The decisions for our top 5 ski resorts for beginners for 2018/19 aren’t just based on the skiing. A first or second ski holiday needs much more to help make it a great experience – one that needs to be repeated every single winter! We know these resorts like the backs of our ski gloves so you can trust us when we say for beginners, they’re among the best.
5 Best Ski Resorts for Beginners
1. Les Deux Alpes
2 Alpes is our top pick for beginner skiers mainly because of the resort design. Many high alpine experiences are limited in other resorts, but at ‘L2A’ you can enjoy skiing easy slopes wayyy up the mountain. The Jandri Express 1 lift is where the magic happens, allowing skier and pedestrian access from the resort right up to the glacier at 3,400m. The beginner ski area is at the top, not the bottom and you can easily get to the famous ‘Pano’ après bar at the mid-station.
2. La Rosiere
With its wide open pistes, gentle gradients, mostly ski-in/ski-out accommodation and excellent ski schools, La Rosiere has long been a favourite of beginners. It has classic ski resort vibes with wood and stone architecture, tree-lined footpaths and of course the famous St Bernard dogs roaming around. The weather is great too, with lots of sunny days on the south-facing slopes. With other big-name resorts like Tignes and Val d’Isere close by, La Rosiere usually escapes the crowds meaning you have more space to practice your turns.
3. La Plagne
A sprawling resort with nine village areas, La Plagne features on many ‘best for’ lists when it comes to ski resorts. For beginners though, basing yourself in Plagne Bellecote is a great option. The skiing is on your doorstep with 4 chairlifts and a gondola in Plagne Bellecote. Plus it’s super easy to get around in the evening using the buses or the gondola to Belle Plagne just up the hill. There’s a heated outdoor swimming pool in the centre of the village with a view of the piste too.
Skiing in “The 3 Valleys” is many people’s first choice. Even if you’ve never been to the Alps you’ve probably heard of it. The resorts of Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens are awesome, but Meribel excels for beginners. Sheltered by the steep surrounding mountains it enjoys the better weather of the 3 resorts on the whole and has a good quantity of easy runs (not all green, but don’t be put off by easy blues). Aside from skiing though you can enjoy the mountains with a pedestrian pass which will get you up to the summits and lunch spots like La Folie Douce plus there’s activities on offer like snowmobiling, husky dog sledding, snowshoeing, swimming at the Olympic centre or relaxing in one of the many spas.
A wildcard, but deservedly so. ‘Breck’ sits high in the Colorado Rockies, but only a 2-hour transfer from Denver airport, a one-stop flight from London Heathrow. Skiing in the USA is an experience everyone should try, and in typical stateside fashion, the locals make everyone feel utterly welcome. As a beginner you’ll get absolutely 1st class tuition in small groups, on uncrowded slopes with no button lifts and amazing snow.
The town is at the bottom of the ski area which makes access to wherever you’re staying easy. Nothing is more than 10 minutes’ walk away and the town itself is so unpretentious you’ll feel like a local from the moment you arrive. Lift passes include a day off (so you don’t pay for more than you need), and there’s even a shopping outlet village 20 minutes away on the free bus to Silverthorne.
Considerations for Beginner Ski Holidays
Whether you’re planning to go away in a mixed-ability group, a family of all beginners or if you’re the only beginner on your trip, it’s important to consider these other aspects of a ski holiday and make sure the resort you choose caters to your needs:
- There’s a variety of English-speaking ski schools with online reviews
- A range of non-skiing activities that are open during the day and easy to get to
- A good proportion of green and easy blue runs which are wide, varied and allow good skills progression
- Gondolas to the easy slopes rather than tricky chair lifts or *gulp* button and T-Bar drag lifts (these are also great for pedestrian access in case you want to head up to the top without your ski gear one day)
- Places on the mountain where you can easily meet your friends for lunch, even if you’ve been skiing in different areas
- An excellent medical centre (for peace of mind)
- Chalets or lodging with easy access to the ski lifts and ski school meeting points
- A pedestrian-friendly and interesting resort village to wander round if you need a day off the mountain
Are you a beginner skier or snowboarder looking for a great introduction to ski holidays? Have a look at Skiworld’s Beginner Ski Holidays here.