Where there are snow and slopes, there are wintery wonderlands teeming with Alpine ski resorts prime for adrenaline-pumping ski junkies to satiate their need for slippery speed. Between the icy mountain peaks, glistening white snowy horizons, and crystalline lakes, charming ski resorts and chalet valley villages beckon those seeking the ultimate snowy escapade of serene relaxation, stunning scenery, sumptuous spas and epic slopes. But amidst the sea of world-class ski resorts around the globe, which among them are paramount for beginners putting on their skis for the very first time?
8 Wengen, Switzerland
It's all about Alpine living and snowy capped mountains in Wenden - a magical village full of wooden chalets with a winter wonderland backdrop of the North Face of the Eiger. Uniquely, this resort village is free of cars, with locals and tourists using the highly convenient railway system to get around.
What makes this ski heaven even more special is the Sphinx Observatory with its incredible observation deck boasting jaw-dropping views of Monch, Eiger, and Jungfrau mountain peaks. Accessed by lifts that take people up the mountain from Jungfraujoch train station - said to be Europe's (and possibly the world's) highest railway station - it sits right on the tip of the Sphinx summit.
The ski lands are vast with over 200 kilometers of pistes, and beginners will be glad to know that a sizeable portion of it is wide and open and perfect for those donning their skis for the first time. There are two notable beginner's areas - one up the mountain and another in the village - so newbies will be kept very entertained with the two contrasting zones.
7 Ischgl, Austria
Ischgl is well known for being a party resort with hilariously fun happy hours, as well as being superb for both seasoned skiers and beginners. Newbies will love the generously-sized beginner's ski terrain right up the mountain - which at over 2,300 meters altitude means the snow quality is outstanding, meaning no slushy slopes that can be annoying and difficult for beginners to learn on.
The world-class Ski Academy ski school is based here too, allowing beginners quality instruction and no lack of lesson availability. There are also plenty of lifts for easy navigation of the area. And, when guests need a well-earned day off from the slopes, there are tons of other attractions and activities to try out, including ice skating and snowshoeing, in addition to visiting the chapels, churches, and museums that afford visitors an interesting insight into the local art, history, and the Tyrolean culture here.
6 Voss, Norway
This stunning Scandinavian ski paradise is perfect for families and beginners that want to ease their way into the sport and learn together. Children under six ski free of charge too - so parents can save more cash for enjoying other pursuits. Between the 18 kilometers of cross country trails, beginners and families have a ski school along with multiple gentle nursery slopes and areas especially for children and newbies, and when those have been mastered, there are even a few spots with small banks and jumps to practice on when beginners and little ones have mustered up some confidence.
Getting to beginner slopes is also very easy, with a gondola taking guests to the ski zones up the mountain right from the town center. What also makes Voss so great for all is its night skiing on the various pistes, which are well-lit all night for skiers to enjoy slipping and sliding after dark for an entirely different experience.
5 Courchevel, France
Courchevel in France is one of Europe's (and the world's) best ski resorts and is also one of the most exclusive. The resort itself as a whole encompasses a few separate villages that rest at varying altitudes, with each one higher than the next. There's La Praz at 1,300 feet, Village at 1,500 feet, Moriond at 1,600 feet, and Courchevel at 1,850 feet - the most luxurious and expensive of them all.
The higher the resort village, the higher the price, but even those lower down the mountain are fantastic and a little more on the affordable side, making this destination a marvelous adventure for all budgets. Visitors will also love the fact that there are exquisite shopping and dining experiences on the table too, with a few Michelin star restaurants in the mix. Plus, there's a very extensive transportation system in place - convenient and frequent lifts and bus services - which makes getting around a walk in the park no matter where a guest is based. Visitors also have access to the Three Vallées - widely cited as one of the world's best-linked ski zones - as well as other incredible ski resorts in the area such as Val Thorens, Meribel, and La Tania.
