If you're planning a family holiday for the 2012-13 ski season, you should consider a luxury break at the Swiss resort of Wengen. The destination is packed with child-friendly features and activities, and will offer a welcome respite from winter in the UK.
Located in the Bernese Oberland at the foot of the Jungfrau, Wengen occupies a prime spot ideal for the ultimate skiing holiday. It's the perfect place to head to if you want a break in traditional surroundings, thanks to the quaint buildings that house the resort's hotel rooms and chalet accommodation.
The resort's history goes all the way back to the 13th century, when it was set up as a farming community. Today, it's a great location to take the kids to due to its nursery slopes, childcare facilities and virtually car-free environment.
Wengen is the main gateway to the Kleine Scheidegg-Mannlichen ski area, which boasts around 110 km of piste and is designed for beginner skiers and those with a moderate level of ability. More advanced skiers can challenge themselves on the World Cup piste, which can be found on the Lauberhorn, which plays host to the Lauberhorn World Cup downhill races every January.
You can also go skiing in the nearby Murren-Schilthorn ski region, which sprawls across an area that lies up to 3,000 m above sea level - offering some amazing views as a result. There are 54 km of ski routes to enjoy and snow conditions that are good enough to allow family skiing breaks to take place long after the start of spring.
Highlights include a great range of hiking paths for those taking a break from their skis, and the Im Rad snow park for visitors who can't be torn away from them! Have a rest in the rotating restaurant and drink in the wonderful views of the surrounding peaks before hitting the slopes again.
The third ski region you can explore while staying in Wengen is Grindelwald-First, where you'll find 60 km of slopes set against the stunning backdrop of the Bernese Alps's northern face. There's also a ski slope that is only for beginner or slow skiers, creating the ideal environment in which to learn the ropes. Head to the BodmiArena in the evenings between Tuesday and Friday to indulge in some night-time skiing.
Kleine Scheidegg-Mannlichen has 30 km of tobogganing runs, while keen snowboarders should head to the aforementioned Im Rad snow park and its half-pipe to sharpen their skills. Grindelwald-First's White Elements snow park is another popular destination for snowboarders thanks to its impressive superpipe, while its 40 km of tobogganing routes and walking paths provide further diversions.
There are many more pursuits you can try while staying in Wengen. Snowshoeing is a popular pastime in both Murren-Schilthorn and Grindelwald-First, with evening tours also available for a truly unique experience. If you'd like to give curling a go, both Wengen and Murren offer facilities for the sport.
Ice skating is one winter holiday activity that all of the family can enjoy, and several artificial rinks are available in Wengen itself and in nearby Grindelwald and Murren. If you're lucky, you might get to take to the ice at one of the natural rinks that are created when the weather permits it at both destinations.
The ultimate excursion from Wengen is probably the trip up to Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe at an altitude of 3,454 m. You can enjoy an unforgettable view of around 200 peaks from the rotating restaurant at Schilthorn, so don't miss the opportunity to head here on your family holiday.