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15 Best Family Ski Resorts in Europe to Visit this Winter

Looking for top family ski resorts in Europe can take some research. The continent is one of the world’s top destinations for skiing, especially Austria, Switzerland, and France which all share the beautiful mountains of the Alps. These mountains provide unique backdrops and slopes to all of the resorts and guests who use them. 

Best Places to Ski in Europe with Kids

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Where to Ski in Europe with Kids

From the perfect beginner slopes, to resorts who cater more towards the side of the thrill-seekers, and even an 80,000 square km ski park for kids, you will find something for everyone on the slopes of the Alps. 

So here is your guide to finding the perfect family ski resorts in Europe, no matter your skill level, or who you are traveling with.  

Best Ski Holidays in Switzerland for Families

1. Ski Resort Laax

Laax, also known as ​Flims or ​Falera, is located in Eastern Switzerland and has over 230 kilometers of slopes, making it one of the country’s largest.

Its size means it can offer something for everyone. Those who will be taking to the slopes for the first time can attend the LAAX for beginners school, while the more experienced can enjoy the advanced routes. 

LAAX ski resort

The resort doesn’t only offer outdoor activities. Its indoor facilities, terrain parks, 4 snowparks, and the Olympic super-pipe make it a firm favorite for those who like to try a bit of everything.

Laax also hosts snowboard competitions for a large variety of snowsports, so be sure to check their event schedule so you can see what might be going on when you plan your trip.

Where to Stay Near Laax

When looking for somewhere to stay, Waldhaus Flims boasts upscale hotels hidden away among the mountains. The architecture is what dreams are made of, with floor-to-ceiling windows so you can swim with the snow-covered mountains in the backdrop.

Add to that the steep roofs and cozy features of a typical chalet and you’ll feel right at home.

Laax is even doing its bit for the environment. It’s working to reduce CO2 emissions and increase renewable energy. This will make it the first fully sustainable ski resort in the world!

2. Zermatt

Zermatt offers the quintessential Swiss Alps experience. This car-free mountain town is nestled under The Matterhorn, so you’ll be treated to world-class views as you ski down its world-famous slopes. 

cr - Pascal Gertschen Zermatt
Photo credit: Pascal Gertschen

It’s also the highest ski resort in Europe. At Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, you can ride nearly 4,000 meters (about 13,000 feet) above sea level to the peak of Klein Matterhorn and drop into a 25km ride. The best part? You can do it year-round. Zermatt offers skiing 365 days a year, so you can include its adventures no matter when you visit. 

There are easy slopes in Zermatt, but this area will be best for intermediate and expert skiers who long for adventurous routes. 

Zermatt is in southern Switzerland, not far from the Italian border. 

Where to stay in Zermatt

OMNIA Mountain Lodge Hotel offers a private lift service from the resort centre, so you’ll be steps away from the charm and culture of town. 

For a truly immersive family ski holiday, book a stay at Riffelalp Resort 2222m, a luxurious resort perched high in the mountains with ski-in access. 

Families needing more space may like the apartment-style accommodations in town, like Matterhorn Lodge Boutique Hotel & Apartments

3. Verbier

Verbier is part of the 4 Vallees, Switzerland’s largest ski area. This is the perfect place to go if you want to do a lot of skiing. Verbier alone has over 250 miles of ski routes, and you’ll find even more if you access the rest of the 4 Vallees. 

And with so much snowy terrain, there will surely be a slope for all levels and interests. 

Les Esserts will be the go-to slope for beginners, and Mont Fort will be where experienced skiers flock – it’s the highest point in the mountains and the most challenging route. 

Traveling to Verbier is relatively easy. You’ll fly into the Geneva airport and then take a shuttle, train, or car to the resort. Once there, you’ll love the traditional low-rise architecture and lively culture, but it is one of the priciest resorts in Switzerland. 

Where to Stay in Verbier

If you’re in Verbier to ski, you’ll want to stay near one of the lifts. W Verbier is a luxury hotel with direct access to slopes. 

For the most immersive experience that will bring you close to town and the lifts, book an apartment or hotel in Place Centrale, the lively heart of Verbier. 

