While the French Alpine resort of Chamonix may be famous for its off-piste and extreme skiing, many people don’t realise that it also has a lot to offer beginner and intermediate skiers, making it a great choice for a first ski holiday with kids. |
It’s well worth considering Chamonix for children because of the number of beginner slopes spread around the resort. The nursery slopes in Chamonix are located in several different areas so it’s best to check that the accommodation you’re considering is close to one of the nursery slopes.
There are beginner slopes at:
Chamonix Centre – Savoy and Plandards Le Tour – La Vormaine Vallorcine – Le Poya Argentiere – Les Chosalets Le Houches – Le Tourchet
Enrolling in Ski School
Wherever you and your family plan to stay, booking a ski school for your children on their first ski holiday is a must. Not only is it dangerous to put little ones on skis without proper instruction, it will also make them less likely to enjoy the experience.
Ski schools are a great way for kids to learn to love skiing. Put into groups with young people of a similar age and English-speaking instructors, your kids will make friends and have much more fun than they would going up and down a nursery slope with you.
There are a number of different ski schools in Chamonix for children but they do get busy, particularly during school holidays, so it’s well worth booking before you arrive to make sure you get the ski school and the time slot you want.
Ecole de Ski Français (ESF)
Probably the most famous ski school in Chamonix for children is ESF, the national school of skiing. The benefit of enrolling here is that they will be awarded the internationally recognised ESF ‘star’ badges at the end of their course. This means that wherever you take them to ski next, the instructors will know exactly what level they have achieved.
The ESF promise to teach kids not just to progress their technique but to understand the rules of slope safety.
For three to four-year-olds there is a Piou Piou Club with a sectioned-off slope and mini drag lift for the younger ones to explore and find their snow legs. Older kids can join the standard ESF children’s classes. There’s also an option for a full day skiing in which the instructors will give them a lunch break and play games in the snow with them.
For more information about ESF in Chamonix for children check out their website or call them on +33 (0)4 50 54 61 67. Prices start at €43 for a two and a half hour lesson.
A ski school with a great focus on young skiers, Evolution 2 is an ideal place for your little ones to start on the slopes. Based at Grand Montet with their own sectioned off nursery slope with lifts (and a bouncy castle!), Evolution 2 instructors all speak English. Most of the kids here are English so it will be easy for your child to make friends.
As well as its own nursery slope, Evolution 2 has its own Panda Base Camp, an indoor space with toilets, DVD, lounge and eating area.
Classes at the ski school are never more than eight children to one instructor so that they learn to progress quickly and start to enjoy sliding down the slope on their skisAll who learn to ski here will be awarded ‘Yeti’ levels at the end of their course when they achieve certain goals.
For more information about Evolution 2 check out their website or call them on +33 (0)4 50 55 53 57. Prices start at €205 for five days of half day (three hour) lessons.
Ecole de Ski International
Another great choice for one-to-one ski instruction for your child is the Ecole de Ski International. Established more than 30 years ago, the school features highly trained instructors who offer everything from beginners ski classes to ice climbing and paragliding.
For more information on Ecole de Ski International call them on +33 (0)6 82 10 59 22. Prices start at €220 for three hours.
How to Get to Chamonix
The quickest way to get to Chamonix from the UK is to fly to Geneva Airport and take a Shuttle Direct airport transfer directly to the hotel. Choose between an economical group transfer and a private vehicle to take you and your family to the door of your accommodation.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re planning a family break to a winter ski resort, we also offer tips on local attractions including what there is to do in Chamonix for children. With a range of affordable ski transfers, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport of your choice swiftly and safely.
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