But what makes this winter wonderland retreat so good for newbies? Well, the resort is prime for all levels of experience, but there's notably a huge ski area that comprises generously proportioned zones for those who're just starting out on the slopes. Courchevel has tons of wide nursery slopes and an outstanding children's center for childcare as well as ski lessons for the little ones to take their first ski steps. The area is also home to abundant ski schools and guides, so there's no shortage of learning opportunities and classes for newcomers to this wintery sport.
4 Park City, Utah, USA
Park City is a quintessential American winter wonderland resort with tons of vast greens and beaming blues brilliant for beginners. Accessible from the chairlifts in the town, the beginner's ski zones are gentle, easy, and kept in tip-top condition thanks to the staff who keep the pistes extremely well maintained. The town is also worth noting, with its charming vibes and lots of things to do and see - tempting boutiques, restaurants, bars, and art galleries to name but a few.
Visitors here also have convenient access to Canyons Village, which is another great resort linked to Park City, and home to some equally easy ski areas suitable for beginners. Deer Valley nearby also hosts an excellent beginner's ski zone called "Wild West," which is easily accessible by chairlift.
3 Alta Badia, Italy
Alta Badia is beautifully situated in the Dolomites - a UNESCO World Heritage site in Italy's South Tyrol region. This utterly breathtaking resort benefits from an unparalleled backdrop of the staggering mountain rage that is truly the cherry atop the cake here, which explains why it's one of the most beautiful mountain resorts on the planet.
The resort itself is made up of six villages and seven ski schools, with each village home to its own school. Every village also has its own beginner's ski area, which allows newbies to learn and practice at their own pace before challenging the mighty mountains higher up.
What's so perfect about this resort is not only its serene and relaxed vibe but also its indulgent blue pistes - both of which combine to make it very appealing for beginners to learn and gain confidence as fast or as quickly as they like. Combine world-class beginner slopes and the laid-back atmosphere here with an entourage of epic restaurants serving up local and international cuisine - at least three of which are Michelin starred - and this is the destination is easily a top contender.
2 Lake Louise, Canada
For those seeking out the very best of hearty Canadian hospitality, top-class skiing, and a taste of wintery luxury, Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies - famed for its untouched nature and crystalline lakes - is the ultimate place to be. This luscious wintery haven located in Banff National Park is surrounded by domineering wilderness and is an ideal base for guests who have the time to explore the equally stunning destinations of Jasper National Park, Yoho, Kootenay, and Glacier.
As for skiing, this high-end Canadian escape boasts a fantastic beginner's area with lots of lifts and easy slopes ripe for newcomers finding their feet, along with a brilliant ski school and some unbeatable children's facilities and ski opportunities.
Lake Louise is actually comprised of two small resort villages where most visitors stay, though some opt for a change of scenery and stay in nearby Banff town. No matter where guests choose to stay, the convenient lift and bus services here make getting around a breeze, with regular services to and from the nearby parts like Lake Louise, Sunshine Village, and Mt Norquay
1 Soldeu, Andorra
Soldeu resort is part of six ski resorts all connected by handy lift systems, which means slip and slide loving vacationers have access to an impressive number of runs - over 120! And it's good news for newbies too - there are multiple zones for beginners all close together at the resort, though confusingly, guests staying in Soldeu will find the beginner's areas in nearby El Peretol and El Tarter much easier to reach.
It's not just the several zones perfect for first-timers that make this place so awesome either - Andorra as a ski destination exceeds expectations in terms of skiing and snowboarding tuition, with many of its experienced, highly qualified instructors coming from the UK and other native English-speaking countries - which means most guests won't have any issues with language barriers between teacher and student.
Furthermore, those taking ski lessons with the ski school here enjoy easy access since the school sits right by Soldeu gondola, which means less commuting time and more time and energy to dive headfirst into the slopes. And, after an exuberant day zooming around as quickly or as slowly as desired across some of the world's first-class ski zones, the diverse pubs and bars await to serve skiers their well-earned cold pint, an indulgent glass of wine, or delicious cocktail (or five!) before hitting the sack for the next exhilarating day in this stupefying wintery hub.