Learning to ski or snowboard can be daunting, and your initial experience can determine whether or not you go back for more. Where, and with whom you make your formative turns is therefore extremely important, and while most ski resorts have ski schools and dedicated slopes for beginners, there are certain ones that stand out from the crowd when it comes to catering to the needs of first time skiers and snowboarders.
Plenty of easily accessible beginners’ slopes, free and easy to use lifts, excellent ski schools, and a good range of quiet intermediate slopes to progress to, are all key to ensuring you get the best possible introduction to skiing, and the following resorts tick all those boxes, and more.
With a huge network of green beginners’ slopes located right next to the village, Alpe d’Huez is one of the best resorts in Europe to learn to ski or snowboard, and, as the more advanced slopes are to be found elsewhere on the mountain, the pace here is perfectly suited to those still finding their feet. Once you’ve mastered the basics, there are also plenty of gentle blue runs just a short chairlift ride away, on which to practice your newfound skills.
© L Salino
The quiet slopes of La Rosière provide the perfect setting to make your first foray into skiing. With 80% of the slopes being suitable for beginners or intermediates, there’s plenty of unintimidating terrain for novices to explore, and as it doesn’t really attract many advanced skiers, beginners are able to build their confidence without having to worry too much about fast skiers whizzing past.
The resort also has three free ski lifts, which means that you don’t have to fork out for a lift pass until you’re able to make good use of it.
With excellent kids’ ski school and childcare facilities, Avoriaz is a fantastic place to introduce young children to the slopes for the first time, as well as catering extremely well to adults making their first turns. The British-run Avoriaz Alpine Ski School offers a wide range of lessons to suit everyone, and receives consistently excellent feedback.
© Avoriaz Alpine Ski School
Les Arcs is another resort that suits beginners very well, wherever in the resort you choose to stay. There are easily accessible beginners’ slopes above each of the villages, and some excellent tuition on offer. British-run ski school, New Generation comes highly recommended, and has meeting points in both Arc 2000 and Vallandry. It’s also possible to buy a cheap beginners’ lift pass for the area of Peisey Vallandry if you’re staying down that way and aren’t likely to be able to take full advantage of a pass for the whole area.
© Merci L'Agence 2015
The gentle slopes of Les Gets lend themselves perfectly to first-time skiers and boarders, and a few years ago, the Chavannes base area was completely redeveloped to make it even more beginner-friendly. There’s also a dedicated beginners’ zone called ‘Espace de Mappy’s’, where learners of all ages can hone their skills in a safe and protected environment, away from other skiers and boarders.
© N Joly / OT Les Gets
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Posted on Thursday 14 Jul 2016