<p>A haven for skiers, France is a great location when it comes to taking to the slopes for the first time, with gentle open runs, top ski schools and a friendly atmosphere</p>
Photo: Tignes/Stephane Cande

The Best Ski Resorts for Beginners in France

A haven for skiers, France is a great location when it comes to taking to the slopes for the first time, with gentle open runs, top ski schools and a friendly atmosphere

Published at: 3 Aug 2021
Last updated at: 9 Nov 2023

When skiing for the first time, it is important to choose the right resort based on your ability. Whilst some resorts provide incredible skiing, they might not have as many wide open green and blue runs you need as a novice skier. A haven for skiers, France is a great location when it comes to taking to the slopes for the first time, with gentle open runs, top ski schools and a friendly atmosphere, these are some of our favourite ski resorts for beginner skiers to try in France.

Alicia Bryan
Alicia Bryan
Child learning to ski in MeribelPhoto: Sylvain Aymoz – Méribel Tourisme

Located in the centre of Meribel Mottaret and at the Altiport area, Meribel has two designated beginner areas which allow you to progress in a comfortable environment. Having spent millions redesigning the beginners area in Mottaret in 2016, this area has its own magic carpet and drag lift with a chairlift that serves a green run called Little Himalaya.

Offering two ‘Zen Zones’, newcomers in Mottaret can also practise their turns away from the crowds. When you are ready to progress, Meribel has 24 blue runs ranging in difficulty allowing skiers to challenge themselves as their skiing ability increases.

Woman skiing in CourchevelPhoto: Courchevel Tourisme

One of the best ski resorts for first time and intermediate skiers in the world, both the villages of Courchevel 1850 and Courchevel Moriond offer both gentle runs and well-equipped ski schools. For novices looking for a quieter scene to begin with, Moriond is the place to start as during peak weeks Courchevel 1850 can have some rather busy slopes.

With outstanding ski schools including New Generation on hand to help, Moriond has a designated ski area for first-timers so you can practise your technique in a quiet environment. Courchevel offers several free ski lifts across the most friendly pistes for first-time skiers and when you are ready to explore more of the mountain, the Courchevel mini pass will give you access to a wider range of pistes to enable you to progress further.

Photo: Keno Derleyn/OT Les Gets

Conveniently located at just a one hour drive from Geneva airport, Les Gets is an ideal ski resort for beginners in France with a large choice of ski schools and well-kept nursery slopes near the centre of the village. A perfect place to learn to ski for free, the Mappys Area close to the arrival point of the Chavannes cable car offers a quiet and relaxed atmosphere with two magic carpets and a rope tow to ski on four gentle slopes.

Once you have built your confidence in the Mappys area, Les Gets also offers quiet runs near the top of the Chavannes area giving learners the chance to experience slopes at a higher altitude.

Morzine ski resort chairliftPhoto: Morzine Tourist Office

Another great resort for beginners in France, the ski area of Morzine paired with Les Gets consists largely of wide gentle pistes, ideal for those looking to work on their turns and stops. Having been awarded the prestigious Famille Plus label, Morzine is also great for families learning to ski together, with dedicated areas for first time skiers and experienced instructors on hand to help.

The main green slopes can be found at the top of the Pleney Bubble with a magic carpet to get back up the slope. Morzine also has a large selection of wide blue runs for building confidence with easy routes to ski back to the village.

People skiing in tignesPhoto: Tignes/Stephane Cande

A snow-sure resort in France with an altitude of 2100m, Tignes has a great novice ski area with more than 50% of its runs being either green or blue. Offering a number of free ski lifts, Tignes provides access to a number of gentle green slopes on which to build confidence and improve their technique.

Found in the centre of Le Lac, the beginners ski area has a magic carpet ideal for those who have never put on a pair of skis before, with gentle slopes on both sides to enjoy. From here, skiers can then use the Lavachet drag lift to experience a longer run to practise turning and stopping. A great resort for progression, once you have covered these areas in Tignes you can always head over to Val d’Isere and enjoy everything this nearby resort has to offer.