What’s your earliest memory of hitting the slopes? Whether you’ve been whizzing down reds since you were a toddler or you started out later in life, there’s something magical about sharing a fairy-tale ski holiday with the whole family.
Make sure your adventure with your little ones goes as smoothly as possible by choosing a destination that’s fully geared up to cater for your brood. For resorts that have childcare for tiny tots, ski schools for early learners and plenty of activities for non-skiers, France is a good choice. We’ve selected our top five French resorts.
Made up of charming wooden houses, this traditional village is nestled at the foot of the Petit St Bernard mountain pass. La Rosière is known for its peaceful atmosphere, with laidback, friendly bars and restaurants bringing together locals and visitors alike. The resort is designed to keep life simple for families: there are pushchair and baby carriers available so that you can leave yours at home.
You’ll find crèche facilities like the Galopins Kids’ Club, which provides childcare – with or without skiing lessons – for toddlers (18 months and up) and children aged three to 13. To keep the little ones entertained in the evenings, there’s a bowling alley, skating rink, and a cinema.
La Plagne resort has 12 villages to choose from. Montchavin and Les Coches are ideal for a child-friendly trip, with nurseries, crèches and ski schools for kids. While you relax at Hotel Les Rhododendrons, your children can spend time in the adjoining kids’ play room, and they’ll also have plenty to do during the day at the fun kids’ club. The hotel’s restaurant caters to children with a dedicated, healthy kids’ menu and a hearty breakfast – eggs, fruit, and cereal – to set them up for a long day on the slopes.
If you prefer apartments, go for Residence Plagne Lauze, which has a games room for cosy evenings in. The on-site mini market means you’ll have all the essentials on hand as well.
The grand ski resort of Les Arcs is linked to La Plagne by the world’s largest cable car, making it Europe’s third-biggest ski area. Of the four main ski centres here, beginners and children will love the gentle terrain around Arc 2000, accessible via free lifts. Family-friendly Hotel MMV Altitude is ideally situated just 500m from the slopes, and you can unwind in the spa while the kids let off steam and make friends at one of the in-house children’s clubs, which cater for all ages – from 18 months to 17 years.
Lighten your load at the airport and book a baby kit with a bed, chair, changing mat, potty and bath chair. Family-friendly Hotel Belambra Aiguille Rouge also provides free baby kits and has activity-packed kids’ clubs to keep children happy all day.
Take advantage of the vast Trois Vallées ski area at Méribel. Méribel-Motterat is the most beginner-friendly resort, set high up on the hill with plenty of ski-in, ski-out access. Head to Hotel Le Yeti, a family-run hotel that’s conveniently located right by the meeting point for the ski school and the Piou Piou ski garden for tiny tots. The attached restaurant has a special children’s menu for small bellies.
Le Grand Coeur & Spa is nestled at the bottom of the slopes, and with its pretty, wooden design and welcoming feel, it’s the perfect place for families to relax. When little legs start to tire, you can book snowshoeing excursions or even a magical dog sled ride.
Val d’Isère has easy access to what is probably the best all-round ski area in the world, the Espace Killy. You and the kids will be exposed to a variety of runs – from green through to black. Back at base, Club Med resort offers all-inclusive packages for a relaxing getaway, with group ski lessons, babysitting facilities and an indoor pool for splashing about. Spacious family suites with balconies give the holiday a sense of luxury and grandeur.
Chalet Apartment Santons Isère, situated a handy 150m from the nursery slopes, has cosy rooms with bunk beds, and the open-plan living and dining area means the whole family can hang out together.