9 of France's most brilliant ski resorts for beginners
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Taking to the slopes for the first time this winter? Learning to ski and snowboard can be a daunting experience, so it's important to choose a ski resort suitable for beginners.
Luckily, France* has no shortage of ski destinations perfect for first-timers, whether it's quaint ski villages with family-friendly activities or larger ski resorts with enormous beginner areas.
Getting to France: don't miss the latest deals on winter snow breaks to these destinations and more with Crystal Ski Holidays*.
Courchevel*, one of France's largest ski resorts, offers a lift pass created entirely for beginners, the heavily discounted Mini Pass. It only covers green and blue runs, which means beginners don't have to splash out on ski passes covering areas they're unlikely to get to.
Skiers and snowboarders taking to the snow for the first time can use eight free ski lifts, and there are dedicated Easy Rider Zones designed for nervous beginners.
The best area for younger learners is the piste-side Children's Village, which has a miniature castle, knights in shining armour and a beautiful banquet hall for slope-wise snacks.
Courchevel snow report (ski season)
The Courchevel snow report shows potential for good quality snow for each week of the ski season based on 15 years of historical observations.
There's no shortage of space in La Plagne*, made up of 11 separate villages, many of which are ski-in, ski-out. First-timers can access beginner-friendly Coolski Zones for just €33 (£28) a day, and around half of the resort's runs are rated green and blue.
These runs aren't just relegated to the lower slopes either; it's possible to cross the entire ski area using green and blue runs alone. There's plenty of fun to be had away from the slopes, too.
Got a need for speed? La Plagne has France's only bobsleigh and skeleton track, and visitors can hire electric Moonbikes (similar to skidoos) or sign up for cani-raquette lessons, which involve donning snowshoes and being pulled along by a husky.
La Plagne snow report (ski season)
The La Plagne snow report shows potential for good quality snow for each week of the ski season based on 15 years of historical observations.
Les Arcs, in the heart of the huge Paradiski area, is connected to La Plagne via a gondola, so there's plenty of room for beginners to practice their parallel turns. Les Arcs 1950 is a fantastic base; it's the newest area of Les Arcs* and has been designed with beginners in mind.
Nursery slopes surround the entire village, and there's a packed calendar of daily activities (including spectacular firework displays) to enjoy away if you feel like a day off.
If you're keen to enjoy some après-ski after a session on the slopes, consider Les Arcs 1800; this is where you'll find the resort's best slope-side bars and clubs.
Les Arcs snow report (ski season)
The Les Arcs snow report shows potential for good quality snow for each week of the ski season based on 15 years of historical observations.
Fancy some cross-border skiing? Head to the French resort of La Rosière*, close to the Italian border and part of the enormous Espace San Bernardo ski area.
There's a huge network of beginner-friendly green and blue runs here, as well as the enormous, all-inclusive Club Med La Rosière property, which is incredibly family-friendly.
There are daily events for children, as well as ski hire and ski lessons (plus all food and drink) are included. Don't miss the delicious hot chocolates, handed out to guests when they return to the hotel.
La Rosiere snow report (ski season)
The La Rosiere snow report shows potential for good quality snow for each week of the ski season based on 15 years of historical observations.
Full disclosure: you'll need to hop on a ski lift to get to the fantastic nursery area in Les Gets* but on the plus side, it's a gondola (chairlifts can seem daunting to beginners).
From the top of this lift, skiers can access over 300 km of beginner-friendly slopes, and there are gorgeous views perfect for distracting nervous skiers or snowboarders. It's a brilliant resort for families.
Accommodation consists of pretty alpine chalets rather than sprawling hotel blocks, and children who sign up for ski lessons will never be in groups of more than 10 people.
Kids will love the Grand Cry beginners' area, which has tee-pees, face-painting stations and monster-themed obstacles to ski around.
Les Gets snow report (ski season)
The Les Gets snow report shows potential for good quality snow for each week of the ski season based on 15 years of historical observations.
Les Deux Alpes
Les Deux Alpes* has one of France's largest networks of green and blue slopes, although there are plenty of tougher runs to tackle as confidence grows.
Several of the resort's blue and green runs are unusually long; great news for beginners because it means less time on ski lifts. Our favourites include Access Vallée Blanche, a green run which weaves through quaint Alpine chalets.
Beginners who fancy some downtime can make the most of the resort's fantastic facilities, access to most of these (including the pool and ice rink) is free for anyone with a lift pass for six days or more.
Finally, don't forget to celebrate your success on the slopes with a selfie next to the Hollywood-style Les Deux Alpes sign near the resort's Easy Park run.
Les Deux Alpes snow report (ski season)
The Les Deux Alpes snow report shows potential for good quality snow for each week of the ski season based on 15 years of historical observations.
Morzine* is a former farming village which has transformed into one of the top ski resorts in France.
That said, it's still a great option for beginners, who can explore over 300 kilometres of green and blue runs and enjoy easy access to the neighbouring resort of Avoriaz*.
Locals are famously welcoming and there are several fantastic ski schools, all of which have English-speaking teachers.
If you're travelling with children in tow, look for "Famille Plus" signs; these indicate family-friendly (and most importantly, free) shows and activities throughout the resort, and they're also used by hotels and restaurants which are especially suitable for families.
Morzine snow report (ski season)
The Morzine snow report shows potential for good quality snow for each week of the ski season based on 15 years of historical observations.
The beginner slopes in Flaine*, which is part of the sprawling Grand Massif ski area, are easily accessible, most just a short walk from the resort's centre.
Free ski lifts (including three magic carpets; covered conveyor belt-style lifts) provide easy access to nursery slopes in the beginner-friendly Pré and Bissac zones.
The wider network of green and blue pistes (there are over 100 kilometres in total) includes a 14-km green run which starts in the Les Grandes Platières area and skirts the Sixt-fer-à-Cheval Nature Reserve.
Kids will love the Animal Trail Piste and the resort's new DC Area 43 snow park is a great spot for skiers and snowboarders keen to hone their freestyle skills.
Flaine snow report (ski season)
The Flaine snow report shows potential for good quality snow for each week of the ski season based on 15 years of historical observations.
Le Grand Bornand
This small resort is just an hour's drive from Geneva, keeping those dreaded cries of "are we there yet?" to a minimum. It's one of France's prettiest ski resorts, filled with traditional alpine chalets. In fact, the oldest dates back to the 1600s and is owned by descendants of the family who built it.
You can base yourself in either Le Grand Bornand itself or nearby Le Chinaillon, a free shuttle bus service connects both areas.
Le Grand Bornand's main ski area is just above La Chinaillon, and the beginner slopes are all easily accessible. There's plenty of room to roam, and it's also possible to ski over to the nearby resort of La Clusaz.
Le Grand Bornand snow report (ski season)
The Le Grand Bornand snow report shows potential for good quality snow for each week of the ski season based on 15 years of historical observations.
Weather in France
You can find out more about the conditions in destinations all year round in our complete guide to the weather in France.
Ready to learn to ski? Check out the latest offers on winter escapes with Crystal Ski Holidays, which offers breaks across Europe and North America.
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