Thinking of embarking on your first ski holiday but not sure where to go? European ski destinations are becoming increasingly favoured by travellers due to their short travel times, affordability and stunning terrains. To make things a little easier, we’ve put together a list of hand-picked ski resorts, perfect for new adventures on the slopes.
Val Thorens was recently voted the ‘Best French Ski Resort’ by the World Ski Awards, and there is no doubt why. With six impressive glaciers and a collection of gentle slopes, this snowy playground is an ideal location for newbies. There is plenty of space at the beginners’ section of the ski school, and a special ‘Espace Junior’ piste designated for the less experienced skier or snowboarder.
With so many things packed into one place; the Arc 1950 ski resort is a spectacular family holiday destination. This high altitude village is a great base for beginner skiers; and once you’ve master the basics, you can literally ski to your accommodation door. The cobbled streets are bursting with character and are lined with various bars/restaurants, toy shops, bakeries, wine merchants, jewellers, clothing shops and food outlets.
Located in a beautiful, authentic valley, the Ischgl resort is becoming a popular winter hotspot for first time skiers. It features over 238 kilometres of pistes and peaks of up to 3000m – meaning longer hours of sunlight. The Idalp area is a great place to find your snow feet, and is particularly ideal for family skiing. If you go at the right time of the year, you’ll be able to attend ‘Top of the Mountain’ concerts with international stars; past performances have hosted Elton John, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.
Courmayeur, known as ‘the pearl of the Alps’, is a traditional boutique-style resort located practically on the border of Italy, Switzerland and France. The beginners’ slopes are perfect for newbies and young children, with easy access to the slopes from the main cable car system. The centre of the village is car-free and full of bars and restaurants, shops and a fantastic après-ski scene. You can also join the Italians as they love to promenade on ‘via Roma’ in the early evening.
Belle Plagne is a beautifully modern resort located in the La Plagne region of the Alps. Its relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere is an ideal base for learning to ski; it benefits from having sizeable nursery slopes and various children’s snow play areas. The resort offers doorstep skiing and lots of wide open blue runs, guaranteed to help grow your confidence as you’re learning.
So there we have it: the top five resorts for novice skiers finding their feet on the slopes. Have you been to one of these places before? Or do you know of another great destination for first-time skiers? Leave us a comment – we’d love to hear from you!