4. Gstaad

Located in the Bernese Alps, the charming resort town of Gstaad has long been a quiet ski destination for the rich and famous. But all ski enthusiasts can enjoy the best of Gstaad. With over 150 miles of slopes and multiple snowparks (plus some authentic Swiss Charm), Gstaad is one of the best family ski resorts in Europe.

Best Family Ski Resorts in Europe Gstaad

This ski resort is beloved for its low crowds and relaxed spirit. One of the main draws here is Glacier 3000, a high-altitude destination with an alpine coaster, suspension bridge, and Glacier walk. 

But besides Glacier 3000, Gstaad is relatively low. Its terrain is all below 2,000m elevation, so snow quality (and views) can be hit-or-miss. 

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But if you want to enjoy skiing while discovering the charm of rural Switzerland, this is the place to go. 

Where to stay in Gstaad

The Gstaad ski region is made up of multiple towns and villages that offer a range of apartments and hotels. But we recommend staying right in the village of Gstaad for the best experience. You’ll be close to many ski lifts and have easy bus access to Glacier 3000. 

Gstaad has many classic European grand hotels, like the Le Grand Bellevue. But you’ll also find an array of hotels in town that cater to relatively lower-budget travelers. 

5. Wengen

Wengen is one of the best Europe ski resorts for families. Located in central Switzerland, the cozy car-free village of Wengen offers some of Europe’s best skiing. This town is part of the Grindelwald-Wengen ski area, a scenic and vast region of long rides and mountain terrain. 

One of the best things about Wengen is its great ski schools and novice routes. Some beginner areas cater to kids, while others are perfect for all ages. Advanced skiers can also find adventure in Wengen, thanks to its great off-piste routes and a 1,3800-meter vertical. 

In addition to its many ski options, this family-friendly resort and village offers play areas, historic sites, toboggan routes, and ice tunnel excursions. 

Where to stay in Wengen

Wengen is a small village, so you’ll be close to lifts, cable cars,  and entertainment no matter where you stay. We especially love the four-star Hotel Silberhorn for its strong sense of place and great location. 

There are also lots of apartments and chalets that are perfect for families or groups.

Best Austrian Ski Resorts for Families

6. Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis

Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis is exactly how you imagine a winter wonderland. Very deserving of its place as one of the best ski resorts in Austria!

At night, the buildings create a warm glow around the snowy mountains that surround them.

Despite being set at an altitude of 1,200 meters (3,900 feet), accessibility isn’t an issue. It’s the only ski resort in the world to be serviced by an underground railway that connects the car park below with the gondola. It stops at a couple of hotels in between, so it’s a great way to get around.

No matter what time of the season you visit, you’re guaranteed great snow. Several of the gondolas have snow-making machines that service the slopes to keep them fresh.

Serfaus Fiss Ladis skiing in Austria-Kids Are A Trip

Serfaus Fiss Ladis is especially family-friendly, offering plenty of beginner terrain and entertainment for kids. 

They even have “Berta’s Kinderland”, an 80,000 square-meter area dedicated to kids’ activities, ski coaching, and the “Fairy Tale Express”. Parents can drop their children off, and hit the higher slopes, or relax and take a break. 

Where to Stay near Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis

There are several properties nearby that we would recommend. Check out Schlosshotel Ischgl, Puitalm Aparthotel, or Relais & Chateaux Chasa Montana.

7. St Anton am Arlberg

St Anton is rated as one of the best ski resort in Europe, one of the top five in the Alps to be exact.

Located in Austria’s Arlberg region, it has 340km of slopes. With over half of them covering off-the-slope itineraries and terrain, this resort is most appealing to the more experienced who are looking for a luxury getaway.  

St Anton Am Arlberg skiing in Austria

Getting to the resort is simple. Zurich, Innsbruck, and Friedrichshafen airports are all less than 200km drive from the resort. You can also take the train from Zurich to St. Anton, which takes around three hours. 

Where to Stay in St Anton am Arlberg

The hotels in Sankt Anton am Arlberg have snow-covered roofs and beautiful balconies from which you can admire the steep mountains they sit on.

You can find catered chalets that feature wooden beams, plush sofas, and large windows for that genuine Austrian experience. Some of the properties we recommend are: Arlen Lodge Hotel, Skihotel Galzig, and Hotel Sonnenheim.

