The 4 Best Ski Resorts In Europe For Families

by Fraser
Updated:
Best Ski Resorts In Europe For Families

Choosing the right ski resort for a family ski or snowboarding trip can make or break your stay. Unfortunately, it can be tricky to pick the right one – all ski resorts say they are great for families!

The best ski resorts in Europe for families are easy to get around, have great slopes for kids, and have plenty to do off the mountain. Hopefully all whilst still having a fun atmosphere. They also need to be easy to get to, so you can start your holiday with less stress.

In this article, I’ll highlight the best ski resorts in Europe for families:

  1. Morzine, France
  2. Zell am See, Austria
  3. La Rosière, France
  4. Obergurgl, Austria

Editor's Choice!
1. Morzine, France

1. Morzine, France

  • Elevation: 2,000m (6561ft)
  • Trails: Depends on who you talk to, but there is more than enough for a family trip!
  • Snow Parks: A few kiddie ones scattered around the mountain.
  • Lifts: 47
  • Off-Piste: Lots of good off-piste and a designated freeride zone.

Description: 

Morzine is a ski resort that evolved from a farming and mining village. It still has a village-like charm, even though there is a lot of development in the form of luxury apartments.

Morzine's slopes are varied enough for everyone and link to Les Gets, one of Morzine's neighbouring resorts. So while your kids have lessons, you can explore the more interesting terrain. 

At the top of Le Pleny (Morzine's main lift), you'll find an excellent area for beginners and kids to learn their first turns. But there are some easy blue runs that take you right back to the village, so you can easily access the child-friendly and adult-friendly après scene.

You'll find that Morzine has lots of childcare services, from the ESF to independent nannies. This is great for enjoying Morizine's excellent nightlife and many restaurants. 

Morzine also has lots of independent ski and snowboard schools. All are English speaking and offer a more personal service to the likes of ESF. It's best to book all these extras in advance, as they soon get booked up, especially in peak weeks.

Fun Fact: 

Morzine's ski area is part of the Portes du Soleil, which comprises 11 other resorts, creating an area of 650km of terrain on both sides of the French-Swiss border. The terrain is vast, and that's not including the off-piste!

Pros
  • Lots for kids to do off the mountain
  • Some fun kiddie areas around the mountain to build confidence
  • Excellent for beginners
  • You have access to some incredible terrain when the kids are in ski school
  • There's a free bus to get you around town
  • Excellent après 
  • Always extra entertainment for kids in the tourist office square
  • Easy to get to
Cons
  • No ski-in-ski-out accommodation. You'll need to stay in neighbouring Avoriaz for that.
  • The low altitude can mean the snow quality isn't great around Christmas.

Lift Ticket Prices

Morzine Day Tickets cost €58 for an adult day pass. But there are deals to be had if you book early! There is also a 5-hour option, which may suit you more if your kids are really small.

How To Get To Morzine

It’s best to fly into Geneva, as it is just 1 hour and 30 minutes from Morzine. You can hire a car or get a shared or private transfer. Consider booking with Skiidygonzales, as they are the best and biggest.

2. Zell Am See, Austria

2. Zell Am See, Austria

  • Elevation: 1950m (6398ft)
  • Trails: 41 runs covering 77km (46 miles)
  • Snow Parks: Nope
  • Lifts: 28
  • Off-Piste: Some great alpine bowls, lots of tree runs, and meadows

Description: 

Austrian ski resort Zell am See is pretty low-key, making it one of the best ski resorts in Europe for families. The resort makes sure kids are entertained with a host of activities. At the same time, the 77km (46miles) of slopes offer something for every level of rider.

During a stay in Zell am See, you can pop over to the neighbouring ski resort Kaprun for a change of scenery. This is ideal, as Zell Am See has some great childcare facilities and ski schools.

When you fancy a day off the slopes, you can enjoy many of Zell am See's family-friendly activities, such as ice skating and curling. There is also a great selection of restaurants with kid's menus.

Fun Fact: 

The resort is next to Lake Zell, which was formed from a natural spring, so the water is surprisingly warm.

Pros
  • Very family friendly
  • Modern lift system
  • Great variety of terrain
  • Amazing views
  • Lots to do for kids
  • Easy to get to
Cons
  • A bit too flat for beginner snowboarders
  • It can get busy
  • Snow cover can be patchy

Lift Ticket Prices

The cost of a Zell Am See full-day lift pass:

  • Adult – €55 to €60.50
  • Child – €27.50 to €30

How To Get To Zell Am See.

