When it comes to planning a ski trip in Europe, the most difficult part is choosing where to go. There are so many resorts to choose from. It is important to pick the right resort, especially when you are a beginner or want to build your confidence in the piste. If you pick the wrong one, not only you won’t enjoy your trip, but you probably will end up feeling frustrated and disappointed.
I remember during one of our first ski holidays in Europe, we chose a resort randomly, we took a cable car and went up the mountain, where we found only black and red runs. We fell so many times and ended up carrying our ski gear down the hill while walking on the side of the piste. It wasn’t fun and we learned our lesson. That is why now, we always chose our ski destination wisely.
To help you enjoy your ski trip, in this post, I and my fellow travel bloggers shared our favourite ski resorts in Europe which are suitable for beginners and intermediates.
This post contains affiliate links and if you click one I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Arinsal and Pal in Andorra
Recommended by Mansoureh (myself)
Arinsal and Pal in Andorra with its 63km of marked pistes is an excellent choice for those who are just starting to slide, considering that there are 7 green, 15 blue and 16 red runs and only 4 black trails. Most of the runs are long and wide and easily lead you to the ski lift stations.
There are ski and snowboarding schools in both Arinsal and Pal. The classes can be in English, French, Spanish or Catalan. Since the whole country is located on a mountain range, snow cover is guaranteed throughout the winters. Plus, there are more than 300 snow guns covering the resorts.
There is no airport in Andorra. The best way to get here is to fly to Barcelona in Spain or Toulouse in France and drive to Arinsal.
Andorra is a popular ski destination and it is highly recommended to book your accommodation in advance. It is good to stay in the village of Arinsal, where there are different types of accommodation close to the resort. Plus, Arinsal is connected to Pal by a 50-person cable car.
Most of the hotels in the village are just a short walk from one of the 43 lifts, while some places have direct access to the lift from the building. If you prefer to have a thermal swimming pool you can stay in Hotel Spa Princesa Parc. Check the price and availability here. If you are looking for self-catering accommodation and direct access to the ski lifts you can stay at Ribasol Ski & Mountain Park. Click here to check out the availability.
La Tania in France
Recommended by Sylvie from Travels With Eden
La Tania is a village resort set at an altitude of 1400m in southeast France. From La Tania, there’s easy access to the Les Trois Vallées - the biggest ski area in the world. La Tania is very close to the bigger ski town Courcheval, where there are more beginner runs as well as shops and restaurants. Courchevel is easily accessible by bus.
There are plenty of companies in La Tania offering ski lessons, one of the best of companies is Ecole du Ski Francais. Instructors are highly trained and part of the National Ski School.
Lessons start from age three where there’s a unique ski run with a small lift as well as toys (Club Piou Piou – 3-5 years. There are also special lessons for teens where there’s more racing involved.
There’s a gondola close by where you can either ski down a long green or blue run back to La Tania or catch another chair lift onwards to Courchevel.
Best Places to Stay in La Tania
We stayed at Hotel Montana which features a half board package with breakfast, afternoon tea and cakes and a three-course a la carte dinner. The hotel also features an indoor pool, sauna and steam room. Ease of access is excellent as the Hotel Montana is a ski-to-the-door hotel - just 50m from the gondola. You can book the reviews here.
Yellowstone Lodge by Alpine Residences is another amazing ski-to-door hotel in La Tania, offering a hot tub and private parking on-site.
Igls in Austria
Recommended by Elina from Empnefsys & Travel
Igls is a small village close to Innsbruck in Austria. It is most famous for its winter ski resort on the Patscherkofel mountain. The ski resort has slopes for all ski levels including beginners. In total, there are 11 marked pistes: four easy, five intermediate and two difficult.
This ski resort is great for beginners, because of the variety of trails. There is a ski school on site that can help people learn to ski and snowboard at the easy slopes, and then, as their performance progress, they can move on to one of the intermediate trails. Individuals can join group lessons or arrange private ones. Besides, there is ski equipment rental available on-site, which is great for beginners who do not want to invest in their own equipment yet.
To get to Igls you need first to get to Innsbruck either by train or plane and then take the bus for Igls. Bus J connects Nordkette with Patscherkofel (the stop is outside the entrance to the ski resort) and passes from various stops in Innsbruck including the train station. The journey takes about 30 minutes and there is a bus every 10-15 minutes.
In terms of accommodation, I suggest staying in Innsbruck and taking the bus to Igls, as there are more accommodation and dining options there. I recommend staying at the Hotel Innsbruck, a nice and modern hotel a few minutes away on foot from the main attractions of Innsbruck. The hotel is also located right next to Marktplatz, which services bus J to Patscherkofel, you can check the price here.
