Which family ski resort to choose? whether in the Northern Alps, the Southern Alps, in the Pyrenees, the Vosges, in Auvergne … Depending on the level of skiing of your children, you will benefit from find a small family resort for the joys of snow or a large ski area, but fun to please your pre-teens and teenagers!
In recent years, I have been fortunate to have tested several stations. Here is a summary of my opinions on these family ski resorts, hoping that this gives you some ideas …:
- Family ski resorts tested in the Northern Alps:
- Flaine, large estate surrounded by a family village resort,
- Meribel, a chic family resort and high-end,
- Les Carroz,
- Sixt Fer à Cheval,
- Oz en Oisans, the family ski resort, on the slopes
- Col d’Ornon, the smallest family resort run by volunteers
- The small family resorts in the Southern Alps:
- St Anne la Condamine: Family ski resort in the Alpes de Hautes Provence
- Hautes Alpes family resorts (at home):
- Pelvoux, The village resort where Mini Voyageur learned to ski
- Puy St Vincent, perfect ski area for families
- Orcieres, favorite ski resort in the sun
- Montgenèvre, family ski resort between France and Italy
- Serre Chevalier, the great domain of the Southern Alps
SMALL FAMILY SKI RESORTS IN THE NORTHERN ALPS
Whether in Savoie or Haute-Savoie, I appreciated many ski resorts in the Northern Alps… From large stations like Flaine or Méribel, but also more small family resorts, say village resorts, like Morillon and Sixt Fer à Cheval!
Flaine: a large area linked to village resorts # 1
This large ski resort, seeming a little concrete at first glance, is nevertheless one of the only stations to be considered as historical monument. Indeed, a renowned architect created the residences of this station: Marcel Breuer. You can also see works by Picasso, by Jean Dubuffet.
The station, located quite high in altitude, offers you immense very wide tracks for good skiers and beginners’ areas at the foot of the residences. It is connected to the Grand Massif, and other small village resorts which I will tell you about below.
My favorite <3: make a small art and architecture tour to discover the design and architecture of this family resort. The superb view of Mont-Blanc from the top of the cable car.
Recommended accommodation : Several Pierre et Vacances accommodation are scattered around the resort of Flaine like the La Fôret residence or the Premium residence Les Terrasses d´Eos. The latter is built in a mountain style, all in stone and wood as in the Savoyard tradition, but with a touch of modernity as we like! It has a hammam, outdoor swimming pool and a children’s club to make mom, dad or the children feel good!
- Day pass price: € 42 / adult, € 35.30 / child free up to 5 years old*
- Altitude : 1600 to 2500 m
- Kms of slopes: 64 slopes in Flaine, 143 in the Grand Massif
- Children’s equipment : 2 ski schools from 2 1/2 years old, 4 fun slopes for beginners or for your teenage freeriders! 2 daycare centers from 6 months old.
- How to get there : by plane to Geneva, then shuttle in 1h20 – by train, to Cluses, 30 km from Flaine.
To book your ski holiday in Flaine
Méribel: a chic family resort and high-end # 2
Founded by a Scotsman, this station is undoubtedly the best known among our British friends. Discovered last year, for a weekend in the snow, I was amazed by the number of actions implemented by the resort to attract families. Of course it is a high-end resort, suddenly, the ski area is great for familieswith beautiful fun trails. Méribel is made up of several villages, the most authentic of which – since it is inhabited all year round – is Méribel-Mottaret, a true Savoyard village with incredible charm. It is of course part of the very large area of the 3 valleys.
My favorites: the fun track in Yeti park and its talking tunnels, the pretty lake of Tudéa 30 min walk from Les Allues, all frozen in winter.
Recommended accommodation: this Savoyard resort offers around ten Pierre et Vacances residences. I spotted the pretty Les Fermes de Méribel residence. Your children will be delighted with the children’s club, the play areas and the heated indoor swimming pool. For parents, sauna and hammam, to pamper themselves after skiing.
- Day pass price: € 52 / adult in Méribel itself – € 41.7 / child – 3 valleys pass: € 61 *
- Altitude : 1450 m
- Km of tracks: 600 km over all of the 3 Valleys
- Children’s equipment : no less than 6 play areas
- How to get there: by plane to Lyon: 1h45, to Geneva: 2h – by train to Moutiers then 20 min shuttle – by car: the A43 is 45 min
>> Our article on Méribel for families
Les Carroz # 3
The family resort of Les Carroz D’Arrache is also part of the Grand Massif. The slopes are wide, pleasant to ski with many trails for beginners.
