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 best cater for novice sportsmen and women. I’ve done some research and compiled a list of the best French locations for beginner skiers – keep reading to find out more.
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.
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.
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.
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 for 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.