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Beginner Ski Holidays
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Beginner Ski Holidays

Have you been tempted to book a first time ski holiday for a while, but choosing the right resort, accommodation, ski equipment and ski passes all feels a little overwhelming?

You’ve landed in exactly the right place, because at Erna Low, we’ve been welcoming novice snowsports enthusiasts to Europe’s most majestic mountains for generations ̶ with hassle-free beginner’s ski packages customised to meet your needs precisely.

With accommodation, flights, transfers, lessons, and as many other components included as necessary to make you feel completely at ease, we’re confident that your maiden voyage to whichever powdery playground you choose will be the first of many.

Any member of our team will tell you that their first ski trip ignited a passion that has lasted a lifetime ̶ which is exactly why we focus every ounce of our enthusiasm and expertise on making any first-time skier feel as excited as we do.

Skiing and snowboarding do require a little more essential equipment than your typical sun, sea and sand holiday, but that’s because skiing holidays are miles more exciting.

Once you find your feet and build your confidence on that crisp corduroy, you’ll want to wake up to fresh Alpine air and snow-kissed peaks as often as possible.

And we’ll be right here ̶ ready to make your second ski holiday as thrilling as your first!

Hit the slopes as a first-time skier

Still not convinced you should be hitting the slopes as a first-time skier?

Here are a few brilliant benefits to consider:

First and foremost, skiing and snowboarding are fantastic fun ̶ in our book, few things are as enjoyable as powering down wide open blue runs, progressing to trickier reds and black routes, taking on tricky obstacles in freestyle terrain parks or exploring the backcountry with a mountain guide when you advance to freeriding. Your first ski holiday is the key that unlocks a lifetime of adventures and within a few days of lessons you’ll have found your balance and be well on your way to moving on from the nursery slopes.

Secondly, skiing and snowboarding are social. Private lessons can be arranged, but most of our first-time ski travellers enjoy group lessons where they learn with their peers, enjoy the camaraderie and often develop friendships that last the duration of the holiday and beyond. But don’t forget the apres-ski ̶ for many snowsports fans, evening entertainment is almost as important as their daytime sessions on the piste and the pubs, bars and clubs at modern ski resorts provide entertainment from the afternoon all the way through to the wee small hours. Whether you like suave cocktails in a laid-back lounge or beer and shots in a bouncing club, you’ll find something that floats your boat.

Skiing is brilliant exercise too. For starters, it can burn around 366 calories in half an hour, while you can burn even more by walking up to the top of the piste (if it’s manageable) rather than taking the lift. Furthermore, snowboarding and skiing are brilliant for building up your leg muscles too ̶ and taking on a thigh-burning downhill run is much more fun than squats at the gym. But that’s not all, because you’ll improve your flexibility and suppleness considerably, as well as tightening up your core muscles with those hours of staying upright as you navigate your way through the cool, crisp powder. Last but not least, catching some winter sunshine in European ski resorts boosts your Vitamin D and the workout turbocharges those feel-good endorphins ̶ meaning your mood will also be naturally, and blissfully, enhanced.

Essentials for your beginner ski holiday

There are a few essential items you’ll need to have to ensure that your first ski holiday goes smoothly, but we can source anything you don’t have already so that, at least in terms of things like equipment, you can ‘try before you buy’.

By maximising your savings and minimising your spending, we’ll make your ski break completely hassle-free so that all you have to do is relax and enjoy yourself.

Beginner ski passes

You’ll find a variety of ski passes for every ski resort, with different prices for children, youths, adults and seniors, various durations and options which include the lifts in the local resort or those in the wider ski area too. In certain resorts it’s free to ski on the nursery slopes and you’ll only need to pay once you know the basics and move up the mountain to the main slopes.

Beginner ski lessons

Skiers and snowboarders of any aptitude can take lessons, but obviously they’re particularly vital when you’re a novice. We’ll find you high-quality private or group lessons from the best instructors available and roll the cost into your beginner’s ski package.

Best skis for beginners

A few basic moves which you’ll want to master during your first ski holiday will be controlling your edges, linking turns and making controlled stops on the piste. Therefore, skis with narrower widths and a sifter flex will enable better control and an easier turn.

