Ask any skier or boarder where their first ski or boarding holiday was and they will be able to tell you instantly. A first winter holiday is something you will never forget and that’s why finding a resort which is best for beginners is so important.
Statistically, you learn more in that first week, than you will in the rest of your winter holidays added together—going from zero to hero is a big thing!
Of course, learning anything new can be tough. There’s so much to think about as a beginner, lots to take in and oh yes, all this whilst on holiday!
Picking a ski resort which is best for beginners can be the difference between loving or loathing your new winter sport.
Choosing the right destination such as Morzine, will help to ensure that your winter holiday is the first of many and not just a one off.
Mountain Pistes: Know Your Colours
Pistes in Europe are categorised by how difficult they are using four colours:
Green – These are the easiest slopes. They have a very gentle gradient, meaning you shouldn’t pick up too much speed. You will see lots of lessons and kids on green runs, as they are ideal for your first time on skis or a snowboard. Some green runs are easy routes that link up different areas of the mountain. So they may be narrow roads that get quite busy at peak times.
Blue – Blue runs are the ones you should head for once you have found your snow legs. They do vary in difficulty around all ski resorts, but are generally a bit steeper than a green and a lot more fun.
Red – Reds are much steeper than a blue and more difficult. They are usually quite long, so if you do find yourself on a red and out of your depth, it won’t be a pleasant experience to get to the bottom. So I suggest you avoid them until you are comfortable on a blue.
Black – If you are reading this because all this information is new to you, you should not be anywhere near a black run! Black runs are very steep and usually have large bumps called moguls and/or ice, making life quite difficult.
What Makes Morzine Best for Beginners?
1. Fantastic nursery slopes for those very first runs
The main green slopes are located at the top of the modern Pleney bubble, which leaves from the centre of Morzine.
There’s a covered “magic carpet” to take beginners back up to the top of the slope so they can focus all of their energy on learning and don’t have to worry about ski lifts. Our friends at BASS Morzine got a cracking photo to show you how it works.
There is also an excellent area on the Super Morzine slopes just beneath the first chairlift up which takes you to the easy Zore & Tetras runs which are a lot quieter. There are plenty of great restaurants to have a rest at with a hot choccy when your legs are tired!
2. Wide tree lined blue runs
We all love skiing through the trees and Morzine has many pistes that gently wind their way through the forests, giving a real picture postcard feel to your experience.
The wide range of blue runs build confidence, so beginners can enjoy longer more varied routes around the mountain.
There are plenty of blues which allow for easy progression to the more difficult runs and in no time at all, you’ll be skiing down pistes, you never thought possible.
3. Jaw-dropping alpine views
The views around Morzine are simply stunning—everything you would imagine and more. The fir trees laden with fresh snow, views of snow capped mountain and welcoming alpine restaurants dotted about the slopes.
4. Brilliant ski and snowboarding schools
When you are embarking on something completely new, you want the best instruction you can get, and that’s certainly the case in Morzine. The quality of the skiing and boarding tuition is excellent and whether you want to be in a group, or have some private lessons, there is a programme for everyone.
5. Great for young beginners
Morzine has been given an award as a great place for families. They have worked hard to provide all the must have items that families need to make their winter holiday really special.
Once your little ones have found their ski legs, there are some lovely themed runs to try. You will have hours of fun on the Little Indian Run in Les Gets at Chavannes and there’s a handy restaurant at the top for a well earned rest!
There are lots of runs suitable for children and the ski schools have specialist instructors to teach the young, so that your family holiday will be unforgettable.
Just off Piste B on the Morzine slopes, kids can go through the Penguin Park and Magic Forest full of lots of forest animals. This is a kind of boardercross course for kids and is great for building skills. It snakes through the trees with little whoops and obstacles to keep the little ones entertained.
There is also the Funzone on Nyon. This has two routes through it. Taking the right hand line will give you 2 whoops and 4 kickers to play with. While the left hand line is a short boardercross course, with 3 whoops, 4 corners and 1 kicker.
The Lil Stash in Avoriaz is great fun. This is an area running along the side of the Proclou green run. It consists of a whoop section, some easy jumps and some banked corners. You can also visit Shreddie’s (the stash’s mascot) tree house. This is where Kids can slide along wooden platforms and walk across bridges six metres above the slopes.
Parents can take advantage of the new picnic area built next to the Lil’ Stash. Now there is no excuse for those who like to have their lunch sitting on the jumps and jib features!
