Finding the right ski resort that the whole family will enjoy is important. It’s likely you’ll be in need of a great ski school to keep the kids busy, a variety of pistes to challenge the adults, as well as plenty of activities that you can enjoy together.
A newcomer to the French Alps won’t take long to see why the country’s skiing culture is as celebrated as it is. France boasts some of the finest skiing in Europe, with stunning scenery and slopes that cater for all abilities. So, if you’re considering a ski holiday with the little ones, here are the best French ski resorts for families.
Britons have been coming to Les Gets with their families since the middle of the last century. The resort not only boasts a diverse selection of slopes appropriate for all abilities, but it is also a true Alpine spirit when it comes to cuisine. To recharge after an exhausting day on the slopes, all family members will enjoy that warming staple of the Savoy region, the tartiflette. This dish of potatoes roasted with lardons and reblochon is a first-class choice for ravenous skiers of all ages.
Les Gets has carved a reputation for itself as one of the best French ski resorts for families proven by the ‘Famille Plus Montagne’ label it has been awarded. This accolade recognises its impressive facilities and services for children. A great example of its child-friendly facilities is the Le Grand Cry area. This themed section of the mountain is dedicated to children, with gentle runs offering a safe place to learn away from the main pistes.
Avoriaz is a peaceful, compact resort located on the main lift circuit of the Portes du Soleil. The resort offers great value accommodation and the whole village is pedestrianised, so expect to see cars replaced by charming old fashioned sleighs pulled by shire horses; children will love taking a ride on one of these unique taxis through the snowy streets.
Over 100 instructors and supervisors work in the excellent children’s village, teaching small skiers and baby boarders of all abilities. There’s also a separate village restaurant serving lunch and tea for children who have built up an appetite on the slopes. In addition to the cinema and bowling alley in Avoriaz, there are numerous family-friendly activities available nearby, from hot air ballooning to donkey trekking. Adults will appreciate the many pistes and tranquil off-piste spots, where they can enjoy empty slopes and spectacular views, safe in the knowledge that their kids are being well looked after.
Avoriaz is one of the best French ski resorts for families with keen snowboarders in the group. This was the original European snowboarding resort, thanks in part to the blessing of Jake Burton, the sport’s ‘godfather’, who helped to create the Stash snow park. If you’re hoping to get the little ones ‘on board’, Avoriaz also has the Lil’ Stash park to provide an introduction to the sport.
Forming one half of the famous Paradiski ski area, La Plagne is widely regarded as one of the best French ski resorts for families. The resort is made up of ten villages and we can help you choose the right one to suit your family. The higher-altitude villages are Belle Plagne, Plagne Bellecote and Plagne Centre; you’ll find a great variety of ski-in ski-out, family-friendly accommodation here. Montchavin is also a great base for families and has even been awarded the Famille Plus accreditation for the quality of its services. The Baby Club Montchavin organises snowman-building and art activities. In the attractive, woodland village of Les Coches there’s an ice rink and two nursery slopes, ideal for children just finding their snow legs. The terrain in La Plagne is suited to beginners and intermediates, who’ll find the long cruising blues perfect for practicing turns and the resort’s high altitude means the nursery slopes see good snow through the season.
Christmas is a major event in resort with markets and parades taking over the villages and even a visit from Santa. Those coming later in the season for the Easter holidays can look forward to the Subli’Cimes festival. This free family festival sees the five peaks of resort taken over with different themes – from tropical paradises to wintery ice-grottos – with a range of fun activities to enjoy together.
Located in the centre of the vast Trois Vallées ski area, Méribel is another of our best French ski resorts for families, with plenty of runs and open boulevards to suit all abilities. The Moon Wild area of the slopes is always popular with children and features wildlife spotting and giant animal sculptures. Another family favourite is the Inuit Village, with its Arctic-themed games, emperor penguin slalom, and blue whale that children can ski through. There’s an entertainer here throughout the season, who organises activities like igloo building and snowball fights in between hot chocolate breaks. The Inuit Village has continued to expand with the creation of two discovery paths through the Altiport Forest, which are ideal for families to explore together whilst learning more about the Inuit people.
At the end of a long day out on the slopes, gather up the family and head to one of Méribel’s great selection of restaurants. Traditional Savoyard dishes like rich cheese fondue and tartiflette are readily available, and many restaurants offer child-friendly options, such as the Petit Kiki menus at Chez Kiki.
To find out more about the best French ski resorts for families, view our website or speak to our experts on 0207 471 7700