Bansko in Bulgaria
Recommended by Lucy from On the Luce
Among the snowy peaks of beautiful Pirin National Park, you'll find Bansko, Bulgaria's most popular winter sports resort. The town is around a 2.5-hour drive south of the Bulgarian capital Sofia where the international airport is located, and there are several companies which offer low-cost transfers between the two.
Skiing in Bulgaria is great value for its budget food and accommodation, with lots of self-catering apartments as well as some chalets and hotels.
Bansko's ski area is set above the resort at 2000–2600 metres high, connected to the town by a 25-minute gondola ride (get there early or late to miss the queues in high season). The resort's high altitude means there's a fairly long ski season, running from December to March, and great snow coverage with snow cannons to top it up if necessary. The altitude also means some spectacular panoramic views at the top of the slopes.
The resort has around 70km of pistes which cater for a mix of levels, including eight blue runs and the 15km-long, gentle tree-lined Ski Road which leads back to the town. Bansko is especially popular with beginners who want to try skiing or snowboarding out because of its good-value lessons and low-cost ski hire. There is a selection of ski schools with English-speaking instructors who offer group and individual lessons.
Bansko is centred around its charming UNESCO World Heritage town centre where you'll find historic buildings, cobbled streets and cosy taverns known as merchants which serve traditional local cuisine. There's also a lively mix of après-ski bars and restaurants in Bansko, both on the pistes and close to the lift station. You can also visit nearby Banya to soak away any aches and pains in the thermal spa waters.
Pila in Italy
Recommended by Mansoureh (myself)
Pila might be one of the most underrated ski resorts in the north of Italy. It is easy to reach with a 20-minute gondola trip from the beautiful Roman city of Aosta. Pila with its 50km runs offers a decent variety of trails for all levels, especially for intermediates. There are more than 8 km of blue pistes, around 36 km of red and 6 km of black trails.
Skiing in Pila is enjoyable since you slide downhill on a scenic tree-lined run. Here is where you will experience the pure joy of skiing. At the top of the resort, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the snow-covered mountains. There are good restaurants and bars in the area where you can enjoy eating Polenta while drinking Italian wine and admire the beauty of the surroundings.
Pila is relatively small and it can be very busy during weekends and holidays. So, it is good to stay in Aosta and go skiing in Pila for a couple of days while you can visit the historical attractions in Aosta, or if you just want to ski, there are other ski resorts nearby.
Best Places to Stay in Pila
Chaletbethere is a self-catering property in Pila, offering ski-to-door access. This beautiful chalet is just a few steps from the ski lifts. It features a sun terrace, a garden with barbecue facilities and a shared hot tub.
Residence Les Fleurs, located 100 yards from the Les Fleurs-Plan Praz ski lift, is one of the best places to stay in Pila. It offers ski lessons and ski storage.
Hotel La Chance is located the heart of the Pila ski resort, offering modern rooms, a wellness centre is complete with sauna and hot tub.
Lemonsjøen in Norway
Recommended by Claire from Stoked to Travel
Lemonsjøen is a small ski resort located between Oslo and Trondheim in Norway. It takes around 4 hours to drive north from Oslo to Vågåmo, which is the nearest large town to Lemonsjøen.
The ski resort's small size makes it perfect for beginners, with around 40% of the slopes marked as blue (easy), 50% as red (intermediate), and only 10% are black (difficult). Most of the runs are fairly gentle, and tree-lined, making it ideal for those looking to gain confidence as they improve in a small, quiet ski resort.
The off-piste routes also suit intermediates who want to learn the ropes of this exhilarating activity, and there's also a great snow park for snowboarders, with jumps, rails and boxes for working on all the skills!
The ski school is located by the rental centre and ticket office at Lemonsjø Alpinsenter, which offers reasonably priced lessons either private or group classes.
Lemonsjøen is located close to the Jotunheimen National Park, home to the highest mountains in Norway so away from the slopes, there are some exciting activities on offer such as ice-climbing and snow-rafting.
Best Places to Stay for Skiing in Lemonsjøen
Vågåvatnet Feriesenter is a lovely modern house, offering a comfortable stay. It is located right nex to the lake and is an ideal place for couples and families.
SOV Lodge, Vågå is another great place to stay around Lemonsjøen, offering mountain views, a garden, a shared lounge and a terrace.
Les Arcs in France
Recommended by Emma from Wanderlust and Wet Wipes
Les Arcs is a collection of five ski resorts located in the west of France, near the border with Switzerland. It is easily accessible by car (around 6.5 hours from Paris) and by train (5.5 hours from Paris).
