For family friendly holidays, particularly at such times as February half term, resorts that offer good beginner skiing are crucial in order to give the inexperienced family members a chance to get to grips with the sport, whilst the more advanced party members can venture off and tackle the trickier black runs.
We have picked 10 resorts which offer great beginner skiing, with easy runs, great ski schools and just fantastic locations. Enjoy!
1] Obergurgl, Austria
Obergurgl is absolute paradise for beginners with the wide open treeless slopes which tend to be completely uncrowded and clear for you to practise your snow ploughs and turns. Three of the chair lifts are classified as beginner lifts and the two chair lifts that run from the base are free for ski school users.
Almost all of Obergurgl can easily be explored on nice easy slopes that are all suited for those that are starting from scratch or just gaining confidence before moving up to the harder slopes further up the mountain.
For those in the party that are more advanced, they too will be catered for with the testing black runs, in particular the black 11 from the top of the Hohe Mut Festkogl down to the Nederhutte. There is also plenty of off-piste to keep you keen either locally or in nearby Solden,
2] Cervinia, Italy
Cervinia sits on the other side of the Matterhorn from glamorous Zermatt and is absolutely perfect for ski beginners. There are some great nursery areas next to the resort with pretty much good snow cover all season and from these nursery slopes there is plenty to move on to. Intermediate skiing is amazing here with wide open tree-less slopes, big bowls, valleys and some of the longest runs in Europe.
The ski connoisseurs in your group can head over to swanky Zermatt to tackle some of the scarily steep Zermatt pistes, so everyone is happy!
3] Fernie, Canada
Skiing in Canada is an amazing experience. The scenery is pretty much all beautiful national park and rugged beauty. The snowfall is near perfect and the lifties are possibly the friendliest on the planet.
Although known for being wild and rugged and an absolute wonderland for advanced skiers, Fernie also has some mellow and gentle slopes which are pure heaven for beginners. Equally, it’s an advanced skier magnet with its super steep slopes further up the mountain.
Around a third of Fernie’s ski area is covered with green slopes and these are mainly sat around the base of the resort. The trails are wide open, perfectly groomed every day and are enjoyed by all ages of beginner skiers.
Once you have mastered the greens, you can then take the Great Bear Express Quad and ski from the top to the base along the long green trails that join the lower green trails at the bottom, whilst the more experienced members of your party, can get stuck into some serious Canadian skiing.
4] Saas Fee, Switzerland
Saas Fee caters particularly well to beginner and intermediates skier and snowboarders. For complete beginners, there is a fantastic nursery area at the edge of the village which is covered by a special cheap pass.
From complete beginner level, there are some great gentle blues between Felskinn and Morenia.
Saas Fee has always been a snowboarding advocate and the terrain here for intermediates and beginners is pretty perfect. Not as much so for expert snowboarders however.
The pretty village with its gentle nursery slopes are the perfect choice for families with a kid’s fun park to teach your littler ones.
5] Bansko, Bulgaria
This lovely medieval town is a gem for beginners. It’s no nonsense, cheap and extremely cheerful so it’s a great way to master the slopes and see if you like them before splashing out on a mega resort.
Bansko terrain is best suited to beginners and intermediates. As far as runs go, 33% are for beginners, 50% are intermediate and 11% are advanced.
The nursery slopes at the top of the gondola are free from through-traffic meaning that you can crack on with your snow ploughs and slow turns without being intimidated, and from here you can progress onto the long gentle blues.
6] Avoriaz, France
Full of gentle, wide slopes, Avoriaz has some of the best terrain for first time skiers and snowboarders. The nursery areas are on the proper slopes so from day 1 you can feel like you are really mountain skiing. What is more, no lift pass is necessary to enjoy these beginner slopes.
Great for families, there is a kids club in the town centre with a beginners slope next to Le Chapelle Park and a good range of blues from absolute novice to improver beginner. Be mindful that there are some more challenging blues also, so try not to get caught on these until you have gained your super skier confidence!
Another plus for Avoriaz is the excellent childcare facilities in the Village des Enfants, right in the centre of the resort, which is run, incidentally by the ex-downhill champion Annie Famose.
7] Saalbach – Hinterglemm, Austria
Saalbach and Hinterglemm are two separate villages though they are generally marketed as one. They are both completely suitable for beginner skiers however out of the two, Hinterglemm is probably better. It has bigger, better nursery slopes as well as three baby lifts and the nursery area is separate from the main slopes so that children and beginners can gain confidence without advanced skiers zooming past them.
Once skills have been mastered there are plenty of blues to keep an improved beginner happy.
8] La Rosière, France
La Rosière is sunny and pretty and sits right in the forest on the Italian border. It’s a great choice for beginners and perfect for families and we have some Snowfinders crackers dotted around the village.
For complete beginners, the nursery slopes are fantastic and the long gentle slopes are gloriously sunny and just perfect for brushing up your technique.
Known as the balcony of the Tarentaise, La Rosière has the most spectacular views at the bottom of the slopes.
A nice little touch in La Rosière is that the four short lifts at the main village and at Les Eucherts are free to use leaving you more money to spend on après ski!
9] Alpbach, Austria
This charming, traditional village is a true Austrian mountain village just perfect for beginners and children. The nursery slopes are right in the village and the ski kindergartens are second to none.
There isn’t a huge amount for the seasoned skier, however for families wishing to learn with their children it is pretty perfect.
10] Cortina D’ampezzo, Italy
Cortina has excellent beginner runs at Socrepes, as well as some marvellous runs to progress to.
Probably the most fashionable ski resort in Italy, Cortina D’ampezzo boasts the most stunning vistas across the Dolomite Mountains.
If you would like to learn to ski on some great nursery slopes and then do some serious chic people watching, then this is most definitely the place for you.
Cortina is great for all levels and since the town is connected with other resorts in the area with the Dolomiti Super Ski Pass, there will be plenty of terrain for all party members to get stuck into.
Whether you are going on your first ski holiday, or have been many times before, give Snowfinders a call on 01858 466888 for expert advice.