Taking the family skiing in the Alps requires planning, and picking the right ski resort in Switzerland, Italy, France, or Austria… you want convenient quality lodging, plenty of ski trails for everyone in your family, modern lifts, scenery, ski school, and things to do après ski. Here are a few of our favorite European ski resorts for family skiing in the French, Swiss Alps and Austria. We’ll keep skiing and exploring to provide more.
Aletsch Arena is three Swiss ski villages, Riederalp, Bettmeralp, and Fiescheralp, all interconnected with great ski lifts and trails – making it ideal for a family ski vacation. You won’t run out of terrain, the ski school at Riederalp is excellent, and the car free mountain villages make your après ski restful and more scenic. The views of Aletsch Glacier, the largest in Europe, from the Eggishorn summit, is extraordinary.
Obergurgl Hochgurgl in Austria, just up the valley from Solden, offers skiing on two interconnected mountains, very family friendly terrain, ski lessons, and lovely ski in ski out lodging at Hotel Crystal. While smaller than other Alps ski resorts, Obergurgl offers high elevation skiing with good snow, and less skiers, making it ideal for families – popular with the Brits.
St. Anton Austria is located in the beautiful Arlberg region. An authentic alpine ski village sits at the base of this vast ski resort, you can ski on multiple peaks, village to village – Stuben to St Christoph, and off the 9,222′ Valluga summit. St Anton skiing has a big 4,944′ vertical, 41 modern lifts, and excellent ski school for kids, plus great on mountain chalets and après ski for parents, and 4star family-friendly hotels like Hotel Bergschlossl. Lech Zurs, near St Anton, is another huge Austrian ski resort with loads of family-friendly terrain on both sides of the beautiful valley, part of the Ski Arlberg pass – 94 lifts and 340 kilometers of ski terrain.
Saas Fee Switzerland is not as well known as nearby Zermatt but its highly scenic, high elevation and high on our list for family skiing. The car-free village of Saas Fee is charming, and the ski slopes are surrounded by gorgeous glaciers. Kids will love the legend of the mountain fairies, parents will like discovering a new Swiss ski destination.
Courchevel France – part of Les Trois Vallées, is a beautiful family ski resort with perfectly groomed slopes, chalets at every turn, kids fun zones and Panda Bear on the ski slopes. You can ski from Courchevel to Val Thorens and Méribel all on one 3 Vallées ticket, so you have 600 kilometers of skiing in 8 ski areas.
Kitzbühel Austria is the oldest and most authentic ski resort in Europe. A family ski holiday in Kitzbühel promises big mountain skiing, though not super high in elevation, charming hotel lodging, and a beautiful village to explore après ski. Kitzbühel’s three mountains provide plenty of prepared trails, classic chalet lunches, gorgeous scenery, plus some gently sloped off-piste, and excellent ski schools – including the original Red Devils. Kids will love skiing the Hahnenkamm downhill course – the Strief, like a pro ski racer.
Switzerland’s Jungfrau is an immense ski region encompassing three ski areas and four villages. The Swiss Alps of The Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger are arguably the most spectacular mountains in the world. We loved staying in Wengen, the car free village famed for hosting the World Cup each January. Ski all three regions from the family friendly sunny Grindelwald-Frist (home of the world’s longest sled run -15 kilometers), to Wengen’s long Lauberhorn ski race arena, to the highest summit – the Schilthorn Piz Gloria made famous by the James Bond 007 movie.
Zermatt is is best known for The Matterhorn, the most photographed mountain in the world at 14,693-feet, but Zermatt is also an immense ski region for families – once everyone is skiing well. Zermatt offers the highest skiing in the Alps at 12,791-feet, with 54 ski lifts accessing 350 kilometers of prepared slopes. Trains, trams and gondolas bring you to beautiful scenery, great snow, charming chalets, you can even ski to Italy for lunch. Zermatt village is car-free but bustling with ski hotels, shops and Swiss restaurants.
Val Gardena in the Dolomites is historic, highly scenic, and heaven for skiers. The Italian Dolomites are vast, with 1,200 kilometers of skiing in 12 regions – much of which can be reached from Val Gardena’s famous ski slopes. Staying in the charming village of Ortisei in Val Gardena is perfect for an Italian family ski holiday.
Cortina D’Ampezzo is in the stunning Dolomites, offering three unique ski areas, Faloria, Tofane and Cinque Torri – and its part of the Dolomiti Superski Region not far away. The ski slopes are wonderful, so is the Olympic ski village of 1956. A Cortina ski trip is stylish, relaxing and beautiful.
Engelberg Switzerland is heavenly, Angel Mountain, for skiing families. Just over an hour from Zurich, Engelberg is a lesser known but beautiful ski valley of two mountains – the sunny family friendly ski slopes at Brunni and the high elevation Titlis Glacier, with stunning scenery, a long ski season and legendary Big 5 off-piste ski runs for experts with a guide. Engelberg village is classic Swiss with full service hotels, an 1120 Monastery, Church and cheese making store.
Gstaad Switzerland is a prestigious pretty alpine village in Switzerland reputed for its luxury ski hotels. The Super Ski Region of Gstaad is spread over nine mountains (not all interconnected) with various vintage lifts, including the highest elevation skiing on spectacular Glacier 3000. If you like to shop, spa, stay at swank hotels, ski, respectively, Gstaad is your go to ski place.