Best snowboards for beginners

There’s some debate over the best snowboard style for beginners, but the ‘true twin’ profile is a good pick because it’s symmetrical and having a stance in the middle of the board provides the balance you need to start learning tricks and turns. With the right boards and a supportive ski school, you’ll soon be carving up the slopes.

Best ski clothing for beginners

Some ski resorts have sunny, south-facing slopes, but you’ll still need to layer up with thin, thermal garments, waterproof snowboard trousers or salopettes, a good waterproof jacket, gloves, ski socks, goggles and sunglasses. Beginners ski holiday packages from Erna Low can be customised to include awesome accommodation that’s close to the slopes and shops, ski equipment hire, ski passes, ski lessons and more, which provides you with perfect peace of mind.

Best ski resorts for beginners

Whether you are looking for skiing or snowboarding holidays for beginners there are several things to look for in a good ski resort for beginners. For starters, a short transfer time means that you’ll arrive feeling fresh and you’ll definitely want to choose a resort with ample green and blue runs, so that you can progress smoothly from the nursery slopes as your technique improves. If you’re a beginner rider, you’ll enjoy a resort with plenty of expansive, cruisy blue runs and a terrain park with beginner lines is a must if you want to learn the basics of freestyling. Chances are that you’ll also prefer resort accommodation with doorstep skiing, which is also possibly close to the resort centre amenities. Choosing a high-altitude with a mix of north-facing and south-facing resorts and snowmaking facilities means that snow conditions will probably be good throughout the season, but you might find skiing at the end of the season more pleasant as it’s warm and sunny.

Best European ski resorts for beginners

Every European ski resort has a mixture of graded pistes, but most are slightly more suited to skiers of certain ability levels. However, in a lift-linked ski area you can explore partner resorts for a more varied mix, and some ski resorts make a sterling effort to make novice skiers welcome. Here’s the lowdown on some of the best European ski resorts for beginners:

Courchevel 1850 is one of the best place to ski for beginners. This resort is located in France’s huge 600km Three Valleys ski area, is a superb spot to nurture your fledgling snowsports obsession. There are free magic carpets for kids in each one of the resort’s four villages (much easier than tackling a lift when you’re learning), but Courchevel 1850 is he main village, so basing yourself here means that you’re a short stroll from the amenities and you’ll find plenty of space on the pistes here and in nearby Moriond to find your balance and practice your turns. There are lots of good green runs and cruisy blues above the resort, particularly in the Jardin Alpin area, while novice snowboarders will appreciate the convenient travellator at the Biollay area, as well as the snow park at Plantrey, which has freestyle obstacles for all levels. There’s also accommodation to suit all tastes and requirements in Courchevel, the apres-ski is lively, off-slope attractions include an excellent adventure pool and the chic cuisine and shopping options are second to none. All in all, this is a pretty good pick for your first taste of Alpine high life.

El Tarter is located in Andorra’s snowy Pyrenees mountains and, along with its sister resort Soldeu, is a superb place for first-time skiers and snowboarders. Unlike some rival resorts where the beginner’s slopes are at the bottom of the mountain, the novice area at Tosa dels Espiolets has a loftier location that’s convenient for beginner’s to access via the efficient lifts. Meanwhile, the Telecabina El Tarter whisks you to the beginner’s area above the village ̶ this is where the English speaking ski school meets and it’s the home of the Badaboom Circus, a fantastic fun piste for kids with 500m of exciting features and obstacles. Once you’re feeling a little more confident, there are plenty of sweeping, gentle blues that you’ll adore, such as the Esquirol, which takes you back down to El Tarter and the Bosc Fosc which winds through the woods to Soldeu.