8. Puradies Nature Resort

Most ski Europe vacations will land you amid busy (yet charming) resort towns with a lot of hustle and bustle. But at Puradies Nature Resort, you’ll be in a world all your own. This hotel offers unparalleled serenity, steps away from some of Austria’s world-famous skiing. 

Puradies is located in Leogang and has direct access to the slopes of Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn. This ski region has great off-piste trails, intermediate routes, and a really fun atmosphere. 

We feel this area is best enjoyed as a quiet retreat, which you’ll get at Puradies. Book a chalet or hotel room and enjoy ski-in ski-out access in the beautiful mountain setting. The blend of adventure and serenity makes Puradies a best European family ski resort. 

This Leogang resort also has a spa, guided excursions, and one of the best restaurants in the region. 

9. Oberlech

Oberlech isn’t the most accessible ski resort. This Austrian destination is remote and requires multiple bus transfers.  But once you’re here, you’re treated to some of the area’s most breathtaking scenery and renowned slopes. 

Lech Zurs skiing in Austria

This resort area is upslope from the famous Lech am Arlberg ski resort. At 1700km elevation, it has excellent snow coverage and a range of activities for all skiers. A cable car connects Oberlech with Lech, so you can easily enjoy both areas during your ski retreat. 

Be sure to check out the kids’ areas and beginners’ slopes, or for a completely unique experience, try heli-skiing. 

Where to Stay in Oberlech

Though you’ll be spending much of your vacation time in nearby Lech, it’s definitely worth it to stay in Oberlech, which is car-free and has ski-in ski-out access. There are four- and five-star accommodations, like Hotel Sonnenburg and Burgvital Resort

10. Kitzbuhel Ski Resort

Kitzbuhel Ski Resort is a great place for true ski enthusiasts. The diverse and efficient lift system allows for days of adventure, and we love the value you get for the lift pass. Plus, a lot of the routes are uncrowded and scenic. 

All levels of skiers will enjoy the options here. Beginner routes abound, and it’s got great off-piste terrain. There are children’s areas, snow parks, and excellent schools. Even non-skiers can enjoy a vacation in Kitzbuhel thanks to its great spas, shopping, and fun activities. 

Kitzbuhel is part of the KitzSki ski area of Austria. It’s home to the annual Hahnenkamm downhill race and has over 145 miles of slopes. 

Where to Stay in Kitzbuhel Ski Resort

If you’re in Kitzbuhel solely to ski, consider staying in one of the upslope ski-in ski-out resorts like Hotel Ehrenbachhöhe. But if you want to enjoy the town’s vibrant atmosphere, staying in the village will allow easy access to activities, entertainment, and skiing. 

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Best Family Ski Resorts in France

11. Chamonix

Chamonix has been a favorite place to ski in Europe since the early 1900s and has grown in popularity since it hosted the 1924 Winter Olympics. 

A resort for the experienced, mountain guides and instructors come to Chamonix to qualify on the expert slopes. Chamonix offers exciting challenges for the seasoned skier and snowboarder, including the scenic 20k Vallée Blanche off-piste run, which is the longest in Europe. 

Mont Blanc provides a stunning backdrop for the thrill-seekers who take to the slopes, and then the cocktail bars in the lively town below. 

Chamonix skiing in France

The town is quite large and is spread out over four areas which require a bus for transport. However, it’s just one hour from Geneva airport, allowing easy access for those who want to travel elsewhere. 

Although there are many hotel options available, there aren’t many chalets to choose from. When choosing a hotel, there’s everything from the five-star Hameau Albert 1er to B&Bs. All of these are likely to be more flexible when you are booking due to the competition in the area.

12. Alpe d’Huez

Alpe d’Huez is a top ski resort in Europe and a great choice for groups who have a range of abilities, there are few other resorts that offer options for all.

The resort covers 250km and slopes range from 1,135m to over 3,000 meters. Based at the foot of Pic Blanc, the quality of the black slopes will get hearts racing.

Access to the mountain takes a bit of time. You need to take the Telepherique des Grandes Rousses (a very large gondola), and then a cable car. Once at the top, you will find the Sarenne run. At 16km, this is the longest black run you’ll find skiing in the Alps.

