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The beginner’s guide to skiing

There’s nothing quite like the euphoria you feel when reaching the top of a mountain freshly covered in snow with skis at the ready. If you are thinking of hitting the slopes for the first time, here are a few things to consider.

How to choose the right resort

Defining factors when choosing the best-suited resort include transfer times, the time of the year and who you are travelling with. It is important to consider your preferred transfer time as the shorter the journey, the lower the altitude. The higher up the mountain you go the more snow-sure the resorts are. It is essential to choose a resort that suits you and your family or friends. Plenty of resorts work well for both novice skiers and experts. Make sure to carefully decide what you prefer, or indeed require. A resort with easy pistes, nursery slopes and kids’ clubs is perfect for families. Megève and Zell am See are great for beginners and for those with mixed abilities, you can’t go wrong with the Three Valleys.

It’s not all about the skiing

If you are in search of excellent dining experiences, we recommend Verbier, Megève, Courchevel and Zermatt. For vibrant après, the Three Valleys resorts are the top contenders. If you prefer a chicer and more glamorous après, the Swiss resorts of Verbier and Zermatt are ideal. All of these resorts have incredible luxury hotels and chalets with beautiful spas, home cinemas and much more to keep you entertained when you don’t feel like hitting the slopes.

Which ski pass should you choose?

We recommend that beginners start small as there is always the possibility to upgrade. Ski passes are costly and choosing a full ski pass at a beginner stage is often unnecessary. However, it is important to bear in mind that if you wish to dine in a restaurant that is part of another ski area, you must get the appropriate ski pass.

How to choose the appropriate lesson

Private lessons are best for adult beginners who wish to advance quickly. For children, we recommend half-day group lessons. Not only do children learn much quicker than adults, but they tire easily. We advise that children go for morning group lessons while parents take a lesson with a private instructor. In the afternoon, families can regroup for exciting activities like dog sledding and sleigh rides. Plus, if parents want a bit of relaxation, they can enjoy a leisurely breakfast or a spa treatment while the children are enjoying time on the slopes. Our top tip is to organise a family lesson on the final day. Not only is it great fun, everyone can show the skills they have picked up on holiday.

What you should pack

A winter jacket, ski trousers, thermal long johns, base layers, ski goggles, socks and gloves are essential. For kids, a children’s ski suit is often handy and make for adorable outfits. Interesting gadgets include a GoPro for superb mountain footage and a battery pack wouldn’t go amiss. Heated gloves can also be great. Other than that, we will have organised an in-house fitting on arrival with the rest of your ski essentials prepared in advance.

Choosing between a hotel or a chalet

Hotels are great for couples as it gives the freedom to explore the best restaurants and après spots in the resort. For large families and groups, it can prove more stressful making reservations and finding restaurants and bars that will cater to everyone. A chalet takes this stress away, as a dedicated chef means you don’t have to worry about mealtimes. Plus, there are plenty of lounge areas in the chalet to relax and enjoy après ski as a group. Complimentary shuttle services offered by hotels work well for couples and smaller families, but for large families and groups nothing beats the convenience of a private chauffeur service. Whichever you choose, we have excellent partner hotels and chalets offering great value throughout French, Swiss and Austrian ski resorts.

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