Where to Ski at Half Term

Andy H - Headshot

Not sure where to ski at half term? Check out our top picks for the best slopes to hit during the February school holidays. These snowy playgrounds offer the perfect week-long break from the world of school and work, with confidence-boosting slopes, world-class ski schools and great non-ski activities.

Being tied to school holiday dates means that you'll be travelling to the slopes at the same time as many other families, but rest assured, this doesn't have to mean long lift queues and crowded slopes!

We’ve picked destinations that avoid the congestion common in the Alps, even during peak periods. Plus, travelling during February means you'll get the best of the season's snow, with powder galore in many places!

These resorts are made with families in mind. The parents in our team have skied all of the resorts below, many of them as a family at half term, so if you need extra advice, they're the ones to go to. If you find a destination that looks right for you, enquire online or call 01273 224060 to start planning your perfect half term ski holiday!

If you've stumbled upon this blog looking for February skiing recommendations but you're not tied to school holidays, I recommend taking a look at our guide to Where to Ski in February instead.

By Andy HemingwaySales Manager / Norway & Sweden Product Manager

Geilo, Norway

If your family are new to skiing and you're looking for a place to learn at half term, Geilo is a perfect option. Geared towards families and first-timers, you'll enjoy an abundance of meandering green and blue runs on gentle valley sides and learn under the instruction of a world-class ski school.

A child learns with the Geilo ski school
There are few better people for kids to learn their turns with than the Geilo ski school © Norway Home of Skiing

The children's facilities are second to none. You'll find beginners' ski areas dotted around the resort - magic carpets, slow button lifts and gentle slopes will ease youngsters into feeling comfortable on two skis. And if you fancy an afternoon skiing on your own, you can drop your kids off at the Trollklubben crèche which takes babies from six months, as well as pre-ski kids and older children up to the age of eight.

We know that transfers can feel like a hassle when you've only got the half term week to enjoy the slopes. With Geilo, you can actually look forward to the journey! After a short direct flight to Oslo, enjoy a magical 3-hour journey on the famous Oslo to Bergen railway line as you pass vast snow-laden forests and frozen waterfalls that will have the kids pressing their faces to the window the whole way.

Where to stay in Geilo

For family-focused, ski-in ski-out accommodation that's just fifty metres from the ski school, lifts, and childcare centre, choose the 4*+ Vestlia Resort. During hours off the slopes, children can splash about in the family pool or let off steam in the large indoor play area. For a quieter, cosier, self-catered stay, opt for the 4* Geilolia Forest Cabins. Also located close to the lifts, the cabins are dotted in between pine trees, so you can wake up to crunch underfoot and snow-covered branches each morning.

What our customers say about Geilo

"The ski resort itself was about perfect for a first ever family ski trip... The slopes are wide and very easy to navigate, and although they are generally green and blue with a few reds, the lack of crowds on the lifts and on the slopes makes life a breeze and time on the mountain a dream. We were there at half term, and despite the kids' ski instructor saying 'it was busy', he really had no idea what a busy ski resort looks like!" - Simon Pattinson

Gausta, Norway

Up-and-coming Gausta is a great destination for mixed-ability families. Whether you are looking to build confidence as a first-time skier or experience a new off-piste challenge, Gausta has a slope for you. One of the best family runs is Telemarksvingen, a long, beautifully groomed green that offers stunning views along its winding path. If you're new to skiing, challenge yourselves and see if your entire family can conquer the slope from top to bottom by the end of the week!

Children looking out over the lakes in Gausta
Gausta is a stunning winter wonderland that the kids won't forget in a hurry

As well as its family-friendly environment and quiet slopes even during peak season, which are typical of Norwegian ski resorts, Gausta provides that extra special touch that can make your half term holiday truly unforgettable.

For a special treat, take your kids on a top-secret train ride up and through a towering mountain to a Cold War listening post. It’s like a journey to a Bond villain’s hideaway! You'll emerge at the towering peak of Gaustatoppen and be greeted by awe-inspiring panoramas of Telemark. The volcano-like peak which dominates the resort stands in stark contrast to the rolling hills commonly found in Norwegian ski resorts.

Where to stay in Gausta

The 4* Gaustablikk Fjellresort sits right in the centre of the resort and offers direct access to the slopes. It provides a host of family-friendly facilities including a kids' playroom which is perfectly placed in the lobby so you can relax by the fire while you keep an eye on the youngsters. You'll also find a swimming pool if you've got even more energy to burn after skiing.

