Best Ski Resorts for Younger Skiers - Our Guide

How to choose a ski resort for young skiers (under 12 years)?

If you are in charge of organising a school ski trip for children aged 12 years or younger, we don’t need to tell you that this requires a different set of considerations than when taking older children. Ski Adaptable have set out below some of our most popular resorts for younger age group schools, including prep schools and junior schools.

Sole occupancy accommodation

You are taking away a group of young children, the pressure to find the perfect base for the week is on! Having a sole occupancy accommodation can really help remove some of the worries that exist when being accommodated in a larger hotel type accommodation. Ski Adaptable have many hotels and chalets that can be offered for sole occupancy for your group, including the fantastic Garden Hotel in Folgaria (Italy) which is located just 400m from the slopes and beginner area (ski are kept slopeside too). Another option is the stunning Le Vieux Chalet in the Swiss village of Chateau-d’Oex. Here your students will not only have sole occupancy, but be looked after by the welcoming Bach family in this picturesque village setting, who for years hosted girls from across the world and hosted a Swiss finishing school – so as you can imagine the hospitality is top class, and complete with a games room onsite. If you prefer Austria, then the Blue Mountain Hotel near the Austrian resort of BKK is also a great choice for groups who want a secluded setting with plenty of onsite activities to keep your group busy, in a stunning mountainside location, games onsite, discos can be created just for your group and your hosts will make sure your students feel right at home. Finally, if France is your preferred destination of choice, then consider the Chalet Soldanelles in the resort of St Gervais. Sitting afoot the Mont Blanc, this resort boasts some of the best skiing in France yet is largely un-touched by Brits. Add to that a sole occupancy chalet a short walk from lifts, hot slopeside lunches and skis stored on the mountain, and this is a great choice for many groups (already sold out for February Half Term 2017, but available other dates).

What about smaller groups?

The above are all great choices if your group is 40 or more students, however what about if your group is somewhere between twenty to forty students? You have a couple of options. Ski Adaptable can help you with selecting a hotel that can house your group in a portion of the accommodation so that that wing, block or section is just for your group. Or you could consider a coach share with another Ski Adaptable group. We have a list of groups who we can partner you up with and this could be a great choice a good option to keep costs down and also ensure sole occupancy between just you and the other group. You will have time on the journey to get to know each other, be sure that the other group has sufficient teachers in charge (who will have to have a CRB check by their school as standard) and your students could even make some new friends along the way.

Distance from the slopes

Younger children usually means smaller children…with smaller legs. This is why it is important to select somewhere that does not require your students to lug heavy skis to and fro each day up a steep, icy hill, whilst wearing ski boots! Ski Adaptable have some great choices for ensuring your students do not have to endure the dreaded walk each day. You could be in one of our ski to door accommodations (within 100m of lifts/beginner areas) in resorts such as Folgaria, Leysin (Hotel Central Residence, 50m from lifts), Les Sybelles (ski to door), Vallnord (Crest and Patagonia hotels ski to door) or even consider travelling to Maine, USA. In Sunday River and Sugarloaf, two great resorts in stunning New England, we have piste side options perfect for younger students where everything you will need can be found at the resort basecamp next to accommodation including ski school, lifts, ski hire, ski storage, lunch, shops and more.

Of course, you don’t have to have ski to door to avoid that walk. If travelling by coach, Ski Adaptable will ensure that skis are kept slopeside, and students are dropped door to door each day, from the door of your hotel to the ski area each and every day, where skis will be waiting. This in many ways is the best option for younger students as it makes it easy for you as group leader to manage the location of students. We have many great options that tick this box, including Zell-am-See in Austria where your coach will take you daily from accommodation to the ski area, or in BKK also in Austria. In Passo Tonale we have some fantastic hotels across both Passo Tonale town and nearby villages of Ponte di Legno and Vermiglio. In the USA, one of our favourite resorts which ticks this box is Waterville Valley, possibly one of the best places for younger students due to the beautiful, self-enclosed and ultimately safe ‘village square’, which is perfect for students to explore away from traffic, and a private yellow American school bus will transport students to the slopes each day, just minutes away.

Ski school

The ski school is obviously an important factor as this is who your children will be spending the most of their time with during their school ski trip. Ski Adaptable hand-pick and vet each and every ski school we work with. We can even cost in extra ski instructors should you decide you prefer smaller class sizes.

Where equipment is kept

As mentioned above, carrying ski equipment can lead to the daily trudge to the slopes to become a chore and dreaded, if carrying skis is an art for adults, its almost impossible for many children. With this in mind, Ski Adaptable organise ski equipment to be located slopeside or next to lifts ensuring each day children can arrive at the ski area unhindered.

Consider Easter skiing

The most popular travel date is February Half Term. However a large proportion of our younger groups travel at Easter. One of the main reasons behind this is the weather when it is often slightly warmer. No one, (let alone a nine year old first-time skier, first-time away from parents) will completely enjoy a blizzard whilst trying to figure out how to snow-plough. Whilst mountain weather is changeable all year round, Easter skiing tends to have that extra couple of degrees in the air which can often make for a more comfortable ski experience. Ski Adaptable have some fantastic resorts perfect for Easter skiing, with high, snow-sure beginner areas for guaranteed skiing.

Obviously, there is plenty to consider when deciding on the perfect ski resort for your school ski trip, and this in some ways becomes even more complex a decision when it is a trip for younger children. Ski Adaptable are here to help and you decide the right resort, and create the perfect package for your school. Get in touch with our friendly team today to find out how we can help organise your next school ski trip.

Our top picks for Best for Younger Children resorts are:

Vallnord (Andorra)
Villach (Austria)
BKK (Austria)
Folgaria (Italy)
Chateaux d’Oex (Switzerland)
Leysin (Switzerland)
Waterville Valley (USA)
Sunday River (USA)
Zell am See
Passo Tonale

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