The sun rising into the turquoise skies above the majestic mountain peaks, illuminating the crisp, virgin snow covered slopes ready for the first skiers to glide upon. It is easy to see why thousands flock to enjoy the thrills and spills of a winter sports holiday, so why not make 2016 the year that you embrace all things snow related and head on out to the French Alps?
Adrenaline junkies and adventure loving families alike will love having fun in the sun whilst learning new skills and will be greatly rewarded with the very best hot chocolate at the end of a day on the slopes. Here is our beginners guide to making your debut skiing trip the best holiday yet.
Where should I go?
First time skiers would benefit from a weekend package deal that will include airport transfers and accommodation, and possibly skiing equipment and lessons. There are many superb ski destinations right across the globe, but perhaps one of the most accessible locations is the French Alps which are just a short flight from the UK. With well-maintained slopes that accommodate novice skiers, amazing food and the exquisite Alps providing a breath-taking backdrop to the snow topped chalets in France.
What will I do?
The average day in a ski resort will begin with a breakfast of champions in your chalet to kick start the day before you get suited and booted ready for your ski lessons. After a morning on the learner slopes you then have plenty of free time to practice the moves you have learned on the gentle inclines before retiring to the après-ski to celebrate your snow skills with some well-earned hot chocolate or spiced mulled wine. Then it is back to the chalet for a relaxing shower and delicious dinner, and those who still have energy left after a demanding day on the slopes can hit the uber cool bars and clubs for the ultimate entertainment.
What will I need?
As much as we all want to look super stylish on the slopes, there really is no need to shell out on expensive ski equipment, especially for your first holiday. Safety and comfort are essential on the snow, so you will need properly fitting goggles, gloves, helmet, jacket and trousers before hitting the peaks. Make sure you pack plenty of thermal layers, boot socks and a weather proof rucksack, but other than that you will be able to hire the rest of the ski wear when you get to your destination. One other thing worth considering before your trip is travel insurance. Ensure that your insurer will cover for ski holidays and if not, it its worth taking out specialist ski insurance for your own protection and peace of mind
Where do I learn?
Ski lessons are available at all good ski resorts, but make sure that you check both the cost and availability with your operator. Private lessons are preferable as the one on one tuition can have you carving up the slopes in half the time, however group bookings are usually far more cost effective. To help your body to cope with demands of the slopes it is wise to improve your general fitness in the months ahead of your trip. Sneak in some ski lessons in the UK before flying out too as although skiing on dry slopes is very different to the real thing, at least this way you will have learnt the basics about balance and body movement, and most importantly how to stop, before you hit the piste!