Skiing for Starters
Channel 4 reality show The Jump is ramping up to its finale and as well as being drawn in by the trials and tribulations of the celebrities taking part, what it's really made us want to do is to hit the slopes.
If you've also been inspired and you're just starting out on your winter sports adventure 'carpe diem' - as today is the perfect day to *leap* into action (see what we did there...) and get that trip booked!
To help, the
Flexicover team team has picked out five resorts which are perfect for those taking their first steps, or should that be slides, on the slopes.
Alpe d'Huez, France
Set on a plateau, sunny Alpe d'Huez boasts one of the largest areas of nursery slopes, fanned out in a large semi-circle array over the eastern part of the resort. It also lends itself well to beginners thanks to the presence of several British ski schools, plus there's a Magic Carpet ski lift (effectively a travelator) for children. The town itself was developed in the sixties and seventies, leaving functional-looking buildings in its wake, but at least the accommodation is low-cost and it's convenient, with only a two-hour transfer time from Grenoble airport.
Part of the Port du Soleil area, which spans across thirteen resorts and two countries (France and Switzerland), Morzine arguably provides more value for money than other well-known French resorts. The Viking Hotel at the top of the Pleney lift is particularly good for beginners as it offers ski-in-ski-out access onto the beginner slopes, making life that little bit easier. Their staff also escort kids to classes and provide entertainment in the evenings, leaving parents free to concentrate on their own skiing and après-ski adventures. And if the sport isn't going so well, there's the benefit of Morzine being one of the rare resort towns in the French Alps, so there are plenty of distractions for those looking for something else to do away from the piste.
Saas Fee, Switzerland
This charming and friendly resort with well-developed nightlife is a great introduction to the Alps. Set beneath the colossal 4000m peaks, Saas Fee has secluded nursery slopes set to the edge of the village that's served by a lift pass which costs just £15 a day. Those who progress can then move on to the gentle runs on the glacier. The car-free town is ideal for families, and the hotels situated at the southern end of town give direct access to the nursery slopes - perfect for those new to the sport.
Cervinia is a ski resort for ski newbies and longtime foodies - no surprise given its quality beginner runs and Italian location. Situated on Italy's most northerly point, it's difficult to pick a bad restaurant in the area, especially as they're reliant on repeat business; standard fayre of course includes mouth-watering pizzas and fresh pasta. Better still the ski schools are set up for first-timers, with a Magic Carpet lift for children, and beginner slopes which are sheltered from high winds. Like Alpe d’Huez, the town itself is not that attractive, but the spectacular views of the Matterhorn more than makes up for it. For an upmarket accommodation option try the famous Hermitage Hotel.
A vibrant town ideal for party-goers, as much as skiers, the only drawback is that there's no getting away from riding a lift to reach the slopes. But it's worth the ride - the nursery slopes are set aside from the others, so you can learn your snow plough turns without fear of expert skiers bombing past. When you progress up the skiing scale, you can tackle the gentle runs on the side of the valley where there are also enchanting bars like the igloo-shaped White Lounge. That's an incentive if ever we heard one.
Whilst The Jump and BBC2's Ski Sunday (on which the professionals make it all look so easy) highlight that snow sports are super fun, sometimes along with the thrills there can be spills, meaning travel insurance is a must.
Here at Flexicover we offer a comprehensive winter sports policy, whether for a single trip or to include as part of your annual cover. With this in place you'll have the peace of mind that Flexicover are on hand to provide you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.