Myrkdalen, Norway

One thing you won't want on your half term ski trip is to be jostling for space on the slopes or losing family members in a blizzard of skiers. Luckily, most of Norway's resorts are refreshingly quiet even during the school holidays and nowhere is this more true than in Myrkdalen. The ski area is large when compared to the number of beds in the resort, so even when it’s sold out, our customers still comment on how uncrowded the ski area is.

Skiers overlook stunning views in Myrkdalen © Sverre Hjornevik
Enjoy outstanding views as well as easy skiing in Myrkdalen © Sverre Hjornevik

Not only will you enjoy a blissfully hushed atmosphere, you'll also find wide, gentle, cruisy slopes where you and your family can relax into every turn (or every snow plough - beginners are particularly well catered for!). The pisted ski area is ideal for inexperienced skiers looking for a week of gentle skiing, but for advanced skiers, lifts provide access to a huge off-piste area and if you're willing to work for it, there's some really exciting backcountry skiing too.

Situated near Bergen, Norway's second city, the journey to Myrkdalen is hassle-free. After a two-hour direct flight, it takes the same time to get there by road, perfect for a convenient getaway from the world of work and school. And it really does feel like you've escaped the daily grind. As you ski down the gentle runs, you'll have glorious views of dramatic hills and fjords to gaze at.

Speaking of fjords, we'd highly recommend making a short journey to Flåm. Best known for its railway line, a steep 20 km journey from sea level to the mountaintop, it provides stunning views of the Aurlandsfjord, one of Norway's most picturesque places. How can you fit this into your half term adventure? Take a look at our Ski & Fjord Explorer Ski Safari.

Where to stay in Myrkdalen

The 4* Myrkdalen Hotel is the hub of the resort and offers immediate access to the ski area with the chairlifts whirring just outside. If you're not a fan of lugging ski equipment long distances (especially with kids to look after!) you'll love it.

What our customers say about Myrkdalen

"Great skiing, wonderful scenery, friendly uncrowded resort. Myrkdalen is small but has a good choice of slopes, we particularly liked the fact that you often have the slopes to yourself... even in half term." - Erica Styles

Norefjell, Norway

Nestled in a secluded part of the Scandes mountains, Norefjell provides a blissfully serene escape from the daily grind. As you and the kids navigate down smooth slopes, you will be greeted by breathtaking views of untouched frozen fjords and majestic landscapes blanketed by thick, snow-laden forests. With Norway’s biggest vertical drop, you can relish the pleasures of uninterrupted skiing.

Family skiing uncrowded slopes in Norefjell © Norefjell
Families can enjoy blissfully quiet slopes in tranquil Norefjell © Norefjell

Just as with the other Norwegian resorts, Norefjell is uncrowded even during the school holidays which is perfect if you're a family of beginners or you're taking the kids on their first ski trip.

Norefjell offers a genuine feeling of seclusion and escapism without sacrificing convenience. With ski-in ski-out lodging, a rental shop on-site, and a quick transfer time to the resort (only 2 hours from Oslo airport), it guarantees a completely hassle-free half term experience.

Where to stay in Norefjell

The 4*+ Norefjell Ski & Spa lets you maximise on that convenience. Situated mid-mountain, you can ski right out the door onto a gentle green run and the ski school even meets right outside the hotel, so you can spend less time walking and more time skiing. If your kids are feeling adventurous and have the extra energy, you can let them loose on the hotel's 16-metre indoor climbing wall while you unwind in the exquisite spa.

What our customers say about Norefjell

"Very quiet slopes even in half term, fantastic ski school on the doorstep." Sarah Leese

"Resort was fantastic and perfect for us as a family of beginners. As the week went on, we were able to progress to some of the more difficult runs so there was something for everyone." Trudie Sparkes

Whistler, Canada

Whistler makes it onto most of our blogs for one reason: it has everything! Whatever you have in mind for your half term ski trip, Whistler is sure to be able to provide it. Think huge ski area, terrain for everyone from beginners to experts, every type of non-ski activity and family-focussed accommodation right near the slopes.

Child learning off-piste skiing in Whistler © Vail Resorts
Whistler is the place for you and your kids to take your skiing to the next level. Anyone for tree skiing? © Vail Resorts

If you're a family of keen skiers and looking for a ski area that you won't tire of within a week, Whistler has definitely got you covered. North America's largest resort has more than 8,000 acres and 200 ski runs spanning the two mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb with everything from rolling cruisers and backcountry bowls to gladed runs and top-to-bottom blues. You can pack plenty into a half term week, but if you have the extra time, our customers usually stay between ten and fourteen nights - and often come back for more the year after!

