5 of the Best Ski Destinations for Beginners

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So you’ve decided to go skiing for the first time. With the ski season almost upon us, and with so many resorts to choose from, how do you know where the best place to go is? Finding the right resort for you can seem like a daunting task, whether you’re looking for breathtaking scenery, great off-ski activities or the best bang for your buck. 

3 skiers on a ski lift surrounded by snow in Italy

Credit: Emma Paillex

The Alps, the Pyrenees, Eastern Europe, America and Canada – there are so many different ski resorts out there. But not all of them are good for beginners, so you need to do a bit of research before you book. For a first ski trip, you want somewhere with good nursery slopes, and a few nice blue runs to progress to. Plus decent ski schools and ideally a beginners ski pass. 

Your first ski holiday is always going to be a bit of a learning curve – from what to pack to how to stay upright! So to help you out, we’ve put together 5 of the best destinations for beginner skiers.

Obergurgl, Austria

Nestled in Austria’s Oztal valley, and known as the diamond of the Alps, Obergurgl provides excellent snow cover, and a long ski season running from November to May. Plus beautiful scenery and a family-friendly vibe. This resort is one of the highest ski villages in Europe, with slopes between 1,795m-3,080m. And its beginner runs are wide and flat and extremely well looked after. 

After a few lessons, beginners should head towards Festkogl peak and cruise down blue run 6 all the way back to base. There are a number of blues which start at the highest point of the mountain, meaning beginner skiers don’t miss out on quality powder. And they get the great views too.

Surrounded by the Ötztal Alps, the 4-star Hotel Gurglhof in the centre of Obergurgl is only 200 yards from the Hohe Mut and Rosskar Cable Cars. It has a restaurant and a large spa area. Rooms are furnished in an elegant Alpine style and feature a flat-screen cable TV, a seating area, and a bathroom. Some have a balcony overlooking the mountains. Ski passes can be bought on site. And guests can use a ski storage room with a ski boot dryer after a day on the slopes. 

Courchevel, France

With great nursery slopes with nine free beginners’ lifts, as well as plenty of longer runs to progress to, Courchevel has all of the ingredients for a perfect beginner’s ski resort. 

The resort is made up of six distinctly separate resort villages. The best two for beginners are Courchevel Moriond, which has a festive feel and is popular with families. And Courchevel (formerly Courchevel 1850) known as a haven for the rich and famous. The runs in both of these villages consist mainly of gentle blues and greens. And you’ll gain confidence from skiing on miles and miles of perfectly groomed pistes. 

Moriond (also known as 1650) is quieter and more low-key than 1850. And a whopping 60% of the resort’s slopes are beginner friendly. All of the villages have an abundance of non-ski related activities too. Including ice-skating, hot air balloon flights, climbing and paragliding – which makes it an adventurer’s heaven. Avoid going at peak times if you can (New Year and February half-term) as it will be super busy. Instead, go during the quieter period and you’re sure to have an amazing first skiing experience. You might find it’s a little cheaper too. 

Résidence Le Marquis in Moriond, is 100 yards from Courchevel 1650 Ski School, 1.4 miles from Courchevel 1550 Ski School and 2.5 miles from Courchevel 1850 Ski School. The property is 100 yards from Ariondaz Ski Lift and 1.3 miles from Grangettes Ski Lift. The apartment comes with 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom. Plus a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a balcony with mountain views. Plus a ski equipment rental service, ski-to-door access and ski storage space are all provided.

Poiana Brasov, Romania

Set in the breathtaking pine forests of the Carpathian Mountains, this picturesque purpose built resort is undoubtedly one of the best value for money ski resorts in Europe. It’s an ideal place for beginners to learn, and it has several testing runs for intermediates looking to improve. 

The resort prides itself with a highly reputable ski school. It has small classes and patient instructors with excellent spoken English, combined with affordable prices. Off-ski activities include ice skating, local folklore entertainment and plenty of late night bars. A day tour to the legendary home of Count Dracula, Bran Castle, is also one not to be missed.

