The Best Snowboard Resorts for Beginners
Snowtart have compiled a list of the some of the best beginner resorts in Europe to try out, if you are thinking of booking your first ski holiday.
I’ve been lucky enough to have been taken on ski holidays from the age of two. So my knowledge of where the best beginner ski resorts were during my teenage years and early twenties were vastly limited, as all I wanted to do was find jumps, and the biggest moguls down the steepest black runs.
It wasn't until I got my ski instructor licence at 19 and started my career as a ski instructor that I really appreciated the importance of choosing your resorts carefully based on your ability. Skiing and snowboarding isn't all about bombing down the hill at 60+ mph and fearing that you could severely injure yourself at the slightest mistake. It’s about the views, mountain restaurant stops, and the natural progression of difficulty on the slope allowing you to grow more confident with each turn.
These are the most important things about a first ski trip. So to help you get the most out of your beginners Snow sports holiday, here are my top recommendations.
Austria Beginner Resorts
Alpendorf, St Johann Im Pongau
There are so many countries to choose from, let alone resorts. USA, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Japan, Australia, New Zealand. The list is endless, but Europe would be the best place to start if you’re from the UK. It’s just over the channel, and if you do your research, it won't cost you a small fortune either.
My personal recommendation to learn would be Austria, and more specifically, Alpendorf, St Johann Im Pongau. This is run by Snow Space Salzburg. Rather than arriving at the bottom of the mountain and clicking into your skis or board straight away, you take a lift to the top, where the nursery slopes are situated. This means you can enjoy some fantastic views of the whole area. There are lovely blue slopes after you have nailed the basics that will help build your confidence more and more.
Flachau, St Johann Im Pongau
Flachau is another fantastic place to learn, also run by Snow Space Salzburg, which is a short 20 minute drive from Salzburg, with a lovely village at the bottom and really easy progression paths after the first stint on the nursery slopes. This region also has some lovely schools who are proficient in nearly every western European language. The best thing about these small Austrian resorts is that you don’t have to take out a second mortgage on your house for a drink or lunch. With a flat rate of 5 Euros for a large beer or 3 Euros for a hot chocolate. You really aren't going to break the bank while you’re out and about on the mountain.
If you are not too fussed about the financial side of things however, and you want to fully experience the classic ski resort lifestyle many aregue there is nowhere better to go than the French Alps. Courchevel, Les Deux Alpes, Tignes and Meribel are just a few of the best beginner resorts with fantastic nursery slopes with long green runs going for miles and miles. Cortina and Courmayeur in Italy are other fantastic places to learn. With fantastic scenery and superb mountain restaurants, these resorts would be the perfect introduction to a lifetime of snowboarding/skiing holidays. Keep your eye out for deals. These are large resorts and you can often get some bargains, especially in the villages lower down the slopes e.g. Courchevel 1500.
Is there anything else to do in these resorts other than boarding?
If you realise that boarding or skiing is not for you after the first day, and you still have the better half of the week to kill, these nice beginner friendly resorts are also perfect for chilling out. They're pretty large so there's plenty of bars, restaurants, spas and things to do. Or, if you fancy more of a relaxing holiday, then the chair lifts allow you to go up without your board so you can have a chilled out day in the sun on the mountain with a cheeky beer.