Question Resort for (real!) beginners in Europe


First Runs
Aug 4, 2017
I'm looking for some advice, please! We are a family from Brazil, so snow is not part of our lives at all, but we really love it. Last year we took our first vacation in a ski resort in Canada. Everything was perfect: the resort was easily reached from the main airport where we arrived, although it was a purpose built resort it was very charming and cozy, the snow school was really good and there were great smooth slopes for beginners, with amazing views, so we enjoyed a lot even as first time skiers/snowboarders, and finally, prices were ok for this kind of sport. So, our overall first experience was really great. Now, we want to book a resort in Europe for next winter but we have no idea where to go. As I can say after searching the internet, there are plenty of great ski resort throughout Europe and this is exactly the problem, too many options! So, to make a shortcut for us, can someone give us any advice about a nice and cozy ski resort, short distance from a main airport, good and suitable for REAL beginners and not so expensive? Any suggestion will be truly welcome! Thanks! (Obrigada!)
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One of Us
Ski Pass
Apr 29, 2012
Perth/part time resident of Jindabyne
Never actually skied there , but Flaine in France always had a reputation for being really good for families with beginners and intermediates , its in a big bowl ? and most runs all lead back to the resort, its purpose built and not very pretty , its also linked with Les Carroz and a couple of other resorts, so the skiable area is quite big.
Some resorts are known as whats called upside down resorts ,all the easy runs are quite high and the steep runs lead down to the village , which are less than ideal for beginners or familes with young children and usually require catching a lift down at the end of the day.
Ideally a good beginner oriented resort will have runs that also lead back down to the village, so just dont go on amount of green runs, as if they are quite high you may be above the tree line and a lot more inclined to get really bad visibility.
Another area that springs to mind in France is the Les Sybelles Ski Area, its the 4th largest in France, a lot cheaper than the popular mega resorts, great for families and beginner and intermediate skiers, close access to the TGV trains with Paris in one direction and Turin (Italy) in the other . Closest direct route for flights is probably from Lyon (France) and Turin.
If you watched any of the Tour de France this year they went through the resort on one of the mountain stages and then down to St Jean de Maurienne.
Last edited:


Mar 14, 2017
Yeah Flaine is easy, cheap, big area, lots of easy runs, etc.

Its a purpose built resort (i.e. ugly as sin) but it ticks all the necessary boxes.

Otherwise, probably look to Innsbruck or other resorts in Austria.
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Pool Room
Ski Pass
Jun 18, 2007
Wengen in Switzerland has plenty of easy skiing, accessed by a simple train ride up to Klein Scheidegg. As you progress you can even ski over to Grindelwald. The villages are beautiful, easily accessed by train from Zurich. Nothing in Switzerland is particularly cheap, but skiing Europe and staying in a purpose built resort, particularly as a beginner, seems wrong.
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Principal Douglas

Lapsed Perisher Skier
Ski Pass
Mar 21, 2002
Orange, NSW
SkiWelt in Austria. Lots of good beginner slopes and easy to progress to intermediate terrain. Snow is a bit of an issue at times though, it's pretty low. Ellmau is a nice village and has a good beginner area


Old but definitely not Crusty!
Ski Pass
May 6, 2010
Good luck with working out where you will go. SO much to choose from.

I would given Wengen and that area a go as @Apresski suggests - that whole area is very pretty and there are many non ski winter activities also, for when you need a break. The ice caves/sculptures at the Jungfrau, the majestic train ride up Kleine Sheidegg, the massive flying fox the whole length of a Gondola ride at Grindlewald First and purpose built toboggan runs that run alongside but not connected to ski runs.

Being in Brazil have you considered Chile in your Winter?


Hard Yards
May 19, 2016
It's at the ass end of the 3 Valleys but I took my young beginners to Club Med Val Thorens years ago
+1 Val Thorens. High resort so higher probability of good snow cover. Magic carpets in beginner areas are free, so no need for a lift ticket for the absolute beginners.
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