What type of skiing family are you?
Family holidays take a bucket load of planning, family skiing holidays take that level of organisation to another dimension. Pick the wrong resort and you could end up spending more time doing the ski school run than the skiing runs.
Bearing in mind different types of families need different types of holidays and without too much stereotyping, Ski Safari has picked out five resorts depending on how you use your time together as a family skiing. Are you a ski-to-lunch Mum and Dad who like to join the kids for afternoon activities or do you prefer to ski hard and pick the little ones up from ski school at the end of the day or perhaps you travel with family and friends all at varying abilities with different needs?
Hardcore skiers - WHISTLER
If you are serious about snow and want to maximise your slope time you need a resort that will push you to your limits, whilst offering a realistic childcare option for the children. Whistler undeniably ticks the boxes for parents looking for diverse and challenging terrain and the resort also operates a mix of camps for children. Starting on Mondays, the 5 day Blackcomb Kids Adventure Camp for 5-12 year olds, will give children expert instruction plus lunch, allowing parents a full day from 8.30am to 3.30pm to explore the wonders of Whistler for themselves. For younger children there are similar camp programmes or full daycare at Whistler Kids in Whistler Village, which also offers a complimentary TELUS pager service so you can ski easy knowing the little ones are well cared for.
Where to stay?
The 4* Delta Whistler Village Suites is great for families, with prices starting from £1239 per person based on 4 sharing a 2 Bedroom Condo at February half-term, including flights and transfers. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 060 or visit www.skisafari.com
Ski to lunch parents - ÅRE
Some resorts lend themselves to offering a combination of downhill action with a mix of off the slope activities. Åre in Sweden triumphs as one of those destinations and is the perfect fit for parents who prefer to ski to lunch, with the ski schools generally running on mornings only (9.30-12.30). Families are then free to spend the afternoon skiing together or try some of the other activities on offer, from the usual tobogganing and husky sledding to ice-driving, zip-lining or even moose kissing! Parents will appreciate the convenience of Åre Björnen, having ski-in ski-out accommodation and all the ski school, ski rental and other facilities all in one place.
Where to stay?
The award-winning 5* Copperhill Mountain Lodge is a superb choice for families, with prices starting from £959 per person on half board based on 2 adults and 2 children at half term, departing on 15th February 2015. Price includes flights and transfers. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 068 or visit www.skisafari.com
Beginner skiers – TRYSIL
The Norwegian resort of Trysil offers one of the best welcomes to the world of skiing with its confidence inspiring terrain, excellent English speaking instructors, uncrowded slopes and ski-in ski-out accommodation. Located two hours north of Oslo, Trysil is all you could want and more from the family skiing experience. With a long season from November through to late April, Trysil benefits from assured snow conditions and even promises a unique snow promise guarantee. If the snow isn't good enough to keep a certain amount of the resort open then they will offer a refund. And the refund is not just restricted to the lift pass alone. It actually covers accommodation, ski rentals and even the ski tuition too! This is the perfect package to get you started on snow.
Where to stay?
The 4*+ Radisson Blue Resort starts from £899 per person on half board, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing at February half term, departing 15 February. Price includes flights and transfers. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 068 or visit www.skisafari.com
Single parent –OBERGURGL-HOCHGURGL
The thought of taking children skiing with only one pair of hands is pretty daunting for any parent but choosing the resort wisely can make it a much easier ride. Top priority is convenience, with ski-in ski-out accommodation on the top of the wish-list, followed by full day ski school facilities, snow-sure slopes and a generous network of runs. As many Austrian ski resorts have grown from small farming villages rather than purpose built resorts, ski-in ski-out convenience is less common with Obergurgl-Hochgurgl one of the noticeable exceptions. The ski schools in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl are well-renowned as having some of the best instructors and are located in a prime position to make it easy for everyone.
Where to stay?
Stay 7 nights at the 4* Hotel Austria in Obergurgl, with prices starting from £1225 per person on half board at Christmas, based on 1 adult and 2 children sharing a room, including flights and transfer. Departs 20 December. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 068 or visit www.skisafari.com
Complicated Group - LAAX
With a mixed group of friends and family choosing somewhere that will keep everyone happy can be a tough task. That said, Laax in Switzerland scores high on many levels. There’s generous terrain ideal for a mixed group of skiers and boarders, with the convenience of ski-in ski-out accommodation and the added benefit of a short transfer of 1.5 hrs from Zurich. The ski schools are focussed on improving skills and children will be encouraged to work on their technique and will be awarded a feedback report at the end of the week. Laax has made its name as an international boarding resort with 3 half pipes, 2 mini boardercross courses and 2 freestyle parks that will keep the young boarders in the group happy. Any newbies or more sedate skiers will welcome the half-day ski pass prices as well as discounted beginner passes. What’s more there’s even enough to keep any non-skiers in the group entertained too!
Where to stay?
The 4* Rocks Resort in Laax, starts from £509 per person at Easter, departing 29 March 2015, in a self-catered 2-bedroom apartment, based on 4 sharing. Price includes flights and transfers. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 062 or visit www.skisafari.com
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Established in 1996 Ski Safari has a passion for making every skiing holiday extraordinary, Ski Safari combines first-hand knowledge with a first-class service. Not only are Ski Safari holidays fully bespoke and fully protected, you can be sure our advice is bang up to date and based on personal experience – our dedicated team of skiers and snowboarders only sell resorts we have skied and stayed at ourselves. Free your imagination and discover the infinite world of Ski Safari with advice that ensures that you get the holiday you want. www.skisafari.com