The French Alps is a perfect, easily accessible destination for those wanting to learn to ski with a wide range of beginner pistes alongside intermediate and expert, there really is something for everyone. Stuck on where to choose to suit the beginner skiers? There are a number of fabulous resorts in the mountains that are perfect for those learning to ski, we asked our alpine experts for their top 5 recommendations.
Located in the heart of the scenic Haute Maurienne region, Val Cenis is a great start for beginner skiiers with the 16 green runs available to practice on and many of which are at resort level (1500m). Not only that, Val Cenis claims to have the longest green run in Europe; The Escargot run is six miles long and reached by chairlift in La Ramasse, it smoothly follows the Mont-Cenis road and its gentle bends make for an ideal slope to learn to ski on! The range of green runs available for beginners to find their ski legs combined with 19 blue runs, makes Val Cenis an ideal resort for beginners to gain confidence on the slopes.
Stay at the brand-new for January 2022, Les Balcons Platinium Val Cenis, sitting in the traditional village of Lanslevillard (one of two that make up Val Cenis) this traditionally styled residence is close to the slopes and shops. Facilities include a wellness area with a swimming pool, baby pool, hot tub, steam room, sauna and fitness room. Spa treatments can also be booked.
Located in the heart of Haute Tarentaise, La Rosière sits on the Italian border and is the only resort to offer an international ski area of 160km of marked piste. Our Alpine experts at Peak Retreats recommend La Rosiere to beginner skiers as the French side is more beginner-friendly than the neighbouring Italian side which is more intermediate focused. The well-designed village in La Rosière is a perfect base as ski hire, ski school and nursery slopes are all just a stone's throw away from the accommodation.
Stay at the 4* recently built Alpen Lodge, located in the Quartier des Eucherts area this residence is close to the ski slopes, main chairlift and ESF ski school meeting point. Facilities include a wellness centre with a swimming pool, children's pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room, sensory shower and fitness room. Treatment rooms can also be booked.
Samoëns is an easily accessible, charming little alpine resort linked with the massive Grand Massif. This ski area has 23 green slopes available meaning beginners can learn at a higher altitude without missing out on the fantastic panoramic views across the famous, Mont Blanc. Not only that, Samoëns has an excellent nursery slope area for beginners at Samoëns 1600, one of the largest in the Haute-Savoie (reached by high-speed gondola from the village).
Stay at the 4* Chalet Arnica, ideally located minutes from the heart of Samoëns less than a mile from the Grand Massif Express gondola and 100m from the outdoor ice-rink and free resort shuttle bus stop. For those looking for the ultimate catered chalet experience, we can now arrange a private chef service. Enjoy French and Savoyard inspired cuisine and crowd-pleasing classics from breakfast to delicious three-course meals using fresh locally sourced ingredients.
With 165km of piste, Valmorel is a purpose built 'Famille Plus' resort great for families with the variety of children's facilities available. Valmorel is a perfect resort for those new to the slopes with special beginners areas specifically designed and made safe for learning and improving confidence on skis. For those that want to make the next step after learning how to ski confidently, the green-graded Chantemerle offers a sheltered foretaste of the blue runs which drop through the trees into Doucy Combelouvière, without getting out of depth.
Stay at our directors choice 4* La Grange aux Fées, ideally located in an elevated, quiet, sunny position and a 10-minute walk from the resort centre and ski-school meeting point. Facilities include a swimming pool, children's pool, hot tub, sauna, fitness room and spa.
Known as another 'Famille Plus' resort, Les 2 Alpes has one of the largest glaciers in the Alpes and is known as one of Europes largest summer skiing areas too! The high altitude resort means beginners can enjoy fabulous views from the top of the glacier with easy runs and nursery slopes at resort level. Parents can also have peace of mind knowing that the funnel-shaped terrain means that all slopes lead back to the resort centre. Skiiers can even use five lifts on the lower slopes for free.
Stay at the brand-new 4* Les Clarines residence in an ideal location, close to the slopes and ski lifts in Clarine's district. Facilities include an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a wellness area with a hot tub, sauna and steam room, a massage room (payable) and a restaurant and breakfast area for the days where you don't feel like cooking.