Whether you’re five or fifty-five, it’s never too late to learn to ski. It may be much easier to start young, however, you can ease into skiing at any age by learning the basics on a right level-appropriate slopes. With this in mind, we’ve tapped our local experts in the French and Swiss Alps to find out the best beginner slopes that will have you courageously gliding in no time.
Madrisa – Klosters, Switzerland
Our experts at PT Ski didn’t hesitate to recommend Madrisa in Klosters as the perfect launch pad for beginners. James Palmer-Tomkinson, founder of PT Ski, tells us why:
“The Madrisa run already bears the “families welcome” trademark, but now it is undergoing a CHF 15 million renovation which is due to be completed in time for winter 2016/17. This will see it transform into one of Europe’s pre-eminent mountains for beginners to learn to ski,” explains James who spent his childhood winters in Klosters.
“The quality of the slopes has never been in doubt, with friendly south facing nursery slopes allowing a measured progression to more advanced pistes. However, they are replacing the main draglift (affectionately known as the “long” T-bar!) with a state of the art child-friendly/disabled-friendly chairlift, building a new restaurant and dramatically increasing the number of snow making machines, the combined effect being the creation of a beginner’s paradise.”
“I remember learning to ski on the Madrisa and it was completely magical,” says James fondly. “Now it is even better with magic carpets, little race courses around softplay penguins and even a mini ski cross course. The new chairlift and restaurant will make it sensational and allow the beginners to access the wider mountain far more quickly.”
PT Ski creates custom skiing holiday packages that can include lessons, liftpasses and your perfect accommodation in Klosters. Contact their expert team at this link.
Blanchot – Méribel, France
Located in the Three Valleys ski area of the French Alps, our experts at Ultimate Luxury Chalets send beginners to the Blanchot run at Méribel, where the beginner areas have been recently extended and improved.
Méribel has two designated beginner ski areas with free lifts which allow learners to progress in a comfortable beginner environment. The resort has a special beginner lift passe, called the “mini-pass,” which gives access to the chairlifts and slopes that are appropriate for early learners. Children can start out at the mini-boardercross with banked turns found at the Rond Point, a quiet and safe for kids. You can access it from the Rhodos 1 gondola then Cotes drag lift.
With the bases under your belt, or rather ski jacket, head to the green Blanchot run, accessible by the Rhodos gondola from the Chaudanne. Its gentle flat course weaves its way through the trees creating a true feeling of skiing while you are consolidating your skills. When you feel ready to move up a notch, you can try out some of the 28 blue runs at Méribel.
The perfect place to stay in Méribel is at Ultimate Luxury Chalets‘ Mont Tremblant (pictured above). The stylish and spacious chalet can accommodate up to 12 guests and features incredible views of the surrounding mountains. It includes a large cinema with surround sound, a playroom, a wellness area comprising a massage room and shower and opens out onto the large terrace where you can enjoy the outdoor hot tub or take a dip in the heated infinity pool with jet stream.
Let Ultimate Luxury Chalets help you plan a marvelous Méribel ski holiday by reaching out to them here.
Verdons – Courchevel 1850, France
One of France’s most glamorous resorts, Courchevel 1850, is also one of the best resorts in the Alps for those strapping into ski boats for the first time. There are plenty of long wide runs with a small gradient, ideal for practising on. Ultimate Luxury Chalets suggests starting at the Verdons run.
These slopes are perfectly groomed by 9:00 am every morning. You will find a selection of wide, shallow green pistes where you can practise the basics and bolster your confidence. There is also a family park beneath the Verdons gondola which features miniature kickers, rails, rollers and a skier cross track. In addition, if your junior skier is under five ski, they can ski for free all over the mountain.
At the end of the day you’ll be able to fully unwind and relax your muscles at Ultimate Luxury Chalets‘ La Grande Roche, one of the top luxury chalets in Courchevel. It combines sophistication with mountain style and has the ultimate in luxury amenities. These include a large heated swimming pool with poolside relaxation area and bar, a fully equipped gymnasium, a steam room and area for massages and other spa treatments, a cinema room which a full HD 103″ Plasma display (the largest in Courchevel) as well as a vast vaulted-ceiling living area with incredible views over the Glacier de Bellecôte and the majestic Dent du Villard (like in the above image).
Indulge in this opulent skiing vacation with Ultimate Luxury Chalets at this link.
Rosset – Tignes, France
Located in France’s Tarentaise Valley, Tignes is an excellent learners’ resort due to the many slow and gentle lifts among the 300 kilometers of slopes found at the Espace Killy. Ultimate Luxury Chalets launches beginner skiers and snowboarders at the Rosset run.
Tignes has four different nursery slope areas (Val Claret, Tignes Les Lac, Tignes Le Lavachet and Tignes Les Brevieres). Across these nursery slopes there are beginner lifts ranging from drag lifts to chairlifts and you can also find a children’s beginner ski area with a carpet lift in Tignes Val Claret. All these lifts are extremely accessible from the villages and are free of charge. Children under five and adults older than 75 can get one to 15 consecutive days ski passes free. Other than the Rosset chair lift there are seven other lifts at Tignes that are accessible free of charge.
You can have a wonderful stay in Tignes at the Chalet Opale by Ultimate Luxury Chalets. The chalet has a beautiful contemporary alpine décor and can sleep up to ten. Its spacious and inviting open-plan living and dining area features soft lighting, clean lines and natural wood. The focal point of the room is the beautiful Lorenzo Quinn sculpture which sits in front of the far window against the dramatic backdrop of the Le Grand Sassière mountain range. The wonderfully L shaped sofa is the ideal place to relax and unwind with a glass of champagne in front of the crackling fire.
The amazing views of the surrounding peaks continue outside the chalet from its outdoor hot tub and its many terraces or balconies (shown above).
Experience the best of Tignes with Ultimate Luxury Chalets at this link.
Gentiane – Les Gets, France
Situated very near the France-Switzerland border, the family-friendly and charming resort of Les Gets offers some great skiing for beginners and is home to several award-winning ski schools. Ultimate Luxury Chalets gets us started out on the Gentiane run.
The Les Gets ski area is on the edge of the vast Portes Soleil area with 650 kilometers of slopes. It combines beginners’ areas (including a section dedicated to children) and intermediate blues and easy reds slopes, which winding their way through gently rolling mountain terrain. You can reach the blue Gentiane piste from Chavannes Express lift or its summit is also accessible by the Ranfoilly lift.
A perfect place to stay in Les Gets is Ultimate Luxury Chalets‘ Ferme de la Corderie; a stunning, recently renovated luxury alpine farmhouse with breath-taking views over the ski resort. This beautiful alpine retreat is one of the most luxurious ski chalets in the the whole Portes Du Soleil area.
The chalet includes six individual bedrooms all with attractive bathrooms, most of which benefit from roll-top, freestanding baths, some with sleigh beds and all with traditional alpine shutters, sumptuous throws and leather armchairs. The main living space is divided into relaxing, dining and cooking areas, including a study snug. The mezzanine level private cinema area is the perfect cozy spot for curling up with a movie. You can enjoy nightly sunsets on the heated private balcony.
Take in the many pleasures of picturesque Les Gets by contacting Ultimate Luxury Chalets here.