A couple of weekends ago Toby, Livi and I went to La Mongie, which is part of the Grand Toumalet ski area just below Pic du Midi.It’s the largest ski area in the French Pyrenees with around 100 km of mainly wide, well-groomed slopes. It’s brilliant for families as, being purpose-built, all the accomodation is very near the slopes. There’s also a nursery slope with a huge magic carpet so little ones don’t have to struggle with a scary button lift or a moving rope.
What really set it apart for me, though, was the amount of things going on just after the lifts close. One evening we took a piste basher ride up to the Col du Tourmalet to watch the sunset, and another we drove around the lower pistes on snowmobiles (this was absolutely the highlight for the kids – they loved it.) There are even mini-snowmobiles for kids as young as six. Rides in sleighs pulled by huskies are also available and the incredibly patient huskies are quite happy to be petted and stroked while they wait to head off.
We stayed at the Hotel La Crete Blanc which, although unassuming from the outside, has a cosy and traditional interior. Our family suite included a separate room and bathroom for the kids (yay!). There’s a relaxed bar and a restaurant with an open fire which serves excellent fixed three-course meals in the evening.
Bad weather days aren’t a big issue as just a short drive down the valley is Aquensis – a large spa with natural thermal water where kids are welcome.