The Fitzsimmons Express Chair at the base of Whistler Mountain © Christie FitzPatrick
Whistler offers outstanding convenience, with luxury ski-in ski-out accommodation © Christie FitzPatrick

Want to throw in some exciting non-ski activities to your half term adventure? Whistler has plenty to offer. Join Canadian Wilderness for snowmobiling in Callaghan Valley, try winter bungee jumping and leap from the bridge above Cheakamus River, visit the 2010 Olympic sliding centre and whizz down the bobsleigh track or join one of the regular evening tasting tours through Whistler Village.

Where to stay in Whistler

Whistler has a wide range of accommodation options for different budgets and with differing levels of luxury. For the ideal combination of independence, convenience and comfort, we recommend the 4*+ Delta Hotels by Marriott Whistler Village Suites which is just a 300-metre stroll (or speedy shuttle-ride) from the lifts and provides a warm, family-friendly atmosphere.

What our customers say about Whistler

"Still No 1 after 20 years of visiting! The all round family holiday resort, virtually unlimited skiing, excellent hotel and huge selection of places to eat at all budgets." Andrew Rowell

Panorama, Canada

A ski or snowboard holiday to North America is (unsurprisingly) high on most people’s wish lists. However, we recognise that it can be a little out of budget for some. If you're looking for value for money on your half term ski holiday but still want to experience North America’s dramatic mountains, deep powder and varied ski terrain then you should consider Panorama. The ski lessons here are up to half the price of other North American resorts and lift passes for children and teenagers are much less during peak dates too.

Panorama kids skiing lesson © Panorama
Panorama puts families at the heart of what it does © Panorama

Skiing during the February half term also means that your holiday will coincide with peak powder season. Panorama receives an average metre of snowfall during February and we'd urge intermediate skiers to try out the likes of Sun Bowl and Founder's Ridge with trees well-spaced for powder skiing.

Panorama Powder Turns © Panorama Mountain Resort / Kari Medig
If you're a confident intermediate or advanced skier, spend some time away from the family and get some powder turns in © Panorama Mountain Resort / Kari Medig

On top of its fantastic value, Panorama is one of the most convenient resorts in North America. The village is really compact and most accommodation options are ski-in ski-out or at most a two-minute walk from the lifts, shops and restaurants, ideal if your travelling companions have little legs and would rather spend less time walking!

Where to stay in Panorama

With ski-in ski-out access to the beginner lifts and cosy rooms, each with mountain views, the 4* Panorama Springs Lodge is hugely popular with families. During your hours away from the slopes, you can enjoy the expansive pools and hot tubs of Panorama Springs Pools.

What our customers say about Panorama

"A fantastic resort with all amenities close by and easily accessible... We were amazed at the lack of crowds and queues, despite being here on their busiest day of the year. The pistes were beautifully groomed and the guide we had for our off-piste skiing in Taynton Bowl was excellent. This opened up a wide variety of off-piste skiing... which our family loved. Perfect for a 1 week. We also went on the day trip to Kicking Horse, which was fantastic - don't be put off by the piste map - there are plenty of intermediary runs and lunch at Eagle Eye is highly recommended!" Scott Gray

Tremblant, Canada

If a flight to the west coast of Canada feels a bit far for one week, Tremblant offers a closer option for those who don't want to spend too much time in the air and on the road but would still like a bit of North American charm. After a direct flight to Montreal, it's just a one-and-a-half-hour transfer to Tremblant, a family favourite resort that offers all-ability skiing, fantastic non-ski activities and a pretty, pedestrianised village. Plus, with less time difference, you'll find it easier to adjust once you're out there and make a smooth transition back into school and work!

Family skiing in Tremblant © Charles Côté / Tremblant
Families can enjoy easy top-to-bottom skiing overlooking the pretty town of Tremblant © Charles Côté / Tremblant

For its small size when compared with other Canadian resorts, Tremblant offers a great variety of skiing and is particularly well suited to beginners and intermediates. If you have a family of beginners, you'll appreciate the ease with which you can ski down from almost any lift. If you've got more advanced skiers in your family, there's plenty of tricky terrain - if you want a real challenge, we recommend tackling Émotion.

Tremblant Covered in Snow © Tremblant
Tremblant is smaller than resorts in the west of Canada but it's quicker to get to and has plenty of charm and varied skiing to enjoy © Tremblant

What happens off the slopes is just as important as what happens on it and if you're travelling with young children, Tremblant offers far more than just skiing to keep them entertained. Head over to the Activity Centre and try out dog-sledding, ice climbing (it's not so scary once you're on the wall!) or e-fat biking!

