Skiing in the Swiss Alps w/ Kids

Oct 14th, 2002, 11:15 AM
  #1  
Caroline
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Skiing in the Swiss Alps w/ Kids

Does anyone have suggestions for the best place to go skiing with kids--absolute beginner skiers? How about places to stay with a family of 5?
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 11:33 AM
  #2  
Andre
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Caroline,

Villars and Leysin come to mind - smaller, family-oriented resorts with lots of easy slopes for beginners.

Andre
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 11:38 AM
  #3  
Caroline
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Thanks Andre!
Caroline
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 12:09 PM
  #4  
Ingo
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Caroline,

Definitely Scuol www.scuol.ch

Very family friendly, with a fantastic spa and very easy slopes at high altitude. Many apartments to rent.

I spend a week there every winter and was never disappointed.

Ingo
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 04:20 PM
  #5  
skier
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With family, you might look at Innsbruck, Austria. The city is a family/ski oriented friendly place, and there are countless nearby slopes of all levels of expertise. Many packages are available for ski season, either direct from some of the nicer hotels, or, may I dare suggest here, see you friendly travel agent. I got a beautiful package a few years ago from a travel agent, and I'm one who usually plans my own trips. As we get closer to winter, you'll probably see some airlines coming out with pretty good ski deals. Anyway, our whole family loved Innsbruck.
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 04:37 PM
  #6  
Maurice
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A few years ago I was skiing in Banff and struck up a conversation with an English chap.
He said that it was cheaper for him to fly to Canada and ski in Banff, that to go to Austria/Switzerland to ski. He also said the lineups were horrible ans slopes crowded in Switzerland. Banff, by contrast, has the new high-speed quad chairlifts, 3 or 4 resorts, miles of open slopes and cheap Canadian peso (oops, I mean dollar).
This is not to discourage the Swiss idea - but I would see what others think of the conditions. I am curious myself whether he was exaggerating. Besides, it's bad enough lugging equipment and clothes around Canada. (I assume you'd rent if you were there? What's it cost?)

PS. For absolute beginners in Banff - the rolling meadows of Sunshine. www.skibanfflakelouise.com
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 05:06 PM
  #7  
Sue
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Here in PA, it's cheaper for us to go to France to ski than to ski in Colorado, etc.

Putting in a plug for Briancon, in the Hautes Alpes (south of the better known ski areas) of France; wonderful family place since it is a traditional town, with a fortified old part of town which houses shops and restaurants built into the hillside. We stayed in a hotel which was just across the street from the ski lift, which gives access to the entire Serre Chevalier ski domaine, which is huge. It was a charming place to stay and so convenient for skiers. Not so great for those wanting a sophisticated apres ski scene, and therefore perfect for young families. Most skiers are from France, very few Americans. Ski pass for week cost less than what it costs to ski here in W. PA, where we don't really have "mountains".
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 11:57 PM
  #8  
Jan
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Caroline,
Where are you coming from? If you are stateside, I recommend staying there. If you are in Europe, I can recommend Les Gets, France. It has wonderful children's ski program with lessons in English. How old are the kids? If they are small, the creche will take them to the lessons and then, stay with them and bring them back. You get a vacation, as well. With the Porte Du Soleil pass, you get access to about 650 kms of skiing, at a very affordable rate. We also ski Engelberg which is great for the kinder. I wasn't impressed with Wenger/Grindelwald for family skiing.

This year, we are heading to the Val Gardena in the Dolomites. It looks very family friendly (being Italy!).

AS far as places to stay...rent a chalet! In our experience, that is the best way for a family. You can often find chalets affiliated with hotels so you may have access to the pool...always a good idea with children!
Good luck,
Jan
 
Oct 15th, 2002, 03:28 AM
  #9  
xxx
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Definitely Arosa - a small village tucked into the Swiss Alps, at a good elevation around 1'600 meters so you're practically guaranteed of good snow. Plus, it's privy to good weather when it's not snowing, so the chances of getting sun (like in the Engadin) are pretty high.

Access: From Zurich via Chur, then up into a side valley either by small train (preferred) or car.

Hotels: plentiful. Don't know which cater specifically to kids. Look up some options on www.swisshotels.ch.

Skiing: lots of it; for kids/beginners, there's a particularly popular area on the edge of the village, where you'll also find some small restaurants and cafés near the slopes in case you want to hang out. It's also just fun watching tots in their helmets, etc., tentatively going down the slopes. There's another teaching/beginners area at one of the main mid-level stations.

Otherwise: You can probably ice skate and snow-shoe at Arosa as well; there is definitely tobaggoning and night-time horse+carriage rides, particularly beautiful under moonlight.


 
Oct 15th, 2002, 03:36 AM
  #10  
Ursula
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Another vote for Arosa! Haven't been there for some time though, but used to spend a lot of time there as a kid.

Very children friendly and also a great place for hikes in the snow.
Unfortunately, their web page is only in German, but you can still see some pictures.
www.arosa.ch
 
Oct 15th, 2002, 04:22 AM
  #11  
xxx
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You're right Ursula, I forgot about the walking possibilities at Arosa! I was once there on the tail-end of recuperating from a hernia operation (sort of put skiing on hold that year!) and did lots of walking there, especially in the woods and on the slopes.

Caroline - just thought, you can also access info about Arosa - or lots of other Swiss resorts - by going to www.myswitzerland.com; then, in the right, vertical menu bar click on "Family Vacation" (Familienferien) or "Winter Vacation" (Winterferien), and you'll be able to open up under submenus the many Swiss resorts for lots more information. Generally there is an English-language myswitzerland site; if not, you'll have to live with German, French or Italian...
 
Oct 17th, 2002, 03:32 AM
  #12  
Gabriela
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Hi Caroline

I would recommend Bettmeralp (Wallis, Switzerland). It's absolutely car-free, has nice hotels and a lot of apartments to rent (cheaper than hotel for 5, in Switzerland, you pay per person, not per room!), has a lot of snow and wide, easy ski tracks which are great for beginners. And they have a great ski school for kids!
 
Oct 17th, 2002, 05:35 AM
  #13  
xxx
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That's another good one! I've hiked Bettmeralp and the Aletsch area, it's a great little village. The slopes behind the village are sort of easy, rolling type... Also, there's a nice indoor swimming pool complex as well, great in case the weather doesn't cooperate or simply an activity to end the day by...

 

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