As a beginner skier looking for a ski holiday the task can appear extremely daunting at first. There is so much to choose from and so many people will give you all kinds of advice. Here we at iSki try to iron out a few truths to hopefully guide you through the decision making process, allowing you to make your own choice on which holiday destination you think is going to be most suitable.
A huge consideration for any skier is how much the holiday will cost but for a beginner skier it seems even more important. After all you don’t want to spend a fortune on a ski holiday before you have even had a test for it. With this in mind the Bulgarian resorts of Bansko, Bovorvets and Pamporovo are probably a good place to start. They offer great value for money on both the upfront holiday cost and the cost of the ski extras. The Bulgarian ski resorts do not offer the largest amount of skiing in the world but if everyone in your party is a beginner then there if more than enough to get you going.
The logical step to look at after having done your first skiing holiday in Bulgaria would be to look for a little bit more skiing but again somewhere that is not going to break the bank. The resorts in Andorra pretty much fit the bill perfectly. They offer slightly more challenging skiing and although the lift passes are a bit more expensive than the resorts in Bulgaria, the fact that Andorra is a tax haven really helps to keep your budget under control. Arinsal offers great value but if you really want to push yourself then the resorts with the Grandvilaria are the way to go. Pas de la Casa, Soldeu and El Tarter are the main resorts that make up this ski region. It is all still tax free so your in resorts costs are still kept to a reason able level but with almost 200km of piste linked up between the 3 resorts there is loads of skiing to be had and is perfect for taking that next step, or for groups with mixed abilities.
Austria has got loads of resorts that are perfect for beginner skiers but just be careful as to the time of year that you are planning on taking your ski holiday. Being that little bit further north than most of the other major European skiing countries helps with the snow retention even in the lower resorts that Austria has to offer but if you are planning of skiing at Easter then you will want to go for one of the higher ski areas. Provided that you are not going right at the end of the season then resorts such as Neirderau or Oberau are perfect for beginner skiers. If you want something a little bit more challenging then Ellmau of Westendorf, which are linked into the Ski Welt skiing region offer a great all round experience for beginners through to advanced skiers. However, as mentioned above, if you are looking at skiing at Easter then look at the high resorts of Obergurgl, Hochgurgl. At Easter prices in these resorts can be high but if you book early then then you can get some reasonable prices if you look at the chalets that are on offer.
The French ski resorts are by no means the cheapest around most of the ski areas in France are suitable for all standards of skiers, with areas such as the 3 Valleys (including the resorts of Courchevel, Meribel, Val Thorens, Les Menuires) being great for beginners, intermediates and advanced skiers. Another stand out area for beginners is the Paradiski (les Arcs and La Plagne) which is great for beginners whilst also being an intermediates paradise. If you are after a short transfer then Avoriaz or Flaine (both just 1 hour 30 mins from Geneva) are also ones to look at, as is Alpe d’Huez which is just 2 hours from Grenoble.
The Italian resorts tend to offer better value for money once in resort than the French and a great place for beginners to start, if you are looking at Italy, is Passo Tonale. Not the biggest ski area in Italy but enough to keep you going and it won’t break the bank either. There is about 100km of piste which is more than enough for a beginner and is plenty to keep an intermediate happy for a week as well. If you want something that is a bit more suitable for a mixed party then the main resorts in the Milky Way are perfect. Open pistes and great conditions for beginners but with 400km of piste if you have any experts in the group. Sestriere is probably the most ideal resort in the area but Sauze d’Oulx tends to offer better value for money.