With so many ski resorts to choose from in Switzerland, which ones are ideal for beginners? With my experience skiing for over 15 years in this country, I would say that the bigger resorts are the best option when you are starting out.
So, below I have tried to cover some of the best ski resorts for beginners in Switzerland, the ones you will find lots of beginner options at, as well as lots of accommodation, other ski runs, and apres-ski options as well.
Let’s start with one of the biggest and most popular ski resorts in Switzerland – Zermatt. With Wolli park at Sunnegga, you have the perfect place to learn to ski. There are a few magic carpets, the easiest ski lift to use when you can’t ski.
As you progress to the blue runs, there are also two easier ones around Sunnega to try. The first is the Eisfluh run (number 5) and the other is called the Easy run (number 6).
There are of course lots of other options in Zermatt such as the Täsch ski lift and the Randa lift as well. On top of all these absolute beginner choices, you also have an unbelievable amount on terrain to choose from. In total, the combined Zermatt-Matterhorn/Breuil-Cervinia resorts have a whopping 360 km of runs. And of those, 74 km are blues, which are perfect for progressing to after you get a handle on skiing.
On top of all the infrastructure, of course, Zermatt is a stunning location to learn skiing with 4000m peaks all around. With the most famous of all, the Matterhorn towering over you wherever you choose to ski.
Grindelwald First is perfect for beginners, especially kids, because of their very popular Bodmi area. It has three great areas that allow absolute beginners to learn skiing without the stress.
They have a magic carpet, a simple lift that requires no real skill to use. There is also a flat area in front of the Snowli Club, which is perfect for getting your legs on skis. Finally, they have a small slope which is great for moving to the next level for both kids and adults.
There are other learning areas in the resort with magic carpets like at Männlichen and Grindelwald Grund, if you want some variety, and the two blue runs from there are also great to learn on.
Of course, there are lots of English-speaking instructors and plenty of other beginners to learn with.
On the other side of the mountain above Lauterbrunnen is the popular resort of Wengen, which the English love to frequent at Christmas time. It also has lots of options for beginners right in the village where things are nice and flat. Magic carpets, There are also easier slopes above the town heading back down, but you will have to judge based on your abilities at the time.
Wengen is also well connected with Grindelwald, however, if you are based there, it will take too long to get to the beginner areas mentioned in the section above. That is where the other beginner areas higher up at Männlichen (Kinderparadies) and Kleine Scheidegg come in handy. They are accessible from both villages, but they are the ones you will go up to from Wengen by train or cable car.
Again in the Lauterbrunnen valley, but on the other side, is the scenic car-free town of Murren. It is, not surprisingly, a popular resort, and the Schilthorn is at the very top where you get epic views of the 4000m peaks in the Bernese Oberland.
This is probably the worst of the three options in the Jungfrau region for beginners if you want a lot of variety. Sure, there are enough slopes and flatter areas for kids and adults to learn, but as you progress, the options become limited.
Another popular resort with visitors to Switzerland is Verbier. I can’t recall how many people I have talked to lately while traveling outside of Switzerland that have been there.
And even as an absolute beginner, there are countless options in Verbier to enjoy. You can make use of three magic carpets, two of which are in Verbier itself, so super convenient. The other is in La Tzoumaz.
Once you get the hang of skiing, you can take it to the next level in the Verbier Station sector, with the easiest blue run at the very top of that area. They also recommend checking out the La Chaux sector for furthering your skills as you progress.
Of course, they also have a huge ski school with lots of instructors of all abilities and speaking a variety of languages. It is Switzerland after all, and French, German, Italian and English are all a must here.
Heading further east this time, is the more secluded resort of Arosa, just outside of Chur, the heart of Graubunden in Switzerland. It is actually connected to another resort on the other side of the mountain called Lenzerheide. The only problem is that you can’t get there as a beginner.
There are lots of choices for the beginner skier in Arosa itself though. Kids or real beginners can try out the flat areas of Honeyland Prätschli or Berry Land. And in Lenzerheide there are things for the kids specifically like Auarara, Fastatsch and Heimberg.
In terms of the next step, blue runs in Arosa head to the Tschuggen area and in Lenzerheide the Heidbüel/Scalottas part is ideal.
These two resorts were made famous by the World Economic Forum at Davos each year, and also because Klosters is where King Charles and his family ski. But they are also some of my favorite ski resorts because of the huge amount of choice you have.
If you are not just beginning, but need some easy carver slopes, try the Weissfluhjoch and the Gotschnagrat areas. There is also the Madrisabahn lift if you want more options.
The Rinerhorn Trainerlift is also a very flat area to practice on, if you are not quite up for serious slopes yet.
The beginner areas are at Bünda and Bolgen and are easy to access with the bus directly from town. And you can meet your instructor there too.
In the next valley over from Zermatt is a very similar car-free resort called Saas Fee. It actually combines a number of lifts and towns into a very large ski area that always gets good snow, just like Zermatt.
Of course, there are beginner areas at the bottom as you would expect of a world-class Swiss ski resort like this. They use button or pommel lifts that are harder than magic carpets, but still simple enough to start on. There is also some easier blue terrain accessible from there, so you can progress to that as you improve.
Many people like the Alpin Express at Felskin as a place to improve on the blue runs, as are the Mittagshorn and Morenia lifts. The only gripe for those still skiing on blues is that it is harder to get to the runs you can do in the upper areas of the mountain, so if you are not quite on red yet, it might not be the ideal place to go.
How can we have a list of beginner ski resorts without mentioning the first winter tourist destination in Switzerland, St Moritz. Home to the rich and famous, St Moritz is not for everyone. But, Engadine is always colder than the rest of the country so often gets a longer ski season than other resorts.
The St Moritz ski resort actually has a lot of terrain and is far larger than most people realize. Beginners are not forgotten either with relevant areas all over the resort at Salastrains, Marguns, Corviglia, Celerina, and Suvretta. There are also lots of blue runs, with 27% of the overall runs being in this category.
Which is the Right Beginner Resort For You?
No matter where you choose to go, Swiss ski resorts area usually well set up for beginners and you will have enough to do for one week in the mountains. In terms of instructors, my experience has been that they know their stuff in Switzerland. They ski from a very young age and have been exposed to foreign visitors for decades and sometimes a lot longer.
So, you don’t always have to choose based on which is best for beginners, but rather distance away from airports, accommodation and ski lift prices and other things to do in the resort. It all depends on what is important to you in a ski vacation.