Ideas for a Family Skiing Holiday in France Please?

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  • Ideas for a Family Skiing Holiday in France Please?
  • Premier Icon camster


    Just wondering about introducing the family to life on the piste. Last time I went was c 15 years ago as a single bloke but now have the joy of a wife and 2 lads (6 & 8 yrs old).

    Ideally looking to go Feb 19th which is the half term week. We’re a family of 4 possibly hooking up with another family of 3. My preference is to stay in a fully catered chalet.

    I’v looked at one company, admittedly a posh ski co, and with flights and everything else incl childcare the cost is c 9k!! Jeez

    That’s not an option – does anyone have any recomendations for a cheap ish skiing holiday or do I throw the towel in. Oh, btw, taking kids out of school not preferred.


    That is the most expensive time of the year. I’d take the kids out of school early March. You’ll get away with up to 2 week Unauthorised Absence in a session.

    March is warmer, cheaper and less busy. The school is under no obligation to provide any extra work for your kids though.


    take your wallet! or go to Andorra or Italy

    Premier Icon igm

    Ski Famille are pretty good if you want childcare. Les Gets or right down the VT end of the Three Valleys.

    We did Les Gets last two years and the chalets were fine (not high end but spacious and reasonably furnished / equipped), the food was simple but good, and the staff both chalet hosts and childcare excellent. Also they won’t try to force a whole load of extras on to you. That said still in the order of £4k for four in Feb I would have thought. Plus passes, lessons, skis and lunches.

    Premier Icon PaulMc

    Have a look at We are going with them for the first time in Feb half-term. £4k for a family of 5 including kids ski school and evening club.


    Try co-operative on line holidays and try to do a late deal which will save money.

    Equity (might be Rocketski now?) specialise in all inclusive family holidays and go to smaller resorts, you should easily get below 4K with them.

    Skitopia do even cheaper holidays, they tend to specialise in school trips so the accomodation can be very basic, that said I have gotten some very cheap holidays from them. They do Serre Chevalier which is a pretty decent resort.

    Half term in a catered chalet will be the most expensive option out there, if you want much cheaper you would be better either HB in a hotel or self catering/ B&B.

    It is worthwhile spending a fair bit of time on the net, teletext, on the phone trying to get the best deal, it will save you thousands though I assure you.

    Also use the forum on the website “snowheads”, they are very helpful on best locations, ski schools, weather reports etc.

    Best of luck 🙂


    A few years back, we had a family holiday in Gerardmer, in the Alsace, Its a great place for learning to ski,I found a chalet on the net. If your going during the French school holidays, it will be very busy.


    Scotabroad +1 – staying in a hotel half board would work out a lot cheaper. I’m sure you could get under 4k for a chalet somewhere though. I’ve had a few good deals through iglu ski

    Premier Icon lunge

    If you can, avoid France, it is just plain expensive. If not look at the resorts on the edge of the piste maps that are low in altitude (for the 3 valleys look at la tania, brides les baines and sainte Martin Belleville). They will be cheaper and should still be ok to get to the pistes

    Premier Icon camster

    cheers folks, really good suggestions so I’ll do some more research, all is not lost!

    Premier Icon BlobOnAStick

    Hi Camster,

    Have you thought about the Italian side of the Alps. Mucho snow there already; I drove through it today 😉

    I’ll ask the locals next time I’m out if you like.

    BTW, I can see Mt Blanc from my window (looked through the window of Zero G earlier but they’re in ski season mode currently :-/)



    I have been to La Tania with the scotswoman and scotsgeets, good for families as very quiet, 2 pubs when I was there, and alot cheaper considering it is just round the corner from Meribel, Courchavel, Val Thorens and the rest. And just gondola ride away (with never any queue) you have the expanse of the three valleys to play on when you leave the wife and kids at ski school, swimming pool whatever.


    Champoluc in Italy (Aoste Valley). Stunning place and ALL about the family. Fly to Turin. 1.5 hrs transfer time (ish)

    The good thing with Italy is they piste SO well as thats what Italians like..

    Oh and Coffee and Gelato and pizza and cheap…Nuff said really.


    As above – Why France???

    I’d go for Italy. Pila is good for families. I also like Cervinia, and Monte Rosa area (both better for intermediates). La Thuile is also supposed to be quite good for families.

    Went with Club Med a few times with the kids when they were 7-8 years old. Was expensive but very good value at the time (circa 5k, two years ago – full board, all inclusive, kids lessons morning and afternoon, evening kids club etc), but the devaluation of the pound against the euro has priced us out now 🙁

    Been to Cervinia and Champoluc along with a lot of places in France. My advice is go to Italy. It’ll be cheaper but all the ‘hidden’ costs will be far cheaper too, i.e. coke and burgers won’t cost you a kidney. The skiing in Cervinia is great, some good challenging stuff and you can drop into Zermatt on the Swiss side too which was good. Also they do a drink there called a bombadillo (or something like that) which is brandy, advocat and hot milk, once you’ve tried that you’ll never bother with mulled wine again.

