Planning a ski holiday for little ones can often be a daunting prospect – with so many different resorts all with varying levels of pistes, different ski schools, and chalets all claiming to be ‘family friendly’. Our ski experts give us the low down on the best ski holidays for families.
Courchevel, France

Part of the Three Valley ski area, Courchevel has some of the finest skiing in the French Alps, from gentle greens to hair-raising blacks. Luckily there are some great nursery slopes for the kids to practice their snowplough on, and with the superb ESF ski school on hand, you can rest assured your children will be in good hands. If the kids aren’t quite ready for ski school, many chalet companies and hotels have nurseries and babysitters who can entertain the little ones off the slopes. Stay: Courchevel boasts a vast array of chalets and hotels, from quaint alpine chalets to all-singing-all-dancing hotels. Portetta Loft hits the mark perfectly. Part of the Hotel Portetta, the two-bedroom loft has its own entrance yet guests have full access to the hotel’s facilities, such as a spa, babysitting services and direct access to the children’s nursery slopes.

Verbier, Switzerland

Verbier needs little introduction as one of Switzerland’s most famed ski resorts, not least for its high altitude meaning snow is (almost) always guaranteed during the winter season. With some of the best off-piste in the Alps, pro-skiers will want to ditch the pistes, hire a guide and go off for the day. Luckily there are numerous ski schools offering both private and group classes so not everyone has to follow. Alternatively, hire a guide for the whole family – they’ll take you down runs that everyone can manage, and introduce you to family-run restaurants hidden away from the tourist trail where you can feast on warming goodies such as tartiflette and vin chaud. Stay: Sir Richard Branson’s luxury chalet, The Lodge. Nine bedrooms accommodate up to 18 people, making it perfect for large groups. The chalet’s party room – twinkling disco balls included – is a great hangout for families: shoot some pool, watch a film or dance the night away. The outdoor Jacuzzi and indoor pool are a welcoming sight on return from the slopes. What makes The Lodge truly outstanding is the staff: attention to detail is their motto and, needless to say, they make you feel at home.

St Moritz, Switzerland

Another one of Switzerland’s (many) spectacular ski resorts, St Moritz caters for families and those looking for a bit of glamour on their ski holiday – or both! Centred around a beautiful lake, which is used for activities such as horse and greyhound racing, polo, golf and even cricket in the winter, St Moritz boasts world-class slopes, luxurious hotels and restaurants, and numerous high-end boutiques. We also recommend a trip to the St. Moritz Celerina Olympic bob run, the oldest and the last remaining natural ice run which is sure to thrill the kids. Stay: Children are very well catered for at Nira Alpina. When they’re not on the slopes, the ‘kids room’ is a sanctuary packed full of books and games, and supervised by the hotel’s friendly staff.

Whistler, Canada

Not only has Whistler rated the best ski resort in North America, but some also claim it to be one of the best resorts in the world thanks to its two mountains and a huge range of slopes. New lifts mean you can go peak to peak and cover miles in a day. We recommend the Peak to Creek run which goes on and on – keep going to the bottom and you will be rewarded with brilliant pulled pork sandwiches!

Though skiing is the main activity, there are numerous other activities on offer such as zip-lining, horse-drawn carriage rides, husky dog sledging, tubing and many more. If you have the time, head to Vancouver, only two hours away, for a city fix. Stay: Fairmont Chateau Whistler is our go-to hotel in Whistler, for its prime location, ski-in and ski-out access and amazing afternoon tea (they do a kid’s version as well). The numerous interconnecting rooms ensure to make it ideal for families.

Niseko, Japan

Closer to home, Niseko easily rivals the Alps and Canada. A small haven of hotels, chalets and fantastic restaurants overlooking Hokkaido’s enchanting Mount Yotei, Niseko is a favourite for the amazing snow, après ski atmosphere and fluent English speakers, which make it very easy to get by as a visitor.

During peak season the best accommodation can get booked up early so it’s wise to book ahead. However towards the end of the season – March to mid-April – is still a great time to go, and there are generally smaller crowds (bar Easter holidays). Stay: The self-catering apartments at The Vale provide a Japanese alpine experience like no other. With spectacular views of the ski run, your own personal onsen, open fireplaces and a fine-dining restaurant, this award-winning property is the ultimate in ski-in ski-out luxury. The Vale offers 1.5 to 3-bedroom apartments, or you can go all out and splurge on a super luxe penthouse flat.

Suggested Itineraries

Canadian Heli-Ski Adventure

Whistler & Ski British Columbia

  • Enjoy heli-skiing in the wilderness of Northern British Columbia

  • Witness the snowy landscapes in Canada from above with a helicopter ride

  • Stay in comfortable lodgings with hot tubs and saunas

  • Dine on local cuisine and enjoy après-ski activities

  • Benefit from top-quality equipment and professional heli-ski guides

When to go:

ideal length 8 nights

Classic Finland

Helsinki Finnish Lapland

  • Discover the highlights of Helsinki on a private guided tour

  • Look for the Northern Lights from your private glass igloo

  • Hit the slopes at the vibrant ski resort of Levi

  • Visit the SnowVillage and enjoy a meal in the ice restaurant

  • Explore the landscape on reindeer, husky and snowmobile safaris

When to go:

ideal length 8 nights

Winter in Whistler

Whistler & Ski British Columbia

  • Enjoy a fun family skiing trip in North America’s best ski destination

  • Glide down the exhilarating slopes of Blackcomb Mountain

  • Easy weary muscles in a soothing hot tub

  • Explore the snowy canopy on a zipline eco-tour

  • Entertain the kids with ski school and cookery classes

When to go:

ideal length 7 nights
Destinations Featured in the Article
Japan, Mount Fuji, Autumn Season, Lake Kawaguchiko


Travel to Japan with Lightfoot Travel and explore supersonic cities, spiritual shrines and gourmet delights. Visit Tokyo, Osaka, Niseko, Kyoto and beyond.

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