Scotland's original ski centre began life as a weekend haunt for dedicated enthusiasts. Still regarded by many as the country's best ski centre, with a world-class vertical, it is located in an awesome location at the South end of a spectacular valley. The centre is now open 7 days with optional high-value packages including ski-hire and instruction (based on-slope) and lift pass. A wide variety of accommodation is available locally.
From complete beginner to expert, there's something for everyone at Glencoe, which has Scotland's longest lift-served vertical descent of 2600ft (792m). The Plateau, with its Poma lift, provides access to one of the best nursery areas in Scotland. This is the perfect gentle slope for beginners or those who just like to take it very easy and practice their technique. The Cliffhanger Chair takes you up to the mid-station where beginners and novices can make a long traverse onto Mugs Alley - a wide expanse of easy green graded terrain. The Main Basin, to the right of the Top T-bar is the most popular run, probably because you get off the lift and you're right there and ready to go. Its well worth taking a short traverse and checking out some of the other runs on offer. Basically, when you reach the top go right for blue (intermediate) or left for red (more difficult) - and even further left for black and the Flypaper! The terrain on the Main Basin can vary so much that it can be as easy or challenging as you like - watch out for the Haggis Trap - its always good fun and not to be be missed! Take a right when you get off the Top T-bar and try out Happy Valley or just a little further along the Etive Glades - both blue runs - excellent for intermediates, they're nice and wide and the views towards the Buchaille Etive are amazing. From the Top T bar , a traverse to the left takes you onto Rannoch Glades or, slightly further along, the Spring Run, both firm favourites with the locals, they're long and a bit tricky in places - definitely red!
There are currently no creche facilities available at Glencoe Ski Centre but children from 5 years can join Ski school for lessons - slightly younger than the norm at other Scottish ski centres. Fort William and Oban both have family friendly attractions, lodging and places to eat, including MacDonalds and restaurants with integral soft play areas.
Closest to the slopes is the Kingshouse Hotel for bar meals, they also have a restaurant serving a la carte meals. Going south (approx 10 miles/16km) is the Bridge of Orchy Hotel with bar or restaurant food. Heading north you'll find a wide choice of pubs and hotels between Glencoe, Ballachulish and Onich. Fort William has a wide choice of places to eat, Crannog Seafood at The Pier serves fresh, locally caught fish whilst The Highland Star does Chinese food and theres a Tandoori Restaurant for Indian. If you'd prefer something more traditional then there are plenty of hotels serving typical Scottish food.
There's plenty of après ski in the area, from atmospheric local pubs to lively ceilidhs, impromptu folk music sessions and discos. The Clachaig Inn at Glencoe has won an award for its real ales and holds a beer festival in March. The nearest town of Fort William (27 miles/45km) has lots of pubs, two leisure complexes - the Lochaber Leisure Centre and Marco's at An Aird, as well as a cinema.
Glencoe has some of the most challenging riding of any Scottish area and is famed for having some of the best freestyle runs in the country. Without doubt one of Scotland's best 'boarding' areas according to Snowboard World magazine. The Cliffhanger chairlift is good for beginners who find difficulty with getting on a button lift. Its a single chairlift and easily manageable. From there you can get onto Mugs Alley, a green run. No need to build a fun park as the natural terrain provides plenty of challenges - The Canyon and Thrombosis forming natural pipes and the Haggis Trap a great gully jump. Snowboards can be hired at the Centre with lessons available from qualified instructors.