Where to stay in Tremblant

The journey to Tremblant is convenient, and so are the stays! Located just a five-minute walk or a quick gondola ride from the slopes, the 4* Ermitage du Lac provides comfortable, family-friendly accommodation with complimentary breakfast and ski valet.

What our customers say about Tremblant

"Smaller than a lot of the Canadian resorts however a shorter flight and less time difference makes it a resort to consider... Varied terrain but all manageable. Good lift system, very little queuing even at the weekends! The village itself is pretty with a good selection of shops and restaurants." - Sarah Wagstaffe

Zermatt, Switzerland

If you have your heart set firmly on the Alps for your half term getaway, we couldn't recommend anywhere better than Zermatt. Sitting in the shadow of the Matterhorn, Switzerland's most famous resort will provide you and the kids with the full Alpine experience. You'll find an abundance of traditional accommodation, hundreds of restaurants and 3,500 acres of varied ski terrain, all with the most astounding views of the Swiss Alps.

A child learns with the ski school in Zermatt © Stoked
Zermatt may be surrounded by soaring craggy peaks but it has plenty of gentle terrain to learn on too © Stoked Ski & Snowboard School

Zermatt is ideal if you've got children to look after for the week. The village is car-free and, with a wide selection of gourmet restaurants to choose from, you'll be spoiled for choice for where to go for dinner in the evenings,. Keeping the kids entertained off the slopes will be easy. Take the youngsters to the Ice Palace (a glacier 15 metres underground with glittering ice sculptures), go tobogganing in the dark from Furi mountain station, or pick out some home-made sweets and chocolates in Zermatt's bakeries, confectionaries and cafes.

The Matterhorn at dusk from Zermatt © Joe Condron
One of the best things about staying in Zermatt are the ever-present views of the Matterhorn © Joe Condron

Much of the skiing itself is above the tree line, so you'll have views of huge alpine peaks as you meander down the runs. All levels of skier are catered to, with a fantastic mix of beginner, intermediate and expert terrain.

Where to stay in Zermatt

The 4* Hotel Daniela offers a traditional, cosy half term retreat high up in the Alps. Nestled in a peaceful corner of town, this charming hotel boasts 23 tranquil rooms adorned with rustic-chic furnishings and stylish wood-panelled ceilings. Despite its serene location, convenience is not compromised - there is a free ski bus which picks customers up in town and straight to the lifts.

What our customers say about Zermatt

"Gorgeous ski town nestled in the valley - lots to do other than skiing. Great shops, great selection of restaurants, loved the no car vibe, excellent transport around the village and to/from the ski slopes." - Josephine Burston

Laax

Laax is a fantastic resort to go to if you want the magic of being in the middle of the Alps without compromising on convenience. With just a one-and-a-half-hour flight to Zurich followed by a one-hour 45-minute transfer to the resort, you can be out of the school gates and in the mountains in next to no time.

Family sledging in Laax © Danuser
With just a short transfer from Zurich, families can be out the school gates and in an Alpine snowscape in next to no time © Danuser

But the convenience doesn't end there. Laax is a ski resort designed with efficiency in mind. It excels at ski-in and ski-out accommodation, so you won't have to endure long walks between your ski sessions. There are fantastic accommodation options right next to the lifts, allowing you to maximise your time on the slopes without any hassle.

Skiers way up high in Laax
Skiers take a break in Laax, way up high in the Swiss Alps

Laax is a great resort if you've got youngsters who are a bit adventurous and would like to try their hand at freestyle skiing. It has the biggest freestyle academy in Europe and offers 3-5 day courses for 6-17 year olds. However, Laax is equally good if you have a family of beginners too, with large areas of gentle terrain to learn your turns on.

Where to stay in Laax

If you want the ultimate in ski-in ski-out convenience, we recommend the stylish self-catered apartments at the 4* rocksresort. Situated right at the base of the Crap Sogn Gion gondola, you'll step out of your apartment and be whisked up to the snowy heights.

What our customers say about Laax

"This was our second consecutive visit to Laax and we are already planning our third. We are a family of four, each with different interests and Laax fits the bill for all of us: freestyle and snow parks, great mountain restaurants, a good breadth of intermediate terrain, modern lifts, beautiful scenery and friendly locals." Samantha Li-Fox

Seen a Resort You Like?

If you've spotted a resort you like then you're halfway to a fab half term ski holiday. The rest is simple, just get in touch with our team to start planning your ideal tailor-made half term ski trip. Enquire online or call 01273 224060 and they'll be happy to help.

We send many customers to these resorts throughout the season (as well as going there ourselves!) so to get a better feel for what it will be like, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.