6. Easy ski back to the village
There is something very satisfying about the afternoon ski back to the village, from the Pleney side of the valley. Especially if you partake in a spot of apres on your way back to the chalet!
In Morzine there are several choices, but I would recommend Piste B as it takes a more leisurely route with no steep sections, so even beginners can enjoy this rite of passage.
Then, as you gain more confidence, go for Piste D then you can progress to C and G which have some steeper sections, to work on your technique.
7. Comfortable ski lifts
Morzine has invested heavily in state of the art transport around the mountain. Gone are the days when the ski lifts were a force to be reckoned with. Now there are very few T bars and button tows, which used to be harder to handle than the skiing or boarding!
Chairlifts don’t come round and hit you in the back of the legs when they scoop you up—it’s much more civilised with soft padded seats and more room to get on and off.
The cable cars and gondolas are so much quicker and spacious and because most are moving all the time, there are less queues at busier times.
8. Great choices of places to eat and drink on the mountain
Part of a winter holiday, is walking into a warm and inviting mountain restaurant and cosying up by the fire with a hot chocolate or tucking into a cheese fondue or tartiflette after your morning lesson.
Morzine has some lovely places to take refuge on a cooler day or catch some alpine sun on an outdoor terrace, on a brighter one.
If you think that restaurants on the slopes are only for those who ski and board then guess again! There are lots of mountain restaurants for non-skiers to meet at, so they can also experience more of the mountain during their stay.
9. Lots of runs to explore on the journey from beginner to intermediate
Morzine links with the neighbouring village of Les Gets where there are more easy runs to explore.
The Chavannes chairlift gives access to some long wide blue pistes, where you can improve your newly learned skills.
The Bruyere also departs from the top of the Chavannes and is perfect for beginner plus level.
The little train will take you to the other side of Morzine where the Super Morzine bubble and nearby Zore chairlift, give access to Avoriaz.
In Avoriaz, once you have the basics, there are green pistes for you to try (not really the centre of Avoriaz) accessed by the Proclou and Seraussaix lifts. There are some nice blue runs that take you to Lindarets, where you can practise what you have already learned.
When you feel more confident, you can tackle the Stade d’Arare, Bleue d’Arare A and Bleue du Lac accessed by the Lac Intrêts and Grandes Combes chairlifts
10. Luxurious accommodation with a central location
When you are a beginner, you will spend a lot of energy skiing or boarding. Choosing accommodation which is central, is really important so you don’t have far to travel to the slopes or ski school.
Having a catered chalet option can be a great advantage when you are a beginner, leaving you to focus on the skiing or boarding, as your chalet hosts will be there for everything else.
11. Soothe those tired muscles
Skiing and boarding can be tough on the muscles, when you are just starting out. Don’t worry, Morzine has plenty of solutions with spas offering massages and an aquatic centre with spa area and jacuzzi.
There are also some lovely places to stay where you can have your very own hot tub.
12. Morzine offers more non skiing options
Sometimes, you just want to have a bit of a break from being a beginner, so it’s great when a resort has lots of other activities to try.
Maybe you want to take a yoga class, try snowshoeing or go snowmobiling, there is something for everyone in Morzine.
13. Great apres ski
Apres ski is a wonderful invention—where beginners, intermediates and advanced skiers or boarders get together to share that common love of all things alpine and discuss the day’s escapades over a drink or two.
Whether you want to have a cocktail in a sophisticated bar or dance outside to live music, there’s plenty of choice in Morzine, and plenty of exciting events and festivals happening over the winter season.
14. Fantastic for mixed ability couples or groups
It’s very rare that a group or even a couple are of exactly the same ability, where skiing and boarding are concerned. Some of the group may enjoy the gentle blues while the others go off to explore the more challenging runs in the area.
Morzine is part of the Portes du Soleil ski area and with a whopping 650 kms of pisted runs, there is more than enough choice for all abilities.
The vast number of runs means that beginners never need to find themselves at the top of a run they don’t want to do.
Those “I am not skiing down that” conversations can be avoided, as there’s always an easier option for them.
15. Morzine will grow with you as your ability grows
What makes Morzine really special is that people rarely visit just the once. It’s a ski resort that will offer more and more each time you return and as your skills improve.
Skiers and boarders like the familiarity and friendliness of Morzine and love the vast and varied slopes, they can explore.
So we don’t just want to see you this year, we want to see you for years to come.
Are You Ready to Visit Morzine for Your Winter Holiday?
We want your beginner winter holiday to be memorable for all the right reasons, so we have more information to help you choose. Sign up to our free email course to learn everything you need to know about planning your winter holiday.