Best places to go skiing in Europe for a complete novice?

Soldato
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I've never been skiing before and it's something which I'd love to do. I haven't really looked into it much at all until now so I don't know where the best places are to go. I'd like to drive there so I'm thinking France, Switzerland or Italy.

When is the best time of the year to go?

Which resort would you recommend for a complete novice?

How much do you think it'll cost for a week? I'd like to keep costs to a minimum but obviously still want to have a good time.

Thanks.
 
Soldato
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I've been to both Andorra and France (Serre Chevalier), although I was boarding. Both of which offered lots of beginner slopes and you could book lessons if you wanted to.

I paid £4-500 for a week at each half board, including board rental, flights and lift pass etc.
 
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Soldato
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Cervinia in Italy. Incredibly long motorway cruising runs. So much so that when you get a bit better you can actually straight line for about 6 miles just mucking about on and popping off the side of the piste.

Very snow-sure as well as the resort base is at 2000m.
 
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Soldato
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I'd always suggest learning on a dry slope/indoor slope before going to a resort. If it's your very first time you probably won't see more than 10% of the resort you go to. It just seems a bit of a waste to travel so far and pay so much then not to be able to make use of it all.
 
Soldato
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The three valleys is my fav. They were my first slopes and they're not hard. Courcheval, Val d'sere and Tignes.

I would agree with above comment, I did a bit of dry slope before. I'd say only a few hours worth, it really isn't hard, and once you have the hand of skid stopping instead of stupid pizza and chips kids stuff its brilliant.
 
Soldato
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cavalese ski center latemar in Italy (Italian Dolomites eg Italian part of the alpes)

Went many a time when i was younger, nice slopes for novices with a few black runs for the pro's lol
 
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Soldato
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The three valleys is my fav. They were my first slopes and they're not hard. Courcheval, Val d'sere and Tignes.

I would agree with above comment, I did a bit of dry slope before. I'd say only a few hours worth, it really isn't hard, and once you have the hand of skid stopping instead of stupid pizza and chips kids stuff its brilliant.

You mean parallel stopping instead of "snow plough" within 30 mins you'll have the basics and 2-3 hours you'll be skii-ng properly.


Dead easy thing to do
 
Associate
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I prefer Switzerland, it wonderful!! Davos and Ftan are my favorites. The problem are the prices...
A very good alternative are the Italian Dolomites. Amazing landscape and better prices.
 
Soldato
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:mad: I came to post that! *shakes fist*

Nothing beats the ski slope in my home town, have a couple of lessons there to learn how to put the boots and skis on, how to use the lifts and how to go down a hill a little bit with very little risk to your self.

£80 well spent to make sure a weeks skiing holiday is actually enjoyable, instead of having to use your first day looking like a total idiot learning the very basics.

Then go to the alps, any of it is good, and ski the time away :)
 
Associate
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We're going to Switzerland for our first skiing experience. Staying in Grindelwald and skiing the alps surrounding it. I think snow itself may be a little hit/miss in the town as we're going early in the ski season (Christmas time) but there hopefully will be plenty of snow up on the runs. They also have snow generator thingys if there isn't enough snow :p

Can't tell you if it will be good or bad, it is expensive that I can tell you!
 
Man of Honour
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Le Trois Vallee as mentioned is a monster of a resort with lots of runs to suit any ability but as a beginner you'll probably be looking at the green & blue runs, at least initially. It's possible to drive to but it's probably a whole lot easier to just hop on the Eurostar and then get a short transfer (~1 hour or thereabouts by coach) to the resort(s) - that's unless you're really desparate to drive all that way or have other plans involving your car when you get there. I suppose you could combine taking the car on Eurostar and then driving from Moutiers as the closest stop if you really wanted to.

I'd also agree that having a session on a dry ski slope or snowdome is a good idea before going on holiday - it's not necessarily going to make you an expert but it should give you an idea of the basics around balance and stopping which should mean that it's much easier for you when you do get started on real snow. I'd say it was generally easier on real snow than on dry ski slopes and maybe a little bit easier than in snowdomes but if you can get the basics sorted there then the real thing will be much more enjoyable.
 
Caporegime
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I'm going to suggest somewhere in Austria, like Soll or Scheffau. The latter is a nice little resort, lots of green and blue runs for learning and has very nice surroundings. The Three Valleys is great (been there several times) but unless you stick to Corchavel it's not exactly the prettiest and you'll be paying over the odds for a ski pass you won't be using.

Or if you want to go a bit different I went to Levi (Finland) last season. Stunning scenery. The resort isn't big or technical but you're a beginner and most slopes are blue or easy reds. If you want a day off you can do so many other things as well (we only did 3 days skiing as the resort was small but went snowshoeing one day, walking another (on our own, not in a group) and did some snowmobiling for a whole other day).
 
Man of Honour
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Or if you want to go a bit different I went to Levi (Finland) last season. Stunning scenery. The resort isn't big or technical but you're a beginner and most slopes are blue or easy reds. If you want a day off you can do so many other things as well (we only did 3 days skiing as the resort was small but went snowshoeing one day, walking another (on our own, not in a group) and did some snowmobiling for a whole other day).

For somewhere a bit random that's not a bad option except perhaps in terms of driving there would be a bit of a pain I suspect. From memory there's only one black run there and even that wasn't all that difficult, I think it was purely the steepness that caused the rating. It's nice and small though plus you'll have the option of a Finnish sauna then running into the snow - rinse and repeat until you feel thoroughly refreshed.
 
Caporegime
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I didn't read the drive part... :o However why specifically drive? It is an option if you want to do a few days here and there but not really if you want to do a whole week.

Yep I think so, mostly a nice carving run with a couple of hundred metres at the bottom to get some speed up after the crest. It's a great beginners resort, although it's very odd when you get to the top of the hill and realise about 100m away is a small bunch of houses where people live all year round, with a normal road up to it! :D
 
Soldato
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Personally we go to Morzine. It's an hours drive from Geneva airport, France side. Good pistes, great town/bars, very English, and very up and coming; they spend allot to keep the tourists interested. Can easily go up to Avoriaz if the snow is poor lower down, complete with skiing over the border in to Switzerland.
 
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