2014 Family ski holidays - Ski chalets for large groups and familiesChoosing the right destination for a family ski holiday
We’ve heard it said time and time again: “families that play together- stay together,” and when it comes to booking a holiday everyone can enjoy, what is better than a ski holiday? Even families with little ones who have never been on a ski holiday can find a good ski lodge with beginner’s slopes and ski lessons. Then of course there are families that have been going on ski holidays for years and have nothing but seasoned skiers. No matter which category you fit into, there is a ski holiday that will be perfect for you and your family. The key is picking the right destination.
If you are going to plan a ski holiday you may as well go somewhere extraordinary. There are many places around the world that are famous for their slopes. If your main goal is skiing on holiday then don’t mess around when choosing a destination. After all, if you are going on a skiing holiday, you will want to spend the majority of your time skiing, won’t you? Take a look at some of the world’s best skiing locations but remember not to get caught in the trap of thinking you have to stay on the grounds to enjoy skiing. Families seem to be much happier in independent private rentals than in fancy resorts.
Amie O'Shaughnessy's verdict
Davos-Klosters. Kid-focused ski infrastructure can be found in Davos-Klosters from kids land play for tots, to terrain parks for teens and tweens, to a huge toboggan run for skiers and non-skiers alike. There are brilliant restaurants and shops, plus a popular casino for parent-only downtime.
Zermatt. A quintessential Swiss ‘chocolate box’ village without cars and home to the epic Matterhorn, is a winter sports paradise. Loads of terrain is optimized for families with first-time ski facilities and gentle slopes. The official Swiss ski school offers kids a comprehensive program including a 3,500m dedicated kids’ learning village.
Verbier. Popular ski destination among Brits and part of the 4 Vallees ski area, an immense network of world-class on and off-piste skiing. Although Verbier offers few kid-focused amenities, 43% of the resort is rated as blue or easy and kids ages 7 and up adore the dedicated 10km toboggan run.
Amie O'Shaughnessy is the HomeAway travel expert on family holidays. She can also be found on her site Ciao Bambino.
Ski destinations that are perfect for families
One thing that makes ski holidays spent at the Austrian ski resort Oberndorf is that no matter what time of year, or what the weather is, there is artificial snow covering the slopes! This is very impressive and many skiers come just for the novelty of that alone. Oberndorf is a very pretty town in Austria and there are snow activities for everyone. This also makes a family ski holiday ideal as there is snowboarding and other fun activities available. The three lifts at Oberndorf are able to lift over 2,000 skiers - impressive indeed!
Oslo is an excellent city for ski holidays as the main resort; Oslo Winter Park is just about 30 minutes outside of downtown Oslo. This park is comprised of eighteen slopes, eleven lifts and also makes available snowboarding and telemark skiing. One great aspect of this ski resort is that they have a special area that’s been designated for little ones and beginners. This is the place to go if you are travelling with inexperienced skiers or children. Aside from skiing, not that you’d want to deviate much, there are a lot of cool things to see in Oslo, even if it is just the simple joy of experiencing the Norwegian culture and cuisine.
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Black Forest, Germany
The Black Forest is the home to the oldest ski club in all of Germany. In addition, it is the largest outside of the Alps. The ski club was formed back in 1895. The Black Forest’s enormous expanse of valleys, forests and hills stretches from the prestigious town of Baden, known for its spas, to the Swiss border. This covers an area of approximately 11.913945km! The highest peak here is called Feldberg Mountain at 8,000km. There are over 170 ski lifts to choose from, 22 ski jumps and 155 miles of downhill slopes. Cross country skiers will have the privilege of gliding over 1,600km of beautiful trails. This is a quaint town and skiing here is definitely geared toward more seasoned skiers. If you are traveling with teens and adults who all ski quite well, this is a good choice.
Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland
Lauterbrunnen is located in one of the most remarkable furrow valleys in the Alps, between mountain peaks and enormous rock faces. It has a whopping 70 waterfalls, bright and colourful alpine meadows, secluded valleys and of course one of the most prominent nature conservation areas in all of Switzerland. This of course means a ski holiday here for the family will also allow for other activities for those not as interest in skiing. The Swiss Ski Resort in Lauterbrunnen has everything one would want in a ski club, including 10km of ski runs, twenty six snow cannons and much more. If you’ve never been to the Swiss Alps, this is a great place to visit.
Extreme skiers choose extreme locations! If you are planning a ski holiday then you are going to be geared up for the cold and what a good thing that is as Girdwood Alaska is very cold and that is putting it mildly. Many people from abroad choose this location as it is a part of the US and in some cases they make their way through Washington, California and Oregon while they are in the region. Alyeska, located in Girdwood is the largest ski resort in Alaska, making it an ideal choice for skiers. This is also a ski holiday destination that may be better suited to those who are experienced skiers. With that being said there are plenty of blue runs but the seasoned skiers will enjoy the mountain slope the most.
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