If you’re thinking that skiing isn’t a family-friendly holiday, think again! Don’t let the pros put you off, skiing holidays are great winter fun for the whole family. Not only can you enjoy fun on the slopes, but there are also plenty of après-ski activities to cater to everyone’s taste. Enjoy some of the finest dining set against the most beautiful and scenic mountain ranges in the world. Travel to a place where luxury and the great outdoors fuse together to make for a life-changing winter holiday for you and the entire family.
Known for its world-class skiing resorts, the French Alps is one of the best destinations to consider for skiing and visitors are guaranteed a first-class experience in one of the most famous mountain ranges in the world. Cosy alpine villages, traditional ski chalets and lodges assure fun for the whole family, whilst those travelling without children can rest and relax in some of the five-star accommodations on offer including stylish and modern hotels and exquisite resorts. And the brilliant landscape of the mountain ranges is the perfect backdrop to what will be the most magical ski adventure you’ll experience.
Courchevel is the largest and most prominent of the Three Valleys and offers visitors access to 150 kilometres of alpine ski runs through its 60 ski lifts. A further 600 kilometres are accessible across the entire Les Trois Vallées (Three Valleys), encompassing 10 summits and a sky-scraping altitude of 2500 meters. Beginners are more than welcome in the French Alps with around 23% of Courchevel’s pistes being considered green so you can get your slope training in. There are also some incredible off-terrain pistes to challenge yourself on, and you can even relive the World Cup and ski down the Jean Blanc, the former World Cup piste. Once you’ve tired yourself out on the slopes, it’s time for après ski, and what better way to spend it than exquisite fine dining? The resort houses seven Michelin-starred restaurants to get your tastebuds tingling, a perfect way to end a day of carving down the slopes.
Heading a little further north, you’ll discover the stunning resort of Chamonix, resting 4,807 meters high on Mont Blanc. Brought to public attention for playing host to the first Winter Olympic games, it has gained notoriety for being a top destination for experienced and expert skiers due to its specialist terrain and off-piste skiing. However, despite this, it’s still a great place for beginners to hone their skiing skills with Le Tour having some of the finest terrains, and some scenic runs in the forest at Les Houches that are stunning to experience, and fun for the whole family.
Chamonix is very well equipped for more experienced skiers who are chasing a challenge. The natural landscape makes for some great off-terrain pistes, you can even ski down the world’s greatest height differential at Grand Montets. You’ll descend from 3,300 meters to 1,235 meters in an extremely short space of time, so it’s perfect for thrill seekers. The Verte Piste the World Cup run of 3.5 kilometres, why not take your chances and carve down this iconic slope? There are also some really useful transport links in the resort with regular transport services that will take you anywhere in the valley, giving visitors access to all types of terrain and activities the resort has to offer. Aside from the first-class skiing experience, Chamonix is a resort held in very high regard for its glamour and luxurious accommodation. From the upscale comfort of the Grand Hotel des Alpes to the enchanting and warmly hospitable Hotel de l’Arve or chalet-style rooms of Auberge du Manoir, whatever your budget, you’re certain to have an amazing stay at one of the best ski resorts in the world.
The resorts in the Swiss Alps have long been hotspots for mixed-ability skiers due to dedicated slopes that offer an easier run on kind terrain. It’s also known to have one of the longest ski seasons in comparison to other ski destinations because of the high altitude of the peaks and the generous snowfall. There are also plenty of opportunities to take on more challenging slopes, so if you’re wanting to carve a fresh trail or enjoy well-trodden tracks, you can do both and more in the most stunning of scenescapes. Pack up your winter gear and get your skis on because ski season has officially arrived.
One of the best ski resorts you can hope to see during the season is Zermatt. The resort is dwarfed by one of the Alps’ most iconic peaks, the Matterhorn, which stands 3,883 meters high and provides skiers with year-round skiing where you can access over 360 kilometres of the trail system through the large lift system. If you’re travelling with the family, make sure you visit Wolli’s Park which has specific trails for beginners and is the perfect destination for kids to begin learning or hone their skills on the slopes. Veteran skiers can face more of a challenge at Rothorn or Gornergrat which can be accessed via chairlifts, gondolas, and cable cars, that offer some of the most beautiful scenes of the juggernaut peak, the Matterhorn. With access to slopes for all abilities and some of the most expert services, Zermatt is a must-visit.
The two-time host of the Winter Olympics in 1928 and 1948, St. Moritz offers visitors a luxury skiing experience paired with exquisite alpine views. But don’t worry if you’re skiing is not yet up to an Olympic standard as there are over 20 lifts that give guests access to all types of terrain that suit multiple levels of experience. However, if you want a more ambitious experience, head over to Corviglia Snow Park which offers 30 obstacles to swoop past. The resort is also home much more winter activities other than skiing. These include an al fresco ice rink, kite skiing, bobsledding, polo, cricket, and even horseracing across Lake Moritz which remains frozen over. The luxury of St. Moritz is supplemented by the bustling social life, fabulous shopping and a variety of restaurants and bars. For those seeking out a good mix of winter sports and luxury après ski, St. Moritz is the resort that has it all.
Nearest airport: Geneva