Voted the “Best family resort 2013” by the World Snow Awards, it isn’t hard to see why Avoriaz is so popular among families with children. Situated at the highest part of the vast Portes du Soleil area, Avoriaz receives an average snowfall of 8 meters every winter, ranking it in the top ten snowiest ski resorts in Europe according to the Financial Times. Avoriaz is also one of the largest ski resorts in the world and its 650 km of stunning ski slopes spanning the Swiss/French border have something to offer for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and levels. The town itself is very friendly; it is 100% “ski-in, ski-out” so no need to carry your skis on icy paths or take a bus. In fact, Avoriaz is completely pedestrianized so apart from getting around on skis, horse-drawn sleighs are another popular form of transportation.
Furthermore, the children’s ski pass price applies to individuals up to the age of 16 and can be combined with the family pass and children under 5 get a free ski pass. There is also the new Aquariaz waterpark, the largest to be built in the mountains, which offers wonderful indoor and outdoor pools that appeal to the whole family.
Snowboarders and free-stylers can enjoy the different snowparks. You can even practice at the pro-park which is often used for high profile competitions, record your jumps and share the video with your friends online, and practice with a giant airbag to assure a soft landing. One of the parks, The Stash, even has a mini version called Lil’ Stash, specially designed for the younger daredevils.
Situated high up in the Austrian Alps at 1930m, Obergurgl enjoys beautiful panoramic views and a large amount of snowfall. It is one of the most snow-reliable ski resorts in the Alps and offers wide, open ski pistes, state-of-the-art ski-lifts and a charming town. Skiers and snowboarders of all ages and levels can feel at home on the 110km of slopes. Obergurgl offers many easy and well-groomed slopes but it also is home to one of the toughest runs in Austria on the Hohe Mut and the larger ski resort of Sölden is only a 20minute bus-ride away.
As it is relatively undiscovered by the large amount of tourists that head to Tirol every winter, it is a relief to find that in Obergurgl queuing for ski-lifts is a rarity. It is also a traffic-reduced town that offers many quality accommodation and restaurant options. For children ages three and up, there is the Bobo Mini Club for outdoor activities and the Bobo kindergarten that will keep children entertained for hours on end. For teenagers and adults, Obergurgl also offers a good nightlife with over twenty bars, discos and mountain huts.
This charming Swiss resort offers 160 km of pristine slopes, perfect for families and beginners. Thanks to its location above 1900m, Wengen has a beautiful panorama over the Lauterbrunnen valley but an even more spectacular view can be witnessed up on the slopes, where you will be able to admire both the peaks of the Eiger, Monch and the Jungfrau up-close. The village itself is charming and car-free. There are two kindergardens and a good and sunny beginner’s slope located in the center of the village The slopes are particularly good for beginners and intermediaries but there is also one of the most well-known descents of the area located here: the Laubernhorn downhill race course, which issued for the annual Alpine World Cups.
You can reach Wengen by taking the Wengeralp railroad which goes up to the ski-area, Kleine Scheidegg-Männlichen or you can take it even further up the mountain where there are many bars and restaurants. The railway continues through a tunnel in the mountain and finishes at the “Top of Europe”, the Jungfraujoch. This is the highest railway station in Europe situated at 3450m and from here you have access to views of the Aletsch glacier (a UNESCO World Heritage site), an ice palace and Indian restaurant and a multi-media exhibition. The village of Wengen is relaxed and quiet but also offers some après-ski opportunities, such as the bars “Sinas” and “The Rocks”. Even if you don’t want to ski or snowboard, there is a wide array of alternatives so you’ll never have to have a dull moment in Wengen.
This sunny Italian resort is very child- and family friendly, offering many activities for families with young children as well as lots of fun and adventure for teenagers. There is guaranteed good skiing as 80% of Livigno’s slopes have snow-machines, so you can enjoy the sunshine without having to worry about the quality of the snow. Livigno is located at a high altitude and is surrounded by pristine nature and fantastic views. There are three main ski-areas – Costaccia, Carosello and Mottlino- that offer a great variety of slopes suitable for skiers of all levels. With the Alta Valtellini ski-pass, you will have access to the slopes of Livigno and Santa Caterina , as well as the World Championship Centre in Bormio.
Livigno’s slogan is “Feel the Alps” and you can do this by trying out some of the wide range of activities Livigno offers; from beginners to extreme daredevils, everyone will find something to suit them here. It is home to one of Europe’s best snowparks, hosts the European Freeride Festival, and offers night-skiing and heli-skiing/ heli-taxi options. Livigno also hosts the World Rookie Fest, an international competition for snowboarders under 16. If you don’t feel at home on the slopes, you can also enjoy the excellent and tax-free shopping opportunities, the charming Christmas markets, dog-sledges, snow-biking, paragliding and wonderful hiking paths. Of course you can also enjoy the delicious Italian food and drinks at one of the many bars and restaurants in the area.