Today’s post comes from Sammy, a 31-year-old British skier who works in Marketing for ExtremePie.com, the leading online destination for action sports lifestyle gear.
As a mum of a young family, every weekend is an adventure and the countdown is on for the days when her little girl can hit the slopes with her.
If not only for the incredible view of the Matterhorn, Cervinia is a must-visit destination for skiing families. Having grown in popularity in recent years, the resort has updated its accommodations, so the 1960s style hotels and chalets are not as prominent as they once were.
But you don’t visit a ski resort to pick fault with the architecture; it’s all about the powder at Cervinia and thanks to the reliable snow, it’s a great choice for a pre-booking or a late deal.
Cervinia isn’t the steepest resort in Italy, but what it lacks in height it makes up for in length. Home to the 11.5 km Ventina – one of Europe’s longest slopes, it’s a fantastic option for families and young beginners.
As well as offering a few black and red runs for when you really want to try and push yourself, the beginner slopes are well-sheltered and skiable even when visibility and conditions are not at their best.
The pistes are wide and exceptionally well-groomed with great snow cover. Dining out is a treat too. Lunch in Cervinia is considered among the best in the world, so make sure you try a few mountain restaurants during your stay. Après ski isn’t as buzzing as at other resorts in Italy. But when you’re with your family, a cozy evening and an early night means that you’re first on the slopes in the morning.
Particularly good for families with young children, Ratschings-Jaufen is up there with the best, if not sitting at the top.
Boasting a kindergarten, kids’ areas, practice lift, magic carpets and plenty of room for children to learn to ski, this resort is super-equipped for families that want to ensure that their little people are well looked after. The ski schools here enjoy committed and professional full-day staff, so mum and dad don’t need to worry.
The bigger picture for Ratschings-Jaufen is pretty impressive too, with a 5 km toboggan run for lots of family fun, and a huge expanse of mostly intermediate terrain that’s just waiting to be discovered.
The snow here is considered among the most reliable due to north-facing slopes and snow-making facilities. With plenty of mountain restaurants, huts and cafes, dining out is available for all tastes.
The Italian answer to the French 3 Valleys, Champoluc is the largest resort in the large Monterosa region.
The ski schools here are some of the best with excellent native English-speaking instructors at the ready to guide your little people on the slopes and give them safe skills for life. It is a great option for bringing the kids on their first trip.
Champoluc has retained its rustic charm, which it couples with miles and miles of skiing in adjoining valleys.
Champoluc has many options for dining, if you don’t want to take advantage of your hotel offerings. But, if you do, you have your choice of both relaxed and formal hotels. Whilst the larger resorts tend to have more on offer for après ski, there are a number of bars, and at the weekend the resort does get busy.
Book in for a weekday break for a quieter and more enjoyable experience.
Madonna Di Campiglio
For something a little more exclusive, Madonna Di Campiglio offers families a great deal more in terms of everything: more premium ski schools where instructors provide expert tuition, larger children’s areas with a lot of room for youngsters to practice and have fun, and for adults there are plenty of long and wide slopes to take on. Madonna Di Campiglio is also home to the best snow in the Dolomites.
Popular with Italian tourists, many visitors to Campiglio spend as much time on the terraces enjoying the views of the Dolomites as they do exploring them, so for this reason much of the resort is free from crowds. And while it is considered rather expensive by Italian standards, you do get a lot for your money.
Outside of skiing, Campiglio plays host to some fantastic boutiques and shops in its pedestrianized village. There are also plenty of après ski activities for families looking to enjoy a vibrant evening, as well as a fun day on the slopes.
If you’re looking for the convenience of a resort widely aimed at English-speaking visitors, then Selva in the South Tirol is a great example.
A large resort with a lot going on at all hours, Selva has long been a first choice destination for families thanks to the blend of cultures and a mixture of different styles. Whether you want a relaxed family break with easy-going après ski or something a little more active, then Selva has it.
One of the best attractions is that many of the hotels have a nursery slope on their doorstep, meaning that the kids don’t need to venture far for the ski school and you don’t need to panic about being too far from them either. Another bonus of Selva is that private lessons cost about half the price of France, so it’s an affordable option for families.
The slopes themselves offer something for everyone with high quality pistes passing through fabulous scenery, tree-lined sections for poor visibility days and The Saslong, the Val Gardena world cup downhill course. When the skis are off, there is a great range of mountain restaurants and lodges in which to kick back and relax.
The Brave Ski Mom Adds…
Thank you so much Sammy! It’s always great to get an expert point-of-view on European resorts. We really appreciate your time and effort in sharing this with us!
This post contains a compensated link to ExtremePie.com.
More Family Fun in Europe:
- Why I Love Skiing Chamonix, France With My Family, December 27, 2011.
- Why I Love to Ski Scheffau am Wilder Kaiser, Austria, February 1, 2012.
- Why Our Family Loves to Ski at Hauser Kaibling, Austria, October 26, 2011.
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