Best French Resorts for Beginner Skiers

If you're new to skiing and want to arrange a winter sports holiday in the famous French Alps, you'll want to know which resorts cater to novice sportsmen and women. I've done some research and compiled a list of the best French resorts for beginner skiers – keep reading to find out more.


Best French resorts for beginner skiers - Meribel

Located slap bang in the center of the Three Valleys skiing area, Meribel is a popular resort among Brits. The exclusive spot boasts a homely atmosphere, ten beginner trails and 34 slopes for intermediate skiers, so novices and fast learners are well catered for here.

Meribel is the ideal destination for French group skiing trips with children, as there are plenty of child-friendly sections to explore. The Acticross is one such spot, offering slaloms and jumps suitable for youngsters.

There are three beginner areas in Meribel, known as Zen Zones, where you can learn to ski at your own pace. The apres-ski scene is also buzzing, so groups of friends will find lots of evening entertainment in the way of restaurants and bars, the most famous of which is Rond Point.

Alpe d'Huez

Best French resorts for beginner skiers - Alpe d’Huez

The top resort of Alpe d'Huez has plenty of trails for all skiing ability levels, but the majority are ideal for beginners. There are 47 km of slopes for novices to try out during the winter sports season, which runs between December and April here.

Trails here are well-groomed and the hundreds of snow cannons ensure ideal conditions for skiing. Just above the resort are plenty of wide, gentle slopes, perfect for beginners, who can travel to the top of the trails via the free lift.

In addition to the abundance of beginner slopes, there are opportunities for off-piste action and snowboarding at the terrain parks and on the halfpipe.

When you want some time with your friends or loved ones away from the slopes, you can visit the indoor sports center for a game of tennis, head to one of the 30 local bars or enjoy a movie at the resort's cinemas.

Les Arcs


Les Arc France

If you're planning to travel with a young family, the resort of Les Arcs is ideal for a peaceful learn-to-ski break. The area consists of four main villages, and above each, you'll find nursery slopes. Arc 1800 has the most varied selection of beginner slopes, and the lift is free for novices.

Much of the accommodation throughout Les Arcs is right beside the slopes, so you won't have far to travel for your daily skiing fix. There are also some award-winning ski schools to be found throughout the resort.

There isn't a noisy apres-ski scene, making Les Arcs ideal for people who want to relax in peace and quiet in the evenings. There are plenty of restaurants, saunas and massage services though.


Tignes, alps, France

The town of Tignes is often associated with advanced skiing, and while there are many trails here suitable for experts, there is also a sufficient number for beginners. Novices will find 22 runs that cater to their abilities, along with several ski schools where instructors are on hand to provide expert tuition.

A cosmopolitan resort, Tignes has plenty to offer groups throughout its many different areas. Traditional villages abound, and there are kids' clubs to keep youngsters entertained. If you're keen to experience the resort's party atmosphere, head to the area of Val Claret, where you'll find a good selection of bars and clubs.

How about you? Have you visited any of these spots? Know of any others?

Check out more winter wonderlands in my AFAR Wanderlist.

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    1. @Denise, what part do you like the best? France? Snow? Something else?

  1. amanda roach says:

    so beautiful. one of my goals is to try skiing.

    1. @Amanda, I learned there and had a blast!

  2. Rosa Espinal says:

    Now,I’ve never gone skiing,it’s not in me,but I could see myself enjoying the company of the young and their quest for life.Me I would surely be found perusing the menu and ordering a hardybreakfast lunch and dinner.What can I say,I LOVE FOOD!!!!!!!! 🙂

  3. april yedinak says:

    I couldn’t ski to save my life, but I have been to resorts in Colorado and Germany and I still enjoy it because it is so beautiful up in the mountains. I like to look at the scenery and stuff myself on resort food and hot chocolate.

  4. Huguette E. says:

    I’ve never skied before but this looks amazing!

    1. @Huguette, it is a great spot to learn!

  5. Rebecca Sinclair says:

    I went skiing in Montana one spring break with a college buddy, and it was one of the best spring breaks ever! A few times down the bunny slope and I got the hang of it. I’m not the adventurous type – I prefer the long smooth slopes that guide you through beautiful scenery rather than steep death defying drops! 🙂

    1. @Rebecca, I learned to ski in France and it was an amazing experience!

  6. I wish I could try skiing – I’ve never been and now with my herniated disk, it’s off limits. I should still tag along on a ski trip to enjoy the snow and raclette though!

    1. @Lindsey, food and chocolate chaud are almost the best parts!

  7. I have been to Les Arcs and LOVED it… Great post

    1. @Shauna, it is beautiful isn’t it?

  8. I have never been on a ski trip but would love to go one day!

  9. Laura Lane says:

    HOw Gorgeous!
    I wish I could travel. Maybe someday.

  10. Coley Nowak says:

    What about for snowboarding? This resort looks amazing. Hitting the slopes on a snowboard sounds so great right about now.

    1. @Coley, they definitely snow board in all these spots,

  11. Lady Jennie says:

    This is great. Now that my youngest is 4 we definitely want to do this (oh, if only we can find the funds!)

    1. @Jennie, they have such great ski schools for kids in France, they’ll love it!

  12. Amy Davis says:

    I didn’t get a chance to ski in France when I visited as a student, although that’s probably for the best – I”m not too coordinated! These are gorgeous photos, by the way!

    1. @Amy, I learned to ski there and they are very gentle on beginners!

