We are now a family of seasoned skiers, having already had family ski holidays to Val D’Isere, Alpe D’huez and Whistler. They year we decided to have a half term ski holiday to Les Arcs. Every year, I think we won’t be able to top the last ski holiday, but somehow it always seems to be just as magical as the last. Over the years, we’ve definitely fine-tuned the family ski holiday. Read on to see how we’ve made it perfect each and every year.
Pick your resort wisely
I have found that many resorts these day (particularly the ones we’ve been to!) have moulded themselves to be very family-friendly. However, this year I really think that Les Arcs 1950 may well be the pinnacle of family-friendly resorts. It is purpose built, but don’t let that put you off. It is wonderfully designed, with the main village area completely pedestrianised. This means during the day you can ski in and out, and during the evening the kids take over with their sledges! Added to that, the village is festooned with twinkly lights (think permanent Christmas decorations), which makes it a rather lovely place to be.
The accommodation is mainly apartments. If you are used to the catered chalet option, don’t be put off by this either! The apartment blocks (mainly run by Pierre Vacances) are very well appointed, and to our delight we had access to a swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam and sauna. This made coming off the slopes a lot more appealing knowing your ski-weary limbs were headed for a warm jacuzzi set against a snowy backdrop. Added to this, all apartments in 1950 are ski in / ski out. Believe me, skiing with kids is made A LOT easier when you don’t have to cart them and their equipment around … clip them in and off you ski!
The village also organised ‘apres ski activities’. As we were there during half term (for French and British kids!), it was Kid’s week. The activities were brilliant: Organised snowball fights, inflatable wipeout rides, ‘air’ sledging, biathlon competition, night time skiing …. I could go on and on. One night I popped out for a baguette and people were being pulled around resort on their skis by a horse. These activities were free as well. And of course, mid-week we were treated to a firework show.
This is the ubiquitous question: Pack as many layers as you can! Basically, layers can go on and come off! Base layers, fleeces, gloves and a good jacket are essential. Make sure you also take goggles and sunglasses. The last couple of years, we’ve skied earlier in the season and it has been anything up to -12 on the slopes and the kids needed neck warmers / balaclavas. Keeping your kids warm lessens the whinging, and again this is preferable on a family ski holiday …
A half term ski holiday to Les Arcs can mean unpredictable weather: Indeed, during our week stay, we had bright blue skies, fog and snowfall! As we all know, the reflective sun rays and higher altitude means you need good sun screen when skiing, whatever the weather. We took the Soltan Winter Survival kit with us this year, and it is perfectly designed for family skiing. The best two products it contained were the Soltan Once Face lotion and the SPF sun stick for lips and face. These were both a handy size to slip into your (or your child’s!) pocket and hit the slopes. Soltan is definitely a trusted, good value brand, and for good reason: We used the products throughout the week and to gain a good coverage you didn’t need huge amounts, yet you had the security of knowing you were fully protected from both UVA and UVB rays. Added to that, the Soltan Once actually felt like you were applying moisturiser and not trying to put wallpaper paste on your face!
Also in the kit, were re-energising tablets in mango flavour, which we drank religiously every morning before hitting the slopes, and the cold and flu defence spray which we also used after a flight and coach journey with all that recycled air and possible germs!
An important extra …
Funsize chocolate is a necessity on the slopes! Skiing can be really tiring, especially for the younger members, so whipping out a fun size bag of chocolate can be just the sugar fix they need, especially when the next chocolat chaud stop is a while away!
That’s another ski trip done and we are already raring to go for the next. A half term ski holiday to Les Arcs was the perfect family trip – plenty of brilliant skiing, great apres ski for all the family and a chance to make a whole load of fantastic memories.
Let me know your favourite family resorts, I’m always keen to discover more!
We also made a little film of our time in Les Arcs – please do watch!
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This post was written in collaboration