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I'm trying to choose a ski resort for a couple of snowboarders.

Here's what we are looking plenty of beginner and intermediate runs which:

  1. Long and wide not just 100m nursery runs nor narrow winding roads which are easy on skis but hard on a board!
  2. Accessible by chairs - no drag lifts!
  3. No long uphill sections - I don't want to have to keep unstrapping and walking!

In the end I chose Seefeld in Austria. It's a small resort as per Roflcoptr suggestion. From what I can see on snowboarding sites and youtube the runs seem to all be easy to intermediate which is great and it looks like most of it is accessible without using drags.

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2 Answers 2

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Europe has literally thousands of ski resorts. So I'll focus on the Alps. There I can recommend you two small ski resorts that are well suited for beginners. There are various reasons for this. Small ski resorts are generally cheaper. So you don't have to spend a lot of money for runs you won't ever use because they're too step. Additionally, small resorts are often less crowded. This seems contra-intuitive, but it is generally true, because all people aim to go for big resorts. And third, small ski resorts tend to have less uphill sections because they are not so widespread and that's why they don't have long connection passages.

In Austria I would recommend Laterns. There are both drag lifts and chair lifts, but you can easily avoid the drag lifts. As far as I remember there aren't any uphill sections at all. Just two small ones before restaurants. But you can avoid that as well if you want ;)

The second small ski resort I can recommend is Malbun in Liechtenstein. There is only 1 drag lift and 2 chair lifts. There are no uphill sections at all and the prices are relatively cheap compared to the neighboring countries. The runs are generally very wide and if you go there on a weekday in the morning you're literally alone there ;) Additionally one of the chair lift is very modern. You can pull down a cover if its very winding or you're freezing and the chairs are heated.

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Thanks that's something for me to look at. I'm going to wait to see if there are other opinions before marking an answer. –  Twisted Feb 2 '12 at 13:35
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Some options in Sweden.

Romme Alpin outside Borlänge in Dalarna Sweden is a good place to start snowboarding. It got 23 slopes of varying kind, 3 chair lifts and a good small beginners area with a slow short button lift that is manageable for beginners. For intermediate snowboarders it may get boring after a couple of days though. A good thing with Romme is that it is only a couple of hours drive from Stockholm if you are flying in.

Another larger option in Sweden is Sälen that is the largest ski area in northern Europe with all kinds of slopes and lifts. It actually consists of 4 ski areas that are connected - sometimes in a way that is not good for beginners. But it is no problem so spend the whole day in one of the areas and then switch the next day. It is a good way to get varied boarding for an entire week. It is further from Stockholm but it is possible to take a plane or a train to get there so it may not be too inconvenient.

You may have heard of Åre that is the most advanced ski resort in Sweden but I wouldn't recommend it for beginners. It is smaller than Sälen but got more challenges for the advanced downhiller. You should either be intermediate or better or like partying to choose Åre.

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I'd never even considered Sweeden! I will have a look when I'm a bit more confident on the board. –  Twisted Feb 12 '12 at 13:12
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