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 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 4 star 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 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 Switzerland is is best known for The Matterhorn, the most photographed mountain in the world at 14,693-feet, but Zeramtt 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. Gravity defying 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 Italian Dolomites is historic, highly scenic, and heaven for skiers. The Italian Dolomites are vast, with 1,200 kilometers of skiing in 12 regions – called Dolomiti Superski, you can ski them all in a fun Sella Ronda circuit. Staying in the charming village of Ortisei in Val Gardena is perfect for an Italian family ski holiday. Cortina D’Ampezzo is perhaps most famous of the Dolomites, with three unique ski areas, Faloria, Tofane and Cinque Torri. The ski slopes are wonderful, so is the charming 1956 Olympic ski village. A Cortina ski trip is stylish, relaxing and beautiful.
Portes Du Soleil, a French Swiss ski resort, with 6 ski resort villages in each country, offers tremendous terrain, beautiful scenery and great chalets for ski-to lunches. Avoriaz and Chatel on theFrench side are ideal for family ski holiday with lots to do from skiing to aprés ski, sledding, swimming at Aquariaz, horse drawn sleigh-rides, and tons of lodging. The Swiss side, Region Dents Du Midi, and the authentic ski towns of Champéry, Champoussin, and Les Crosets, are quieter and more quaint for a more relaxed ski holiday.
Baqueira Beret is Spain’s largest ski resort – with acreage comparable to Vail, very family-frienldy, with spectacular scenery. A Spanish family ski holiday is fun, easy to get to, and often sunny in these Pyrenees mountains. The Spaniards are relaxed, friendly and speak English widely. Rent an entire English ski lodge for the week, with a Chef, shared with your own group of families or friends. The peak of your Spain ski trip may well be the delicious food and wine, tapas y vino, or perhaps the magnifcent views.
See more European Ski Reviews:
Top Austrian Family Ski Resorts
Top French Family Ski Resorts
Top Swiss Ski Resorts for Families
Top Family Ski Resorts in the World
Top Late Season Ski Resorts in The Alps