Best Ski Resorts for Beginners
Curious about the best ski resort for beginners? From magic carpets and nursery slopes to exceptional ski schools, we've carefully selected our top recommendations to help you choose.
This picturesque location in the Tarentaise Valley has undergone remarkable growth over the years and forms part of Les Trois Vallées, which boasts being the largest interconnected ski area globally. As a result, Méribel stands out as one of the premier ski resorts for beginners, offering a total of 8 green and 28 blue runs within its boundaries. The most challenging aspect of learning to ski is perfecting your turn, particularly when the slopes are busy. However, Meribel offers spacious slopes, allowing you ample room and time to execute your next turn with confidence. Over 50% of the runs in Meribel and Les Trois Vallées are green and blue with the whole of Les Trois Vallées accessible on blue runs alone. You will find a number of ski schools to choose from, all of which offer lessons in English, often from a native speaker. If travelling with a group of more advanced skiers, they’ll be glad to learn there is plenty on offer for them too!
Saas Fee, Switzerland
Dubbed the "Jewel of the Alps," Saas-Fee stands out as one of Switzerland's premier ski destinations, particularly renowned for its remarkable snow coverage. This vibrant and picturesque resort boasts breathtaking scenery, an exceptional ski school (complete with its own ski academy tailored for teenagers), and a backdrop adorned with 18 majestic peaks towering above 4,000 meters. With its town centre free of cars and charming wooden chalets evoking a more tranquil era, it feels as though you’ve stepped back in time. The upper slopes, including the glacier area, are perfectly suited for beginners and intermediates. Even the trails marked as red in Saas-Fee would likely be classified as blue in other ski resorts. However, it's worth noting that the blue pistes leading back to the resort are somewhat narrow. Nervous beginners hesitant to venture beyond the nursery slopes may prefer returning back via one of the lifts.
Les Arcs, France
Nestled in the picturesque Savoie region, Les Arcs ranks among the premier European ski resorts for beginners, offering a diverse selection of easy slopes. While Les Arcs has seen significant growth since its inception, it continues to prioritize the well-being of novice skiers alongside those more advanced. The resort features dedicated nursery areas above each primary village, and the use of beginner lifts is complimentary. As skiers progress, they have the option to purchase single-lift rides on select chairlifts. In total, Les Arcs offers three green pistes and 64 blue pistes.
Tignes also stands out as an exceptional recommendation for novice skiers. This well-loved ski destination caters to a diverse range of visitors, making it ideal for groups. You'll discover an array of gentle, nursery slopes that provide the perfect canvas for honing your skiing skills. Once you've gained some confidence, you can graduate with an enticing selection of long, leisurely blue runs. Tignes boasts a notably high altitude, granting it an extended ski season that runs well beyond the norm, with excellent powder conditions persisting into early spring. Furthermore, the resort features a fantastic selection of ski schools catering to individuals of all skill levels. As part of the Espace Killy ski are, Tignes offers exceptional skiing opportunities, and provides easy access to neighbouring Val d’Isère. A fantastic option for beginners and intermediates, offering something to suit every type of skier.
La Plagne, France
La Plagne is a purpose-built ski resort situated at a high altitude and forming an integral part of the Paradiski area. Renowned for its family-friendly atmosphere and suitability for beginners, this destination beckons with its extensive offerings. Among its attractions are 9 green slopes and 67 blue runs, creating an inviting realm of beginner-friendly terrain to discover both within and around the resort. Within the La Plagne resort, they have crafted a dedicated learning program for absolute beginners under their Coolski brand. With the purchase of a daily pass priced at €33, you gain entry to five designated beginner zones scattered across the resort. It is also entirely feasible to traverse the entire ski area using only the blue runs.
Alpe D’Huez, France
One of the finest ski destinations in France for newcomers to the sport, Alpe d’Huez rests at an elevation of 1,869 meters above sea level. It is situated at the heart of an extensive network of slopes, boasting an impressive array of beginner-friendly terrains, divided into four separate areas. These slopes span from the base of the resort to the flanks of the Pic Blanc glacier. Among its 131 total slopes, you'll find 41 gentle green runs and 34 accessible blue runs, making it a sought-after destination for first-time skiers seeking to build their skills on accommodating nursery slopes before venturing onto more challenging terrain. Additionally, you'll discover one of France's largest ESF ski schools, boasting a cadre of over 200 instructors.
Avoriaz is a winter wonderland guaranteed to have snow, boasting an extensive 600-kilometer ski domain as part of the Portes du Soleil network. This vast terrain can be effortlessly explored with a single lift pass and as a ski-in-ski-out resort, is particularly loved by families and beginners. Perched on a sun-drenched plateau above the nearby village of Morzine, Avoriaz stands out as one of France's top choices for those who prefer a slightly warmer ski holiday, a significant advantage for novice skiers tackling nursery slopes for the first time. This lively resort offers a comprehensive beginners' area, complete with nursery slopes within the village itself and a network of beginner-friendly green slopes connecting Avoriaz to Morzine.
Les Gets, France
In recent times, Les Gets has undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving into one of Europe's premier destinations for novice skiers. It boasts an impressive array of 68 slopes, serviced by 50 lifts, and a renowned ESF ski school. With upgrades to the Chavannes gondola and new beginner slopes introduced, it is becoming increasingly popular with families. Another area, the Espace des Mappys, now features magic carpets and a tow rope, providing convenient access to four beginner-friendly pistes. For the youngest skiers venturing onto the slopes for the very first time, there's the vibrant Le Jardin des Neiges, specially designed for children aged three to five. As beginners become more proficient, they can explore the expansive Portes du Soleil area, encompassing 12 French and Swiss resorts and offering over 600 kilometres of slopes, including ample terrain tailored for advanced skiers.
Les Menuires, France
While Les Menuires may not be a hidden gem, considering its part of one of the world's largest interconnected ski areas, it often resides in the shadows of its more renowned neighbours within the Trois Vallées. Nevertheless, Les Menuires shines brightly with its diverse range of slopes, abundant availability of ski and snowboard schools, and reasonably priced lodging options. It stands as an exceptional all-around ski resort and one of the premier destinations for beginners not only in France but throughout Europe. Though nestled in the same valley as Val Thorens, renowned as one of the most snow-sure ski resorts globally, Les Menuires typically comes at a lower price tag. It boasts numerous green and blue runs within its own boundaries, and essential amenities like equipment rentals, individual ski and snowboard lessons, and group lessons for children.