Our guide to...
The best ski resorts for beginners
For complete beginners, finding the right ski resort can often be a daunting prospect. Not only should your nursery slopes be convenient and snow-sure, but they should also be wide and gentle, with plenty of longer easy runs to progress to.
Here's our pick of the five best ski resorts in the Alps for beginners...
1. Montgenèvre, France
If there is a better resort in the Alps for beginners than Montgenèvre we haven't found it!
Not only are its nursery slopes snow-sure, but they are also separated from the main ski area by a fence and are as wide and gentle as they come. Progression to longer runs is also straightforward, with lots of long easy greens many of which are pleasantly wooded.
Last but not least, Montgenèvre has a friendly low-key vibe that, unlike some bigger name resorts, makes for a very relaxed environment to learn in.
7 nights at the luxury 4-star Le Napoléon apartments from £895pp
(including flights and private transfers)
2. Saas-Fee, Switzerland
Saas-Fee has one of the biggest and best nursery slopes in the Alps. Not only is it wide and gentle, it is also removed from the main skiing area which means little chance of being intimidated by faster skiers, which can be a problem in many other resorts.
Add to that a gorgeous village setting, stunning glacial scenery and super-reliable snow, and it's easy to see why Saas-Fee is so popular with beginners and families.
Easter is the ideal time to visit Saas-Fee. There is always snow and the milder temperatures are more conducive for learning (it can be very cold here early in the season).
7 nights at the 4-star superior Hotel Schweizerhof from £1195pp
(including flights, transfers and B&B)
3. Avoriaz, France
For high, convenient and snow-sure nursery slopes, Avoriaz takes some beating. What's more, the resort is traffic free – adding considerably to its appeal for families with young children.
The resort has two main nursery areas, the first of which is adjacent to the village centre and has twin tows serving the gentlest of beginner runs.
Above the resort, further drag lifts serve a larger and slightly steeper learning area. From here you can progress to the long and immensely satisfying Proclou green run, an excellent graduation piste which will keep most near-novices amused for days.
For the more ambitious, there are also further gentle runs to explore in the nearby Super-Morzine sector
7 nights at the 5-star L'Amara luxury apartments from £895pp
(including flights and private transfers)
4. Cervinia, Italy
Cervinia has both excellent nursery slopes and plenty of easy slopes to progress to, all of which are about as snow-sure as you can get in the Alps.
Complete beginners start at village level with a moving carpet and chair, but quickly progress to the Plateau Rosa mid-station which is also very flat. Above Plateau Rosa (and all over this side of the mountain in fact) are numerous wide easy blues - perfect for graduation from the nursery areas - some of which wend their way all the day down to resort.
After a few days, confident learners could even find themselves tackling the 1200m vertical from Theodul Pass to resort.
In a nutshell, Cervinia is one of the best resorts for getting beginners safely up into a high mountain environment in as short a time as possible.
7 nights at the 4-star Saint Hubertus Resort from £1895pp
(including flights, private transfers and B&B)
5. Courchevel, France
It's not the nursery slopes per se that make Courchevel so appealing to beginners - though these are perfectly adequate by any standards - but what happens once you get off them! Simply put, few other resorts offer such an easy graduation from beginner to early intermediate skiing.
The runs leading back to and through Courchevel 1850 are some of the longest, widest and most flattering greens in the world. What's more most of these runs are in the trees and are all accessible by gondola – a serious advantage if the weather isn't playing ball.
7 nights at the 4-star Hotel Les Sherpas from £1995pp
(including flights, private transfers and half board)
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