My favorites: I enjoyed myself at very nice and good restaurant Les Servages d´Armelle at the foot of the slopes, which also offers truly incredible luxury accommodation.
Recommended accommodation: If you can’t go for the luxury, there are 2 Pierre et Vacances sympas residences. The Sun Farms has a swimming pool, a children’s club, play areas and a nursery.
- Day pass price: 47 € / adult and 37 € / child *
- Altitude : 1140 – 2100 m
- Kms of slopes:
- Children’s equipment : Label Famille Plus – rental of childcare equipment, 2 reception areas from 6 months old, 4 play areas for beginners and your teenagers!
- How to get there: by car : A40 motorway. Exit 19: Flaine – les Carroz then RN 205 and D6 towards Arâches then Les Carroz in 15 min only – by train – by plane from Geneva, buses, taxis or other carriers accompany you to Les Carroz.
Morillon: the small authentic village-resort # 4
The nice little family resort of the ski champion Denériaz, has 2 sides: small authentic village downstairs, with the hotels and wooden chalets, and the sports village, with its buildings on the slopes. And like all small family resorts, there are a lot of activities: I tried snowshoeing, eating in a yurt.
The tracks also have a snowpark and a 5 km long toboggan run. And if this ski area is not enough for you, join the Grand Massif by ski links to discover a splendid area.
My favorites : the pretty village resort and its lively market, the meal in the yurt, reached by snowshoeing
Recommended accommodation: the charming hotel le Morillon, located in the center of the village
- Adult day pass price: massive pass: € 42 per day / adult – € 31.50 per child
- Altitude : 700/1100 m and up to much higher with the Grand Massif link
- Children’s equipment: beginners area, 3 play areas, 2 daycare centers from 6 months and up to 8 years
- How to get there : by train to Cluses, then shuttle. By plane, to Geneva, Annecy or Lyon
Sixt Fer à Cheval: to discover the classified site of the Cirque Fer à Cheval # 5
Still in the Grand Massif, at the end of the large valley, a small village, quiet with a living part for the year and a part for ski residences, at the foot of the slopes. Slopes in the sun so that the kitties are warmed up quickly and playful beginners areas!
A authentic village to prove that there is not only skiing in the mountains in winter, that you can stay there while practicing other activities: snowshoeing, simple hiking …
My favorites : a resort at the end of the world, quiet and above all beautiful snowshoeing in the famous circus, included in the network of Grands Sites de France.
- Day pass price: € 18.20 / adult – € 13.70 / child
- Altitude : 800 to 1600 m
- Children’s equipment : ski school, beginners area
- How to get there : Shuttle between the different villages of the Grand Massif
>> See our article on the Grand Massif
Oz en Oisans: small family resort, ski in ski out # 6
Last added following our stay last spring, this family resort really gave us a lot more. You can get there very easily from Grenoble without too many bends, ideal for children who fear the car! And arrived there, we leave the car in the parking lot, and we walk in the snow-covered streets, with our skis on to return the evening of the day of skiing!
Favorite accommodation: The Moontain Hostel, design, nice, well located!
- Day pass price: € 35 / adult – € 27 for 5 – 12 year olds than in Vaujany / Oz – more expensive with the Alpes d’Huez area
- Altitude : 1135 m
- Kms of slopes: 22 ski lifts for 75 km
- Children’s equipment : day care center, teen club, board game loan to the OT
- How to get there : 50 min from Grenoble towards the village of Oisans – TGV to Grenoble
>> Our stay in Oz en Oisans : a great stay at the end of the season to celebrate the beginning of spring!
Col d’Ornon: the cheapest family ski resort # 7
One of the smallest family ski resorts I have tested! And despite everything, for us good skiers, we had an incredible weekend there. Located just above Bourg d’Oisans, in Isère, this family resort is run by volunteers and that changes the relationship with “the customers”. Ideal with young children, because there is no shortage of winter activities: orienteering, snowshoeing, sledding, dog sledding … And since most of the accommodations are lodges, you can come and spend your winter tribal vacation!
