A ski holiday in Meribel isn’t all about racing down black runs, diving over moguls or smashing through endless fresh powder. It’s also about showing you new guys the ropes, proving that skiing can be fun, easy to pick up, and just as enjoyable whatever level you are.
To all those non-converts, I truly believe that the majority of people who try skiing will catch the bug. They immediately understand the adrenaline rush of racing down a pristine white slope, as well as the attraction of soaking up the sun on a picturesque terrace with hot wine and great friends. Of course there will be people for whom skiing just does not agree, but that is not to say that a Meribel skiing holiday wouldn’t be just wonderful nonetheless.
But what about you in-betweeners? Maybe you’ve been for a week, or hit the dry-slopes, and you’ve decided. Now is the time, this is the year, you WILL fall in love with the great outdoors and you’ve chosen Meribel as your destination of choice. So what can you expect?
Meribel is a fantastic ski resort for beginners. It’s altitude of 1450m is perfect, meaning the resort is low enough to be warm, and the snow will be soft enough for you to land on. It also allows Meribel’s landscape to flourish, where higher resorts such as Tignes or Val Thorens are often bereft of trees and appear “bare”. Many chalets in Meribel are also extremely close to the slopes and the town, meaning that you can head out for the afternoon, or morning, or just out shopping when your knees/children/partners have really had enough.
Meribel beginners are spoilt for choice in terms of instruction. For instance, the ESF Meribel is the biggest ski school in France, yet that doesn’t mean it is the only Meribel ski school available. What with Meribel being founded by a Scot (Colonel Peter Lindsay), a huge part of the resort is incredibly British, meaning that English instruction can be found in abundance. Lessons can be organised with all manner of companies depending on how you feel, or how you are progressing, with many organising group, private, and ad hoc lessons as you go.
With regard to slopes, Meribel’s Altiport is a fantastic place for beginners to start, with a great stretch of wide piste that covers the Summer’s golf course. The Golf chairlift will take you straight there from Meribel village, although if you’d feel happier, you can take a bus from Meribel Centre or the Rhodos bubble to the top from La Chaudanne. Another of my favourite beginner slopes in Meribel is the Blanchot, a lovely little tree lined green running down from the Rhodos lift. Both of these are great for building confidence, aren’t too busy even at peak times, and really give you a taste of what skiing is all about
Ultimately, with it’s picture perfect location, excellent instruction available, and multiple pistes to choose from, Meribel is the perfect choice for beginners to get hooked. Be warned though, once you’ve caught “the bug”, there’s no turning back!