Switzerland is a long-standing favourite among keen skiers and winter sports enthusiasts, but the nation is also popular with family groups. As well as offering world-class pistes, many Swiss resorts cater for families by offering kids’ clubs, all sorts of activities and plenty of amenities to keep everyone entertained.
Choosing the perfect spot for your family holiday can be difficult, so I’ve compiled a guide to a number of Switzerland’s top family skiing destinations – keep reading for some inspiration.
The huge resort of Verbier is among Switzerland’s most famous, known as the capital of the Four Valleys skiing area. The lively resort is a favourite haunt of the rich and famous, but its size also makes it popular with families, as there is so much on offer here.
Intermediate and advanced skiers are best catered for in Verbier, which also boasts a wide range of off-slope activities. Adrenalin-pumping pastimes like paragliding and hang-gliding are available, alongside traditional tobogganing, snowshoeing and husky-pulled sled rides.
Swimming pools, a cinema, curling lanes, Michelin-starred restaurants and age specific kids’ clubs are all among the amenities to be found here, while you can also take advantage of babysitting and nanny services if you want to spend some quality time with your partner while the children are kept entertained.
A good all-round option for families is Saas Fee – a pretty, car-free village resort with plenty of runs for beginners. The resort has a wide range of activities to try away from the slopes as well, including a leisure centre with a number of pools, tennis courts, a sauna and a games room.
There’s a local museum, an art gallery, a natural ice rink and a ceramics workshop, as well as curling lanes and a toboggan run. A particularly popular landmark is the Ice Pavilion, in which you can view all sorts of exhibits relating to glaciers.
The small resort of Nendaz is quiet and offers some great family accommodation in the form of purpose-built apartments, as well as the quickest access route to the Mont Fort – the top section of the Four Valleys skiing area. A modern resort, Nendaz has more than 30 pistes, the majority of which are suitable for advanced skiers.
If you’re a family of keen skiers looking to spend most of your time on the slopes, this is the resort for you. In terms of apres-ski activities, there aren’t many, although you can make use of the outdoor skating rink, squash courts, sauna and solarium.
The relaxed resort of Villars is attractive and charming, catering especially well for novices and intermediate skiers. The traditional resort is linked to the Les Diablerets glacier, where more expert skiers will find plenty of challenging terrain, and there are also several snowboarding parks onsite for when you fancy trying your hand at another sport.
Families will find Villars to be a peaceful, laidback area, with just a clutch of apres-ski bars, so there’s no need to worry about late night revellers disturbing sleeping little ones. There’s plenty to do besides ski and snowboard, as the resort has a few swimming pools, indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks, two indoor sports centres, a bowling alley, a cinema and a climbing wall. You can also arrange excursions to the nearby medieval town of Gruyere, which is famous for its cheese.
If you’re after some accommodation for your winter sports holiday in Switzerland, take a look at the family-friendly catered chalets from Sno.