There is no surprise that skiing is one of the most popular winter activities in Switzerland. Not everyone who comes here is an advanced skier. Many skiers will also be beginners. After all, we all have to start somewhere.
Can a beginner ski in Switzerland?
Is Switzerland even a suitable place for beginners to learn to ski? Yes, Switzerland has a lot of suitable ski areas for beginners. In most ski resorts, you’ll find relatively flat slopes and small magic carpet runs for beginners before they go on to more intermediate terrain.
If you are a beginner skier, I recommend starting in an area with a magic carpet that is relatively flat. Then, once your child has mastered going down the slope, you can teach him or her how to use lifts, which may still be found in some ski areas.
Swiss Ski Schools
Almost all ski resorts have programs for those who’ve never skied before or those who’ve done it but aren’t confident. It’s pretty common for ski resorts to have their own ski schools. Teachers know where it’s safe to bring you if you take lessons, whether it’s group lessons or individual lessons.
Swiss Ski Schools currently has 169 schools with 8,200 instructors. Among the activities they often teach are skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, telemark skiing, freeriding, freestyle skiing, and biathlons. For more information, you can check out the Swiss Ski School website: https://www.swiss-ski-school.ch/.
Beginner Ski Slopes
The ski resort you are at undoubtedly offers easy runs for those who are trying skiing for the first time. Most resorts offer easier runs to get you started before introducing you to more difficult slopes.
- Beginner slopes in Switzerland are marked as blue
- Intermediate slopes are marked as red
- Advanced slopes are marked as black
For those just starting out and living in Switzerland or planning to stay there for a long time, it may be a wise idea to check out the smaller ski resorts in the country before venturing to the most prominent ones. These are usually inexpensive options, so you won’t have to spend a lot.
Best Beginner Ski Resorts
My recommendations for beginner ski resorts are listed below:
- Arosa Ski Resort – Children up to the age of 17 can get complimentary group lessons if they stay for at least two nights in one of the participating hotels. All guests, big and small, can use the practice lifts at Kulmwiese and Honigland Prätschli for free.
- Engelberg Ski Resort – Engelberg offers several options for beginners such as Klostermatte / Globis Winterland, Yeti-Park Ristis, Brunni – Ristis, Gerschnialp, and Bannalp. The best place to go here for younger children is Globi’s Winterland. Globi’s Winterland has two ski lifts and three magic carpets of varying lengths, small jumps, and a family restaurant.
- Aletsch Arena – With its beautiful Valais mountain scenery, the car-free Aletsch Arena is a great place for a family holiday in Switzerland. Skiers whizz down the beginner slopes of the picturesque ski area. Fiescheralp, Riederalp, and Bettmeralp all have ski schools.
- Grächen – Grächen is a winter wonderland for families. Skiers will feel completely satisfied and happy with four magic carpets, a ski carousel, a hang glider, a snow tubing run, the ‘cinema in the igloo’, or the ‘Mäc SiSu’ family restaurant. The skiing area has 42 km of slopes, is snow-sure up to 2,858 m altitude, and offers majestic views. Winter walks around Grächen are also nice because most of it is car-free.
- Savognin – La Nars is a wonderful children’s ski paradise in Savognin. They have one of the longest magic carpets in Switzerland, 171 meters long. You can also take skiing lessons or ice climb there. As soon as you’ve mastered the easy slopes, you can move over to the main ski resort and enjoy the easy to intermediate runs.
- Grüsch Danusa – The children’s ski area here is one of the nicest I have seen in Switzerland. Three themed areas were on offer with a short slope. Music was also played in the magic carpet tunnel. For children who are already capable of stopping independently but aren’t yet ready for the longer blue slopes, this beginner ski resort is ideal.
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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.