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It's sunnier, it's warmer, the slopes are quieter and the days are longer - Easter is the perfect time to grab a family ski holiday.

family-ski-holiday
Photo: OksanaTrautwein-iStock

We love to ski at any time, but there's something magical about Easter ski holidays: the air is warmer and the sun is brighter. For families with young children, especially, it's a great time to introduce them to the joys of a snowsports holiday. We've teamed up with tour operator Inghams to bring you a guide to the top ten ski resorts for families at Easter.

Why ski at Easter?

So what makes skiing at Easter so special? Well, for a start, it's usually warmer! Rather than sub-zero temperatures that having you diving for the warmth of a mountain restaurant, the air is warm enough for you to soak up the sun in a mountain deckchair. 

Resorts are generally quieter too - especially when Easter is late, such as this year - so even though schools are out, it's rarely as busy on-piste as at the height of the season. And once the sun has got up, the snow is softer - though it pays to seek out the sweet spots before that soft snow gets too slushy! Follow the sun round the resort, and save the west-facing slopes till last. Ask your local rep or hire a guide to make sure you get the most from the massif.

Most importantly, though, pick a high-altitude resort with plenty of skiing above 2,000m, up where the snow is still good! 

obergurgl-austria
Obergurgl/Hochgurgl. Photo: TPopova_iStock

What makes a ski resort great for families?

A great location, the right accommodation and plenty of other activities. 

You want to be close to ski schools, slopes and resort facilities - and look for ski areas that suit all abilities. When it comes to accommodation, top of the list are family rooms, good leisure facilities and kids clubs or play rooms, a creche too if you have very young children. Depending on your chosen resort you can often save on lift passes, equipment hire and child places when you book as a family.

Long transfers are often a fact of ski life, but by flying from your choice of 14 local airports you can at least make the UK end of your journey as smooth as possible.

whistler-canada
Photo: stockstudioX_iStock

Top 10 ski resorts for families this Easter

Inghams have been organising ski packages for more than 85 years and they know what skiers and snowboarders are looking for. Their flight-inclusive holidays fly from 14 local airports around the UK, and they can organise self-drive trips too. Trusted Inghams advisors can help you through every step of your booking journey. 

Here are the top ten ski resorts for families this Easter, with Inghams' pick of the places to stay.

obergurgl-austria
Photo: Inghams Ski

Obergurgl, Austria

At 1,930m, Obergurgl is a small, friendly, high-altitude snow sure ski resort at the upper end of Austria's Ötztal Valley. Lift-linked with its even higher altitude neighbour Hochgurgl, you can ski both villages on the same lift pass. The area's biggest draw is its reliable snow conditions, particularly early and late in the season. As a family resort, many of the hotels offer kids activities and are close to the ski school and lifts.

Hotel Alpenblume

A classic family-friendly chalet-style property located in a quiet side street only two minutes’ walk from the nearest piste and ski school meeting point. It’s convenient for lift access, being only about 4 minutes’ walk from the Festkogel gondola leading to the entire Obergurgl-Hochgurgl area.

The typically Tyrolean dining room is warm and inviting, the modern bar and lounge areas are light and airy, while the wellness area includes a sauna, steam room, an infra-red cabin and a ‘Kneippbad’ or Austrian foot spa on the lower ground floor.

Choose from a variety of different room types, including larger suites sleeping up to six, perfect for a whole family.

Transfer time: 1 hr 30mins from Innsbruck.

BOOK NOW: inghams.co.uk

val-thorens-france
Photo: Clement Ducruet_OT Val Thorens

Val  Thorens, France

With dependable snow conditions, making it perfect for Easter skiing, Val Thorens is not only the highest village in France's famous Three Valleys (Trois Vallées) ski area, it's also the highest ski resort in Europe. With some 99 percent of its slopes at over 2,000m, occupying a huge cirque crowned with six separate glaciers at the head of the Belleville Valley.

It's pretty much all doorstep skiing, while for down-time, the resort's leisure centre has a spa, swimming pool, a gym and fitness suite, squash courts, multi-sports hall plus a children's fun-park area. 

