Beginner ski holidays

Learn-to-ski and snowboard holiday advice. Organising your first ski holiday checklist.

Beginner skiing

Learn to ski holidays

Where should I learn to ski? What do I pack for my ski holiday? Will I like skiing..? A first time ski holiday can be a bit overwhelming, so let Sno ease the process for you. We’ve got some great ski holidays for beginners and learn to snowboard holidays in the best beginner ski resorts around and with lots of ski holiday experience, can help you with where to go, what to pack and what to expect. The best resorts for learning to ski have a combination of excellent ski schools and large, friendly beginner areas.

There really is nothing better than the fresh air, gorgeous scenery and that amazing feeling when you’ve skied your first proper run! We’ve got some great beginner ski resorts with excellent ski schools, specialised snowboard schools and large, friendly beginner areas. A few of our European favourites include Alpe d’Huez in France, Lech in Austria, Soldeu in Andorra and Sauze d’Oulx in Italy. Have a look through our selection below and get in touch to book your beginner ski holiday with Sno. We’ll set you up with a resort that meets your needs and budget and give you all the advice you need to have the best possible start to skiing.

Ski school and beginners' ski area

Whatever your piste-confident friends boast of their teaching talents, opting out of ski school to save money is the wrong way to begin your skiing experience - your friends will easily tire of the beginner slopes and you’ll find yourself peering down a terrifying steep far before your time. Lech is great for beginners if you book ski lessons rather than doing a Bridget Jones (who hurtled down one of its more difficult runs in ‘Edge of Reason’)...

Learning to ski is definitely best in the qualified hands of a ski school. Our top beginner resorts have some fantastic British ski schools with experienced instructors who will get you skiing confidently at your own pace. There’s no better way of learning to ski with a small group of beginners that are similar in age – everyone’s in the same boat and it’s a great way of making friends.

In terms of ski area, you’ll want a resort that has lots of beginner-friendly slopes. These are coloured green (beginner) and blue (easy) and you’ll find a summary of slopes on each of our resort pages. Our beginner friendly resorts have specific areas for beginners only (in Meribel and Courchevel they’re called “Zen Zones” because everyone has to ski calmly through them), where you can practice at your own pace. In some ski areas, the beginner lifts are free. This can save money on your ski holiday because you can hold back on buying a lift pass until your ski instructor says you’re ready for one.

It’s not only the ski area that makes your first ski holiday – some resorts are more family friendly such as Les Arcs or have the most lively après ski like Meribel or St Anton. However you prefer to unwind after a day of getting to know your skis, at Sno we can find the right resort for you.

First ski holiday checklist

If you haven’t skied before, it’s important to know what to pack for your first ski holiday, so here's some advice and first ski holiday tips which you can use to create a checklist. Ski gear can be an expensive investment, so ask around and borrow or hire as much as you can. If you’re buying your own stuff, shop around, there are some bargains out there if you know where to look (and no-one’s going to notice that your baselayer is last year’s design). If you’re taking the whole family on your first ski trip, having the right kit can literally make or break your week away, so read our advice on packing for a family ski holiday with an “essentials” checklist.

It’s very cold out there, particularly earlier in the season so you’ll want to layer up. A good thermal base layer (top and bottom) and micro-fleece jumper are two essentials for making sure you’re not shivering on the slopes and more layers can go between if needed. In terms of outerwear, you’ll need a good ski jacket (this can double as a winter waterproof back home) and some ski trousers, known as salopettes. You’ll also want thick ski socks and walking boots to wear around the resort (or maybe go for a pair snow boots - the more outrageous the better!). The waterproof factor of your jacket, salopettes and boots is really important – if any water gets through you’ll quickly feel the cold, so it’s a good idea to test everything before you set off, and give it a spray of water protection if needed.

Beginners family ski holiday: If your first ski trip is with your family, read our family skiing top tips plus advice one skiing with children of various ages.

Ski accessories: there are all sorts of gadgets out there but a few essentials you should definitely take. Waterproof ski gloves, ski goggles, sunglasses, a warm hat that covers your ears and helmet are all very important ones. Goggles are expensive and the cheap ones are usually rubbish - so these are a good thing to ask around for and you’ll be able to hire a helmet alongside your skis, boots and poles. Good ski jackets usually come with lots of pockets, so make the most of them with things like snacks and sun cream (everyone enjoys some chocolate on the ski lifts and with high altitude, you need to avoid sunburn). Tissues, hot chocolate and money are other good ideas and you won’t want to forget a camera to capture the views and show them off back home.

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All package ski holidays booked with Sno are fully ATOL and TTA protected.

Book with the confidence that your package holiday is always protected against supplier failure.

Every Sno ski holiday packaged with flights is ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. All our suppliers
are ATOL bonded too, so your holiday money is safe. In addition to this, payments for your holiday are
held in trust, by NatWest bank and the Travel Trust, who insure every booking against supplier failure.

Visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the latest official travel information and advice.

In addition to the comprehensive protection provided by SNO ltd, all of the ski holiday companies we work with are also protected by at least one of the following travel organisations:

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