It is hard not to love a country—Austria, Switzerland—where the hopes and dreams of its people rest on the shoulders of its best skiers. One jaunt is all you’ll need to see that the mountains have shaped virtually all aspects of life in the Alps, and that skiing is the anchor of everything. With once in a lifetime snowfall hitting this winter, and the Euro faltering, there’s never been a better time to ski the old continent. Choose wisely for your first skiing trip: these resorts offer quality tuition and confidence-boosting slopes.

Cervinia, Italy

Chamonix–Mont Blanc, France

Zermatt, Switzerland

Courchevel, France

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Courmayeur, Italy

Kitzbühel, Austria

Val d’Isère, France

Lech Zürs am Alberg, Austria

St. Moritz, Switzerland

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