You dread it all year-long. Your family wants to go on a ski holiday, but you or someone in your family doesn’t like to ski.
What do you do?
Don’t fret. There is plenty you can do while your family is skiing. Today’s ski resorts cater to more than just skiers and snowboarders. Gone are the days you’ll find a few lifts and alpine huts. Modern ski resorts are home to world class dining, hotels, and a plethora of incredible outdoor and indoor activities that even hardcore skiers will love.
A ski trip doesn’t have to be about just skiing, it can be a winter adventure for everyone.
Choose the Right Resort
Ski resorts are no longer just ski resorts. They must cater to everyone from young children to even grandma. When choosing a resort for a ski holiday, make sure you choose a resort with lots of options for non-skiers. We spend a lot of time at various ski resorts throughout the Alps and we know all the best places for non-skiers.
St. Moritz in Switzerland is the ultimate luxury ski resort. The village is home to the “highest shopping street in Europe” lined with all the top designers. It’s also a foodie heaven with five Michelin star restaurants.
With tons of 5-star hotels, like the landmark Badrutt’s Palace Hotel that has accommodated celebrities and royalty since it opened its doors in 1896 and the gorgeous Kulm Hotel, you might never want to leave your room!
Another Swiss ski resort we love is Zermatt. Dominated by the Matterhorn in the background, Zermatt offers both luxury and great skiing.
The quaint alpine village has beautiful walking paths, tons of great boutiques, and amazing restaurants. You can take the classic cog train up the mountain and meet your family at Riffelalp for lunch. From Riffelalp you can take the cable car to Furi then walk down through the huts and farms to Zum See for an afternoon drink or dinner.
The apres ski is lively and there are heaps of great terraces for stunning mountain views.
Crans Montana sits atop a sunny plateau in the Rhone Valley with breathtaking views of the nearby Matterhorn. Crans Montana is one of the best destinations for a spa holiday while your family skis.
In fact, a recent medical study found that the air in Crans Montana is the cleanest in Switzerland! The resort has a sizeable town with a new ice rink, great dining including Michelin star restaurants, and luxury hotels with amazing spas.
Don’t miss the L’Instant Chocolat, a local chocolate shop run by a master chocolatier.
We may be a little bias, after all we have spent over 31 years here, but Courmayeur in Italy is one of the best ski resorts in Europe.
The food is amazing on and off the mountain and the charming compact pedestrianized village centre has some stylish boutiques, trendy nightclubs, and lovely restaurants and bars.
The thermal spa at Pre St Dider is not to be missed! From Courmayeur, you can take the impressive new Skyway cable car up Mont Blanc for incredible panoramic views and do a glacier walk with a guide.
While your family skis, you can enjoy other outdoor activities like cross country skiing, dogsledding, fat biking, ice driving, and more. The opportunities are truly endless in Val Ferret!
Best of all, non skiers can meet family members by taking the cable car to Plan Checrouit where you can not only enjoy some incredible views from many of the mountain restaurants located here while reading a book and sipping your cappuccino, but you can go further up to the wonderful Maison Vieille restaurant by chairlift which allows pedestrian access. Here you can watch your kids making progress on the nursery run behind the restaurant. Then treat them to their favourite bowl of pasta or pizza or some amazing hot chocolate.
Plan Fun Activities While Your Family is Skiing
You know what they say, “while the cat’s away, the mice will play.” This is your holiday too so make sure you choose fun activities that you want to do. Your winter holiday is a great time to try something new or do something you love but your family doesn’t like.
How about paragliding over the French Alps?
As the younger generations like to say, “you do you.” Many ski resorts offer outdoor activities like snowshoeing, bobsledding, dogsledding, fat biking, shopping, après ski, and wine tasting.
The list goes on. And if you don’t even want to set foot on that cold white stuff, you can always enjoy a spa day or week!
Just because you don’t ski doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun too.
Enjoy the After Skiing Family Time
Family holidays should be all about having fun as a family.
Organise after skiing activities like après ski or dinner where you can catch up on everyone’s day. Find out if Johnny has mastered his new snowboard trick or see if Sally has graduated from the nursery slopes. A ski holiday doesn’t have to be all about skiing.
Plan at least one day where the whole family can do something fun off the mountain. Okay, we admit it may be wishful thinking, but with so many amazing activities at ski resorts, it’ll probably be easy to convince your family to try snowmobiling or dog sledding.
You might not ski, but that doesn’t have to keep you off the mountain. Many ski resorts will allow you to ride lifts to mountainside huts and restaurants for lunch with the family.
There is always someone in the party who is struggling and would jump at a chance for a long lunch or an afternoon off to keep you company for another glass of wine (or hot chocolate!) on the terrace when everyone else leaves.
Don’t Like to Ski? No Problem!
It’s okay if you don’t like to ski. We might be a little astonished, but we understand that skiing isn’t for everyone.
Planning a ski holiday with a non-skier in the group is no problem. Ski resorts throughout Europe cater to more than just skiers and snowboards today. You’ll find tonnes of incredible indoor and outdoor activities to keep you busy all week.
Still not sure where to start? We’re expert on ski holidays on and off the mountain so get in touch today to plan your non-skiing ski holiday!
If you’re not quite ready to book, sign up to our free email course to learn everything you need to know about planning a short winter break.