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Family holidays in Val Thorens

Discover insights about Val Thorens family holidays


Whether you come to Val Thorens in the winter or summer, you and the kids are sure to leave with a big smile on your face. From world-class skiing to rafting, biking, hiking and climbing, there are loads of things to do as a family here.

Why Val Thorens is good for families

  • Val Thorens is only an hour and 45 minute drive from Chambery airport - which means fewer shouts of “are we there yet?”
  • The resort is ski in/ski out so is well suited to families
  • There’s lots of childcare available
  • From nursery slopes to some of the best off-piste in the world, Val Thorens has terrain to suit skiers of all abilities

Verseau Chalet, Val Thorens

Accommodation for families

If you’re coming for a ski holiday with a young family, look for accommodation near any of the lifts. The fewer steps your little people have to take in ski boots, the better (for all concerned!).

Val Thorens is always popular with families. It has: 

  • a good mix of terrain for people of all abilities
  • ski in-ski out accommodation
  • lots of family-sized accommodation
  • a good selection of bars and restaurants

However, something to bear in mind is that the high altitude can be tricky for small children to adapt to, so an alternative place to base yourself is the next village down the valley - Les Menuires.

Les Menuires sits at 1,850m, still has excellent snow for learning on but you avoid the chill that you can experience up in Val Thorens.

An image of a Ski Famille nanny sledging with children, Morzine, Les Gets, Val Thorens, Reberty

Lift passes for families

Lift passes make up a significant portion of the cost of a family holiday to the mountains, so it pays to check you’re buying the right ticket for your group. 

Here in Val Thorens there are various concessions to help you keep your costs down, such as:

  • kids under 5 use the lifts for free
  • kids between 5 and 14 pay a reduced ('youth') rate
  • there are reduced-price ski passes if you only want to use the beginner areas
  • you can buy a pedestrian pass - if maybe you or your partner don’t ski, but you still want to go up and watch the kids

You can buy half day lift tickets if a full day on the mountain seems too long for the little ones. It’s not a lot cheaper than an all day ticket, but it’ll save you a little bit. 

Lift passes in Val Thorens for families of four or more

If you're a family of four or more, you'll be able to save money on the regular ticket price by buying a 'family lift pass'. With one of these:  

  • everyone pays the children's rate
  • the 'family' needs to be made up of minimum of two adults and two children (aged five to 17 years)
  • up to seven other children (aged 5 to 14) can be included 
Why Val Thorens is good for families in 2018/19

Ski schools for families

If you have designs on raising the next Shaun White or Chemmy Alcot, then getting your children into ski school will be a priority!

The main ski schools that cater for young children offer: 

  • full and half-day sessions
  • have English speaking guides
  • will take your kids to a dedicated area where they can learn how to snow plough, stop, turn and glide safely

Ski schools usually take weekly bookings, so if you’re only here for a few days it’s good to check if there’s any space for your children.

What age can children start ski lessons

Ski schools will take them from three years old. At this age, the focus is on having fun in the snow, so there are normally inflatables and games to play. 

Most beginner areas also have a ‘magic carpet’ travelator (a bit like the ones you get at airports) to get kids and beginner adults to the top of the slopes without having to contend with lifts.

Whether you’re a kid or an adult, half-day lessons are normally more than enough if you’re a novice.

What’s included in the price of a lesson

The price you pay for a ski lesson is for tuition only. Ski passes are not included.

So for kids aged 5 and over, you’ll need to make sure they have: 

  • a valid ski pass (you can get discounted passes if you're only using the nursery slopes)
  • skis, helmets, goggles - you can hire these from one of the many ski hire shops in the resort
  • appropriate clothing, like salopettes and a jacket, warm layers and gloves  
  • sunscreen

A ski pass isn’t necessary for those under five, but you'll still need to buy a hands-free card for them to use on the turnstiles. You can get one of these from any lift station, take ID to prove their age.

Why Val Thorens is good for families in 2018/19

Ski areas for families

A decent mix of terrain should keep all the family happy.  

Again, Les Menuires offers a good selection of free lifts on the nursery slopes, along with a beginner zone that is accessed from the Doron chairlift.

In Val Thorens, the main nursery ski areas for children and beginners are at Le Rond Point and Place Carron. Here you will find several free ski lifts, and it's also where most of the ski schools meet up.

Further beginner areas can be found in the area between Le Roc, Cascades and 2 Lacs ski lifts - nice gentle green runs that take you back down to resort. Up here, you will also find Fun Slope, a mini snow park for families with tunnels, whoops and a boarder cross. There is a further Family Park just up from here on the Plateau lift.

There are several snow parks in Val Thorens and a further park and boarder cross in Les Menuires. Val Thorens has an Easy Park for beginners, with green and blue tables and rails. For more advanced riders, the Snow Park is the place to test your skills, or admire the tricks of others. It's spread over 70,000sqm and consists of tables, rails, boxes and a Jump'Air where you land on a stuntman's mattress. There's no way your experienced teenagers will get bored here!

an inaflatable airbag

Activities for families

Val Thorens is a great place to come and If you’ve got children, here are a few things you might want to try.

Things to do in Val Thorens with children
Activity Where Time of year What it is Cost
Sledging Place Caron Winter Sledging Free
Le Toboggan Cascades chairlift Winter Longest toboggan run in Europe at 3,000m, takes 45 minutes to descend, open to children aged 5+ with an adult Fee
Tobogganing track Les Menuires Winter Speed Mountain: Ages 5+
Roc n Bob: Ages 7+
Bowling Grande Rue Winter Eight lane ten-pin bowling alley Fee
Husky dog sledding Montagnette trail Winter Dog sledding Fee
Cinema Place de l'Eglise All year Shows films in English (look for VOST) Fee
Sports centre Place des Arolles All year Swimming pools, sports hall, squash and tennis courts, soft play and trampolines, and a gym Fee
a girl on a small winter roller coaster

Childcare services

There are several options for childcare in Val Thorens

If you're here during summer

The sports centre of each town sometimes hosts a kids club during the summer holidays, with activities like swimming, climbing, tennis, basketball and ice-skating.

Check availability at the local tourist offices.