You can fly to Innsbruck, Saltzburg, or Munich. All are under 200km away.

3. La Rosière, France

3. La Rosière, France

  • Elevation: 2,800m (9186 ft)
  • Trails: About 90 runs covering 150km - 200km
  • Snow Parks: 3
  • Lifts: 38
  • Off-Piste: Lots of great off-piste on both sides of the border

Description: 

La Rosière is located in the Tarentaise valley and is an excellent ski resort for families. The terrain is varied enough for everyone to have fun, but there are some great ski schools, so young shredders can get their first taste of riding in safety.

The resort is best suited to beginners and intermediates, but if you want to explore, you can make use of the links to La Thuile in Italy. This means you can have authentic Italian pizza for lunch and fondu for dinner.

La Rosière has excellent childcare options, such as Les Galopins Kids' Club, which takes children from 18 months. Don't expect a lively party atmosphere, but there are some great restaurants and lots of off-snow activities. 

Fun Fact: 

La Rosiere is one of the only French resorts to offer heli-skiing. This is because they fly you over the border to explore the Italian backcountry.

Pros
  • Great for families
  • Perfect terrain for beginners and intermediate
  • Very reliable snow
  • Not as crowded as other high-profile resorts in the area
  • Linked with Italy
Cons
  • A bit limited for advanced riders
  • The south-facing terrain can get affected by the sun pretty quickly closer to spring

Lift Ticket Prices

A day pass costs €47.50 for an adult and €35 for a child. But under 5s shred for free.

How To Get To La Rosière

You can fly into Geneva or Lyon airports and get the train to Bourg Saint Maurice. There are plenty of transfer companies running between “Bourg” and La Rosière.

4. Obergurgl, Austria

4. Obergurgl, Austria

  • Elevation: 3080 m (10,105 ft)
  • Trails: 112 km (69 miles) of groomed slopes
  • Snow Parks: 4
  • Lifts: 35
  • Off-Piste: Head to the Konigstal & Ferwalltal valleys for some mega backcountry.

Description: 

Obergurgl in Austria is definitely one of the best ski resorts in Europe for families. This Tyrolian town is one of Europe's higher ski resorts, but it is still full of character. This high altitude means there's a good chance you'll have great snow during your trip.

It is also a tranquil resort, as there is very little traffic, making it even better for kids.

Even though there are some excellent beginner areas, Obergurgl is ideal for intermediate riders. If you're advanced and you get some time to yourself, ride over to the more challenging slopes in Sölden.

For the most family-friendly slopes, head to Hochgurgl, but all of the groomed slopes are considered world-class. If the visibility is poor, head below the treeline for some fun slopes and snowparks to keep the family entertained.

Fun Fact: 

Obergurgl has recently been renamed to just Gurgl. Maybe it's easier to say after a few après drinks.

Pros
  • High altitude for great snow
  • Modern lift system
  • Long season
  • Excellent range of slopes for all levels
  • Characterful village atmosphere
  • Good value lift passes when bought online
  • Reasonably easy to get to
Cons
  • There are a few flat sections to deal with
  • Weekends can be busy
  • When it's windy, the slopes can get scoured
  • Accommodation books out quickly

Lift Ticket Prices

An adult day pass costs €64 at the window, but you can make a massive saving by buying online.

How To Get To Obergurgl

You can get to Obergurgl using a combination of trains and buses or b direct shuttle. The closest train station is at Ötztal Bahnhof, 7 kilometres north of Oetz. You can also catch the PostBus, which makes at least 9 daily trips between Ötztal Bahnhof & Obergurgl.

Final Thoughts

These are among the best ski resorts in Europe families. I picked them based on their amenities, atmosphere and how family-friendly they are.

They are also easy to get to – as we know long transfers are a pain for families! You don’t want to start or end your trip with a high stress level; you’re on holiday, after all.

There are of course MANY more amazing European ski resorts for families. I’m curious to know what you think… Any recommendations?

If you need more inspiration, check out these other potential destinations

Happy riding!

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2 comments

Robin 13/07/2023 - 12:11 pm

Totally agree, what do you think of Japan for family trips?

Reply
Fraser 14/07/2023 - 2:59 pm

Hey. Japan isn’t the best for super young kids (if travelling internationally). Peak season January-February will be almost constant snow and sub-zero temps. March onwards is better for family trips, particularly if you choose the right place. Check this article on Japanese ski resorts.

Reply

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