There's no such thing as a good resort for families - or a bad one, for that matter. Any resort is worth considering. How old are the kids? Do you or do you not plan to use the resort's childcare facilities? Which tour operators go there? Do you or do you not want the the children to be able to venture out into the village on their own? How good are they at skiing? How happy to go into ski school? What are they likely to want to do when they're not skiing?

But there is such a thing as a resort that is more child-friendly than its rivals, and here I list some personal favourites. Practically all are traffic-free; none are American, on the simple grounds that they all seem to do childcare pretty well, and it's difficult to single out one or two.

Alpbach, Austria

Small, pretty, friendly old village with a long tradition of British visitors; nursery slopes are conveniently close to hand, although the main ski area is a short bus ride away.

Montchavin, France

Cars are kept to the fringes of this charming old hamlet on the fringe of the La Plagne skiing; in the centre, nursery slopes merge with orchards and restaurant terraces. Ski Esprit and Simply Ski go here.

Saas Fee, Switzerland

A sort of Zermatt for families: snowy paths and wooden barns, but a happy absence of international glitz, and excellent gentle nursery slopes at village level. Cold in midwinter.

Serfaus, Austria

Affluent, traditional-style family resort where cars can't be moved during the week and skiers get around on an underground people-mover. Excellent resort childcare facilities.

Valmorel, France

This French resort demonstrates that purpose-built doesn't have to mean brutally functional. Its pedestrian centre is built in dinky traditional style, with a road looping it to give car access to piste-side accommodation. And it has Saperlipopette: a comprehensive childcare and child tuition centre that is probably the best in the French Alps.

Wengen, Switzerland

An old British favourite, full of Victorian hotels and reached only by mountain railway, which is also the main lift up into the skiing. In the heart of the tiny village is a little nursery slope, ideal for those first steps on skis.

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