Picking the right ski resort can be difficult when there are mixed abilities in your group of friends or families, and if it is your first time heading to the mountains, you might not know what to look for. Here at The Chalet Edit, we have picked the best European resorts for beginner skiers, so you can get planning your ski holiday for 2021/2022.
Did you know that Prince William and Harry took their first ski holiday in Lech? Sitting at 1450 metres Lech is a wonderful snow-sure and a skier’s paradise with plenty of wide groomed pistes. It has always been one of Europe’s best with an unrivalled reputation for powder – the average snowfall totals here are double what they are at most ski areas in the French Alps for example. The best place for beginners to learn is on the other side of the river to the main ski area – this beginner area is a golf course in the summer, so it’s really softly sloping, and you can pick up the basics in peace on T-bars serving easy-going nursery runs. Then cross back over the river for access up to Oberlech’s longer blues.
Plus, as an added bonus Lech ensures the number of skiers on the slopes each day is strictly limited, so they don’t get too crowded and there’s even a recommended route around the ski area to maximise your exposure to sunshine known as the White Ring. It’s all about enjoying yourself.
Méribel is one of the best resorts for beginner skiers and snowboarders who want to take to the slopes for the first time. With a choice of English-speaking, and in some cases British-run, ski schools in the resort, as well as designated beginner areas, Méribel has plenty to offer.
Meribel’s attractive ski area and abundance of gentle terrain close to its resort bases make it a great choice for first-timers. Some of the best beginner runs are located around the Altiport. Within the resort, there are 8 green runs and 25 blue runs which are ideal for beginners while the Trois Vallées as a whole has a total of 48 greens and 135 blue runs for beginners to explore.
Morzine is well-deserving of its place on our “best ski resorts for beginners” list for many reasons. Its nursery slopes, located on the Pleney side of the valley, are next to the resort centre and offer wide flat runs which are easily accessible via the gondola in the village. The terrain is vast and varied when you take into account the Avoriaz ski area and the rest of the Portes du Soleil that makes up about 650km altogether. Children will love the Les Indiens run heading down towards Les Gets with its native Indian theme, bumps and music.
Avoriaz is easily accessible from Morzine and those with a full Portes du Soleil ski pass can ski the Riglet Park in Avoriaz, part of the Village des Enfants learning zone. This was developed by Burton to encourage children to become more confident in snowboarding, with mini rails, pyramids and half-pipe
In Morzine village centre, next to the Pleney gondola, is a brilliant all day creche for children as young as 3 months. Children of 3 years and over can also learn to ski with the Club Piou Piou run by ESF in the snow garden.
There’s also plenty to do in Morzine town centre with an ice rink, vintage carousel and plenty of places for hot chocolate.
First-time skiers and snowboarders, or beginners looking to improve their technique will love Val d’Isere, with plenty of good areas to practise and gain confidence. Benefited by also having access to the huge area of the Espace Killy, with slow and gentle lifts and a relaxed family-friendly atmosphere, Val d’Isere is a great place to start skiing.
The village has a modern aquatic centre for splashing about, an ice rink and a coffee shop on the highstreet with kids games and activities.
The nursery slope sits right in the centre of the village and has a snow garden with a fun magic carpet play area for little children from 4 years and a free chair lift for beginner skiers and snowboarders. Plus there’s a total of 20 green pistes and 67 blue pistes in the whole ski area that you can progress onto. You will be sure to find your ski legs quickly!
What’s more, If you have young children and are really looking to make the most of your ski day there is also the possibility of popping children from 3 years old into a lunch club after their morning ski lesson.
Perfect snow, perfect location, perfect pitched slopes – Courchevel has all of the ingredients for a perfect beginner’s ski resort. Did you know that a whopping 60% of the resort’s slopes are beginner-friendly?
Courchevel is made up of five different resort villages, each with different features and attractions. The best two for beginners are Courchevel Moriond, which has a cosy, alpine feel and is popular with families, and Courchevel, formerly Courchevel 1850. The runs in both of these villages consist mainly of gentle blues and greens, which allows you to gain confidence with no nasty steep surprises taking you off guard!
What makes a great beginners’ ski area?
Not sure where to start? Just ask our team for expert advice on the best place to learn to ski. With over 20 years of experience you are in safe hands. GET IN TOUCH HERE or give our team a call on +44 (0) 208 133 1130, we are always happy to chat to you.