Five best: Family ski resorts

Pack up your salopettes and head to the hills with our child-friendly winter sport spots


Val Gardena, Italy

Children are made to feel like stars in the sun-dappled Dolomites, where skiing is viewed as a family activity to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. Prices compare favourably to the Alps; children ski and stay free during Superkids weeks, from 15 March 2008. With low-cost flights available to Verona, Bergamo and Innsbruck, and easy transfers from each, Val Gardena is a good destination for families wishing to go it alone. Child care and ski school is available locally or through British tour operators; worth noting is the Family Hotel Posta (www.familyhotelposta.com), which offers week-long activity programmes.

Val Gardena, Italy (00 39 0471 777 777, www.valgardena.it). A week's half board for a family of four at the Chalet Weisenheim with Esprit (01252 618300; www.esprit-holidays.co.uk) costs from £1,180, including children's tea and activities

Copper Colorado, US

How to justify a nine-hour flight with children in tow? Consistent sun and snow from November to April, for a start. Child care is excellent on and off the slopes; the Belly Button Bakery takes babies from as young as six weeks, and offers nightly babysitting. Accommodation in the small pedestrianised village is of a high standard, with generous kitchens and hot tubs. And Copper's easily navigable terrain is ideal for the family: while there are segregated family ski zones and miles of rolling beginner and intermediate terrain, teens can't fail to be impressed by Copper's creatively sculpted terrain parks, while parents will enjoy the easily accessible off-piste.

Copper Mountain, Colorado, US (001 970 968-2882; www.coppercolorado.com). Seven nights for a family of four through Ski Independence (0845 310 3030, www.ski-i. com) costs from £3,136, including transfers

Big White, Canada

Modern facilities and uncrowded, snowsure slopes mean that the resorts of western Canada are good value. Big White is deserving of its many accolades, a purpose-built ski area designed with families in mind. Almost all accommodation is ski-in, ski-out, the friendly Kids Centre is a focal point – and even the snowmobiles come in pint-sized versions. In addition to ski and snowboard programmes for tots through to teens, daycare is available from 18 months to five years. The terrain? It's confidence-building all the way.

Big White, Canada (00 1 250 765 3101; www.bigwhite.com). Seven nights for a family of four with Frontier Ski (020- 8776 8709; www.frontier-travel.co.uk) costs from £3,115, transfers included. Children aged 15 and under ski free

Flaine, France

Modernist architectural relic meets holiday camp: compact Flaine Forum is filled with children frolicking at the foot of the slopes. Up the hill is the quieter Hameau de Flaine village, with echoes of Scandinavia. A new US-style hamlet, courtesy of Intrawest, is under construction. Though small, the resort has the requisite pool, ice-rink, bowling lanes, cinema and climbing wall, plus a gallery and library to amuse parents. The resort's P'tit Loups crèche (00 33 4 50 90 87 82) takes children from six months, and there are two ski kindergartens.

Flaine, France (00 33 4 50 90 80 01; www.flaine.com). Seven nights for two adults and up to three children with Crystal Families (0870 402 0293; www.crystal families.co.uk) costs from £1,578

Ylläs Finland

Finland is as popular with families for reindeer sledding and the Northern Lights as for its downhill attractions. Ylläs is now home to one of only three First Choice (0871 200 7799; www.firstchoice.co.uk) Kids' Academies, offering day care, evening activities and ski school for children aged from six months to 12 years, along with a programme of après-ski family activities. Inghams (020 8780 4433; www.inghams.co.uk) runs three- and four-day Santa breaks in Ylläs in December. After skiing, children bake Christmas cookies and make ornaments with Mrs Santa and the elves, then have dinner with the big man himself (three nights self-catering for a family of four from £1,451.60; half board available).

Ylläs, Finland (00 358 16 569 569; www.yllas.fi)

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Restaurant Manager / Sommelier

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Receptionists - Seasonal Placement

    £12500 - £13520 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced Hotel Receptionists...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Receptionists - Poole

    £12500 - £13520 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Recruitment Genius: Lifeguards / Leisure Club Attendants - Seasonal Placement

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Qualified Lifeguards are required to join a fa...

    Day In a Page

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn