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)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
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

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?