Booking your first ever ski holiday can sometimes be a daunting task. Trying to find the best resort for beginner ski holidays, deciding between whether to stay in a ski chalet, club hotel or apartment, booking your lessons, buying your lift passes and hiring your equipment can all seem a bit of an up-hill battle (sorry couldn't resist the pun!)
Look for resorts with user-friendly lifts. Button drag-lifts are easier to use than T-bars. But the best lifts for novices are gondolas and detachable chairs that virtually stop to allow you to get off- normal chairs don't slow down at the top, so you have to dismount at speed and often end up collapsed in a heap in a rather undignified fashion.
However all is not lost, Iglu Ski is here to do all that work for you and organise the ideal beginner ski holiday, tailored exactly to your needs.
Best Ski Resorts for Beginners
To whet your appetite, we have put together below a selection of our favourite beginner ski holidays to a range of resorts that we feel cater perfectly for beginners.
Meribel in The Three Valleys accommodates very well for beginners with its two dedicated beginner ski areas as well as 8 green and 25 blue runs. Its slopes are also nice and wide which is ideal for beginners to progress with their turns. Altiport and the nursery slopes at the Rond Point is most likely where your ski instructor will take you where you will find gentle green runs running back into the resort centre.
Alpe d'Huez, France
There are plenty of beginner areas and slopes to learn on in Alpe d’Huez. The two largest beginner areas are Les Bergers and DMC area’s lower slopes which are easily accessible from the resort centre. These beginner areas have plenty of cruising green runs which are ideal for first time skiers or beginners looking to regain confidence.
Les Deux Alpes, France
A well-known family-friendly resort with a vibrant après and nightlife, Les Deux Alpes has a number of beginner slopes along the Snowfront, the area at the foot of the pistes by the town centre. But the Les Crêtes area further up the mountain is great for longer runs later on in the week during lessons. The runs on the glacier are also great for learners although are best to do when you feel comfortable and your instructor feels that you are ready.
Arinsal in the Vallnord ski area, is not only good value for money but is excellent for beginners. The beginner slopes are wide and usually quiet with the designated beginner areas located at La Caubella 1950 and in Comellemple 1950m. As you grow more confident and progress, you can explore neighbouring Pal also in the Vallnord ski area which is accessible by gondola. Plus, Arinsal’s ski schools have a fantastic reputation and the resort itself is very accommodation for families and has a warm welcoming atmosphere.
Another great choice for budget friendly ski holidays, Borovets also have a great quality English speaking ski instructors and have gentle nursery slopes located at the base of the resort by Hotel Rila. By the end of the week you’ll be able to go up the gondola to do some more challenging runs at Yastrebets. Borovets will be sure to make your first ski holiday a memorable one as you can’t beat learning to ski through beautiful tree lined runs.
The highest parish in Austria, its wide, flat slopes are ideal for beginners whether you’re a first timer or looking to build your confidence. Once you instructor feels you are comfortable, ski schools routes move up the mountain above Obergurgl. It is also a good resort for ski in ski out accommodation and snow sure slopes as most of its runs lie at over 2000m and the first non-glacier resort in Tirol to open during mid-November. There are two beginner areas, at the bottom of the village near the Festkogel chairlift and in the village centre near the Rosskar chairlift. Neighbouring Hochgurgl also has a variety of blue runs which are ideal once you have mastered the basics.
A small ski resort in the Ski Juwel domain, Alpbach caters excellently for beginners and families also and is one of the prettiest resorts to learn in. The majority of its runs are rated beginner and intermediate and beginners will start in Alpbach village followed by taking the Wiedersbergerhornbahn gondola to explore more runs. Plus, with the resorts of Alpbachtal and Wildschönau in the Kitzbühel Alps joining together, it creates an even larger ski area to explore and has proved popular with families.
La Rosiere, France
A popular resort amongst beginners and families located in the Espace San Bernardo ski area, La Rosiere has excellent slope side accommodation, a welcoming and relaxing feel and gentle runs. Its easy slopes are situated beneath the ridge between La Rosiere and neighbouring Italian resort La Thuile but there are a number of green slopes in the main village and the nearby hamlet of Les Eucherts. Progressing to intermediate level will also allow you to explore the San Bernardo ski area which links La Rosiere and La Thuille together.
Beginners will find easy access to the nursery slopes from the village centre with the beginner areas near the 18 Doss and 17 San Rocco lifts. Livigno’s pistes are wide and scenic, overlooking beautiful panoramas of the surrounding mountains. Costaccia is the area where you’ll find beginner friendly runs and drag lifts before progressing further up the mountain. But Livigno is great for beginners to explore the whole area in Costaccia and skiing into Carosello 3000 also.
Look out for Learn to ski and Learn to snowboard packs. They include a lift pass, tuition and equipment, they are widely available and they normally represent fantastic savings on otherwise separately bought items.
Recommended Beginner Ski Holidays
Need some accommodation inspiration for your first ski holiday? Look no further than our recommended options that are perfect for beginners - close to the slopes, lifts and resort amenities to make your first experience as stress free as possible!
Chalet Hotel Alba & Chalet Isba, Meribel
In a prime location in Meribel resort, the Chalet Hotel Alba is just 20 metres away the slopes near the ‘Rond Point’ landmark where the nursery slopes are also located and in an ideal position for après with the après bar Rond Point close by.
The Chalet Isba sleeps 15 and is right near the town centre and the La Chaudanne lifts. The chalet also has a sauna and a jacuzzi perfect to relax and ease those aching muscles after a full day of ski lessons.