  13. Bonnie Way says:

    Now I want to go skiing!!! However, this is the third time I’ve had a winter pregnancy… 🙁 no skiing this year!

    1. @Bonnie, well the kids will grow up and you can do family skiing!

  14. Colleen Boudreau says:

    I’d love to go skiing but I’m so uncoordinated it probably wouldn’t turn out so great.

    1. @Colleen, I am TOTALLY uncoordinated and I managed to survive, you’d do fine!

  15. I think one of the things on my “list of things to try” is going to be skiing outside of the US. These ski resorts look beautiful! But, even I just went to visit, I think it would still be a great vacation. 🙂

    1. @Erin, the resorts I have been to in France, Switzerland and Italy have all been amazing, I highly recommend it!

  16. michelle riebeek says:

    I don’t ski myself but how AMAZING would it be to ski in France!

    1. @Michelle, it is a great spot to learn!

  17. We usually go to Vermont or Colorado for skiing – and even then, I prefer snowboarding – (the first time I ever went skiing, I broke my nose before I even made it down the hill – yes, I’m that clumsy…….so perhaps I’m scarred for life!)

    1. @Gigi, ocuh! Sounds like something I would totally do! All these spots have snowboarding too!

  18. I’ve been to les Arcs and it’s great.

    1. @Linda, so beautiful right?

  19. Thanks for the reviews! My husband and I were just talking about taking a ski vacation.

    1. @Laura, hope you have a great time!

  20. I’m a long-time snowboarder – but yes, an amateur skier. (It was uncool to ski in British Columbia, Canada about Ross Rebagliati won the Olympic gold medal for snowboarding in 1998.) I would totally recommend Les Arcs for beginner skiers – it has great easily accessible runs for them. My partner’s family has a place in Tignes but I’ve never gone done the green runs there.



    1. @Milsters, I am a beginner and thought France was awesome for skiing – snowboarding too!

  21. I love skiing but I haven’t gone in several years! I should definitely go soon….

    1. @Daraya, where would you head to?

  22. Sadly I have not visited any of those places, or any other ski resorts outside of NY. We just got our 1st snowfall yesterday and between that and looking at those pictures and reading about the slopes has me impatient to go. I am probably in the Advanced category, but this is good information because I’d most likely travel with my family and I am the only skier, so we’d need beginner slopes!

  23. Norman Lau says:

    Would love to go there someday.

  24. Love the photos – makes me want to visit, for sure. Maybe I should take up skiing…

  25. Lori Alcorn says:

    wow I would love to visit this place I really miss snow being in florida

  26. The mountains look gorgeous. I love that they have beginner areas.

  27. Its so beautiful …Would love to learn how to ski

  28. Tara Liebing says:

    Wow this is so beautiful normally I’d say ick, snow! Because I see way too much of it here in SD and even though we get alot of snow I have never went skiing. These pictures make me want to visit love it!

  29. I’ve skied a few times when much younger… don’t know if I’d do it now again in my 40’s! But I’d love to sit in the chalet sipping hot cocoa and gaze at those lovely mountains!

  30. mp phaiah says:

    these look so beautiful to go to! my husband and i went skiing when we were younger and have talking many times about starting up again! maybe when our kids are a little older we can try Les Arcs!

  31. rich morris says:

    This is one of my dream vacations! It just looks so beautiful

  32. Oh wow – I definitely want to visit. It is SO Beautiful! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  33. There are so many adventures that France has to offer, i would love to attempt skiing on the french alps. I have been dreaming of going to Paris since I was a very young girl, and one day I swear I will make it there! lol

  34. Vicki Howes says:

    I wish I knew this before when my friends would take me to a mountain and sign me up so they could ski free. Needless to say I learned a lot about lodging it.

  35. Danielle B says:

    I’ve always wanted to learn to ski, but I’m afraid I will break a leg! These look like beautiful places to go as well!

  36. These pictures are beautiful! But then, I’m a mountain girl(born and bred in the Colorado Rockies). Unfortunately, I’ve never gotten the chance to ski.

    1. @Anna, if you’re still in CO you must! I hear it is wonderful there!

  37. I have only skiid once, and it was terrifying. I wouldn’t mind trying again in such beautiful surroundings. I’d be happy just to hang out and watch everyone else.

  38. Thomas Murphy says:

    I have never been to any of these places but would love to check out Tignes.

    1. @Thomas, it is a great spot!

  39. Richard Hicks says:

    I am intimidated by some of those slopes. I only want to ski only slopes with barely an incline. LOL!

    1. @Richard, me too and they have them…those are the only ones I really like!

  40. Derek Timm says:

    This looks like an awesome place to be! I would really love to visit!!

  41. latisha depoortere says:

    This looks like a great place to visit looks like a lot of fun! I love the picture everything in one place 🙂
    Thanks for sharing.

  42. Samantha Meyer says:

    Oh my gosh these are such beautiful pictures! If I am even in that area I am going to have to go here, for the scenery alone! Thank you!

  43. I have no experience skiing so this guide is definitely helpful. For me I would have to decide between Alpe d’Huez and Tignes (though it would be nice to visit both)!

    1. @Melinda, France is a wonderful spot for skiing, any choice will be a good one!

  44. I had a horrible accident while skiing in the Trois Vallées, part of the large resort that includes Méribel. I now prefere skiing a Megève. where there are lots of blue slopes and the cross country skiing is fantastique!!!

    1. @Sylvia, I love Megeve, it is so beautiful!