The five resorts are Arcs 2000, Arcs 1950, Arcs 1800, Arcs 1650, and Bourg-Saint-Maurice and they all have multiple options for accommodation from high-end hotels to basic self-catering and everything in between. There is a free bus shuttle service between the Arcs resorts as well as a funicular that runs between Bourg-Saint-Maurice train station and Arcs 1600.
Skiing with kids made me really nervous but Les Arcs is a great place for beginners. There are several ski schools to choose from in each resort including ESF, Evolution2 (Evo2), Spirit, Arc Adventures, Privilege, and Bureau Des Guides. Many have offices in more than one or all of the resorts.
Les Arcs has 425km of pistes for all ages and abilities including some very gentle garden slopes and easy green pistes which is why it is perfect for beginners. There are also several areas with wide bowl pistes – often two next to each other or merging which is perfect for practising techniques or some afternoon runs after a long morning in ski school.
The resort runs can get busy but are well maintained and all have a collection of bars and restaurants at the bottom to grab lunch before heading back up the mountain or to celebrate the end of a great day in the snow.
Best Places to Stay in Les Arcs
CGH Résidences & Spas Le Coeur d'Or is a Savoyard-style residence, just 10 minutes walk from the funicular. The property offers a spa, an indoor pool, and spacious apartments with well equipped kitchen.
L'Aiguille Grive Chalets Hotel is located in the ski resort, offering direct access to the ski slopes. It features different sizes of apartments with balconies.
Chalet Hotel La Tarine sits in the heart of Peisey Nancroix village and it is 200m from the ski lifts of Les Arcs and La Plagne. Guest can enjoy traditional French cuisine at the restaurant and taste the locally made beverages at the bar.
Ruka in Finland
Recommended by Megan & Aram from Megan Starr
One of the most incredible ski resorts in Europe for those that are not expert skiers is Ruka in Finland. This unassuming ski resort is just south of the Arctic Circle and situated rather close to the Russian border near the Finnish city of Kuusamo.
Known for wildlife tourism and its stunning forests during the summer months, Ruka-Kuusamo transforms into a winter wonderland and skier and snowboarder paradise during the winter. With over 200 days of snow, Ruka offers an alpine ski and a snowboard school and they even offer lessons in English and Russian.
There are several fantastic places to stay in and around the ski resort. You can opt for a family-style cabin at Ski-Inn for prices as low as 700 Euros for the week. There are also many apartments on-site that give you a chance to experience the cosy restaurants and bars of Ruka. You can check the price and reviews here.
There is minimal daylight during the winter with sunrise at 10:37 and sunset at 13:26 on the winter solstice. The average December temperature is -6C (high) and -15C (low). So, do dress accordingly as it will be frigid!
A wonderful thing to note is that even though Ruka is known for its downhill tracks, it also is home to over 500 kilometres of cross-country skiing tracks and over 600 kilometres of snowmobile routes. Ruka truly is one of the best places to visit in Finland in winter for those that love skiing, snowboarding, and snowy adventures.
Best Places to Stay in Ruka
VILLA KELO, a cosy self-catering chalet in Ruka, features a sauna, a garden, barbecue facilities and free parking. This property is a great place for families or a group of friends.
Ruka Ski Chalets is a modern ski-in/ski-out property, situated right next to the slopes of Ruka, just 60m from the nearest ski lift.
Rukavuorenhuippu Apartment is a 5-bedroom villa and it is one of the best places to stay in Ruka for skiing. The villa offers a sauna and hot tub, a ski equipment rental service, and ski-to-door access.
Borovets in Bulgaria
Recommended by Alex from EarthOSea
Borovets is one of the biggest ski and mountain resorts in Bulgaria. It is located on the northern slopes of Rila mountain and is sitting at an elevation of 1300 meters. Borovets ski resort is only 70 kilometres away from Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, which makes it one of the most visited ski resorts in the country.
The easiest way to get to Borovets is by car, which takes around an hour, but there is also a regular bus from the Central Bus Station in the capital.
The ski resort has 24 skiing slopes with total lengths of 58 kilometres, cross-country skiing tracks, biathlon and night skiing facilities. Additionally, there are 12 lifts to take you to those trails, which are quite modern and well-maintained. The skiing slopes are situated in three skiing regions – Martin’s Hut, Markudzhik and Yastrebets. Furthermore, the skiing slopes are varying in difficulty levels, which makes them suitable for beginners, advanced and expert skiers.
There are a couple of ski schools in Borovets from which you can choose. The most famous ski schools are Borovets ski school, Hunters ski school and Rilski ski school. The prices usually vary, but for 30 euros or 60 Bulgarian leva, you can get 1 hour of individual ski lessons.
When it comes to skiing, you will certainly need to get on the lift so you will have to get yourself a card. For a half-day, the price is 40 Bulgarian levs and for a full day, it is 62 Bulgarian levs.
