1. La Tania, France
Essential Info: Quiet, excellent value, purpose-built ski resort with nursery slopes and gentle sledging at village level. Connected to the Three Valleys area, off-duty parents will be able to get in some excellent ski time, but as it is also beneath the tree line, on-duty parents could certainly take the kids on activities such as forest strolls.
Great for: Anyone concerned about altitude. La Tania is 1 from the lowest resorts at only 1,350m high. And at under 600 miles from Calais, you can drive there from the Uk.
Bonus: Geneva international airport has a great nursery - useful in the case of flight delays.
2. Flaine, France
Need to know: Purpose-built, car-free and architect-designed in the 1960s. All of the pistes lead back to the same nursery ski slopes, and so excellent for a group of mixed ability as everyone can regroup in between laps. The nursery slopes are well kitted out, and also the main ski slopes have something for everybody, from cruising ski slopes to challenging black runs, and easily accessible off-piste between the runs.
Good for: A tranquil getaway. The conventional chalet-loving French aren't large admirers of the architecture, so Flaine could be calmer than you'd expect within the village and on the pistes.
Bonus: It's 1 of the closest resorts to Geneva, which makes for an easier-than-usual airport transfer.
3. Mayrhofen, Austria
Essential Info: At 630m, Mayrhofen is low yet has 3 stunning gondolas that whisk you up towards the slopes on either side of the valley. Newbies will appreciate the gentle ski slopes of the Ahorn mountain. The other mountain, Penken, is excellent for intermediates, with a variety of red runs, and a valley called Tappenalm, dotted with great cafes.
Good for: Getting to by road or train from budget-airline-friendly Salzburg and Munich. As soon as in town, there is a variety of decently priced hotels, and food markets for self-caterers or picnic lovers. The cafes and coffee shops will keep a non-skiing parent or grandparent busy, as well.
Added bonus: Aspiring freestyle skiers or snowboarders will love the park at the best of Tappenalm.
4. Avoriaz, France
Need to know: Purpose-built, car-free and built high up about the cliffs, Avoriaz is attached to the gigantic Portes du Soleil area and delivers 650km of piste, half in France and half in Switzerland. Accommodation is primarily self-catered rentals in ski-in, ski-out blocks run by large tour providers.
Great for: A family willing to attempt some more advanced skiing. Good black runs and challenging reds in Portes du Soleil, for the piste-lovers - three snowparks in Avoriaz for freestylers. Those looking for off-piste will find tree runs, powder bowls and cliff drops.
Added bonus: Great for novices, too, with plenty of room for the first-timer. And the resort is so compact, you can send the kids out to get the morning croissants.
5. Cervinia, Italy
Need to know: This vacation resort is more than the Italian side of the Matterhorn (or Cervino, in Italian). The high, sunny, snow-sure pistes are laid out more than a valley head - broad runs which all head back down to the village. The region links up with the pistes of Zermatt at the top, making a massive 350km of runs.
Good for: Hearty Italian food that will not break the bank at the mountain restaurants in wonderful chalets (try the Chalet Etoile), and also lots of great pizza joints, in addition to several treats like the Baita Cretaz restaurant - only accessible by skidoo as soon as the lifts are shut.
Bonus: Runs all remain broad, comfortable plus consistent right towards the base. And also the village is small enough to be able to allow some older kids go looking at the shops on their own.