Family ski holidays need a lot of organisation: from ski-in, ski-out accommodation and large, easy-to-reach beginner areas, to flexible rental arrangements, excellent child-care facilities and a wide range of restaurants catering for multiple diets.
Plus, an exciting variety of alternative activities is also key, as let’s face it, kids can get bored easily.
With this in mind, here are five top resorts for families in the Austrian Tirol.
Named after the colossal glacier-topped mountain that dominates the region (as well as marking the border between Austria and Germany), the Zugspitz Arena offers un-crowded pistes and plenty of untracked powder.
The 139 km of slopes are all served by fast, modern lifts and connected by free, modern buses.
Families can make the most of the gentle runs, good ski schools and reasonable prices.
Parents wanting an adventure (when their children are being looked after by one of the many nanny services) can head to the backside of the ski area for added excitement, which drops from Hochalm (1,610 m) down to Bichlbach (1,075 m), or explore the steeper pistes under the north-facing Panoramabahn lift.
Plus, families can get together to enjoy all the extra activities, including tobogganing, sleigh rides and ice skating.
A week’s stay at Appartment Kerber Hermi, from 23 December 2017, costs from €179 / £159 pp (€714 / £635 total for two adults and two children, aged 2-17) and includes free ski rental, access to the Ehrwald adventure swimming pool and Wi-Fi. A six-day lift pass for all the family costs from €705. Return flights (London to Innsbruck) cost from £253 pp with British Airways.
For more information, visit: www.tyrol.com/a-tyrolean-zugspitz-arena
St. Johann in Tirol
A short distance from Kitzbühel, renowned for the annual Hahnenkamm (considered the most famous downhill ski race in the world), St. Johann in Tirol is ideal for families. Its beginner slopes – many of which are serviced by free, practice lifts – are at a range of altitudes, meaning hesitant skiers and snowboarders will not have to contend with poor snow conditions. There are four well-established ski schools, and several childcare facilities available, including Kapa-Kinderstube and a special baby hotel. More adventurous kids can explore the fun slope, which has many jumps and obstacles. And for those who fancy a bigger challenge, Kitzbühel is only 20 minutes away by car…
A week’s stay at Hotel Bruckenwirt, from 23 December 2017, costs from £959 pp (£3,836 total for two adults and two children, aged 2-17) and includes return flights (from Manchester International Airport), return transfers, half-board accommodation, access to St. Johann’s swimming pool complex and Wi-Fi. Lift passes, ski hire and lunch extra.
For more information: www.inghams.co.uk
For more information, visit: www.tyrol.com/things-to-do/sports/skiing/ski-resorts/a-ski-st-johann-in-tirol-oberndorf-eichenhof
Austria’s highest ski resort is known for its snow-sure slopes and family-friendly facilities. Situated at 2,017 metres above sea level, it manages to remain open long into April and sometimes into early May. There are two children’s areas in Kühtai, one for beginners and the other for those wishing to progress; think magic carpets, an obstacle course and a large playground with various animal figures. Most of the restaurants and huts offer meals for youngsters, and there’s even a Kinderhotel (children’s hotel) located next to the nursery slopes, which provides wonderful child care. Plus, as the resort is approximately 35 km from Innsbruck; it’s very easy to get there, with a transfer time of less than one hour.
A week’s stay at Sporthotel Kühtai, from 23 December 2017, costs from £1,059 pp (£4,236 total for two adults and two children, aged 2-17) and includes return flights (from London Stansted), return transfers, full-board accommodation access to the indoor pool and Wi-Fi. Lift passes, ski hire and lunch extra.
For more information: www.crystalski.co.uk
For more information, visit: www.tyrol.com/things-to-do/sports/skiing/ski-resorts/a-kuehtai-ski-area
Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau
With its excellent childcare facilities, ski lessons for beginners and wide range of runs, the Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau has everything a family needs, and more. Even though the resort has more than 100 km of pistes served by nearly 50 lifts, it offers a relaxed feel. Five local ski schools and two ski kindergartens mean that parents and children can benefit from top tuition. Approximately 85% of the slopes are covered with snow cannons, so the conditions remain consistent throughout the season. Plus, there are many other activities on offer, including sledging, snow shoeing and ice skating, and Innsbruck Airport is just 45 minutes’ drive by car.
A week’s stay at Hotel Alphof, from 23 December 2017, costs from £863 pp (£3,452 total for two adults and two children, aged 2-17) and includes return flights (from London Stansted), return transfers, half-board accommodation, access to the indoor pool and Wi-Fi. Lift passes, ski hire and lunch extra.
For more information: www.crystalski.co.uk
For more information, visit: www.tyrol.com/things-to-do/sports/skiing/ski-resorts/a-skijuwel-alpbachtal
SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental
One of Austria’s largest ski resorts, the SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental offers more than 254 km of pistes for skiers and snowboarders to explore, alongside numerous off-snow activities. Consisting of nine villages, including Brixen im Thale, Going and Söll, which can be accessed using innovative lifts, all levels are catered for, with easy slopes – including multiple beginner areas for children – race courses and fun parks. And if families find themselves at the top of the Hochbrixen cable car, they might like to visit the enchanting Igloo Village that features sculptures made from natural ice. Leave the skis (or snowboards) behind and enjoy a husky ride, snow tubing in Ellmau, sitting in a horse-drawn carriage, ice-skating or swimming in one of the many pools. And children can enjoy Kiko Söll, an adventure farmyard open all-year round.
A week’s stay at Hotel Postwirt, from 23 December 2017, costs from £799 pp (£3,196 total for two adults and two children, aged 2-17) and includes return flights (from London Gatwick), return transfers, half-board accommodation with a Christmas gala dinner, access to the outdoor heated pool and Wi-Fi. Lift passes, ski hire and lunch extra.
For more information, visit: www.inghams.co.uk
For more information, visit: www.tyrol.com/things-to-do/sports/skiing/ski-resorts/a-skiwelt-wilder-kaiser-brixental