Centrally located in Poiana Brasov, 10 minutes on foot from the ski slopes, Alpin Resort Hotel offers accommodation with complimentary access to a semi-Olympic pool. In the winter, free shuttles to the slopes and back depart every 5 minutes. The resort includes a large Spa Centre, 4 restaurants and 2 terraces. Plus there are 2 children’s playgrounds indoor and outdoor, a children’s pool and children’s workshops, to keep the little ones entertained when not on the slopes. Most of the rooms have a balcony and some units enjoy mountain views. 


Cortina, Italy

Cortina is one of the oldest ski resorts in Europe, with grand hotels dating back to Victorian times. And with gorgeous views of the Dolomites, you won’t get a much better first skiing experience as far as stunning scenery goes. The centre of the resort is defined by a pedestrianised main street, the Corso Italia. With an alluring array of cafés, bars and designer shops. Most visitors are Italian, and many don’t go anywhere near the slopes – which makes the pistes delightfully quiet much of the time.

Cortina’s slopes are fragmented, with three unlinked ski areas, each with an entirely different character. There are runs for all standards, with frequent buses travelling between the areas. The resort hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956, and it is due to hold them again in 2026, with Milan. Cortina is an excellent ski resort for beginners with good nursery slopes and plenty of wide gentle runs to progress to on the lower parts of the Pomedes sector.

Credit: v2osk

Right in the centre of the famous ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo, the 4-star Hotel De La Poste is set in an early 19th-century building. It features 2 restaurants where Veneto cuisine and international specialities are served, along with delicious local wines. There is free WiFi throughout, and each room is fitted with classic-style furniture and parquet floors. The Faloria cable car is a 5-minute walk away, and a ski bus stops opposite the hotel.

Kimberley, Canada

If you fancy going a little further afield, Kimberley Alpine Resort has the sunniest skiing in British Columbia. With 4 different sections including the most gladed terrain in North America (over 500 acres). And its lesser known status in the ski world leaves gloriously crowd-free slopes. Letting you roam the ski area without hanging around in queues or having to worry about traffic on the piste. The new Owl zone is super for learning the basics if you’re skiing for the first time. Beginners and early intermediates should start off on Northstar mountain. Easy Way and Canada Way will get beginners started while more confident skiers can try Midwinter and Ego Alley.

The resort is less than a half hour drive from the Canadian Rockies International Airport. And a couple of miles from the resort is Kimberley itself, which was once an old mining community and is now a Bavarian themed town. A regular bus service runs between the town and the resort, so you can choose between direct slope access if you stay in the resort. Or a short bus trip to the slopes and livelier setting if you stay in Kimberley itself.

Situated at the base of Kimberley Alpine Resort, Trickle Creek Lodge offers self-contained suites with beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains. Presenting rustic yet elegant decor, it has free internet and an outdoor pool with 2 hot tubs. Guests can enjoy direct access to the ski slopes through Trickle Creek Lodge’s back entrance. And Trickle Creek Golf Course is within 1.8 miles from the lodge. For convenience, the lodge keeps its fitness centre open for 24 hours. There is also an on-site skiing school, ski lock-up services and ski equipment rental available.

If you need more inspiration

Skiworld is the largest independent ski tour operator in the UK and has over 35 years of experience. They offer catered chalets, ski apartments, hotels and a whole host of ski holiday packages to suit all types of traveller. Such as ski holidays for beginners, families, groups and even tailor-made options. Priding themselves on being ski specialists and with a  team is made up of those that love the mountains and all things ski.

One of the most popular times to go on a ski holiday is Half Term. Which means the kids are off school and you can enjoy some of the best ski conditions of the winter. Plus when you book with Skiworld you can make great savings and we have holiday packages starting from only £765pp. Below you’ll find our half term special offers, see ski deals, as well as find our recommendations on where to go.

Choose from holidays with the biggest savings, the lowest prices and least distance to piste and ski schools.

What better way to spend Christmas than in a winter wonderland enjoying a superb day on the slopes, followed by an evening of great food and an open fire? See our Christmas ski deals to start your search for the perfect holiday.  Christmas 2019 Ski Holidays 

So if you’re looking forward to speeding down the slopes, lunch stops up among the clouds, and après ski drinks by the fire, browse Made4Travel to compare deals for the best ski resorts and hotels.

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