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18 Jan, 2016

Where are you going to ski at half term?

Family skiing in La Plagne

A family ski holiday can be one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences that you can give your children. A break from the games consoles and TV to experience the stunning scenery and mountain air in their lungs that you simply can’t find at home in the UK. Taking a ski holiday can also be a great physical workout but in a fun way. Certainly more healthy than the kids playing Minecraft while eating Doritos.

A family ski holiday is also a great way to bring everyone closer together, away from the daily stress of work or school. A chance to unwind without the usual distractions of modern family life.

Having said all this, as parents we are very limited to when we can book a ski holiday. Unless you are a school governor or Head Teacher (so it seems!), we Skiing for February Half Term with Ski Weekends are not allowed to take our children out of school for a ski holiday and so we’re forced to go in school Holiday time. Punishment for disobeying this rule is a heavy fine and receiving 10 lashes of the cat ‘o nine tails and banged up in the London Dungeon (okay - so that was a slight exaggeration, but you do get my point.)

February Half Term is the obvious choice of the holidays as it is at the peak of the ski season so greater odds of snow. Having made that choice, the next one is where to go?

The French Alps is the most popular destination for the Brits and that is not likely to change any time soon. The French resorts are mostly easy to get to whether by air, coach, train or car, offer well-organised ski schools, and great facilities. Most of the French Ski Resorts have invested heavily over the last few years and many have super-fast ski lifts, fantastic snowmaking facilities and demonstrate a very slick and well-run operation.

Morzine

Morzine is one of the easiest and quickest ski resorts you can get to from the UK. With a short flight from Gatwick to Geneva, followed by an airport transfer that is around one and a half hours, I can go from sitting in the airport lounge to enjoying a drink at my hotel/chalet in Morzine in no time at all.

Unlike a lot of the purpose-built ski resorts that are scattered across the Alps, Morzine has an authentic feel to it and has great character. It is also great value for money and although an ever-increasingly popular resort to go to, Morzine has not succumbed to mass commercialism and remains very affordable for a family on a budget.

There is a good choice of British or French run ski schools in Morzine. There is also a good choice of gentle and well-sheltered slopes for the kids to progress on at their own pace. There are also plenty of childcare nursery options, so you can go and spend a few hours enjoying the mountains.

Morzine is part of the Portes Soleil linked area, and with easy access to the Les Gets and Avoriaz, the area is vast! There is something for everyone with runs for all abilities and equally enjoyable for snowboarders as well as skiers.

Overall, Morzine is fantastic for a family ski holiday that will not break the bank.

Read more about Morzine here.

Paradiski (La Plagne & Les Arcs)

Skiing in La Plagne with Ski Weekends for short ski breaks in the Paradiski

The linking of the two popular resorts of Les Arcs and La Plagne via the impressive Vanoise Express (a super-fast double-decker Gondola that can carry 200 people) created Paradiski, one of the biggest ski areas in the world.

Both La Plagne and Les Arcs are fantastic for families with their purpose built ‘ski in, ski out’ resorts - perfect for ease of access. What they both lack in the way of authentic village charm and charisma, these resorts make up for in being built for a purpose.

There is a good choice of ski schools with beginner slopes, moving ‘magic’ carpets and safe zones. There are also plenty of other activities to keep the whole family amused with climbing walls, toboggans and the chance to speed down on an Olympic Bobsleigh run.

Mille 8 is a new and exciting family entertainment and leisure development on the slopes. Features include a Discovery Piste themed ski track through trees that have been designed to be an educational but fun experience for the whole family to enjoy. There is also a Sledge Run, a kids play area, large restaurant, swimming pools, and for the more advanced, freestyle runs.

Mille 8 cost 36 million Euros to develop and is an ambitious vision of creating experiences for the whole family to enjoy
Read more about Les Arcs and La Plagne.

Meribel (Brides Les Bains)

Ski holidays to Meribel in the 3 Valleys for weekends and mid-weeks with Skiweekends.com

If you don't want to fly then travelling by luxury coach would be a more affordable alternative. Not only that, travelling through the night will free up some more slope time to enjoy!

If you do wish to travel by coach then you should consider Brides Les Bains, sited below the resort of Meribel, a quiet town that is ideal for families to use as a base to access the magnificent Trois Vallées ski area.

Meribel is only a 25 minute Gondola ride away and is perfectly central to explore the Trois Vallées. Meribel is also great for beginners and families with gentle slopes including a long, wide green slope run at the Altiport. There is also an impressive choice of ski schools to choose from at Meribel, many of them British runs.

For those who are beginners, it may be more cost effective to stick to the local area (Meribel) ski lift pass. Of course, if you are more ambitious then the Trois Vallées offers endless terrain to explore.

As you might expect from one of the world’s top ski resorts, Meribel can be a little pricey, but Brides Les Bains is a lot more reasonable and although quiet has plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from.

Overall, travelling to Brides Les Bains by coach is a great way for a family to experience the impressive Trois Vallées area and in particular Meribel, without paying the usual extortionate prices usually expected from the neighbouring resorts.

Read more about Meribel here.

 Check out some of our best prices & escape to the Alps this February half term - check out some of our latest half term prices here. Alternatively, feel free to call one of our Ski Experts on 02380 206 971 or email sales@skiweekends.com