3 Top Ski Resorts for Beginners


Whether you’re planning your very first ski holiday, or you have a beginner in your midst and you want them to enjoy a positive introduction to the sport, we bring you 3 of the best resorts for those making their start on the snow.

One of our top picks: a gem tucked away in the Ötztal Alps in Austria. Image courtesy of Rita Willaert on Flicker under a Creative Commons License

Courchevel, France

A popular choice among us Brits, Courchevel presents a tremendous variety of slopes for all skill levels and a rich selection of ski schools to get first timers up to speed in a supportive environment. The resort lists over 50% of their slopes as beginner friendly, and the base of Courchevel 1850 is the perfect place to build confidence on cruisey, well-maintained pistes. Parents of young children will be delighted by the ZEN areas (Zones for the Evolution of Novices) where magic carpets run up gentle, enclosed hills.  

Of course, the more seasoned skier will find their challenges at higher altitudes and across the extensive Three Valleys area beyond. There is also an abundance of non-skiing activities to complete your holiday, including ice skating, hot air ballooning, airboarding and paragliding. One drawback is that Courchevel’s popularity can cause the pistes to become crowded during peak dates. Those looking for wide, empty slopes may want to cast their gaze further afield to...


Obergurgl, Austria

Nestled in the Ötztal Alps, Obergurgl is a paradise for beginners and families. The resort is famously uncrowded, has a brilliant snow record with a season that lasts till May, limited queues thanks to a top-notch lift system and a bounty of wide, easy runs for beginners. What’s more, newbies can enjoy all the benefits of high altitude skiing – the best snow and stunning scenery – on the cruisy blue run 6 that gently slopes from 2600m all the way back down to base.

The resort has a family-friendly vibe and traditional chalet-style architecture, and visitors can revel in the cheerful Tirolean après! More advanced skiers will find less to occupy themselves here – for groups of dramatically mixed skill levels, we’d recommend Courchevel or...


Breckenridge, USA

Breck offers a great experience for beginners on and off the mountain. The town has wild west charisma with plenty of lively places to dine and drink, and green skiers or boarders have roughly 50km of easy-going slopes to get their bearings. There’s plenty of gentle cruising to be had around the base of peaks 8 and 9, before heading to 6 and 7 for something slightly more advanced. Speaking of advanced, experts will not be disappointed either: the summits of peaks 6 through 10 offer a thrilling selection of single and double black diamond runs!

To sweeten things further, the ski instructors in Breck carry a well-deserved reputation as some of the best in the region, and skiers can access a number of different resorts on the same lift ticket – including nearby Keystone, which is another great bet for families and those starting out.

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