    Also worth considering Andorra, I’ve been there in summer only but it looked really well set up, probably for intermediates. Or there are some good resorts in the Pyrenees and some great skiing there. (Again that’s a 2nd hand recommendation because despite living next door I haven’t skied in 2 years due to excessive biking!)


    La Tania is nice – and you can catch the bus easily to get around to Courcheval if you don’t want to ski there.

    For cheap look at some of the coach companies, like


    Went to La Tania witht the former some years ago, and to Valmeinier with snowcoach a few years ago.

    Valmeiner was a hotel but the atmosphere is like a big chalet – you all eat at the same time, etc. We got lucky at the Chef was a Michelin chef wanting a season at a ski resort!

    The hotel is near the main lift and you can link round to the other resorts easily – apparently that area was scheduled to be the original 3 Vallies but it didn’t happen for some reason.

    The hotel has rental facilities and staff that guide, but don’t coach, so it is easy to find a group of people to ski with.

    I also heard good reports about their other hotels from snowcoach regulars at the hotel.

    They are coach trips to take 15 hours or so, but the seats are big and have a big recline so if you take a book or media player and a sleeping bag it is cushtie if you are the type that can drop off to sleep easily. No fussing around keeping track on the kids either.

    skiweekends use the chunnel and have a little quicker journey time, snowcoach do a bit of a circular route picking people up and then you take the ferry, so more hassle.

    The coach trips get you 8 days skiing whereas someone flying might get only 6.

    IMHO brides les baines is a little too far down the slope for comfort, but if skiweekends go to La Tania again I would consider it – I would rather sit reading a book or watching a movie than mess around with all that dead transfer time when flying. have coaches with seats that turn into bunk beds, but they look a litle more expensive than the others. Meribel is a good looking resort though, although Chourcheval is nicer for beginners with those big motorway greens back to 2000.


    IMHO brides les baines is a little too far down the slope for comfort

    Yep – tried that once for a cheapy holiday with Snowcoach – went too cheap and regretted it. self catering in Brides – didn’t relally feel like a skiing holiday at all. GRIM


    It’s Bombardino and yes, int it great!
    Ramazzotti is the other local tipple that I like.
    Local red wine (Lagrein Grieser) is not bad either.

    OP – I would recommend Kronplatz for family skiing.
    Yes, Italy again but for me it would always be Italy or Austria as first choice.

    Kronplatz is almost unknown to Brits but we’ve been going regularly for about ten years.
    Whilst its in Italy, they consider themselves to be Südtirol and the spoken language is predominantly German. Most of the clientelle are German, which is a good thing.
    The uplift capacity is fantastic, so you don’t waste time queueing even at peak season.
    I’d recommend searching for half board in the vilage of St Vigil.


    Meribel and Alpe d’Huez are massive, have loads of facilities and are great for learners and nutters but do beware paying silly money anywhere in France for very pokey accommodation.

    Stayed at the above a few times and when they say “sleeps 6” they mean “6 shrews” If you pay big bucks, you’ll get somewhere sensible.

    Premier Icon Tracey

    We have to stick to school holidays.

    Did 3 holidays in Val disere but it got too expensive, €7.50 for a beer and €16 for a pizza. Last year we went to Val di Fassa in Italy which worked out a lot cheeper. Booked for Kaprun in Austria for the next one.

    All have been in catered chalets and all have had good snow.


    Agree Italy can be cheaper but not always.

    Was in Cervinia season before last and was gob smacked at how prices had rocketed, thankfully did not have family on that trip or would have emptied the bank account big time.

    By contrast last year I took the family HB to a small French resort and it was very reasonable.

    So it is not black and white that Italy is cheaper, although I agree the mega French resorts are ridiculously expensive for grub on the mountain. That said the skiing in France is better if you are a decent skier IMO.

    I have never been but I heard Soll in Austria can be quite reasonable?

    Premier Icon camster

    Wow, thanks all for your advice, didn’t expect so many to respond.

    rkk01 – no reason why France though I’ve ski’d a couple of times in the 3 valleys, also Tignes, Les Deux Alpes but a few years ago pre wife n kids.

    I’m certainly going to look at Italy (Kronplatz included)and as Doug suggests Andorra.

    Oh, we have friends who regularly go to Are in Sweden who rate it for families although sunning yourself is not an option- too cold!

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