Last but not least, if you are wondering where to stay, then head to the Villas Jagoda & Malina. This place is the cosiest you will find there and has a very authentic vibe and outlook. You can check the price and availability here.
Zermatt in Switzerland
Recommended b Allan Wilson from It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor
When it comes to ski resorts it is hard to beat Zermatt, where it is found high in the Swiss Alps, with probably one of the most iconic backdrops beneath the magnificent Matterhorn in Switzerland.
It is a resort famous not only for skiing and winter sports but it also marks the start of the famous rail journey the Glacier Express which is an ideal way to reach the resort. There is guaranteed snow in the winter months in Zermatt, where cable cars and funiculars navigate the surrounding peaks and the various slopes.
There is also Special Lift Passes discounted for beginners to give a cheaper option for those who will only use a small area with the beginner slopes of the resort. The main beginner’s area would be found around Blauherd, Gornergrat, Tockner and Sunnegga, which are also where the main ski schools and learning zones are found.
In the Sunnegga area, there is also Wolli’s Learner Zone which would be the main area for beginners to get to grips with the basic slopes. There are many ski schools to choose from as well although ‘Swiss Ski School Zermatt’ founded way back in 1929, is the prominent name in the centre of Zermatt.
Best Places to Stay in Zermatt
SchlossHotel Zermatt Active & CBD Spa Hotel is an elegant 4-star Alpine property, offering a spa an indoor swimming pool. It is located 50m from the Zermatt train station and 250m from the Zermatt-Sunnegga ski lift.
Matterhorn FOCUS Design Hotel is a unique proprty in Zermatt, offering ski-to-door access and breathtaking views of the Matterhorn. Guests can enjoy the buffet breakfast and a luxurious spa area.
22 Summits Apartments, located a quiet hillside location, a short walk from the centre of Zermatt and the Matterhorn train station. It offers fully equipped kitchens include an oven and a dishwasher, and a daily cleaning service of the apartments.
Cervinia in Italy
Recommended by Mansoureh (myself)
Its location, beneath the Matterhorn in the Aosta Valley, makes Cervinia a wonderful ski resort. This gorgeous ski resort is the highest in Italy and one of the best for beginner and intermediate skiers in Europe.
Cervina is connected to the Zermatt ski resort in Switzerland. This means that you can ski between the two countries. Zermatt and Cervinia have 360km of pistes between them, and they share the highest slopes in Europe. With a long season that runs from mid-October to May, Cervinia ski resort has some of the most reliable snow in the Alps.
Some of the best and longest not-so-challenging runs in the Alps can be found in Cervinia. It is an ideal ski resort for intermediate skiers who enjoy big-mileage cruising through mountains. The 21km red run from the Plateau Rosa to Valtournenche village is one of the world's longest on-piste descents.
Other than skiing, Cervinia is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, offering amazing restaurants, bars and hotels. Cervinia is also a great destination in the summer for hiking and mountain biking.
Best Places to Stay in Cervinia
The Hermitage Relais, is a 5-star hotel in Cervinia, offering celebrity treatment with world-class service. There are indoor and outdoor swimming pools.
White Angel Hotel is another stunning ski-in/ski-out hotel in Cervinia, offering stunning views of the Alps. It features a quality restaurant, a spa and wellness centre and ski storage.
Val di Sole in Italy
Recommended by Teresa from Borgan Abroad
Val di Sole is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a ski resort for beginners in Europe. Whether you are a seasoned or a new skier or snowboarder, Trentino in winter is a great place to enjoy a ski break.
The descents in the Folgarida Marilleva and Madonna di Campiglio Pinzolo skiing areas will take your breath away. The views and the dramatic mountains are really stunning, and it has 270 km of pistes, of which over half are interconnected. Over a third of the slopes are an easy level, so there is something for everyone no matter your experience.
If you are an absolute beginner and you would like to learn, there are quite a few ski schools in the area. I can recommend the Italian Ski School Val di Sole Dallas. When I went to Trentino, I hadn’t skied for 5 years, and the last time I did I managed to break my knee, so I was a little bit nervous, to say the least. I spent a couple of hours doing some practice runs with my instructor, who made me feel at ease pretty much straight away, so I was able to get my confidence back.
No matter where you’re staying in the resort, the ski lifts are very easy to reach thanks to a great public transport network. Plus the area has plenty of facilities for the rental of the latest ski and snowboard gear.
Best Places to Stay in Val di Sole
Hotel Garnì Caminetto is located just a short walk from Spinale Express and Laghi Express lifts, offering a daily buffet breakfast with homemade cakes and local products.
Hotel Casa del Campo offers ski-to-door access, a garden, and a terrace equipped with sun loungers. Guests can enjoy a daily breakfast including fresh fruits, homemade bread and cakes.
