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Top tips for family skiing in Tirol

1st November 2011 Print
Family ski

Choosing a family-friendly resort is tricky at the best of times. Variety of slopes? Childcare options? Transfer time? But when household budgets are feeling the squeeze, the top consideration is cost. The Tirol region of Austria is geared up to the needs of families for 2011-12 and has 5 top tips to make your money go further without needing to compromise on those other all-important factors.

Choose your resort carefully – if the kids are just starting out there is no need to choose a huge ski area, it pays to pick a smaller resort where ski school and lift passes will be cheaper

Weigh up your accommodation options - choose accommodation which suits the family needs and budget. Opt for a self-catering apartment if you want to keep costs down by dining in or if you do choose to stay in a chalet or hotel look for family sized rooms, child discounts and all-inclusive offers.

Look for added value – sometimes it’s the cost of the extras that bump up the overall price you pay. Look for accommodation deals with added value and include the cost of ski passes, childcare, afternoon tea/cakes and resort cards with free access to public facilities.

Do your research – many resorts offer excellent value with free child ski packs, family offers and if your children are getting older opt for a resort where the child prices go up to age 16. If you are going to a large ski area, you could save money by buying a local pass and a day's extension to ski the whole area.

Timing is key – families are often bound by school holidays, but if you have pre-schoolers make the most of January offers. If you are tied to school holidays look at Easter, rather than February half-term, and choose a higher, snow sure resort.

Tip no 1: Choose your resort carefully

Resort Choice: Alpbach 

Small is beautiful and Alpbach doesn’t disappoint. Highly regarded as one of Austria’s most picturesque villages, the charming village of Alpbach is a true winter wonderland and a top choice for families, beginners and intermediates. A wide range of non-ski activities are on offer too, from snowshoeing to sleigh rides and tobogganing.

How much and what does it include?

Stay at the 2* Guesthouse Furstenhof on B&B with prices starting from £1250 for a family of 2 adults and 2 children (from £1648 in February half-term), including flights from Gatwick and resort transfers. Child lift pass prices are valid up to the age of 16 from £68 per child, £136 per adult. Children up to the age of 14 pay child prices with ski and boot hire costing £45 per child, £99 per adult.

Visit For further information on Alpbach visit

Tip no 2: Weigh up your accommodation options       

Resort Choice: Kühtai

Kühtai may not be an obvious choice for a family ski holiday but if your children are confident intermediates on the slopes and starting to gain their confidence, Kühtai is a good, safe choice. As Austria’s highest resort, it benefits from snow reliability, ski in/ski out convenience and is conveniently located only 35km from Innsbruck. Families with older kids can enjoy night-skiing, an afternoon trip to Innsbruck on the free ski bus or the older children may want to test their skills in the snow park (k-park) with rails, kickers, corner jumps. The Kühtai Igloo Village is worth a visit, where families can enjoy a snowshoe trip with sledging or even learn to build an igloo.

How much and what does it include?

Everything! Prices start from £2058 (for February half-term £5340), based on 2 adults and 2 children (under 12) sharing a family room, including chalet board, daily pack lunch, 6 days ski & boot hire, 6 days lift pass and 3 days tuition at the 3* Chalet Hotel Elisabeth, including flights and transfers.

Visit For further information on Kühtai visit

Tip no 3: Look for added value            

Resort Choice: Kappl in the Paznaun Valley

Making a quieter, cheaper and family friendly alternative, Kappl is situated a 15 minute bus ride down the valley from Ischgl. Both the village and slopes are family orientated, with 25 miles of slopes, a kindergarten and play area at the Sunny Mountain area at the top of the gondola. If parents want to clock up the miles they can take the short ski bus ride to Ischgl and access to 238km of piste in the Silvretta ski area.

How much and what does it include?

Within the accommodation price, bookable through the local tourist office, they also include ski pass and ski kindergarten – providing added value of over €500. Prices start from €1370 (£1193) for a family of four (2 adults and 2 children under 7) in a family room, including half board hotel accommodation, 6 day local ski pass, childcare supervision at the Sunny Mountain ski kindergarten (normally €12 per child per day) and free use of tubing run and free use of the unique Zipfelbob track for children and adults. Flights with start from £59 return to Innsbruck.

For further information and booking, visit

Tip no 4: Do your research on ski packs

Resort Choice: Niederau, Wildschönau

The Wildschönau is one of Tirol’s most picturesque valleys and is made up of made up of three ski areas, Niederau, Oberau and Auffach. The resort’s score big on winter fun, affordable prices and prove to be a real hit for families and beginners with wide open slopes. Located only a short transfer from Innsbruck airport, Niederau is the biggest village and the first you come to along the valley. Aside from the 70km of groomed slopes, there is tobogganing, sleigh rides and much more for families to enjoy.

How much and what does it include?

Prices start from £1197 at the 3* Almdorf Cabins in Niederau for a family of four in a self-catering cabin, including flights and resort transfers. (February half-term, departing 11th February starts from £2632). FREE child lift pass up to 15 years if parents pre-book lift passes at £139 per adult all season, FREE child equipment up to 11 years when 2 adults pre-book same equipment of same duration. Reduced Youth lift pass up to 17 years

Visit For further information on Niederau visit

Tip no 5: Timing is key

Resort Choice: Ellmau, Wilder Kaiser

Taking children skiing for the first time can be a gamble so if your family unit is more flexible with timing (pre-schoolers, longer school holidays), make the most of favourable low-season prices in January. The family-friendly resort of Ellmau is a great choice to get them started, with fantastic ski instructors and plenty of off slope family activities. What’s more parents can venture off and clock up the miles with 279kms of pistes in the Ski Welt to choose from.

How much and what does it include?

Stay 7 nights in a family room at the four star Hotel Hochfilzer in Ellmau (Wilder Kaiser Region) with prices starting from € 2343 for a family with 2 adults and 2 children (up to the age of 15) including half board, snack in the afternoon and free use of the spa and leisure facilities. Price includes a 6-day ski pass for SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental for 2 adults and 2 children.

For further information, visit and on Ellmau visit

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Family ski