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Peak fun: six cool ideas for a family-friendly winter sports getaway

Winter getaways are about challenging the family, but having fun while doing it. Here's our pick of the best snowy escapes.

Published 18 Oct 2019, 06:00 BST
Children skiing on mountainside
Not just the preserve of grown-ups, a winter getaway with the family offers ample opportunity to try something new.
Photograph by Jackson Hole Media Gallery

Sierra Nevada, Spain
With views to the Mediterranean and Morocco, a fantastic snow record, great-value food and drink, and a well-established British ski school, Europe’s southernmost ski resort offers families a viable alternative to the Alps. The vast bowl at Borreguiles has lifts spreading out in all directions. The slopes are mainly gentle and wide, plus there’s good off-piste potential too. Combine with a trip to the city of Granada or even a couple of days by the sea in Málaga. 
Ski Weekends offers three nights, half-board, at the Hotel Meliá Sierra Nevada from £519 per person, including flights and airport transfers. 

Les Contamines, France
In the shadow of Mont Blanc, Les Contamines is well suited to families on a limited budget. The ski area — just over an hour from Geneva Airport — has 75 miles of runs and best suits beginners and intermediates, but experienced skiers will find plenty of off-piste too, plus the famous Vallée Blanche is just five miles away. Action Outdoors has all-inclusive, seven-night stay during school holiday weeks at UCPA Les Contamines hostel from £571 per person for, including ski pass, lessons and equipment hire. 

Snowmass, Colorado, USA
The largest of Aspen’s four mountains has ski-in, ski-out accommodation located in Snowmass Village and a huge amount of terrain geared up mainly for intermediates. Children are well looked after at the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center. Weekdays, slopes are quieter than many other Colorado resorts, and nearby Aspen offers a glitzy night out for grown-ups. Ski Safari has standard two-bedroom condo at the four-star The Crestwood Condominiums from £1,955 per person based on two adults and two children under 12 sharing. Includes flights and transfers. 

Trysil, Norway
Easter in Norway means long days, mild weather and good snow; better value than February half-term. Trysil, Norway’s largest resort (two hours from Oslo or, from this December, 40 minutes from the new Scandinavian Mountains Airport), has 28 green runs, and slope grooming is exceptional; ideal for beginners, but there’s good off-piste too. Ski Norway has seven nights B&B at Radisson Blu Resort Hotel Trysil from £1,085 per person for two adults and two children in a suite including flights, transfers. 

Falkert, Austria
The four-star Heidi Alm Bergresort caters to families and is ideal for little ones experiencing their first slide on the snow. Just a few lifts serve an open, gentle ski area, with instruction from a dedicated children’s ski school. There are also plenty of other activities on offer, including tobogganing and an alpine spa for grown-ups. Nearby Bad Kleinkirchheim, where the legendary ski racer Franz Klammer grew up, provides more extensive slopes for those in need of a challenge. Seven nights costs €1,849 (£1,660) for two adults and one child, including half-board accommodation, ski passes, and lessons for children over three years old. 

Samoëns, France
Above the pretty Savoyard village of Samoëns, the new Chalet Apartment concept from Club Med (set to open December 2019) complements the recently opened hotel. With one of the largest nursery slope areas on its doorstep, and the Grand Massif, France’s fourth largest ski area, just beyond, it’s an ideal resort for both first-timers and seasoned experts. Geared to families, its all-inclusive offering has ski school for children (from four years) and adults of all abilities, plus the convenience of a ski-in, ski-out facility, creche and kids’ clubs (from 0-17 years). Two bedroom apartments (sleeping up to five) from £3,524 for a seven-night stay including flights and transfers. 

Published in the Winter Sports guide, distributed with the November 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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