A family holiday can be one of the most fun and memorable ways to relax, get active and spend some quality time with your children. But if your children are teenagers, you’ll understand the pain of getting the annual holiday just right. If it’s winter, the answer is simple: a ski holiday. Job done!
Well, not quite. With the fussy teen age group it’s also imperative you get the destination just right. Megève, in the Rhône-Alpes region of south-eastern France, tops any list of teen-friendly ski resorts – no matter whether your kids are seasoned pros on the slopes or absolute beginners.
Skiing is one of those sports when it’s ok to hand over the reins to the experts (unless you’re an Olympic downhiller yourself, of course), and there are a number of excellent schools in Megève that cater to teenagers of all abilities – and they know just how to keep them interested.
ESF (Ecole du Ski France)
With more than 70 years’ experience teaching skiers in Megève, ESF has a huge presence in the resort – and its 350 highly-qualified instructors know a thing or two about a thing or two! With an ethos of challenging students to improve their skills while having as much fun as possible, it’s the ideal environment for teenage skiers. You can feel confident they’re in good, safe and very experienced hands.
ESF’s extensive range of courses include:
This course is designed to mix it up with a little taster of everything. Kids will spend time in a variety of terrains focusing on slalom, freestyle and a little bit of off-piste action. If time and money permit, this is a great course to start with, before graduating to one of the more specialised ones. (From €258 for one full day and four mornings.)
If you hear the words “skiing is so last season”, raise your kids’ cool factor with some snowboard lessons! With groups suitable for beginners right up to advanced, instructors will take your teens through a week of intensive training to learn all the techniques they’ll need to start carving up the slopes in style. (From €211 for six afternoons.)
Freestyle for Beginners:
If your kids have a bit of experience behind them and are itching to get some ‘air’, this course is designed to give them the skills they need to combine their style and balance on the snow to take on freestyle skiing. It’s a thrilling experience for youngsters and the specialised instructors ensure their safety and never push them beyond their capabilities. (From €258 for four afternoons and one full day.)
It’s a little bit whoo and a little bit whaay – it’s slalom! One of the most popular courses for teens, slalom training equips them with the skills to conquer the precise twists, turns and take-offs required for Slalom and Giant Slalom. If you’ve got competitive teens that really want to challenge themselves and have a lot of fun in the process, this course is gold. (From €263 for six afternoons. Minimum age 14.)
Some of the other courses available at ESF are:
- Freeride training
- Group training
- Advanced competition training
- Group Lessons
Located at: 176 Rue de la Poste. Tel : + 33 4 5021 0097
Jeunes Diplomates – Language & Ski
This is a wonderful concept that combines learning a language with training in the physical skill of skiing – what could be more perfect for teenagers?
Jeunes Diplomates run a range of courses throughout Europe, and their programme of winter camps in France includes Megève.
But how does it work? The course schedule has the teens focusing on language skills in the mornings (because studies have shown this is the best time to learn a language) then heading out to the slopes in the afternoon for their choice of lessons in skiing, snowboard or freestyle.
This style of combination learning has proven very successful and also extremely popular with the young participants. Courses are run over one or two weeks and there’s even the option of including accommodation if older teens want to feel independent.
Language and ski courses with Jeunes Diplomates start from €1420 for a one week course (without accommodation). Contact them for availability and more information.
Tel. +33 (0)4 79 37 19 78.
Come Back for Some Summer Fun
If your teens fall in love with Megève (and they will), you should consider coming back in summer for a very different kind of holiday. You might even get to rub shoulders with the pack on the Tour de France. Next family holiday sorted!
How to Get to Megève
When you’re travelling with teens, making the journey as quick and hassle free as possible is of the utmost importance. Megève is in the convenient position of being within access of three airports: Geneva, Chambery and Grenoble, with Geneva being the closest at 70 kms away. From the UK, the average flight time to Geneva is 90 minutes, which is not even long enough for teens to get bored, and there are some inexpensive flights starting from around £39 with easyJet and other budget carriers.
Once you land, the fastest and most convenient way of getting from Geneva to Megève is with a pre-booked Shuttle Direct transfer. With a fixed price shared or private transfer, you’ll be in the resort and ready to hit the slopes in just over an hour.
If you want to make a family adventure of it and travel to the Alps by train, the easiest route is via Paris, changing at Annecy or Geneva and on to Sallanches. A Shuttle Direct transfer can be arranged to meet you at the train station and transport you and the family the rest of the short distance to the resort.
Where to Stay
Royal Rochebrune – Ski all day and come home to relax in the welcoming embrace of the Royal Rochbrune. Just five minutes from the town centre and walking distance to the cable station, the superb location is matched by the teen friendly facilities that include free Wi-Fi, tennis court, sauna and hearty breakfast. Spacious, contemporary family rooms offer plenty of room for everyone to stretch their legs.
Au Coin du Feu – In the heart of the resort and just steps to the cable car, Au Coin du Feu offers traditional chalet style accommodation with an elegant modern twist. Teens will love the free Wi-Fi and relaxation area complete with sauna and fitness centre, while parents will lap up the luxury of the bar/lounge, open fireplace and spacious, well-facilitated family rooms.
Le Gai Soleil – Picture perfect and situated right in the heart of the village, you can almost reach out and touch the magnificent mountains at Le Gai Soleil. With a fantastic onsite restaurant, bar, large family rooms, fitness centre, free Wi-Fi and even a seasonal heated outdoor pool, this is a genuine family home from home. Everything teens could want and all the extras for parents.
About Shuttle Direct
As Europe and North Africa’s most trusted provider of airport transfers, Shuttle Direct has a service to suit any need and budget. Our easy to use online booking system means you can organise all your onward travel arrangements before you leave home. With fixed price shared or private shuttles, wherever you travel we can be there to take you to and from any airport, train station or cruise terminal with our signature friendly, professional service.