Hotel Montana is another great ski-in/ski-out hotel in Val di Sole, located 200 m from Madonna di Campiglio centre. All rooms have balconies with mountain views.
Alpe d'Huez in France
Recommended by Stuart from Go Eat Do
Alpe d’Huez, in the south-east of France, is widely regarded as one of Europe’s best ski resorts. Encompassing neighbouring resorts, the Alpe d’Huesz Grand Domain Ski Area has 249 kilometres of marked pistes and 84 ski lifts.
With its variety of pistes, including 41 green and 34 blue runs, it’s ideal as a destination for groups of mixed ability. Beginners can take lessons with ESF, the French Ski School. There are 40 red and 16 black pistes. That means everyone can find runs to suit their level, from absolute beginners to experienced skiers who enjoy challenging runs.
The resort is famed as being the location of one of Europe’s longest ski runs. The Sarenne is designated a black piste of 16 kilometres in length. Le Tunnel is another black run and famed for being among the continent’s most challenging. Both of these pistes begin on Pic Blanc, which at 3,300 metres above sea-level is the highest point in the resort. Less experienced skiers might consider ascending and descending in the cable car, simply to enjoy the magnificent landscape visible from Pic Blanc on clear days.
Alpes–Isère Airport is approximately 90 minutes’ drive from Alpe d’Huez. Trains run to Grenoble, about 65 kilometres from the ski resort. Ski France offers ski-in, ski-out accommodation at Alpe d’Huez. The resort has traditional Alpine chalets and modern apartments.
Zugspitze in Germany
Recommended by Diana Lesko from The Globetrotting Detective
The Zugspitze Ski Resort is where you can find the highest point in Germany, at 2,962 meters above sea level. The Zugspitze Ski Resort is the only glacier ski area and the most spectacular ski arena in Germany. It is next to the Garmisch-Partenkirchen Ski Resort which is well-known for hosting the Winter Olympics in 1936.
The ski trails here are always very well maintained and its snow quality is more than perfect. Thanks to the excellent snow quality on the slopes, skiing is a lot of fun there and quite easy for beginners on the blue ski runs.
Some say that Zugspitze is only for experienced and accomplished skiers. However, we should not forget about the 3 blue ski slopes that are 7 km long in total. These runs are perfect for beginner skiers to develop their skills. If you are interested in ski courses, check out the website of Skischule Zugspitze-Grainau.
Other than skiing, you can go up to the summit of Zugspitze with a cable car. From there you can enjoy an extraordinary view of the mountain hills covered with pure white snow and puffy white clouds. Moreover, you can enjoy a perfect German style rest from the snowy terrace of several restaurants with a delicious Bavarian beer and meal such as bratwurst with a pretzel.
As for getting there, it’s very easily accessible. If you just want to take a day trip to Zugspitze, it’s possible. In Germany, in the state of Bavaria where Zugspitze is situated, there is a special ticket including public transport from anywhere in Bavaria, all the ski lifts and cable cars, and a 1-day ski pass.
If you want to travel by car, you can park your car in Garmisch-Partenkirchen or at Eibsee and take a cogwheel train, the Zugspitzbahn from Garmisch-Partenkirchen or the Eibsee-Sailbahn from Eibsee, to get up to Zugspitze.
You can also reach the top of Zugspitze coming from Austria. In case you want to do so, you can simply take the cable car, the Tiroler-Zugspitzbahn in Obermoos.
To make the most of your stay in this winter dreamland, spend a couple of days up in the mountains. You can either book accommodation on the Austrian or German side of the mountain. The most popular and closest hotels are the Zugspitz Resort (check the price here) and the Alpen-Chalet Ehrwald (book it here).
Zakopane in Poland
Recommended by Jacquie from Flashpacking Family
Zakopane is a small ski resort in Poland located about 110 km south of Krakow in the Tatra Mountains and can be easily reached by driving or taking public transport from Krakow.
Zakopane has several ski slopes, the majority of which are suitable for beginner skiers. In our opinion, the best place to learn to ski is Polana Szymoszkowa which has only green, blue and red run. This means that you won’t encounter many advanced skiers whizzing past you which can be a bit off-putting.
Polana Szymoszkowa has an excellent ski rental shop at the base of the slopes as well as a good ski school. If you don’t want to be tied to one particular slope for the duration of your holiday, you can look into an independent ski school like Snow4You. They have excellent, English speaking instructors.
There are two ski lifts at Polana Szymoszkowa. One accesses only the green and blue runs and the other accesses only the red run. You can buy a Tatry Super Ski Pass which will give you access to these runs as well as 14 other ski slopes in and around Zakopane.
