Nothing stokes winter wanderlust like visions of quaint, snow-dusted European villages set amid the world’s most renowned ski slopes. These wintry havens set the stage for both adventure and idyllic family travel moments, whether your crew prefers to ski as much as humanly possible or simply enjoy resort-area luxuries and après-ski culture (or a bit of both!). Our expert travel partner in the Alps region worked with us to hand-curate a list of luxury ski destinations for the most discerning CB families.
Enviable activities abound in each of these spots beyond the spectacular skiing. From sightseeing plane rides for aerial views of the stunning terrain to guided snowshoe excursions, cooking lessons focused on local specialties, or evening dogsled rides, our Family Travel Advisors can arrange winter experiences tailor-made for your interests. Contact us for help crafting your family’s ultimate itinerary in any of these dreamy Alpine locales.
Cosmopolitan Davos, which welcomes world leaders for the World Economic Forum every January, beckons families with two extensive and all-ages-friendly ski areas. The first is Bolgen, located at the town limit of Davos, which has the historic distinction of housing the first ski lift in the world. It is fantastic for small children and beginners and easily reachable for parents, grandparents or caregivers spending time with other children who aren’t skiing. It also happens to be a draw in the evenings and on weekends for the younger après-ski crowd, a bonus for such a family-friendly spot. There is a whole ski mountain dedicated to families and children, called Rinerhorn, which is just outside of town limits with plentiful shuttles and buses making it extremely accessible.
Davos has an extensive array of planned winter family activities, ranging from igloo building to ice games and hikes by torchlight. For cutting-edge luxury, consider ensconcing your family in the futuristic nest of the AlpenGold Hotel. Or for classic opulence, the Grandhotel Belvedere in the heart of Davos is a firm favorite.
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If your family is looking for the ultimate high-end ski destination, Lech Zürs am Arlberg is the place, thanks to an array of 5-star hotels and an assortment of gourmet restaurants. Nestled in a small valley and surrounded by the ski mountains, this cozy village is a great destination for families with children who are good skiers but at different levels. It is easy to regroup or meet for lunch, since all lifts depart from the main street and all slopes end there as well. In addition, there are two hotel zones (Oberlech, connected by cable car and Zürs, 10 minutes’ drive away), which are both in the middle of the ski area. Lech Zürs offers lots of snow fun and everything is centrally located. For the most adventurous and seasoned skiiers, guides are available to lead off-piste and extreme ski adventures, including heli-skiing.
The French version of Lech Zürs, this charming, traditional village has plenty of great hotels and is an amazing destination for foodies — and plus, there is great adult nightlife. Megève was the brainchild of the French baroness Noémie de Rothschild, who came up with the concept for the resort when she was visiting St. Moritz in Switzerland after World War I. She had a desire to create something similar in France, and Megève was born. It is known for its elegance and authentic charm without being overcrowded, and many families are repeat visitors.
There is a specific children’s space for beginners at Mont d’Arbois, through which all skiers pass when starting their ski day. Meanwhile, teens will particularly enjoy the freestyle activities. Non-skiers can also access the area by gondola, bus or even by taking a hike. A highlight of each day in Megève is the array of eateries dotted along the town’s cobblestone streets, including three Michelin-starred restaurants.
Home of the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain, Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria is the only true ski destination in the country. It offers great fun for families in winter beyond the slopes, with every possible snow activity from sledding, a.k.a. sledging, to ice skating and sleigh rides. Try your hand at ice stock shooting (the Bavarian version of curling) or visit the bobsled museum. For stunning views, families can also enjoy a leisurely ascent to the scenic summit of the Zugspitze via the Zugspitzbahn Cable Car, which traverses the world’s highest steelwork pylon. Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a great choice for families looking to take advantage of winter adventure and Bavarian traditions. Don’t miss the chocolate factory for a chance to make your own chocolate!
About an hour from Geneva and across the tunnel from Chamonix you will find Courmayeur, an Italian lifestyle resort on the eastern side of Mont Blanc. Hosting the longest pedestrian street in the Alps, it offers great food at every turn and, of course, aperitivi in the late afternoons as the Italian version of après-ski fun. Courmayeur attracts visitors from all over the world for its appealing mix of entertainment, culture and relaxation, with plenty of high-end shopping to boot. The main cable car provides access from the town center to the ski mountain, making it supremely accessible for families with children. The ski area is a good size, but the resort is compact enough to allow everyone to regroup for lunch or reconvene at the end of the skiing day.
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This is a challenging time for our clients given the uncertainty around the spread of coronavirus, particularly for those with near-term travel plans in impacted areas. We’re working with our suppliers on being flexible with their booking conditions, and enabling families to postpone travel to a later date without a penalty, when possible. Likewise, given the unpredictability around destinations that may be impacted in the future, we’re helping clients planning new trips and understand ways that they can protect themselves until the situation improves. We are ready to help our clients work through questions and concerns.
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