My favorites <3: the snowshoe ride with Fabrice, the volunteer management of the resort that you really have to encourage!
- Day pass price: € 12 per day for adults, 9.50 from 6 to 14 years old *
- Altitude : 1360 m
- Kms of slopes: 3 lifts (see map here)
- How to get there : 1h15 min from Grenoble direction Bourg d’Oisans – TGV possible to Grenoble
>> Read our experience feedback at Col d´Ornon
SOUTHERN ALPS FAMILY SKI RESORT
St Anne La Condamine – small family resort in the Alpes de Haute Provence # 8
A resort tested by Anne France, who will give us her testimony very soon!
- Day pass price: € 21 / adult day, € 18.5 / child from 6 to 17 years old. Possibility of package for 1 or 3 hours – beginners area: 10 €
- Altitude : 1830m
- Kms of slopes: 30 km
- Children’s equipment: Daycare from 6 months possible – snow garden
- How to get there : 3h30 by car from Marseilles – 4h30 from Grenoble – By train: to Gap, then Zou shuttle!
THE FAMILY SKI RESORTS OF MY HAUTES-ALPES
What I find extraordinary, for 20 years that I have lived in the Hautes-Alpes, is the blue sky and the sun that reign over this department ! Without being chauvinistic, there really is a special time here! I no longer count the number of times, when going back home, from Grenoble where my in-laws live, the clear Hautes-Alpes sky is revealed at the Lautaret pass! The clouds remain blocked in Isère and we have Marseille time! This is really a big plus compared to the Northern Alps! Briançon-Serre Chevalier’s slogan was “300 days of sunshine a year” for years, that is to say!
Pelvoux: a small, inexpensive and adorable family ski resort # 9
Pelvoux is a small village resort , located about ten kilometers from my home, where my Mini Voyageur made his first descents. A resort focusing on families with a small snow front, dedicated to beginner slopes and large slopes, few in number, but very pleasant for experienced skiers, because they are very steep! The local saying: “who skis in Pelvoux, skis everywhere!” “
In addition, many activities are offered, all within walking distance in the village: Igloo Pelvoux, snowshoe outing, escape game, baby sleds …
My favorites : the snow front and its little bar in the sun to watch the children ski! the animation Igloo Pelvoux and Rémi with his Baby Sleigh!
Family accommodation: you will find in the village the friendly Gîte de la Blanche, with its small spa area, very pleasant
- Day pass price:€ 20.30 / adult, € 17 / child, beginners area € 8.80
- Altitude : from 1250 m to 2300M
- Kms of slopes: 25 km
- Children’s equipment : Fun track, Pioupiou area, ice rink
- How to get there : since Marseilles: car in 4 hours, by train to L’Argentière La Bessée then shuttle bus – from Paris : train to Oulx then shuttle, or plane to Turin then shuttle
>> My article on Pelvoux with the family
Puy St Vincent: our family resort # 10
Another resort that I know well, since my children take their ski lessons every Saturday in this family resort.
2 levels in this resort, linked by chairlifts: Puy St Vincent 1400 and Puy St Vincent 1600. Large and beautiful slopes, not really a fun slope, but small areas in the middle of the trees for safe off-piste skiing.
At 1400, a small corner for beginners with space pioupiou and small buttock lift. At 1600, in the heart of the resort “with its architecture in the shape of a boat” – to be at the bottom of your house, on the ski – there is a toboggan run, a pioupiou area …
And with teenagers, the resort is perfect: a corner for snowboarders, and a resort not too big to let them ski alone!
- Day pass price: 33 € / adult, 26 € / child
- Altitude : From 1400 m to 2750 m
- Kms of slopes: 75 km
- Kids club : Yes
- Family accommodation:
- How to get there : since Marseilles : car in 4 hours, by train to L’Argentière le Bessée then shuttle bus – from Paris : train to Oulx then shuttle, or plane to Turin then shuttle
>> To go further: my article on the Pays des Ecrins resorts
Montgenèvre: skiing in France and Italy # 11
A beautiful resort on the Italian border, which allows access to the great Franco-Italian domain of the Milky Way … I hope to be able to travel it this year with the loulous! Miss Voyageuse sharpened her beginner skis on the very pleasant slopes of Montgenèvre.
