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Best French Resorts for Beginner Skiers

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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.

Meribel

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

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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Sylvia

Monday 17th of December 2012

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!!!

Andi

Tuesday 18th of December 2012

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

Melinda

Thursday 29th of November 2012

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)!

Andi

Friday 30th of November 2012

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

Samantha Meyer

Thursday 29th of November 2012

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!

latisha depoortere

Thursday 29th of November 2012

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.

Derek Timm

Thursday 29th of November 2012

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