Arranging a winter holiday can be daunting at first but once you’re on the slopes it’s definitely worth it.

To help you decide where to go we have made a quick guide of the best resorts for beginners.

Winter holidays are an exhilarating adventure into alpine culture and snowsports can give you the opportunity to travel on spectacular winter terrain that no other mode of transport could. The mountain scenery alone will leave you breathless and wanting more.

When choosing a destination a few key factors come into play. Cost is a factor for any holiday but it’s good to know which resorts are pricier and where you can spend a little less. The number of beginner runs are a useful bit of information, not only nursery slopes but green and blue runs once you progress up the mountain, this gives you a good idea of how easy getting around the mountain as a beginner will be.

Ski School reputation and choice is also a reason to go to certain resorts. Knowing you’re in good hands on the mountains and will be taught in a professional manner can make a huge difference to the learning curve. The higher the altitude of a resort the more snow sure the area will be, which tends to mean conditions will be easier to learn on, however higher up is generally colder and if you aren’t used to altitude can affect your fitness.

From Bulgaria to Canada we have picked out resorts from a variety of countries for you to pick up the ski or snowboard bug. 

 

Borovets, Bulgaria

Altitude: 1,350-2,550m
Km of beginner pistes: 24km
Number of ski schools: 3
Accommodation prices: Approx. £200 -£500+
Flight time: Approx. 3 hrs
Transfer time: Approx. Sofia to Borovets 1 hr 20mins

Bulgaria’s first ever ski resort has a great reputation for beginner skiing and snowboarding. A combination of a plentiful beginner runs and low cost has seen many first timers head to Borovets. lots of tour operators list this destination so arranging a package holiday is easy. The village has a friendly atmosphere and the ski schools also cater well for kids. Access to the nursery slopes is easy by foot from the main hotels in the village.

Are, Sweden

Altitude: 380-1,420m
Km of beginner pistes: 45km
Number of ski schools: 1
Accommodation prices: Approx. £300 -£1,000+
Flight time: Approx. 3 hrs
Transfer time: Approx. Ostersund to Are 1 hr 30mins

Are is Sweden’s largest ski resort and is hosting the 2018 World Alpine Ski Championships, but it’s actually fantastic for beginners. The resort is much like North American resorts, in that it only has one ski school available but it’s one of the best in Europe. There’s the Rodkullen or Bjornen beginner areas,built especially for first-time skiers or snowboarders to enjoy their experience on the snow. The village atmosphere is a good blend of relaxing and lively at the same time, giving you plenty of options once you’re of the slopes.

Obergurgl, Austria

Altitude: 1,800-3,082m
Km of beginner pistes: 35km
Number of ski schools: 6
Accommodation prices: Approx. £400 -£1,300+
Flight time: Approx. 2 hrs
Transfer time: Approx. Innsbruck to Obergurgl 1 hr 30mins

There are 16 beginner slopes in Obergurgl. The Mahdstuhl nursery slope just below the village which is perfect for learning skiers and snowboarders. The ski schools have a great reputation within Austria let alone Obergurgl, so expect brilliantly run lessons. Once beginners have mastered the nursery slopes there are a number of gentle blues from the top of the Roskartbahn and the Festkoglbahn. The village is very relaxed and perfect for families. Access to the slopes is easy too from the main village. 

Alpe d'Huez, France

Altitude: 1,860-3,330m
Number of beginner pistes: 38
Number of ski schools: 7
Accommodation prices: Approx. £300 -£1,500+
Flight time: Approx. 1hr 30
Transfer time: Approx. Grenoble to Alpe d’Huez 1hr 30 mins

Alpe d’Huez has a great number of nursery slopes designed to make the learning experience swift and easy. Les Bergers is a designated low-speed zone so beginner skis can learn in comfort, with 12 green pistes and seven blue pistes available in the area. As you progress up the mountain there are plenty of wide open pistes to enjoy too. The atmosphere does have a lively reputation but there are places to unwind if you want something a bit more relaxing.  

Livigno, Italy 

Altitude: 1,816-2,900m
Number of beginner pistes: 29
Number of ski schools: 4
Accommodation prices: Approx. £100 -£900+
Flight time: Approx. 2 hrs
Transfer time: Approx. Bergamo to Livigno 3 hr 30mins

First-time skier and snowboarders have an easy start to their holiday as access to the nursery slopes are very close to the main village. The Doss and San Rocco lifts are a gentle introduction and are wide enough to avoid other learners. Once the nursery slopes are mastered the Costaccia area has lovely wide open runs in the treeline towards the bottom of the resort. Mottolino boasts a seven-kilometre blue run that runs the length of the Monte Della Neve gondola. The combination of low cost and friendly atmosphere makes Livigno a pleasant place to learn a snow sport. 

Saas Fee, Switzerland

Altitude: 1,800-3,500m
Number of beginner pistes: 9
Number of ski schools: 7
Accommodation prices: Approx. £600 -£1200+
Flight time: Approx. 1hr 40
Transfer time: Approx. Geneva to Saas Fee 2 hr 40 mins
Nursery slopes at Stafelwald in Saas Fee have some of the best views in Europe because of the towering 4,000m peaks surrounding the area. These slopes are also seperate from the fast ski traffic on the main pistes which makes it really easy to learn without pressure. Further up the mountain, there is a series of blue runs to pick from for progressing beginners. Saas Fee is a spectacular alpine area with a proud reputation of being a top class resort.

Whistler,Canada

Altitude: 653- 2,284m
Km of beginner pistes: 40km
Number of ski schools: 1
Accommodation prices: Approx. £500-£2000+
Flight time: Approx. 13 hrs
Transfer time: Approx. Vancouver to Whistler 1hr 30mins
Beginners can get around the entire Whistler resort on easy slopes without hassle. In particular, there are large beginner areas near the Blackcomb day lodge and near the middle station of the Olympic Station. There are also many monitored slow-skiing zones designed to help beginners. Many skiers and snowboarders have Whistler on their wish list to visit, so a beginner would be starting off at one of North America’s top resorts.

Take a look at our many discounts available to Ski Club members before you book your first ski holiday!

*Accommodation is an average estimate found from booking.com