Travelling with kids (and babies)
We have been skiing, foodies and apre ski serious attenders for over 20 years – no wonder we get asked so often about our favourite places. So here is our take on best ski resorts in Europe and our reasoning.
1.Chamonix, France – if you are after a picturesque alpine town, lovely pedestrian area with exquisite French food, boutique shops and restaurants and lots of ski options including out of this world off piste and the challenging La Vallee Blanche.
At the base of Mont Blanc (the highest summit in the Alps), Chamonix has been a favourite of ours in the last 10 years. Once a year we love to spoil ourselves with fondues, tartiflettes, raclettes, foie gras, beef bourguignon, macaroons and so on and Chamonix is just the perfect place for it.
We tested lots of options including cute chalets with half board, graceful English hosts and hot tubs; hotels with outdoors / indoors pools perfect to re-energise dead legs after day trips like La Vallee Blanche and the cutest boutique flat right in the centre, perfect for families get-aways.
We wrote about Chamonix with a toddler in here, March is perfect for babies and small kids. Best for: world class skiing including off piste, exquisite French food and chalets options, 1 hour transfers to/from the airport (Geneva).
2.Val d’isere, France – pretty village vibes, lots of great restaurants and chic boutiques. Located in Savoie, Val d’Isere is one of the apres ski capitals of Alps. Skiing options are just fabulous and so is apres skiing and dining. We wrote about our favourites in here.
3.Courchevel, France. Our friends swear that’s not just a playground for rich and famous but also sensible luxury options for hotels and food. A dedicated article in here; in a nutshell, they have been raving about Courchevel 1650 ski for the beginners slopes, non-skiers activities and Michelin star restaurants.
4.Tignes, France. If you are after world class skiing, Michelin restaurants on slopes and after, and La Folie crazy afternoons and apre-skiing.
Highly recommending Tignes le Lac and Esprit if you go with 2 tiny kids like ours (we tested when ours were 3 years old and 9 months respectively) and raved about in here.
There’s a leaning tower dating back to 12th century, 5 hotels 5 stars, the famous Heidi hut just above St Morritz and one of the most exclusive shopping streets in the world – Via Serlas.
Horse races on the lake are also stunning, great fun and attracting a cosmopolitan audience, VIPs included.
Best for: posh & glamour, VIP spotting, sunshine, uncontrollable spending, horse races on the lake.
6.Bormio, Italy. Beautiful medieval town surrounded by Stelvio National Park, with excellent ski slopes, hiking trails and thermal baths. Located in Valtellina (aka magnificent land), Bormio is best for guaranteed snow, bombardinos and Italian gourmandise on slopes.
We’ve been twice with our friends, there will be an article coming soon from them on their recommendations with kids. We loved the termal baths in here, best bresaola and pizzocheri (local pasta with potatoes and savoy cabbage made fresh).
7.Salice d’Ulzio, Italy (or Sauze d’Oulx according to the French). For easy access from Torino and skiing in 2 countries in 1 day. On French / Italian border, charming and great food options – this has been historically a destination for Turin aristocracy.
Similarly we’ve been couple of times with Italian friends who got a pied a terre in there and on one occassion tested a hotel as well. This is where we tested as well snowboarding for a day and decided whilst fun, not for us.
8.Courmayeur, Italy. For skiing on the Italian side of Mont Blanc, aperol spritz and aperols at apres skiing and more Italian gourmandise. Worldwide skiing options aside, the thermal baths of Pre Saint Didier are popular year round in Valle d’Aosta, just 5 kilometres south.
The cuisine of Courma remains legendary for us and our friends: suckling pig, polenta, exquisite fondues with cheese and truffles and of course pasta.
9.Poiana Brasov, Romania. For authentic experiences and afforable luxury – private ski instructors and boutique hotels included. Of course that makes a difference for families with 3 kids or Israeli based travellers – which are just within 2.5 hours of flying Bucharest – Tel Aviv. We wrote extensively about skiing in Romania, one of our main articles in here.
Here’s our first little man in Poiana – what a difference 3 years make! A little youtube taster from February 2017 with our 3.5 years old skiing in here, we still need to upload 2018!
10.Kitzbuhel, Austria. For great skiing and fun, cute village vibes and affordable Michelin star restaurants.
Kitzbuhel is one the largest ski regions in Austria, with 56 cableway and lift facilities, 168 kilometres of slopes and 40 kilometres of groomed cross country skiing tracks. Downside? Pancake soup, Viennese snitzhels and Austrian sausages on the slopes – and I’ll be frank, none are my cup of tea.
Happy skiing & snow fun all!