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France’s Isère region is an ideal destination for beginners looking for a safe introduction to skiing and snowboarding, with a range of resorts from small and quiet to large and lively, all within easy reach of Grenoble airport.  

Les 2 Alpes

What’s it like? 

A large, lively ski resort that boasts spectacular views, Europe’s biggest glacier skiing area, huge vertical and a great terrain park; it’s also rightly renowned for its full-on nightlife.

And for beginners?

There are acres of accessible beginners’ slopes, including reassuring ‘slow zones’, snow-garden play areas for the little ones, and plenty of off-slope attractions including an ice cave, ice rink and swimming pool plus family snowshoe treks. 

 

Alpe d’Huez

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What’s it like?

One of France’s biggest, sunniest and best-known Alpine resorts, justly popular with young and fun-loving groups as well as with families, and catering well for skiers and boarders of all abilities.

And for beginners?

Alpe d’Huez has some of the best nursery slopes in the Alps. Les Bergers is great for novices with two drag lifts and three chairs, serving around 12 green and seven blue pistes. There are also confidence building slow ski zones on gently sloping runs.

 

Vaujany

What’s it like?

Linked to Grand Domaine Ski, this micro-resort is a calmer alternative to the bustle of its neighbour. It offers long sheltered trails down to the lowest-altitude valley villages.

And for beginners?

There’s a beginners’ area in Montfrais. Being at the outer edge of the domain this area looks a bit wild and remote, yet it has a welcoming feel, and families and novices can relax away from the crowded slopes of the core ski area.

 

As well as an excellent ESF ski school, Oz has some lovely mellow nursery slopes

 

Oz en Oisans

What’s it like?

It’s small, pretty, traffic-free and shares a ski area with Vaujany. Traditional in appearance, it still has old barns, wash houses and water fountains, and a 19th-century church in Oz village.

And for beginners?

As well as an excellent ESF ski school, Oz has some lovely mellow nursery slopes which are great for children and beginners, especially as they mostly face the sun.  A good choice for families with some excellent restaurants and well-priced shops.

 

Villard de Lans / Corrençon

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What’s it like?

Villard is a pleasant, large, traditional ski town that shares a ski area with its pretty neighbour Corrençon en Vercors. Night life is lively and snow cover boosted by extensive snow-making. 

And for beginners?

There are two large beginner domains on Villard Côte 2000 and Corrençon, and some good progression pistes. The many off-slope activities include archery, bowling evenings, ballooning, luge and an entertaining Puppet Museum.

 

les 7 Laux

What’s it like?

Extensively remodelled over the past decade, Les Sept Laux is a group of three resorts in the Belledonne massif 35 km from Grenoble. Prapoutel is the urban hub hosting the usual amenities.

And for beginners?

It has three beginner sectors and a beginner ski pass. It also offers a snowboarding experience for kids from 2 to 7 years old, with an accessible and fun playground to learn about snowboarding. Bags of off-slope fun makes this a very family-friendly choice.

 

Chamrousse

What’s it like?

This hidden gem resort located in the belledonne region of Isére is a fantastic value alternative for families and beginners right on the doorstep of Grenoble with super short transfer times. 

And for beginners?

Chamrousse 1700 Villages du Bachat is the special beginners’ area, with green and blue slopes and easy lifts. You will also find a kids sledging area. Special offers for newcomers include a ‘Welcome to beginners’ package from 20 March – 19 April 2020.

 

Saint Pierre de Chartreuse

What’s it Like?

Though Saint Pierre is the largest resort in the Chartreuse range it only has 35km of runs. Just 30 mins from Grenoble, it’s perfect for a weekend ski break or first-time ski holiday.

And for beginners?

Surrounded by mountain peaks and forests, Saint Pierre is especially suitable for children and beginners, A gondola rises to the ski area with two beginner spaces and eight green runs. Snowshoeing is a popular pastime for families here.