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5 Great Festive Family
Ski Resorts

Tis the season to be jolly, and what makes people more jolly than flying down a mountain at 20 mph?

Well if you're a keen skier, chances are this is your idea of fun but even if you've never tried this winter sport before, a ski holiday can be a great experience for the whole family.

Now that the cold weather is here, many ski resorts around Europe are enjoying their best snow, giving you an amazing opportunity to try this type of holiday. To help you along, here are five great ski resorts that are just perfect for a family Christmas break.5. Ruka, Finland

Not only is Ruka a fabulous place to learn to ski, it's also in Lapland, the very home of Santa. Boasting 29 ski slopes, the resort has facilities that cater to both experienced skiers and people who are trying it for the first time. To get into the Christmas spirit, take the kids to visit Santa himself, embark on a reindeer sleigh ride or enjoy one of the other many festive-themed treats Ruka's village has to offer. December marks the start of the Finnish winter so it's a great time to make the trip up north for some Christmas ski action.

Ruka, Finland

4. Pamporovo, Bulgaria

Another resort that's set up for beginners, Pamporovo is nestled within the beautiful pine forests of Bulgaria, making it the ideal location for a Christmas retreat. First-timers will be at home here, with 11 easy slopes to choose from. There's also an English-speaking ski school to help you and the family get to grips with the techniques of skiing properly. Due to the resort's location on Rhodopi mountain, it is blessed with the most sunshine out of all the Bulgarian ski facilities in the area. In fact, there are 120 sunny days over the winter period, which lasts from December to April. So if you're hitting these slopes this month, you're in for a bit of sun as well as snow!

Pamporovo, Bulgaria

3. L'Alpe d'Huez, France

Located in the central Alps, L'Alpe d'Huez is one of Europe's premier ski resorts. Nicknamed the ‘island in the sun', it's another place where you'll get plenty of vitamin D as you ski. It's also one of the largest on the continent and very friendly for beginners. The resort's south-facing position means there is a large amount snow-making machinery on hand to keep the slopes topped up. Combine this with a number of gentle runs, and you've got another resort that's just perfect for families and ski novices. There are plenty of family-friendly hotels available nearby also, Hotel Petit Prince being one that offers various kids' clubs and childcare services.

L'Alpe d'Huez, France

2. Galtur, Austria

This picturesque resort boasts almost 240 km of piste, making it a fantastic place for skiers of all levels. The best bit here, if you’re taking the kids, is the Silvapark which has 40 km of runs that have been designed with family parties in mind. It’s all split up into different levels, ensuring that the beginners have the time and space to learn, while the more confident snow-speedsters in your family have a safe place to show off and impress you! Kids as young as three can take part in the ski school, while Galtur’s kindergarten service ensures that children younger than two are looked after while you’re out on the piste. For older children, there’s plenty of activities to keep them occupied for the duration of your stay. There’s a speed session, avalanche awareness course, night skiing, off-piste ski safari and the list goes on.

Galtur, Austria

1. Madonna di Campiglio, Italy

Good value, lots of sun and 100 miles of piste, there's a lot of positives about this Italian resort. Although Madonna di Campiglio has been long established as a great ski resort, its recent lift-link union with neighbour Pinzolo has made it into a giant new ski area, fantastic for families and experts alike. The charming little village is a great place to dine and spend time when you're not on the slopes, adding a bit of variation to the trip.

Madonna di Campiglio, Italy
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