Deciding where to go for your first ski resort as a beginner is no easy task. With so many choices at hand, there is a lot riding on this experience, and you don’t want to pick a resort that doesn’t stack up. There are many things to consider from the instructors, the location to the restaurant and other activities on offer for when you need to take a break from skiing. We’ve put together the top ski resorts for beginners to help you find your feet on the slopes.
La Plagne, France
When you think of beginner slopes, the French Alps come to mind. La Plagne is the ideal resort to start off your love affair with the slopes. Offering beginners’ pistes and one on one coaching, you can perfect your skill in no time. Travelling with seasoned skiers? The beginner and intermediate slopes are located close-by so even if you’re travelling in a group you can experience the slopes together. If that’s not all, the in-house restaurant will offer a welcome break from all that exercise. There really is nothing like it!
Andorra is the perfect location to learn to ski. In Pal-Arinsal you can enjoy wide, quiet slopes that allow you space for any unwanted tumbles. There are large areas for beginners, with most runs suited to beginner level. La Caubella at 1950m and Comellenple at 1950m are accessible via the gondola lift. Think you’ve mastered the basics? You can try your hand at some tree-lined runs in Pal which is accessible via gondola.
Lech is famous for accommodating to beginners. It has its own dedicated beginner section away from the intermediate and more experienced pistes. If you need a change of scenery you can also find other beginner slopes on Oberlech, which are ideal to perfect your skills. As well as skiing you can relax and unwind in your traditional alpine chalet and take in the astounding views of the slopes. Fancy a break from skiing? Hit the markets to blow off some steam.
The perfect location for those looking at all the benefits of a beginner-friendly resort and the sophistication of Italy. Get to grips with basics on flat slopes and bask in the beauty of the Dolomites. If you’re feeling confident you can progress to more challenging runs on the Miara mountainside.
Bored with skiing? You can also try your hand at sledging. Kronplatz also offers an unrivalled nightlife, with fine dining and drinks available at the Bus Stop bar.
After an authentic Nordic skiing experience? Then head to Voss in Norway. This resort is ideal for families, offering dedicated child-friendly beginner slopes and banks to try once they’ve found their feet. Children under the age of 6, also ski for free, saving you some much-needed spending money for all those after-ski hot chocolates. But it’s not just for families, Voss is well known for offering nighttime skiing three nights a week, making it the perfect date night location. If you want a day off the slopes, there is plenty to explore with beautiful mountain views and countryside retreats on the Flam Railway.
La Rosiere, France
La Rosiere is a popular destination for beginners. Offering you top-notch ski schools and a mix of open pistes to choose from, this resort ticks all the boxes. Boasting sunny weather on the south slopes and set amid other bigger resorts, it’s more likely that in La Rosiere you won’t have to worry about queuing, giving you more time and space to practice. If that’s not all, the stunning alpine landscape, mixed with St Bernard snow dogs on site, make it a unique resort that offers you an authentic taste of the alps.
Telluride, Colorado, USA
Reaching Telluride in Colorado comes with challenges, but once you arrive, it will be well worth it. Located in the Colorado Rockies, Telluride was once a buzzing gold mining town, because of this, it features Victorian buildings and a historic main street. If that’s not all, this town was the first place to endure a bank robbery by Butch Cassidy, so if you’re bored of the slopes, unearthing the town’s unique history will provide you with an alternative.
History aside, this place has plenty to offer beginners, with plenty of slopes aimed at novices. If you’re feeling confident you can move on to the green runs running down the Bald Mountain. If you’re travelling in a group with a range of abilities, Telluride is ideally situated as they have pistes to match all levels of skill.
There is nothing more mesmerizing than hitting the slopes in Wengen, Switzerland. This village is car-free, so to travel around you will need to take trains, no cars are allowed. Imagine a picturesque Alpine resort and there you have it, with wooden chalets, narrow cobbled streets and the Sphinx Observatory, allowing you to try your hand at a spot of star gazing.
For beginners, you have two dedicated spots, one based in the village and the other higher up the mountain. Boasting over 206km of pistes you will be spoilt for choice.
Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
Why not hit the slopes in Canada? Famous for their warm hospitality and the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise combines a skiing holiday with an adventure get away. Located in the National Park of Banff, you can explore areas of natural beauty, frozen lakes and plenty of wilderness.
Offering beginner-friendly slopes and plenty of child-friendly facilities, this is a ski destination that will cater to the whole family.
Park City, Utah, USA
If you’re looking to splash out, then why not travel to the USA? Park City in Utah played a role in the 2002 Winter Olympics, making it the ideal location to start your journey on the slopes. Offering wide-open spaces, best suited for beginners, you can ease yourself gently into the sport. If you feel like you can tackle something bigger there are accessible runs for all abilities further up the chair lift.
If you fancy a day off from the slopes Park City offers you a range of art galleries, eateries and boutiques to keep you busy. Electric buses are available to take you between hotels to downtown and the Main Street Trolley is a handy edition for exploring the centre of the city. If that isn’t enough, Park City is incredibly accessible, being only 35 minutes away from Salt Lake City, so if you’re in need of a change of scenery and fancy hitting the big smoke, day trips are more than possible.
Author: Written by Sarah McCann of My Baggage, providers of ski equipment shipping for skiers of all levels around the world.