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Skiing in Europe with kids

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
We are planning a European ski trip right after Christmas this year and I am looking for advice on where to go. Our group includes 7 kids between the ages of 4 and 12 and plus 5 adults. We are all pretty much intermediate skiers and are going for the whole experience (food, ambience, though not nightlife at this phase in our lives). We are thinking of Courcheval (we hear it has a very good ski school with lots of English speaking instructors) or a couple of other resorts relatively close to Geneva although we are very open to suggestions. At that time of year, where are we most likely to find decent snow conditions? We want to go somewhere where we can rent a several bedroom house or apartment that is on the slopes. Any feedback on Coucheval or any other family friendly resorts?
post #2 of 13
Courchevel is not the safest for snow at that time of year, it's one of the lowest resorts in the Trois Vallées but then again you are in the Trois Vallées so you can always go and find the snow elsewhere since everything is connected. It's hard to go wrong with the Trois Vallées...
post #3 of 13
You may get a better response on the forum at www.snowHeads.com - it's a bit like here, but based in the UK.

You may want to consider places such as Wengen in Switzerland, or other parts of the Jungfrau region.

Be aware - Christmas is a VERY busy time in Europe for skiing - so don't be expecting empty slopes.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I will check snowheads.com.
post #5 of 13
Zermatt. They are high enough to get reliable early snow. Great for intermediates.
great ambience. And english instructors for kids.

let me know if you want to know more.
post #6 of 13
I have a lot of experience with this. St. Anton is a great place to go with the kids. Fantastic snow. Wonderful village. Plenty of things to do off the mountain. It probably has the best ski school in the world (Arlberg Ski School). My kids, who are 6 and 9, learned to ski in St. Anton. Now, they rock (no problem with Utah double blues and even some blacks). If you choose St. Anton, you will not be disappointed.
post #7 of 13
We did two weeks in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
Intermediate heaven...gorgeous little village with everything, hardly any english speaking skiers, but all shop owners and restaurants have english-capable staff.
Beautiful gem of a ski area with huge ice skating rink (nighttime too), tons of XC trails, lift-serviced sledding (yes!)...great place..we will go back...

Look into it..
post #8 of 13
Definitely the Austrian Paznaun Valley.

Stay at Kappl, Mathon or Galtuer - cheaper than the valley's main village Ischgl and a better fit for the kids. Common ticket available for the whole areas with roughly a 100 lifts total and vast terrain which is perfect for intermediates and especially kids. The local ski schools handle kids extremely well, many English speaking guests around. Frequent shuttle busses betwen the villages if you don't want a rental car.
Although you are not emphazising nightlife Ischgl is a hot spot just in case you still feel the need once in a while.
Snowwise the area is one of the best in the alps - comparable to the Arlberg region which is basically just around the corner with a 30 min. drive from Kappl to St. Anton. Ski areas elevation is high enough to ensure a sufficient base at that time of the year.

Best is to fly into Munich or Zurich and shuttle either by train, get off at Landeck and ride the bus up the valley or by a 2hr (Zurich) or 3hr (Munich) drive. Innsbruck would be the closest airport but is probably hard to get into when coming from overseas.

IMHO St. Anton only makes sense for children above at least 10 years of age (for those it is perfect though) - we did not make good experience with our small kids there years ago compared to places like Galtuer or Kappl. Just my 2 cents.

For more info:

www.paznaun.at
www.kappl.at
www.ischgl.at
www.galtuer.at
post #9 of 13
My 9 year old has about 50-75 days in at St. Anton (from age 4-8). She took private lessons at The Arlberg Ski School ($100/day). This compares to $250-300/day in CO or UT. My 6 year old has 25+ days in at St. Anton. It is a GREAT place for adventerous kids.
post #10 of 13
You might also take a look at Oberlech -- basically a cable car ride above Lech. Really just a collection of nice hotels and restaurants. It's car free and seemed very quiet at night. Appeared to be a place kids could run around without much worry. Access to the entire Arlberg -- bus ride to St. Anton. Not sure you'd find the kind of accomodation your looking for in Oberlech, however.
post #11 of 13
Canyons, what type of accomodation do you stay in?
post #12 of 13
We used to rent a two bedroom flat with a kitchen 2 baths and a livingroom, at San Antonio for about $200 USD/night. Lift tickets run about $27/day. Basically, San Antonio is ski/in ski/out to the Nasserein gondola. The place is unbelievable for the price. Goose down pillows and blankets. Very clean. Go to www.arlberg.net and surf. THere are many good places for reasonable money. Other great apartments are at The Arlenberg. Look for places either in the Moos, or Nasserein
post #13 of 13
Thats great Canyons thanks!
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