The other great thing about Zakopane ski resort is that it is one of the cheapest ski resorts in Europe (taking into account lift pass price and accommodation). If you are looking to ski at Polana Szymoszkowa, we recommend Szymoszkowa Residence which has a good range of apartments close to the slopes. You can read the reviews and book it on TripAdvisor or Booking.com.
Finally, if you’re not looking to ski all day, there are some great thermal baths in the area where you can soak those aching muscles!
Meribel in France
Recommended by Sophie from Sophie's Suitcase
Skiing is one of those things that every travel lover should try out once. Sure, it looks quite daunting from the sidelines (and from the ski lift itself) but it’s a great experience and one that will tick all of your boxes if you’re an adrenaline junkie.
Whilst it is good for thrill-seekers, there is also a lot out there for beginners, and one of the best places to ski for beginners in Europe is Meribel in France.
The stunning ski town of Meribel is situated in the French Alps and is the perfect ski resort for beginners. The scenery is stunning, with traditional Chalet-style buildings, over 600 km of piste across the Three Valleys, extensive slopes for all abilities and gives you access to Val Thornes and Courchevel.
There are lots of easy slopes to get you started, including over 20+ green runs throughout the resorts, as well as some tougher blue and red runs, and of course, the harder red and black runs dotted throughout. It is a great resort for all abilities!
Access up the slopes is easy here, with ski lifts and the new Saulire Express gondola which takes over 2,000 people an hour from the centre to the Saulire peak at 2,700m in under 12 minutes! This is a must-do if you are in the area as the views are breathtaking!
It is also easily accessed by plane via Geneva and Chambery airport so that you can be on the slopes in a matter of hours!
A ski trip to Meribel is truly something that you must witness in your lifetime, and the slopes, the scenery and the food are second to none.
Sierra Nevada in Spain
Recommended by Linn Haglund of Andalucia Hiking
Sierra Nevada in southern Spain is one of the best ski resorts for beginners in Europe. You do find some of the highest peaks in Spain here, like Pico de Veleta (3398 masl), where one of the ski lifts almost reaches the top. But don’t worry. There are plenty of beginner’s slopes among the 21 slopes that aren’t steep at all.
The ski lift takes you up to higher altitude and once you get there, you can play around a couple of easy slopes. You can rent skis, snowboards, and anything else you need right there. And if you need an instructor to teach you, there are many to choose from, so you can get comfortable before you try on your own.
There is also a restaurant and bar up there where you can enjoy a cold beer while enjoying the sun on your break. The temperatures in Sierra Nevada normally ranges between 3 and 7 degrees Celsius but if there is no wind and the sun is out, it can feel hot!
Sierra Nevada has one of the longest skiing seasons in Europe and you can usually go skiing from November until late April or even early May in some years. The village of Sierra Nevada has a lot of accommodation opportunities, mainly apartments and studios, but also some hotels. There are plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from and altogether a great mountain village atmosphere.
Seefeld in Austria
Recommended by Steve from Ski Resorts
Seefeld has managed to maintain a reputation as one of Austria’s top winter sports destinations, even though the ski area is not that big and the mountains are not particularly high.
Seefeld appeals to specific types of visitors because of a combination of attractive features.
Beginners and early intermediates love the fact that there is a recognisable progression from the simple beginners’ hill in the centre of the village through to the easier slopes on the higher ski areas at the edge of Seefeld. There are three ski schools in the village offering instruction and there is a regular free ski bus service around the resort.
Another niche that is well-served by the resort is mixed-ability groups, where parents might be decent skiers, children may be learning, and grandparents may be along to enjoy the winter snow. Alternatively, Seefeld is also ideal for those who don’t want to spend a whole week on skis.
The downhill ski areas in the area might not be at the top of any expert’s list, but the region is renowned as one of the top cross-country ski areas in the world. Seefeld is on a plateau at 1240 metres meaning that both types of skiing can rely on a good snow record, with the network of cleared cross-country ski trails (and winter walking routes) threading through the forests and meadows around the nearby villages.
As a top Austria destination in both winter and summer, Seefeld has a wide choice of accommodation. Getting there is also a simple matter – with the village located on a direct railway line between Munich and Innsbruck for visitors arriving by air and with good access to the motorway network in Germany to the north and the Inn valley to the south.
Beitostolen in Norway
Recommended by Nichola from Family Hotel Expert
Beitostølen sits around two and a half hours from Oslo and is the perfect resort for people who love to ski. It is one of the most picturesque ski resorts, peppered with buildings that are deep red in a way only the Scandinavians create them.
The best way to get here is to fly into Oslo and drive the distance up. The ski school here is absolutely fantastic with a team of English speaking instructors who have a kind, gentle manner that Norway really excels at.