Other activities include snowmobiling, mountain biking on snow and an epic 6km toboggan run from the top of the Peclet gondola. Everything you need for a Spring ski holiday.

Chalet Mathilde

One of the Ski Total by Inghams chalets, Chalet Mathilde is in a fantastic location, close to the Plein Sud blue piste which runs down through the village. You can ski or walk the 100m from the door across to the piste, where you can just ski straight to your choice of ski-lifts. 

The chalet sits on the side of the mountain, with the entrance on the top floor and a shared staircase to the chalets, each individually run and hosted. Stylishly decorated, with comfortable furnishings, all bedrooms have en suite facilities, hairdryer, TV/DVD player and some also have a balcony. After a day on the slopes, take advantage of the shared wellness spa with a sauna and steam-room for all guests.

Transfer time: 2hrs 15mins from Chambery; 3 hours from Geneva

BOOK NOW: inghams.co.uk

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Photo: Inghams Ski

Cervinia, Italy

Cervinia is a fabulous place to be at Easter when the skies are blue and the sun shines, as the high mountain views are magnificent. It sits in a rugged high-altitude basin in the lap of the Matterhorn, and is linked with the famously challenging Swiss resort of Zermatt. Together, these two iconic ski resorts share the highest pisted ski domain in Europe, offering a total of 360km of pistes. Despite its height, Cervinia is actually a good choice for beginners and intermediates. The ski area mostly consists of easy to mid-range blue and very light red runs, and grooming here is superb.

The town is a good size with plenty of bars and restaurants. There's plenty to do away from the slopes, too: have a go at ice karting, or tandem paragliding, have a dip in the local pool or visit the highest ice grotto in Europe over on the Swiss side of the mountains

Hotel Dragon

A great location at the foot of the piste makes the Hotel Dragon a great choice for family Easter skiing. ski holiday. After a recent change of management, the hotel has had a sophisticated make-over. The bar and lounge have been transformed into a lovely authentic wine bar, while the updated bedrooms  are spacious and comfortable. The outdoor terrace is a late-season suntrap with some of the best views of the Matterhorn from the Italian side of the mountain.

There are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants close by and it's just a 150m walk to the Cretaz lift. 

Transfer time: 1 hr 45 mins from Turin.

BOOK NOW: inghams.co.uk

zermatt-switzerland
Photo: matjazboncina_iStock

Zermatt, Switzerland

Across the border from Cervinia, Zermatt is one of the world's most famous and spectacular ski resorts; nestled at the foot of the Matterhorn. The skiing is accessible from the village centre in either direction, via cable car, funicular or the famous Gornergrat mountain railway, which takes you on a spectacular ride up to 3089m and rewards you with fantastic views.

The skiing here is on a grand scale and Zermatt attracts a high percentage of advanced skiers, but much of its terrain is ideal for adventurous intermediates and even non-skiers can reach the magnificent viewpoints and superb mountain restaurants.

Cars are banned from Zermatt's streets, with only electric carts permitted, and the village retains much of its traditional charm and human scale. The quaint, narrow lanes in the oldest quarters are lined with age-old buildings, while the central quarter has an almost urban buzz about it, filled with designer boutiques and elegant cafés.

Hotel Butterfly

A popular choice with Inghams guests, the 60-room Butterfly offers a good standard of accommodation and cuisine, a friendly atmosphere and enjoys a quiet yet central location with quick access to the skiing. Its just off the main street and 2 minutes' walk (200m) to the Gornergrat mountain railway and ski bus to the slopes. Facilities include a piano bar and a spa area with Finnish sauna, infrared sauna and Turkish bath.

Transfer time: 2hrs 40mins from Geneva (via coach); 3hr 30mins from Zurich (via train)

BOOK NOW: inghams.co.uk

tignes-france
Photo: Inghams Ski

Tignes, France

One half of the Tignes-Val d'Isère, Tignes is a buzzing mini-metropolis in an otherwise uninhabited realm of snow and ice in the High Tarentaise. It's split into two main resort centres - Tignes-le-Lac and Val Claret, facing each other across a frozen lake. Perfect for keen intermediates, Tignes has big scenery and masses of space in the ski area. The variety of terrain is extensive: from the intoxicating glacial heights of La Grande Motte, to the thigh-burning long cruises down to the tree line and valley floor at Les Brevieres.

