Hemsedal, Norway

Good for safety, community, convenience and Grimm-style fairytales.

Scandinavian ski areas have a strong reputation for their positive attitude and character in bringing children on to the snow with neither the over-regimented teaching systems nor the other, over-sentimental “your child can do no wrong” extreme. Instead, it’s a common-sense approach cutting down the middle, with safety, caring and a relaxed style to learning, meaning minimal stress for all.

At Hemsedal, there are gentle slopes close to the base, separate areas on the mountain for kids and free helmets with rentals. Located right next to the slopes, the Trollia Kindergarten for children aged three months and older offers both care from a professional staff and facilities for parents, including a kitchen for preparing lunch. Children's ski school begins at age three with "Snow Gnomes" who become "Small Trolls" once they’ve mastered the wedge position on the nursery slope.