Although the Sarenne run isn’t extremely difficult, it is quite long, so it’s more of a challenge of endurance. For half of its length, it runs gently down a riverside path and through a gorge, making it one of the more scenic in the resort.

Alpe d'huez skiing in France

Though luxury hotels such as Club Med are available, the most popular accommodation for Alpe d’Huez is the self-catered apartments

The resort is split into eight districts, Cognet has the best transport links to the slopes and contains all of the nightlife.

Club Med is located in the Savoie area and offers an all-inclusive package. This includes kids’ clubs, an open bar, passes and lessons by ESF professionals, and free wifi.

There you have five of the best ski resorts in the Alps to suit any group. You can conquer some of the terrains on every ski enthusiast’s bucket list, learn to ski in a beginner’s school, and even kick back and relax at Club Med.  

13. Val D’Isere

Val D’Isere is an iconic destination in southern France that any ski enthusiast must visit. The area (and neighboring Tignes ski resort) has reliable snowfall, Olympic courses, and luxe accommodations. 

Its main appeal is Alpine skiing, but it has a great snowpark with ever-growing jumps and its own snowmaking facilities. 

There are over 300 kilometers of slopes (180+ miles) to discover, and even more off-piste routes for experienced skiers. Looking for even more winter sports? Val D’Isere offers dogsledding, paragliding, ice skating, and “the Snooc,” a ski-sled-snowboard hybrid that’s fun for all levels. 

Where to stay in Val D’Isere

Catered chalets in Val D’Isere are a unique, luxurious experience that’s perfect for groups traveling together. 

We also love Val d’Isere-Tignes for its many ski-in ski-out accommodations. A favorite is Le Refuge de Solaise, which has world-class accommodations, a supervised kids club, and dreamy, snowy surroundings. 

14. Morzine

Morzine is a fun and popular skiing destination in the French Alps, and it’s got a lot going for it. Its proximity to Geneva is a big draw, and it’s got a good mix of gentle slopes and one of the area’s longest ski runs (nearly 7 miles long). 

Morzine France skiing in europe

This vibrant village is part of the sprawling Les Portes du Soleil, and it’s super family-friendly thanks to its many non-skiing activities. You can go snowshoeing, check out an igloo, or embark on a guided outdoor adventure. 

Where to Stay in Morzine

Though the village of Morzine is just 1,000 meters above sea level, it is still the best place to stay during your vacation here. You’ll have access to the town’s vibrant culture and the area’s best skiing. 

The Farmhouse is a historic boutique hotel in the heart of the village. 

Italian Ski Resorts for Families

15. Cervinia

Looking for a great Italy ski resort? Cervinia is located under the Matterhorn, steps away from the Swiss border. Your family will love the gentle intermediate slopes, and experienced athletes will have access to the famed Klein Matterhorn. 

The high altitude here means significant snowfall and summer skiing opportunities. 

Cervinia Italy ski resort

Cervinia is a modern and lively ski town with a car-free main street and luxury hotels, but it may not be the best destination for non-skiers. The good news is that it’s a beginner-friendly destination, with a 1200-meter vertical slope within reach after a couple of days’ practice. 

Where to stay in Cervinia

Breuil Cervinia village has a range of high-end modern hotels with easy lift access. If you want a classic ski-in ski-out lodge, check out Hotel Baita Cretaz, located directly on the slopes at 2,100-meter elevation. It’s a quick walk or snowmobile ride to the village, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds. 

Conclusion – Best Family Ski Resorts in Europe

If you are looking for a new ski experience, why not head to some of the best family ski resorts in Europe? They all offer unique accommodations, stunning scenery, and some of the best ski schools. A European ski trip is sure to be an unforgettable family vacation.

Don’t miss these related posts: What to pack for a family ski trip, Best European Christmas Markets for Families, Where to Ski with Teens in the US, and the Best European resorts for Families.

About the author: Sian is a London-based writer and travel enthusiast who runs @sianemma92 on Instagram. She works as a Digital Marketing Manager in the fitness industry, and eats, sleeps and breaths travel in her spare time.