If it’s your first ski holiday, the options of which resort to visit may be daunting. There are a number of resorts throughout the Alps and all of Europe, where does one begin to look? Finding your feet as soon as possible is important when you area heading out for just one week. You can learn to ski in any resort, but some provide gentle, open slopes & beginner designated areas that make learning easier and less frightening than others. If you’re a first timer or just relatively new to skiing, these resorts might be perfect for you.
Best Ski Resorts for Beginners
A large portion of La Plagne’s ski area is a beginner’s playground and it’s well known for being a beginner-friendly resort. There are a number of open green and blue slopes (83 out of 132 pistes in total) situated on a rolling plateau high above the tree line. The wide, well-groomed pistes across the resort leave much space for beginners to practice their turns on. La Plagne has also been doing a lot of work the past few years to make it even better for beginners with less congestion and new beginner designated areas.
For the best access to a number of easy blue runs, it’s best to stay in one of the higher accommodations centres, such as Belle Plagne and Plagne Centre. La Plagne also doesn’t get the large crowds as some of the more popular resorts, so you are likely to have open pistes to practice on.
Les Arcs is also a popular destination for beginners due to it’s well designed ski accommodation. You walk right out of your apartment each morning, straight to the slopes and the beginners area is right in front of you. There are ‘ski tranquille’ beginner zones at each of the resort’s main villages as well as up the hill on the treeline above Vallandry and Plan-Peisey. These cruisy blues offer a beautiful tree-lined backdrop while you find your feet.
With a number of wide and manageable pistes, beginners find Les Arcs a great place to learn how to ski. They offer about 10 beginner lifts for free as well as a beginners lift pass option. You can buy 1, 2, 3, 5 or 10 trips on the lifts, so you don’t have to commit to a lift pass for the whole week. If you’re really nervous, grab a sticker from the tourist office that identifies you as a first timer to the resort staff. This enables them come and offer you friendly advice and answer any questions you might have.
Courchevel’s ski area includes plenty of easy green and blue runs and the resort has worked hard to improve facilities for beginners of all ages. Beginners can start in the Evolution Zone which is known as the ‘ZEN’ area and can be seen on a piste map as the green highlighted areas labeled ZEN. In this area, there are a number of drag lifts you can utilize as well as two magic carpet lifts to get you started.
Another great place to learn is between the Biollay and Jardin Alpin lifts, which provide access to a good network of green runs. These runs lead back to the centre of Courchevel 1850 and are long and wide with a small gradient – absolutely perfect for beginners to learn and practice on. And once you have built your skills and are feeling a bit more confident it’s easy to graduate to blues nearby and maybe even a red or two!
If you are just starting out skiing we recommend a ski lesson to learn the basics and build some confidence as you improve throughout the week. We offer adult group lessons in La Plagne, Les Arcs and Courchevel 1850.