Beitostølen is not a large resort but there’s plenty to keep you occupied with a scattering of shops and restaurants and some great supermarkets if you’re planning a self-catering stay. Beitostølen has got to be one of the best winter Norway family holidays.
Alongside the skiing, there’s a chance to try out Arctic fishing or husky dog sledding. If you are into skiing though you will love the very quiet slopes and breathtaking scenery that really is unlike any other. The Radisson Blu is the perfect hotel to stay in, right in the centre and a short walk from the ski lifts it has roaring fires in the lobby and a great indoor pool to enjoy in the evenings. You can check the reviews and availability here.
Oberammergau in Germany
Recommended by LeAnna from Wander In Germany
Most people looking to ski in Germany look straight towards the Zugspitze. After all, it is the tallest mountain in Germany, and it has amazing runs, tons of lifts, and is a skiers delight.
However, if you are more of a novice, or even just someone on a budget, then the beautiful German town of Oberammergau is just 30 minutes down the road and is for you. Oberammergau is a perfect alternative for people who love to ski or want to improve their skiing skills. You actually can’t find any Black runs here, instead, the majority will be blue with a few reds, which is exactly why it's perfect for families and beginner skiers.
However, you are still in the stunning Bavarian Alps, so even with easier slopes, you are still guaranteed with gorgeous mountain views and a fun day. There are two different areas you can ski on. Kolben couldn't be more perfect for the beginner crowd and the Laber, which is great for those with a bit more intermediate experience who love to ski but don't want the big, busy, and overpriced resorts.
Oberammergau is a great day trip from Munich and you can get there in less than 2 hours by train with the Bayern Pass or in just over an hour by car. It makes a great day trip from Neuschwanstein Castle as well. Therefore, depending on what else you are doing on your Holiday, towns like Garmisch, Füssen, and even Munich are all good options. But of course, you can also stay in Oberammergau itself, which is a perfect Bavarian village to enjoy as well when off the slopes, you can check the accommodations and prices here.
Obergurgl-Hochgurgl in Austria
Recommende by Jessie Moore from Pocket Wanderings
Known as the “Diamond in the Alps”, the Gurgl ski resort is situated high in the Austrian Tyrol and comprises two twin areas of Obergurgl and Hochgurgl. At 1800-3080 metres above sea level, its high altitude makes it a snow-sure destination. Skiers can benefit from excellent snow conditions right up to the end of April.
The Obergurgl and Hochgurgl ski areas offer great appeal to a wide variety of skiers. With sun-flooded slopes, modern mountain lifts and a great diversity of runs, it’s easy to understand its popularity. The wide-open slopes and favourable weather conditions make Gurgl a fantastic resort for beginner and intermediate skiers.
Obergurgl is a very accessible ski resort, situated only 90 minutes from Innsbruck airport. There is also a train station at Otztal, which is a 45-minute drive away. Visitors to this stunning mountain village are spoilt for choice with accommodation. There are a number of spectacular five-star hotels for those looking for a bit of luxury, such as the Alpen-Wellness Resort. But there is a good selection of more budget-friendly options too.
If you’re looking for lessons then you can expect high-quality ski school tuition from the resort. As a modern ski resort, the ski school areas are equipped with state-of-the-art rope lifts and moving carpets.
One final highlight that simply must be mentioned is the après offering. Obergurgl is home to the world-renowned Nederhütte, famous for its après-ski entertainment. Suitable for adults and kids alike, it’s really not to be missed.
Morzine in France
Recommended by Name: Josh & Sarah from Veggie Vagabonds
Across Europe, you’re pretty spoiled with amazing ski resorts but one of our favourites for beginners has to be Morzine in the French Alps.
We spent a year living close to the French Alps and, though Morzine was not the closest, this was an area we regularly travelled to as beginners. This is a great place to improve your skiing skills and techniques.
Morzine is a beautiful French town, close to the French-Swiss border and easily accessible from both countries. You can fly to Geneva or Chamonix and will find lots of transport options.
The town itself has a lot of charm and it offers all the amenities you’ll need, brilliant food, classic accommodation and cultural highlights. Off the slopes there are great snowshoeing options, dogsledding and the area is also a melting pot for snowsport lovers!
From Morzine, you have easy access to more than 650km of pistes across the Portes du Soleil, snowparks and also off-piste areas. You’ll find nursery slopes, great schools and beginner areas with loads of blue or green runs for people starting out. You’ll also find more challenging sections closeby so it can suit your whole group.
Bakuriani in Georgia
Recommended by Baia from Red Fedora Diary
Bakuriani is one of the best ski resorts in Europe for beginners located around three hours drive from the capital Tbilisi in Georgia. With an elevation of 1,700 meters above sea level, coniferous forests surround the resort. Therefore, it's an all-year-round destination for many locals.
