Skiing in Europe is dramatic, with some of the biggest ski regions and the best family ski resorts in the world. The Austrian and Swiss Alps are huge, spectacular peaks like the Matterhorn in Zermatt and The Jungfrau Region are the backdrop for long vertical and extraordinary scenery. European ski resorts, like Verbier and Kitzbuhel, offer more terrain than North American ski resorts like Big Sky/Moonlight Basin, Alta/Snowbird, Whistler/Blackcomb and Vail. Ski resorts in Austria, France, Italy, and Switzerland connect ski villages with extensive lift systems all on a regional interchangeable lift ticket. You can even ski in summer in Norway on Fonna Glacier.
The French Alps offer a big adventure. You will encounter big mountain skiing with awesome scenery, skiing long runs over 4,000-feet of vertical and riding high-capacity ski lifts. France is home to the biggest ski resorts in the world – Les 3 Vallées encompasses 25 peaks, 8 ski resorts and 600 kilometers of skiing, with great ski villages of Courchevel and Méribel plus Val Thorens. France’s Val D’Isere has over 90 lifts that interconnect with Tignes for 186 miles of prepared skiing. Portes Du Soleil is a big French Swiss ski resort, of 12 villages spanning both countries, between Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc – very family friendly.
Austria is another favorite for family skiing in the Alps, see our ski reviews of Austria’s best family friendly ski resorts in the Tyrol, Kitzbuhel, SkiWelt, Innsbruck and Zillertal. The Arlberg region of St Anton and Lech Zurs, and the Otztal valley ski resorts of Solden and Obergurgl Hochgurgl areand our Austrian ski photos. For families, Austrian ski schools are among the best anywhere, and multilingual.
In Switzerland, The Jungfrau ski region sprawls across four villages and three ski resorts all with amazing views of the Jungfrau, The Mönch and The Eiger soaring above 13,000 and over 213 kilometers of ski trails. Family friendly skiing in the Swiss Alps at Haslital and Engelberg are lesser known but equally beautiful ski regions. See our reviews of Switzerland’s top family ski resorts including Jungfrau, Aletsch Arena, Andermatt, Arosa Lenzerheide, Laax, Saas Fee, Verbier, Zermatt and Engelberg – Swiss ski town with loads of history, charm and even glacier skiing.
The Italian Dolomites offer legendary scenery of the dramatic rock peaks, and La Dolce Vita of the Italian lifestyle- stylish skiing, long leisurely lunches at ski huts, and some beautiful ski villages like Cortina and Val Gardena. Skiing the Sellaronda, and the Marmolada in the Dolomite Super Ski Region that encompasses 1,200 kilometers of trails and 450 lifts among 12 ski regions and 45 villages is amazing. So is the Italian cuisine – best savored in the sunny high alpine plateaus before a long beautiful ski down.
Spain is not typically heralded for its skiing, but the Pyrenees are home to big mountains (3000m, 9,800′). Baqueira Beret is the largest ski resort in the country – with acreage comparable to Vail, and spectacular scenery. A Spanish ski holiday is fun, and relatively affordable. The Spaniards are relaxed, very friendly and happy to speak English. You can even rent an English ski lodge for the week, with a Chef, shared with your own group of families or friends. Of course the Spanish food and wine, tapas and vino, are a highlightof a winter holiday in España. We have yet to ski Sierra Nevada in southern Spain, the most southerly ski resort in Europe.
The Alps are also famed for the charming and historic alpine villages that cling to the hillsides and are tucked in the valleys. Kids skate and sled while parents enjoy après ski Kirsch at a slopeside umbrella bar. Snow covered chalets serve classic fondue and raclette. European ski resorts have lodging that ranges from condominiums, two to five star ski hotels, chalets, and bed and breakfasts to palaces in Courchevel France. There are so many magical snowy hideaways and top ski resorts in Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany to plan your family ski vacation in the Alps.
See our European Ski Reviews:
Top European Ski Resorts for Family Ski Vacation
Top Austrian Family Ski Resorts
Top French Family Ski Resorts
Top Swiss Ski Resorts for Families
Top Family Ski Resorts in the World
Austria Ski Videos
Italy Ski Videos