski area, young ones will have no trouble making new friends in the resort of Meribel, with plenty of activities and ski schools to keep them entertained. Beginner “Zen” and “Cool” zones are the perfect pairings for initiations to the snow. There’s plenty to enjoy together, including child-orientated slopes dotted with exciting features, like the Inuit Piste, where they can combine skiing with igloo building, and Moon Wild – an animal-themed trail accessible to both skiers and non-skiers.
Meribel excels for beginners. Sheltered by the steep surrounding mountains, it enjoys the better weather of the 3 resorts on the whole and has a good quantity of easy runs. Aside from skiing, you can enjoy the mountains with a pedestrian pass which will get you up to the summits and lunch spots like La Folie Douce. Plus, there are activities on offer like snowmobiling, husky dog sledding, snowshoeing, swimming at the Olympic centre or relaxing in one of the many spas.
Sleighs are the main mode of transport in the ski resort of Avoriaz, and the whole place is ski-in, ski-out – so holidays here are a blend of exciting and convenient. The Village des Enfants’ private bunny slopes and nursery slopes, obstacle courses and post-ski activities, where improving technique is made fun. This is also one of the only ski resorts in the Alps, offering snowboarding tuition starting at the tender age of 3.
For teenagers – Snowparks and The Stash, a tree-lined course riddled with organic obstacles made from local forestation – are firm favourites. Experienced family members can ski wild to their heart’s content in the Portes du Soleil region. After a full day on the slopes, escape to Aquariaz – Europe’s highest water park – where paddling, spa time, and waterslides keep the whole clan content.
The St Anton ski resort in Austria is renowned for appealing to advanced skiers and snowboarders, but it’s also great for families – the dedicated children’s areas of Nasserein and up at Gampen, where the ski school has a good reputation for enticing first-time skiers and children. Off the slopes, kids can enjoy ice skating, tobogganing and indoor tennis.
Off-slope activities are plenty in La Plagne, where you can pick from skidooing, bobsleighing, husky sledding, igloo village visits, ice rinks, and ice caves keeping the kids entertained until bedtime isn’t a problem.
Family Skiing on a Budget
Skiing is a popular winter activity for families, but the costs of booking flights, ski passes, equipment, and lodging can quickly add up. Here are the best family ski resorts for skiing on a budget…
The French ski resort Flaine is a firm favourite with families. It has fantastic snow conditions and is one of the easiest resorts to drive to, allowing you to save on travel costs as well as accommodation – even the simplest apartments are parked in first-class spots, thanks to nearly the whole thing being ski-in, ski-out. Self-catering and catered chalets in Flaine represent incredible value for a French resort.
Flaine boasts the highest quarters of the Grand Massif ski area with an excellent season snow record, so you’ll be accessing some of the best powder in the country with an average-priced local ski pass. With designated beginner areas, a range of green and blue runs, as well as plenty of reds and blacks, this resort caters for all levels.
La Plagne caters for the whole family on a budget. You’ll find an array of affordable self-catered ski chalets and apartments in this sprawling ski resort. There are purpose-built chalet hubs, old-world hamlets and everything in between, among its 10 villages, so you’re sure to find somewhere that keeps everyone happy.
For the little ones, Plagne Centre, La Plagne 1800, Aime, Soleil, Belle Plagne, and Bellecote each have their own kindergartens. These accommodation options are almost as unlimited as the 425km Paradiski area, where you can ski all the way over to Les Arcs.
When it comes to the ski pass, we’d recommend going for the lower-priced local one, which opens up half of the Paradiski, offering enough skiing for a week.
For beginners, basing yourself in Plagne Bellecote is a great option, hosting plenty of beginner slopes. Skiing is on your doorstep with 4 chairlifts and a gondola.
Sitting in the Three Valleys ski area, the Les Menuires resort is one of the best value resorts in the area. Based near some of the best runs in the Three Valleys and giving you access to the 600km of piste, it caters for everyone from beginners to experts.
Home to a range of self-catering apartments and ski hotels, representing high levels of comfort and value, when combined with plenty of great restaurants and, of course, Après-Ski, Les Menuires should be high in your list of French resorts when skiing on a budget.
Stress-Busting Tips for Family Ski Holidays
Family ski holidays are some of the most enjoyable vacations of all time. The reality is that they also happen to be one of the most stressful. Here are some tips to reduce stress levels this half-term ski holiday…
If you need to rent equipment, pre-book it so that everything is waiting for you on arrival. This way you’ll avoid the queue at the local ski hire shop for the skis and boots left after everyone else has collected theirs.
You should find some great half-term ski deals and early-booking discounts, too. Ski school classes and kindergartens need to be booked well in advance of your holiday, too.
Be first in line
Don’t waste time queueing to buy your lift pass. If you’re travelling with a tour operator, you can normally pre-book before you leave home and have it handed over on the ski transfer bus or delivered to your accommodation the night before you start skiing.
Ski with a uniform
If you’ve skied in the Alps before, you will probably have noticed that ski lifts have a lane reserved for ski school classes. Instructors and their pupils head to the front and don’t have to queue, even during high season weeks.
This makes skiing with a uniformed guide or instructor the very best way to avoid standing in one of those seemingly endless lift lines.
Book a reliable ski transfer
A private transfer with Alps2Alps means all the safety and comfort of a luxury, door-to-door transfer service at seriously competitive prices.
Securing a cheap airport transfer doesn’t mean having to sacrifice a ski holiday during the most popular times. Visit our booking page today to get a real-time quote in seconds!