The resort boasts two sports & leisure centres, numerous spa facilities, a tenpin bowling arcade, plus there are various day-time and evening adventure-sports activities available.

Hotel Rosset

The Rosset - run by Inghams' sister company Ski Total - is a fantastic chalet hotel for keen skiers who are looking for convenient access to this huge and excellent ski area. It has a great combination of comfortable accommodation, spacious public areas, swimming pool and is located in the heart of Tignes-le-Lac. All bedrooms offer en suite shower or bath with hairdryers, many with the bonus of a balcony looking over the lake.

Just 100m from the Rosset lift, access to the slopes is very easy. From the Rosset lift ski down to the Marmotton children’s ski area and the high-speed Tovière for quick access to Val d'Isere. At the end of the day you can ski back to within 100m of the Chalet Hotel. 

Transfer time: 2hrs 15mins from Chambery.

BOOK NOW: inghams.co.uk

lech-austria
Photo: Inghams Ski

Lech, Austria

Lech is a famous luxury resort set in the midst of some spectacular skiing at the heart of Austria's biggest ski area. Lech is also home to one of the Alps’ best snow records, so there's plenty to love here. As a resort, Lech and its overlooking ski-in, ski-out suburb of Oberlech, is decidedly upmarket, but still very family-friendly.

With its pretty riverside setting, and wide range of hotels, from the five-star to the budget, it really can cater for all tastes and pockets - and for intermediates, the skiing here is second to none. With 305km of linked runs and 200km of ungroomed ski routes in the Ski Arlberg zone, the combined Lech-Zürs area, which includes the neighbouring resorts of Stuben, St.Christoph, St Anton and Sonnenkopf, now ranks among the top five largest ski domains in the world.

Non-skiers can browse exclusive boutiques, enjoy the extensive walking trails in the valley or take a horse-drawn sleigh ride from the picturesque village into the romantic Zug Valley.

Hotel Berghof

The luxurious Hotel Berghof is one of Lech’s leading hotels and is full of Austrian charm thanks to the hospitable Burger family. Located right above the centre of Lech, you have your own private lift that takes you from the ski room into the centre of Lech and from there it is just a few metres to the main Rüfikopf cable-car

It is comfortably and stylishly decorated and enjoys superb views from its large, south-facing sun terrace. Facilities include two restaurants and a large modern spa area with various saunas, steam rooms, gym and relaxation area.

Transfer time: 1hr 30mins from Innsbruck

BOOK NOW: inghams.co.uk

saas-fee-switzerland
Photo: Inghams Ski

Saas Fee, Switzerland

Dubbed 'The Pearl of The Alps', Saas Fee is a high-altitude year-round mountain resort set in a crown of 13 soaring 4,000m peaks, in the Mischabel range of the Valais Alps in Switzerland. The slopes are snow-sure and the car-free village is easy on the eye; its facilities are modern, its restaurants are good, and its après ski is lively; Saas Fee is indeed a Alpine gem.

Families will appreciate the friendly atmosphere as well as the fantastic, large beginners’ area in the village centre. There is plenty of entertainment to keep you occupied off the slopes, from the Aqua Allalin pool and spa complex to the Feeblitz bobsleigh/rollercoaster. And après ski in the form of live music and lively bars, ranges from the sophisticated to the downright fun.

Hotel Allalin

Recently voted as one of Tripadvisor's Traveller's Choice Top 25 hotels in Switzerland and family-run for four generations, the Allalin is a very attractive hotel, offering modern accommodation as well as an excellent standard of cuisine and service. It's only 2 minutes walk (200m) to the centre of the village. A free ski bus, which stops outside the hotel, brings you to the slopes in a few minutes.

Transfer time: 3hrs from Geneva; 3hrs 30mins from Zurich (via rail and postbus). 