My favorites : the ” rambla “From Montgenèvre, allowing you to travel along the snow front on foot with a view of all the activity of the beginner slopes. For moms, a spa center all recent will warm you up and relax you; for teens and pre-teens, the toboggan Monty Express– which treats us every time friends come to visit us.
- Day pass price: € 39 from 15 to 64, € 27 from 6 to 14
- Altitude : 1,860 m – 2,700 m
- Kms of slopes: 95 km of track up to 400 km for Via Lattea (Milky Way)
- Kids club : yes teen club also
- Family accommodation: several hotels at the foot of the slopes or family residences are located in this resort
- How to get there : since Marseilles : car in 5, by train to Briançon then shuttle – from Paris : train to Oulx then shuttle, or plane to Turin then shuttle
Serre-Chevalier: the large family-friendly domain of Hautes-Alpes # 12
The great Hautes-Alpes resort where I live! Serre Chevalier is a large family estate that I recommend to families with children a good level of skiing from the 2nd star. Indeed, constituted by the tracks of 3 villages (Monétiers, Villeneuve-La Salle, Chantemerle) and a town of Briançon, Serre Chevalier is a very large area that you can only use by skiing a lot and hard!
Each village has its particularities: Monétier, the small mountain village with its beautiful chalets, Villeneuve La Salle at the center of the slopes for better shine, Chantemerle for a resort at the foot of the slopesand Brianconto stay in a city UNESCO World Heritage with its Vauban fortifications …
My favorites : the bottom slopes of Monetier and Villeneuve —La Salle , the Monetier baths, with its natural warm waters, kart tracks and the Serre-Chevalier circuit!
Family accommodation: The Alpaga residence in Villeneuve La Salle,located in the center of the village, close to the swimming pool, the ice rink and the shops and close to the ESF ski school. It offers kids ski entertainment, combining ski lessons and other activities, allowing you to breathe a bit!
- Day pass price: € 59.90 / adult – € 40 / Childt
- Altitude : 1,860 m – 2,700 m
- Children’s equipment : Label Famille Plus – 4 fun areas throughout the ski area: 2 beginners, 2 good skiers – many ski schools
- How to get there : since Marseilles : car in 5 hours, by train to Briançon then shuttle – from Paris : TGV to Oulxthen shuttle, or plane to Turinthen shuttle
Orcières-Merlette: my favorite resort in the sun # 13
Discovered last year, on a very cold day at home north of the Hautes-Alpes, I find that this station is perfect for moms who can’t stand the cold ! All south facing resort , it is a real pleasure to be warmed by the rays of the sun in January!
In addition the resort, labeled Famille plus , offers many tracks for beginners, telemixes (offering chairlift and cable car); perfect for being safe with the little ones!
My favorites :the Wow park and the Roche-Rousse plateau with the ski bar and the sled dogs!
Recommended accommodation : We tested 2 hotels on site: The Montagnou and the Catrem , they are next to each other. The 2 are very friendly and welcoming.
- Day pass price: € 34 / adult, € 27 / child
- Altitude :from 1850 m to 2725 m
- Child equipment: Family plus label – 2 play areas included in the package and the wow park, paid activity on the slopes
- How to get there : from Marseille, by car, train or bus with interesting shuttle systems
>> All my articles on Orcière Merlette
Family resorts tested a long time ago …
Here are other resorts where I have skied as a child and teenager, but I couldn’t tell you more. If you know them, please give us your thoughts in the comments.
The Grand Bornand, a small family resort where I went for 5 years, in my aunt’s apartment. I loved the old village, dusted with snow, always very lively, with the ice rink not far away! Is it always the same? We were also going for a day in La Cluzaz, to take advantage of the Balme sector, a somewhat remote sector to enjoy off-piste.
Villard-de-Lansand Chamroussewere my student stations. When studying in Grenoble, it is easy to skip lessons to go to these 2 ski areas.
My young years of skiing took place from Valence, every Wednesday at Méaudre / Autrans or Lans en Vercors… Small ultra-family resorts, where we could walk around on our own without the instructors … I think they must have expanded their family offer as well.
And you which stations have you tested and what are your favorites among these family ski resorts?
- Our dossier: family skiing
- All our tested and approved accommodation
- Holidays and adventures in France with the family
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* The prices are given for information only. sorry if these prices change from year to year. I try to update every season