France is a real favourite for families, and with good reason. There’s a lot of variety in French ski resorts, so you can find a holiday that works for the whole family.
It’s got huge ski areas with pistes to suit everyone, from beginners up to advanced skiers. In purpose-built resorts, the ski schools and nursery slopes are easy to reach if you’re picking up little learners in the afternoon. And kids can generally start ski school from three years old in France, whereas Italian, Andorran and even some Austrian ski schools will only accept kids from the age of four.
Even if you’re not in ski-in, ski-out accommodation, French resorts usually have great transport networks – like regular ski buses that you can all pile onto with your gear. France is also the only country with a lot of chalets, which are perfect for families. They’re a great home from home – particularly if you book the whole chalet out – and your hosts can often prepare an earlier meal for little ones. There are board games and communal areas, so you can chill out, enjoy the atmosphere and not have to worry about dinner.
Alpe d’Huez really stands out for families. There’s plenty to do in the resort in the afternoons, like ice skating, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool and an enormous sports centre with mini golf, climbing walls and outdoor laser quest. The transfer is relatively short at two hours from Chambéry airport, so there’s less time for little ones to get restless. It has a broad range of accommodations, from hotels to chalets and self-catering apartments, so you can find somewhere that suits your family, and our qualified Crystal Childcare is based in resort too. Alpe d’Huez is also known as one of the sunniest resorts, with 300 sunny days a year. This is a big hit with kids, who tend to prefer skiing when the sun’s out and the air’s a little warmer.
La Plagne is also fantastic for families. The transfer’s a bit longer from Chambéry at two-and-a-half hours, but it’s also got a big range of accommodations and the Crystal Childcare here is excellent. This is based out of a chalet, making it really easy to get the kids ready in the morning, and you can practically ski out the front door at the start of the day and back again at the end of the day. The resort puts on some excellent kid-friendly activities for the afternoons and evenings such as family après and fireworks, and the ski school is really highly rated.
Tignes is the best at family-friendly events. There’s loads of easy stuff to do as a family in the late afternoon and early evening, like hot chocolates at the bottom of the slopes, a little market and regular light shows. There’s a swimming pool and sports area, so you can decamp to an easy activity in the afternoons. It’s also got a huge range of accommodation types and is a lot cheaper than neighbouring Val d’Isère, but with the same incredible Espace Killy area skiing. And it’s a glacier resort, so if you go want to make some Christmassy mountain memories as a family, you’re essentially guaranteed snow from early in the season. And there’s still plenty of skiing in spring, making it a great option for the Easter holidays.
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