Chalet le Lac Blanc II & Chalet Hotel Les Cimes - Alpe d'Huez
Alpe d’Huez is an excellent all-round resort with an extensive range of slopes and amenities. Chalet le Lac Blanc II is very enviable, as its conveniently located on the slopes, with the ski school meeting point and main lift just 30m away. Perfectly designed, this spacious and comfortable accommodation is ideal for eager learners, keen to hit the slopes early on their beginner ski holiday.
The Chalet Hotel Les Cimes is a great value option offering comfortable bedrooms, cosy bar and lounge and welcoming dining room in which you can look out across the Oisans valley. It is a firm favourite amongst our customers due to its prime location with a minutes walk to the nearest ski lift.
Chalet Le Lac Blanc II
Hotel Aarlborg & Chalet L'Olan, Les Deux Alpes
The family friendly Hotel Aarlborg, enjoys a slope side location with the nursery slopes opposite the hotel and the drag lifts right on the hotel’s doorstep! The ski hire shop is also in house which makes collecting hire so much easier so you won’t be lugging it back to the hotel.
The Chalet L’Olan is located in a peaceful area but still with easy access to the lifts, pistes and resort amenities. Guests will also enjoy the chalet catering, so you can fuel up for your lessons and sit back when you get back and relax – everything is taken care of.
Hotel Xalet Verdu & Hotel Magic Massana, Arinsal
Traditional Catalan Hotel Xalet Verdu offers comfortable accommodation, a welcoming feel and situated only 300 metres from the main gondola and resort centre.
Setting off for your ski lesson will be no problem at the Hotel Magic Massana, located 100 metres from the gondola. Ideal for families and groups of friends, the hotel has excellent leisure facilities as well as an Irish pub with pool tables – the perfect way to unwind after a day on the slopes!
Hotel Magic Massana
Hotel Rila & Hotel Samokov, Borovets
In an unbeatable location, especially for beginners, the Hotel Rila is situated right at the bottom of the nursery slopes and four man chairlift to give you prime access to the resort’s runs. It also includes an indoor swimming pool complex, lobby bar, nightclub, sauna, steam room and fitness room! There’s so much to offer under one roof!
Hotel Samokov is also in the resort centre, opposite the Yastrebets gondola and nursery slopes as well as the resort’s amenities and nightlife. Featuring a bowling alley, cocktail bar, indoor pool, table tennis and a la carte Panorama restaurant, you’ll never be bored when you’re off the pistes.
Hotel Olympia & Chalet Angela, Obergurgl
In traditional Tyrolean style, the Olympia Hotel is situated overlooking the ski school meeting place and nursery slopes! An ideal option if you are looking for a small cosy stay in an unbeatable slope side location. It features a fantastic leisure area with steam room, sauna, and relaxation rooms with stunning panoramic views across the mountains.
A cosy stand-alone building for 8 guests, the Chalet Angela is perfect for a large family or a small group of friends. Formerly a family home, it is complete with comfortable furnishings and the airy and welcoming chalet to unwind in. The nearest lifts, the Hohe Mut gondola and Rosskarbahn chairlift, are 500 metres away but there is complimentary transport to the lifts in the morning and back to the chalet in the afternoon to make your holiday as fuss free as possible.
Romantik-Hotel Boglerhof, Alpbach
A centrally located hotel with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, the Romantik-Hotel Boglerhof is beautifully decorated inside and out to fit in with the traditional village. The perfect destination for a romantic retreat, it features heated outdoor and indoor pools, a spa with jacuzzi, saunas and steam rooms as well as a gym with a free daily programme to ensure you’re in tip top condition for the slopes.
Papillon Chalets, Chalets Ferme D'Elisa, Chalet Schatzi & Chalet Braconnier, La Rosiere
Located in the duplex chalet apartment of the Chalet Papillon development (there are 6 Papillon chalets), with welcoming open plan living and dining room as well as ensuite bathrooms in each bedroom. Ideal for a group of friends, the chalet’s position near the pistes means you can ski to and from the chalet just 75 metres away. Close to the ski school meeting point, the Les Eucherts Express chairlift and nursery slopes it is a great choice for a group of beginners.
For families, the Chalets Ferme D’Elisa (150 metres from lift), Chalet Schatzi (25 metres from lift) and Chalet Le Braconnier (40 metres from lift) are a great choice with in-chalet childcare and kids clubs available and family rooms and suites. All are very popular choices with many returning customers so booking early is recommended to secure limited rooms such as interconnecting and family suites.
Chalet Papillon 5
Hotel Garni Francescato & Hotel Livigno, Livigno
A budget friendly and simple bed and breakfast hotel, the Garni Francescato also allows a choice of board options and offers childcare options. Just 70 metres from the slopes, guests can also ski back to the hotel for the majority of the season. Ski school meeting point and nursery slopes are an easy few minutes’ walk away and you’re never too far from Livigno’s nightlife too.
200 metres from the Cassana lift, the Hotel Livigno is the resort’s first ever hotel which opened in 1912 and still ran by the Mottini family. It will be sure to give a warm welcome and a comfortable hotel to stay and relax in with its own wellness centre.
Club Med Holidays
Club Med offer premium all-inclusive packages that are fantastic for beginners with a bit of extra money to spend. These holidays do look more expensive than most holidays at first, but when you break down the cost, they are excellent value for money. These are ski holidays with lift pass and tuition included, as well as soft and alcoholic drinks and all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) with premium accommodation. If you stay at Club Med for all meals and après then you don’t need to worry about spending another penny in resort. The only extras that you may need to think about is renting equipment or childcare.
Club Med Serre Chevalier