Families who have left it too late to book February half-term but are still bound by school holidays should consider Easter as the perfect time to hit the slopes. With Good Friday falling earlier this year on 29thMarch, the choice of where to go is wider with many resorts still looking forward to another 4 weeks of the season. With the added benefit of quieter slopes, the Easter skiing experience is kinder on the wallet too with competitive lift pass and accommodation deals and many resorts giving kids ski free offers over Easter. And of course timing is key, if your child’s school breaks one or two days earlier than the majority then families can enjoy further savings of up to £200 per person on flights. Beautiful spring sunshine combined with good historical snow records over Easter in recent years shows Mother Nature is doing her bit for families too!
Check out Ski Safari’s top five suggestions to make the most out of your family holiday this Easter.
1. Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe, USA
Located on Lake Tahoe’s beautiful North Shore, Squaw Valley has already had an amazing 20ft of snow this season. As clichéd as it sounds, the varied terrain means there is skiing for everyone and with access to six other ski resorts around the Lake, including Heavenly and Kirkwood, the possibilities are endless. Squaw is one of the few resorts in North America where nearly all the accommodation is ski in/out and the 5* The Resort at Creek is the ultimate choice, offering possibly the best value 5* luxury property in North America. The Resort’s appeal to families is a given, with its own chairlift, ice-skating rink and comprehensive children’s programme, with plenty to keep the little ones entertained – on and off the slopes. It’s easy to see why this is one of Ski Safari’s most popular destinations for families at Easter.
How much? Save £1650 on a 10 night family holiday at the 5* The Resort at Squaw Creek, with prices starting from £5550 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 children) in a Valley View Suite on B&B, including return flights and resort transfers. Benefit from season pass prices too with unlimited skiing for £281pp (adults), for £209 (youth 13+) or for £150 (child). Departs 30th March 2013.
2. Banff, Canada
With its long ski season running from November through to May, the Canadian resort of Banff tops the list for those looking for late season skiing. With less crowded slopes and spectacular scenery, coupled with sunshine skiing and perfectly groomed pistes Banff is close to perfection. The ski areas of Mt Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise means the variety of skiing that can be done using the tri-area pass is huge. Banff also ticks the boxes when it comes to offering family-friendly accommodation at family-friendly prices, especially at the recently renovated 3* Banff Inn.
How much? Book by 28th February and save £310 per person by taking advantage of the limited Air Canada flight sale. Stay 8 nights at the 3* Banff Inn in Banff, with prices starting from £939 per person in a Loft Family Unit, based on 4 sharing and including return Air Canada flights and resort transfers. Departs 3rd April.
3. Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt is one of those ski resorts that needs little introduction, mixing all the positives of skiing together to create a superpower that few resorts can match. Superb intermediate and advanced slopes, reliable snow conditions well into April, magnificent scenery, alpine charm and fantastic mountain restaurants – who says you can’t have it all? Zermatt is also one of the few resorts in the world which is skiable 365 days of the year, thanks to one of Europe’s largest glacier ski areas as well as the continent’s highest with lifts reaching 3,800m, for awe-inspiring views of the mighty Matterhorn. The resort is ideal for families whose children are already accomplished skiers and have the stamina to explore the terrain on offer.
How much? Stay 7 nights at the 3* Hotel Bristol in Zermatt, with prices starting from £3325 per family (based on 2 adults, 2 children) in a Family Room on B&B, return flights and 2nd class rail/bus transfers. Departs 23rd March.
4. Geilo, Norway
As one of Norway’s oldest and most famous ski resorts, Geilo has great appeal for families looking for unintimidating and uncrowded slopes. With superb ski tuition, excellent English-speaking instructors and first-rate childcare means children are well provided for. Off the slopes there is a superb choice of winter activities that families will love, including husky dog-sledding, horse sleigh rides and high rope courses. An outstanding family choice is the Vestlia Resort, thanks to its close proximity to the slopes and skiing amenities as well as housing a large indoor play area and family pool.
How much? Book by 15th February and save £200 per person on a 7 night holiday at the 4* Vestlia Resort Hotel in Geilo, with prices starting from £765 per person in a Ski Wing room on half board. Prices are based on on 2 adults and 2 children sharing and include return flights and resort transfers. Departs 31st March.
5. Åre, Sweden
Åre, Sweden’s world-class ski resort, is a wonderful all-round family resort with skiing from early December to early May. Supported by the excellent skiing instructors, children will progress soundly on the network of wide, welcoming and crowd-free slopes. Keeping them occupied off the slopes is easy too as Åre is one of the best places in the world to sample winter beyond just the downhill slopes. Ice-skating, sleigh rides, ice-fishing, dog-sledding, snow-shoeing, snowmobiling, tobogganing, ice-driving, zip-lining, snow-kiting and even moose kissing are all on offer to maximise winter family fun.
How much? Book by 28th January and save £125 per person on a 7 night holiday at the self-catering 3* Brunkulla Apartments in Åre, with prices starting from £735 per person. Departs 24th March. Price includes return flights and resort transfers.