With so many destinations renowned for their spectacular vistas and wide range of facilities, it can be difficult to decide where to make your first snowplough into the world of skiing. To help you choose, we’ve narrowed it down to four locations with excellent après-ski, a fantastic atmosphere and a variety of beginners’ slopes.
Cortina is home to some of the best beginners’ slopes in the Dolomites. The area is ideal for a slightly longer stay, as there are also progression slopes for when you’ve built up some confidence. You can choose from a selection of ski schools with supportive instructors who can teach in a variety of languages, from English through to Chinese.
The Dolomites mountain range is a UNESCO world heritage site, guaranteeing spectacular views on your way down. Many of the slopes are also floodlit for atmospheric nighttime skiing. Other activities available include go karting, snowshoeing and sledging.
Les Arcs, France
A popular destination for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, Les Arcs has a free beginners’ lift. It also has nursery slopes above every main village throughout the resort, making it an ideal option for first timers. Located in the Savoie region, you can also expect delicious regional specialities, such as raclette cheese or Tarte aux Myrtilles – sweet blueberry tart. Other après ski options include Restaurant L’Arpette, where you can expect traditional tartiflette along with breathtaking views over the snow-shielded valley. If you have time, stay to watch the sunset from their outdoor deck.
A varied selection of nursery slopes mean you can easily perfect your glide at Tignes. As soon as you’ve gained some confidence, choose from a selection of long blue runs that will build your stamina and technique. Tignes is a particularly high resort, so it has a longer ski season than most resorts and great powder conditions into early spring.
Tignes has an excellent selection of ski schools, including ones that offer women-only courses. As ladies have a different form when they move, this can help develop good skiing technique and posture.
An excellent, snow-sure nursery slope hugs the edge of this bustling village, nicknamed “the pearl of the Alps”. It’s almost traffic-free, with charming chalets surrounded by glinting, snowy peaks. There are also plenty of activities for children and supervised slopes where they can perfect their turns.
Finish your activity-filled day with a meal at the Michelin-starred Fletschhorn. The restaurant serves a seasonal menu and offers a selection of 1,200 wines, in cosy yet elegant surroundings. Alternatively, taste some mouthwatering wines at VINarium in the four-star Hotel Schweizerhof.
Start your own love affair with skiing and book your ski holiday for 2016 today.