BOOK NOW: inghams.co.uk

les-arcs-france
Photo: Inghams Ski

Les Arcs, France

Les Arcs ski resort consists of four linked resort villages with a combined ski area that is one of the greatest in the French Alps, lift-linked with the neighbouring La Plagne ski area to form one of the world's most extensive ski domains, collectively known as 'Paradiski'. Les Arcs' vast ski reserve combines a great snow record with sumptuous north facing snow fields. 

Inghams guests can choose between three villages; Arc 1800 has an activity area comprising of aquatic centre, toboggan runs, fun trail, beginner's area and children's practice area, making it especially popular with families and beginners. Arc 1950 is a pretty ski-in, ski-out car-free village with excellent restaurants, bars, shops and a spa, plus good access to the slopes. Intermediate and advanced skiers are attracted to Arc 2000 with its proximity to the Aiguille Rouge Glacier and fantastic doorstep skiing. 

Hotel Aiguille Rouge

The ski-in, ski-out Aiguille Rouge Hotel is right in the centre of Arc 2000. The hotel is at the foot of the slope and has a panoramic restaurant and bar overlooking the pistes and a sun deck which is south-facing. This is the perfect place for a drink at the end of the day.

The Aiguille Rouge is ideal for families as interconnecting rooms and free children's clubs are available at the hotel. The ski school meeting point is also very nearby and many of our guests enjoy their breakfast and evening meals overlooking the piste.

Transfer time: 3hrs from Geneva; 2hrs 15mins from Chambery.

BOOK NOW: inghams.co.uk

whistler-canada
Photo: Inghams Ski

Whistler, Canada

Whistler-Blackcomb is the biggest ski area in North America and offers something for all ability levels, together with excellent amenities across several purpose-built, mostly traffic-free, lively base-area resort developments. A spectacular 'Peak 2 Peak' gondola links the upper slopes of Whistler Mountain with those on Blackcomb Mountain, meaning you can ski both sectors without without having to go all the way down to the base areas.

There are plenty of easy blue and green slopes for those finding their feet, and even more options for those at a more intermediate level including the bowls and the extremely Canadian off-piste tours for those who fancy something a little more daring. There are stacks of off-slope activities, including the Whistler bobsleigh run!

Crystal Lodge & Suite

The Crystal Lodge has one of the best locations in Whistler. It faces along the village stroll, moments from the slopes and connected to over 20 shops and restaurants. It's also only just two minutes walk to the lifts for both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Pair that with wonderfully warm and friendly staff and it’ll be no surprise that the Crystal Lodge consistently ranks top for its popularity.

The Crystal Lodge also has a year round heated outdoor pool and hot tub, sauna and games rooms to unwind in great company.  recently renovated, the rooms are modern and overlook the village stroll or surrounding areas. A variety of rooms are available, including spacious studios and larger suites perfect for families or small groups.

Transfer time: 1hr 45mins from Vancouver.

BOOK NOW: inghams.co.uk

Champoluc-italy
Photo: Inghams Ski

Champoluc, Italy

Champoluc is the most popular resort in the hidden gem that is Italy's Monterosa ski area. Like all of the villages in the area, Champoluc is filled with rustic charm and is beautiful to explore, especially as you follow the walkway alongside the river. There’s a good range of shops, bars and cafes to enjoy as well as the Monterosa spa located at the top end of town next to the woodland park.

The pistes are extremely well maintained and wonderfully quiet. You also have three extensive ski areas covered with one lift pass. Champoluc, Gressoney and Alagna which are linked by a modern lift system.

Hotel de Champoluc

The Chalet Hotel de Champoluc is at the skier's end of the village centre just by the bottom of the home-run piste. Pretty much ski-in, ski-out, it's right next door to the main Crest gondola and the hire shop.

There's a really nice feeling to this hotel, with traditional alpine wood features welcoming you in. The bar and dining rooms are a great setting for afternoon tea and chilling out, followed by a lovely evening meal. There's a real sense of authenticity thanks to the Italian management team. The hotel is shared with guests from sister company Esprit. The Inghams Rep will take care of all your skiing needs, sharing the best runs, après and more to ensure you have a fabulous time.

Transfer time: 1 hour 45 mins from Turin.

BOOK NOW: inghams.co.uk

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