A Swiss ski holiday is the stuff of dreams. If you’ve ever wanted to take your kids and the family skiing in the snow-covered wonderland of the Swiss Alps, the Adelboden-Lenk ski region in the Bernese Oberland is the postcard-perfect place. From fantastic snow conditions to cosy chalets and fragrant pots of cheese fondue, we’re sharing tips on skiing in Switzerland with kids.
Essential tips on skiing in Switzerland with kids
Our favorite Swiss ski resort: Adelboden
The picturesque alpine village of Adelboden is located 45 minutes by car from Bern, and is situated at an altitude of 1,400 m (4,500 ft). Cold, snowy winters are still common, offering perfect conditions for skiing and winter sports, with over 210 km network of pistes (ski lifts). Adelboden is an authentic Swiss resort village that hosts an FIS World Cup each winter season. Between its miles of ski runs, terrain parks, snow parks and aprés ski options, we think Adelboden is one of the most perfect mountain villages for a family ski vacation in central Switzerland.
The alpine village of Adelboden is charming, family-friendly and down to earth. There are enough resorts and spas to compete with any more well-known Swiss ski resorts. Its winter offerings go beyond skiing and snowboarding to include skating, tobogganing, curling, winter hiking, ice climbing, and cross-country skiing.
The ski region of Adelboden is linked by an extensive series of 72 gondolas, tramways, and lifts. The network opens up a huge, exciting area of skiable terrain, with varying degrees of difficulty.
The Swiss label their ski trails differently than in North America. Easy trails are marked Blue (not Green), intermediate are Red, and Black trails are the same – Difficult or More Difficult. On runs near cliffs, there will also be signs with a black skull and crossbones. Our boys nicknamed these ‘double death runs,’ which seemed appropriate.
Adelboden Ski School
Adelboden offers an excellent ski and snowboard school program. The schhool teaches kids the basics while familiarizing them with the mountain runs. The camps and lessons are grouped by age as well as ability. They offer first class instruction in a myriad of languages. Our kids’ instructor was a lovely young American woman, living with her family in Switzerland for the year.
Adelboden offers children under 6 a free Snowli Gift Card. This card includes ski passes and mini-lift tickets for the ski region.
Enrolling the kids in a ski school program is great if, like me, you’re not the best teacher. And also if you’d like some ski time on your own. Kids are pretty resilient in ski school. Once the parents have left for the day, they respond quite well to their instructors. Especially if they’re keen to learn skiing and boarding.
If you or your child are a little hesitant, speak to the instructor ahead of time. You’ll get an idea of what kids will be learning and where they’ll be. You may even be able watch from afar if you’d like. It may also be appropriate to enroll them in shorter, half-day sessions, depending on their age and temperment.
There are a wide variety of ski shops and equipment suppliers in Adelboden Dorf. You can rent ski and snowboard equipment so you don’t have to haul it across the Atlantic. We rented gear from local Intersport Dealer and Oester Sport. They’ve both been in business for decades and really know their ski and boarding equipment.
You can reserve skis and equipment online ahead of arrival. You will need to provide height and weight measurements in metric.
Hotel Accommodations in Adelboden
There is a wide range of accommodations available in and around the Adelboden area. From affordable chalet rentals to luxury hotels, the choice will depend on your budget and length of stay.
We’ve spent extensive holiday time in Adelboden, and would highly recommend a chalet or apartment rental for lengthy stays. You’ll have your space to relax and be able to cook some meals, which saves money in this expensive alpine nation. Tourism Adelboden has detailed information for the many hotel offerings in the village.
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Photo Credits: C. Laroye
Have you ever skied in Switzerland or Europe? Share your tips and comments below.