Lech in Austria’s amazing Ski Arlberg domain is another dynamic beginner’s resort with much to recommend it. For starters, a 1405m resort height, a snow range that stretches to almost 3000m, and a massive 11m dump of pow each winter means it’s one of Europe’s most snow-reliable resorts, so you’ll enjoy great conditions throughout the season. The nursery slopes are located on the opposite bank of the river from the main ski area and you’ll find accessible t-bars here taking you to perfectly-prepared nursery slopes with gentle gradients. After a few lessons you’ll be ready to tackle some of the lovely long blues at Oberlech and progress through the vast network of scenic intermediate runs in this beautiful part of the world. There’s a fun park here with cool obstacles for freestyle snowboarders to try after their first few lessons and this classy resort with quality apres-ski and a varied cuisine scene has long been a favourite of royals and celebs, so it’s a perfect place for people-watching!

Cervinia in Italy’s Cervino Ski Paradise is another brilliant ski resort for beginner’s which is definitely worth a second look. Located at a heady 2050m right underneath the famous Matterhorn, this Aosta Valley location is connected by the Plateau Rosa glacier to Zermatt in Switzerland and there’s a sizable 160km skiable area with a snow range that stretches way up to 3883m. Kids feel spoiled here with a plethora of playful features and magic carpets, as well as the wonderful Wild West Zone at Valtourneche. For adults, there are 18 beautiful beginner’s runs and the resort is known for its sweeping, easy blues and long reds (many of which would be graded blue in other resorts). Cervinia is also a decent destination for cross country skiing holidays for beginners, with a 3km natural circuit open all season long ̶ it’s suitable for all levels and affords fabulous views of the Grandes Murailles mountains as well as Matterhorn.

Family ski packages for beginners

We can easily arrange comprehensive family ski packages for families who are absolute beginners or for parents taking their kids to the slopes for the first time.

There are several options to choose from, but a self-drive and self-catering holiday means that you can travel and enjoy the resort in your own social bubble, a half-board break means you’ll enjoy breakfast and dinner to bookend your day, and all-inclusive ski holidays are hassle-free because everything from food to ski lessons is included.

You can also opt for various grades of apartments, hotels and chalets ̶ but whichever style of accommodation best suits your requirements, it’s usually best to choose a location with ski-in/ski-out access to the slopes, in reasonably close proximity to the resort centre.

Look out for resorts with plenty of off-slope entertainment for kids too ̶ this means that if they need a break from the pistes for a day, there are attractions like 10-pin bowling alleys, pools and cinemas to come to the rescue.

Several Erna Low ski resorts are splendid choices for beginner’s family ski holidays. Avoriaz is just one excellent example ̶ it’s a pedestrianised ski village where most of the accommodation offers doorstep skiing, there’s a short transfer time from Geneva Airport, several kid’s ski schools and the Aquariaz indoor pool with its various slides and obstacles is a huge attraction.

Alternatively, Italy’s San Bernardo Ski Area is another wise choice for families with novice skiers. There’s a wide range of green and blue slopes as well as accessible nursery slopes and various ski schools. This is a snow-sure resort with plenty of fresh powder throughout the season, therefore you can be confident that conditions will be good during school holidays, and there’s a super kid’s ski area called Fantaski, which is always popular with young skiers and snowboarders.

Facilities & amenities for beginner skiers

In some ways, the facilities and amenities to look out for when choosing a good beginner’s resort are similar to those which are desirable to anyone ̶ things like a good range of cafes and restaurants, apres-ski bars and clubs, and reliable childcare and ski schools.

For extra safety, you might want to choose a pedestrianised ski resort if you’re travelling with first time child skiers, and for any type of beginner skier, a resort with a compact centre where the lifts, slopes and shops are all easily accessible might be preferable to one which is more spread out.

Naturally, you’ll want to look for a ski resort which has a good natural snowfall record, but finding one which also has snow making capacity means that you’ll never be disappointed on those rare occasions when nature doesn’t oblige.

Booking the best ski holidays for beginners

Whew ̶ we’ve gone through a lot of information on beginner’s ski holidays!

Hopefully it has all been useful and you now feel like you can make an informed choice about taking the plunge with a snowsports holiday and choosing the right resort.

However, if you’re still a bit bamboozled, please get in touch for a chat ̶ we’re always delighted to help!

With Erna Low, your beginner’s ski holiday is the start of a lifelong romance with the mountains.

Call 0203 011 1222 To Book Your Beginner Ski Holiday Today!

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