Best European Resorts for First Time Skiers


Gentle Slopes and Excellent Ski Schools For Beginners 

Ski beginners can choose from a range of affordable and unintimidating European resorts complete with nursery slopes and patient ski instructors.

Beginners who are considering booking their first ski holiday can feel intimidated by the prospect of arriving at a challenging ski resort. Whether it’s the gradient, the gear or getting on a ski lift that has you concerned, put your fears aside and select a ski trip at one of these European resorts that are perfect for first-timers.

Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

This Slovenian ski resort is located in the Upper Carniola mountain range near the borders of Austria and Italy. The resort is most famed for ski jumping but also offers some very gentle nursery slopes near to the village. Beginners might want to take advantage of one of the first time ski packages that are available. The town offers plenty of restaurants and après ski entertainment including a large casino. Kranjska Gora is also an extremely family-friendly resort, with qualified childcare specialists who are able to look after those aged between 6 months and 12 years.


Ruka, Finland 

Ruka has the largest beginners ski area in the whole of Finland and for first time skiers who are worried about feeling overcrowded, this resort usually has exceptionally quiet slopes. If you’re hoping to also indulge in some non-skiing activities, Ruka offers dog-sledding, snowmobiling, reindeer rides and of course a visit to Santa’s log cabin for the kiddies. One of Ruka’s major selling points are the ski

lifts which stay open late, meaning you can enjoy a day of off-slope fun and then catch up on your ski tuition afterwards.


Pamporovo, Bulgaria

This Bulgarian ski resort is home to Crystal Holiday’s number 1 ski school in the whole of Europe, as voted by their customers, so it would make a wise choice of destination for any beginner. The slopes in Pamporovo are mild and the mountain range is easy to navigate, ensuring that you’ll never lose your way. Bulgaria offers some of the most affordable skiing in Europe and the entertainment and accommodation in town are incredibly cheap in comparison to many other ski resorts. Pamporovo boasts 270 days of sunshine but the large amount of snow machines at hand make certain that snow coverage is always excellent.


Scheffau, Austria

This traditional rustic Austrian village resort offers some beautifully wide slopes and a reputable ski school which are both brilliant for building the confidence of any skiing novice. Scheffau prides itself on being particularly family-friendly. There are a few bars available, but those looking for serious après-ski would do better at another Austrian resort such as St Anton.


Bardonecchia, Italy

This Italian ski resort is actually linked to the French resort of Montgenèvre across the other side of the mountain range, allowing you to ski in two countries in one holiday. It’s a great choice for beginner skiing as the slopes are quiet and the lift queues are short, particularly mid-week. Bardonecchia also has plenty of non-ski activities available for holiday-makers including a cinema, ice rink, plenty of shops and loads of bars.


Once you’ve selected your European ski destination, beginners will also need to have a think about all the equipment that is needed for a winter sports holiday. First-time skiers would be advised to rent, rather than buy their gear and although some attractive clothing can help with confidence, you’d do well not to overdress during your initial sessions. Make sure you take out valid insurance with a company such as Avanti Travelcare and also get advice on what sort of lift pass you’ll need as a beginner.

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