The ski season here starts in December and lasts until April. The resort has ski runs with various difficulties, including 25-meter runs for beginners and kids and Tatra, Kokhta, and Didveli for more advanced skiers.
To get to Bakuriani, you can use public transport, marshrutka (minibus), or a shared minivan parked at Tbilisi's Didube Bus Station. For a more spectacular, snow-covered winter wonderland-like journey, try the Borjomi-Bakuriani train ride from the Borjomi spa town located just below Bakuriani.
Due to its popularity among locals and foreigners, Bakuriani has a wide range of accommodation options such as mid-range hotels, guesthouses, and apartments catering to any budget traveller.
If you don't have your ski equipment, you can easily rent them out in Bakuriani. This is especially comfortable and handy if you are a beginner. You can also hire an instructor to teach you how to ski. Most hotels either have their own renting equipment and a teacher, or they can help you find one. You can check the hotels here.
Alta Badia on the Dolomites in Italy
Recommended Clotildeby A Princess Travelling with Twins
What makes for an enjoyable Ski Holiday? For some, its defying death as frequently as possible on a vertical slope having just leapt from a helicopter, but for the rest of us mere mortals we're looking for lots of pistes, a mixture of comfort and challenge, and somewhere nice to relax and socialise after a day sliding down some mountains.
Alta Badia ski resort, part of the massive Dolomiti Superski area in the Italian Alps, brings all of this in abundance.
The vast majority of the slopes are rated blue or red with a few very challenging black runs, which makes this a perfect destination for the beginner and intermediate skiers. Here is a great place for who will find ski slopes to challenge and develop them at all stages especially under the tutelage of one of the many excellent ski schools.
The immense variety of pistes and their surrounding history especially from WWI will also enchant the experienced social skier, as well as the excellent food and drinks available including the familiar Italian classics but also Tyrolean and Ladin dishes typical of the region. Not to be missed are the spectacular Sellaronda ski circuit encircling the Sella massif, and the fascinating First World War ski tour.
There are bus and train options to reach the resort but the most convenient is to fly into Venice, Treviso, or Verona and rent a car to drive up (make sure it has Winter tyres on!) There are many places to stay, but La Villa is a great little village (there are several in the Alta Badia ski resort area), particularly for young families where there is a brilliant Nursery with Kids Ski School, plus several schools for older kids/adults. La Bercia is a lovely hotel with a gorgeous Spa! Click here to check the availability.
Orcieres Merlette in France
Recommended by Nadine from Le Long Weekend
A family-friendly ski field in the Hautes-Alpes department of France, Orcieres Merlette is one of the most attractive ski resorts in the region. And with 100km of pistes to discover, multiple activities to enjoy, and winter attractions including snow hiking, ice climbing and dog-sledging, there's really something for everyone and every level.
If you're a complete beginner at skiing or you’re visiting with young children, there's a free ski area where you can practise, ride your sledge, or just have fun in the snow. And if you're looking for lessons, the dedicated ski and snowboard school will help you learn - whether that's in the inclusive classes, the kid's ski schools, or with private lessons. This isn't a huge resort, which adds to the general village feel, but there are still plenty of places to stay - from self-contained chalets to hotel rooms.
Orcieres Merlette is an easy 2-hour drive from Aix-en-Provence, 2.5 hours from Marseille, or three hours from Lyon, making it one of the more popular resorts for those staying in the south of France.
Plan to stay a week, so you can take full advantage of the slopes, including the other small ski station of Serre-Eyraud, located nearby, and partake in the other wintery activities on offer.
Leukerbad in Switzerland
Recommended by David Hutchison
Switzerland has some great ski resorts and while it’s easy to think of the big names like St Moritz and Zermatt, a great place for beginners to head is to Leukerbad in the Valais Canton. You can reach here by road or bus.
What’s great about this area is that there is a good range of accessible options. For absolute beginners, there are ski schools for both skiing and snowboarding and easy slopes right on the edge of town at Park Erli. Here you can practise your skills in an easy and safe environment before heading off to the bigger slopes.
An easy cable car trip away is 55 kilometres of alpine skiing with blue, red, black, and yellow runs and 40 kilometres of trails for cross-country skiing. The main areas for this at the Gemmi and the Torrent and each has its own cable car.
The variety of slopes and areas works great when travelling in a group of less and more experienced skiers as you easily find what you want.
Another big plus of going to Leukerbad is that the area is known for its thermal springs so you can relax at some big baths at the end of your skiing day. Just perfect!
There are many places to stay in town. A good option is Le Bristol Hotel, just 200 metres from the Torrent-Bahnen cable car. It has its own thermal springs and sauna area. Check the price and availability here.