If you’re a first-timer or just relatively new to skiing, here are the best ski resorts for beginners. Finding your feet as soon as possible is important when you are heading out for just one week.
- La Plagne
- Les Arcs
- Courchevel 1850
Best Ski Resorts for Beginners
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.
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. Although La Plagne is a popular resort, due to its sheer size, the pistes never feel busy as there is so much terrain to explore.
Les Arcs is also a popular destination for beginners due to its well-designed ski accommodation. You walk right out of your apartment each morning, straight to the slopes and the beginner’s area is right in front of you.
There are ‘ski tranquille’ beginner zones in each of the resort’s villages. So no matter where you’re staying, you have access to easy slopes. You can then head above the treeline in Vallandry and Plan Peisey where you’ll find cruisey blues with 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 to 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 labelled 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. These runs provide access to a good network of green runs. They 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!
Check out this video of Hannah and her friends skiing at Jardin Alpin. As a beginner, you can learn to ski here for free (take the minibus from town to the Jardin Alpin – not the bubble.)
The beginner area sits in the centre of Le Lac making it really easy to get to. For those not staying in Le Lac, the local bus is free and will take you within touching distance of the Magic Carpet. The magic carpet is the first stop for most “never-even-put-on-a pair-of-skis” beginners. With a gentle slope at both sides, it offers plenty of space to get yourself used to your new planks! Even more conveniently, this is right next to our meeting point for those learning to ski with one of our enthusiastic, knowledgeable and encouraging team members. For more information on why Tignes is a great resort for beginners, click here.
Now that you’ve got a better idea of the best ski resorts for beginners, you can start to plan your holiday. 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, Courchevel 1850 and Tignes.