Five Alpine Ski Resorts for Beginners
Are there members of your group who are new to skiing or want to learn? Several resorts in the Alps are perfect for beginners.
Going into a new sport can be daunting, so if members of your group are beginner skiers or snowboarders, you should visit a resort that caters to their needs. Ideally you’ll want enough beginner terrain so they can get their bearings, with the opportunity to take on some tougher runs if they’re a fast learner.
A good ski school away from advanced skiers and snowboarders is also a must while they learn the techniques and gain some confidence.
Here are some Alpine ski resorts that are perfect for beginners:
Les Arcs, France
There are a number of ski schools in the five locations that make up the resort of Les Arcs. It’s so much more than just learning to ski or snowboard, too. In fact, there are dedicated schools for freeriding, freestyle and off-piste learning so whatever your end goal, there will be someone to teach you.
This means that not only is Les Arcs a great place for beginners, but it’s also a great place to develop your skills and take on more challenging terrain.
With more than 500 qualified snow sports instructors to look after your progress, well-being and safety, Lech and the surrounding area is a great place to visit if you’re a beginner. Even little ones are welcome to learn at Lech with lessons for children 4½ and upwards available.
Choose from group or private instruction but be sure to book your place before you travel as these can get booked up quickly.
This is one of the few resorts where it’s easy for beginners to explore. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can head across the mountain – around half of the slopes are blue runs so you won’t get stuck. And even if you do, there’s a ski bus to take you back to the town.
Tignes has a number of dedicated slopes on which to learn , be it with an instructor or just to get your bearings after a few dry-slope sessions at home. These nursery slopes are spread throughout the resort but are easily accessible by beginner-specific lifts, from drag lifts to chairlifts. There’s also a magic carpet lift at the children’s nursery slope.
Once you feel a bit more confident, Tignes is well laid out so it’s easy to progress to some of the more gentle green and blue runs on offer. If you head over to Val Claret, there’s a green area specifically for beginners, but the run that comes down to the resort can be a little tricky so this might be a nice challenge once you’re feeling ready for something a bit more difficult.
The nursery area here is small, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good place to learn to ski or snowboard. Children are particularly well catered for – a day care and playground nearby.
There are plenty of long, gentle runs that are great for any beginners who have found their feet and want to go higher up the mountain. This is a great resort if you already know how to ski (perhaps you had lessons at home or have been on a previous winter vacation) as the runs progress gently.
Unfortunately, there are no free lifts around the beginner’s area, so you’ll have to buy a lift pass, but this does mean you get access to the more challenging runs once you feel ready to progress.
At Cervinia you’ll find a beginner’s area that’s serviced by a few free lifts and has plenty of child-friendly facilities, too. Once the basics have been mastered, there are a number of wide blue runs that can be tackled by even the most timid of beginners.
There aren’t very many steep runs here, but they are long. This gives beginner skiers the chance to really push themselves and learn something with each slope they take.
This resort is quite an experience because you can see the imposing Matterhorn in the distance as you take some of the easy runs. If you get good weather, this is a fantastic place for beginners as it’s much more affordable that many other resorts in the Alps.
Consider where you book very carefully, especially if this is the first experience on the snow for some in your group. Make sure to check out our advice page for more information and sign up to the newsletter for regular updates.