The mercury has begun to plummet, and the evenings are getting incredibly dark, incredibly early, which means it’s time for the snow to fall on the mountain tops, and for resorts across the globe to get prepared for the upcoming ski season. Ski holidays are nearly as popular as summer holidays, so where is good to head for some family fun in 2020.
Not the first country you’d think of visiting for your yearly skiing holiday, but Sweden has some gems which you need to discover, and Åre is the pick of the bunch for a fun family getaway.
You’re forgiven if you’ve never heard of it, there used to be no direct flights there from the UK until very recently. Easyjet have come to the rescue with flights from London Gatwick to Åre-Ostersund airport twice a week (Thursdays and Sundays). This new route has some very tasty prices if you’re booking in advance!
Åre is Sweden’s largest ski resort, so there’s plenty on offer if you want to take a break from the 103 slopes at your disposal. If you want to make the most of your lift pass, you can sit down and let gravity do the hard work on a sledge, if you wish to explore the area away from the ski area, guided snowshoe walks with experts are available. There’s even an indoor waterpark so you can have a splash around with your family!
Part of the Vallnord ski area, Arinsal may not be the largest ski resort, but it certainly has its fair share of slopes, bars, restaurants and hotels. It’s a popular resort which could be attributed to the excellent deals available directly through their website, and other ski travel agents. These offers include percentage off equipment hire and also tailor made ski package holidays ready for the 2020 season.
You can book youngest family members into their baby club while you're on the slopes, and children aged 4-8 can access the Snow Garden where instructors will help them to learn the basics of skiing, all in a fun, purpose-built environment. And when the learning is over, it’s time to build a snowman and meet the local mascot, Pocoyó!
Located on the Western border with Spain, the best option would be to fly into Toulouse and head south to Andorra. The transfer time is a lengthy 3 hour journey, but you get to soak up the beautiful landscape that grows around you – you just have to keep the kids entertained en route!
Boasting 32km of pistes, the Rauriser Hochalmbahnen ski area provides ample space for enjoyable, uncrowded skiing for beginners and families. 10 lifts serve the area, making it easy to traverse across each run, whether you’re skiing every inch of the 15km of beginners’ slopes, 12km of intermediate, or pushing yourself on the 5km of difficult runs.
An eco-aware resort, Rauris proactively seeks to work, and use fewer materials which are most harmful to our planet. The energy that is used to operate lifts and snow-machines is made by their own hydro power plant, they also provide free shuttle busses between resorts to discourage people from using their own vehicles when visiting.
Tilly the mascot is on hand to help entertain the young ones, and every Thursday you can race Tilly on toboggan rides down the practice hill free of charge (depending on the weather). Tobogganing is also available on Monday and Thursday nights, providing a completely different view of the resort!
Voted the Best Family Resort in 2018, it’s hard to ignore Avoriaz when planning your family ski holiday. Its 100% ski-in, ski-out means you don’t have to travel anywhere in order to get onto the slopes at the start of the day, this is especially helpful as everyone knows how heavy and awkward it is to carry your ski equipment to the gondola!
Located in the Alps, the ski area is so large that it actually covers across two countries, France and Switzerland. Included within the impressive ski area is the Village des Enfants, this is a world renowned children’s ski centre which encourages correct posture and positioning for skiing in the most natural ways possible.
Being such a popular resort, there are plenty of transport options to get there. For most, arrival by plane would be the chosen type of transport, with transfers included in most package holiday options, with Geneva, Annecy and Lyon airports all being used when visiting Avoriaz. However if you prefer to drive, the resort is well signposted, but be sure to have the exact address for your accommodation, or you could end up with a rather long walk when arriving!
Sauze d’Oulx, Italy
There are so many options open to families looking for the perfect resort in Italy for their ski holiday, but one we’ve pin-pointed is the tree-lined resort of Sauze d’Oulx. Its large ski area has 212 pistes, meaning that there is ample choice for all abilities of skier, and an optimal location for returning guests each year.
They also have excellent English-speaking ski schools, so you’ll be well prepared to explore as much of the ski area as physically possible! It also has excellent weather, with better than average sunshine hours, so you get the best of both worlds here.
When purchasing your lift pass, you’ll receive the Milky Way Lift Pass as standard – this allows you to visit all the resorts within this ski area on the Italian side of the border, and if you purchase a 6-day pass, you can have one day exploring the slopes in Montgenevre in France. If you’re not planning on using that much of your lift pass, there are other options available which may be more suitable to you. For more information, see here.