Close to Verbier on the north side of the Rhone valley and about 2 hours from Geneva or 3.5 hours from Zurich, Crans-Montana is one of Switzerland’s largest Alpine ski resorts and south-facing at 1,500m which ensures it gets its fair share of sunshine. Originally two resorts that have now effectively sprawled into one, Crans and Montana due to some extent retain their separate identities; with Crans regarded as the more expensive of the two, whilst Montana is older and more modest in price. An overall expansive natural landscape, panoramic views of the Valais Alps, a wide range of accommodation and extensive Alpine shopping combine to provide all of the necessary requisites for an amazing ski holiday to Switzerland.
Crans-Montana’s ski area offers 140km of pistes served by 40 lifts, from which skiers and boarders can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views stretching from Mont Blanc in the west to the Matterhorn in the east. Crans-Montana’s skiing goes from the village base at 1500m, up to a height of 3,000m on the Plaine Morte glacier and the 11km run down from Plaine Morte is a long, steep red that is one of the most dramatic in the Alps. Thus, it’s a pretty snow sure option for any time of the ski season, though being south facing, late season skiing in April may be compromised by unseasonably very warm days. This large ski area offers plenty of cruising opportunities for intermediates, whilst there is some good off-piste to be had below La Tza or Chetzeron, though about 90% of the ski area is best suited to beginners and intermediates skiers and boarders with Crans Montana being home to the best snow park in French-speaking Switzerland, which spans over 100,000m and will thrill everyone from beginners to professionals. Plenty of long red runs make the perfect cruising territory for boarders looking to work on their technique, whilst more advanced boarders will feel at home in the fantastic snow park and the Plaine Morte Glacier off-piste area. Though beginners will love the resort, those who are completely new on the slopes should be aware of flat paths around resort and drag lifts which connect up some of the easier blue runs.
Crans Montana’s ‘snow garden’ is situated on a great flat area of land which is used in summer as a golf course. Children from the age of 3 upwards are welcomed to master the basics with the help of the area’s specialist instructors. For the youngest children, a programme of 50% skiing and 50% playtime is generally the vogue and then as they get older, they will move towards more time spent on the slopes. Ski tuition is excellent with mainly English-speaking instructors and lessons can be booked via the Ski Extras part of the website.
Crans Montana offers a whole barrage of over 90 restaurants across a variety of mountain huts, cafes, tea rooms and snack-bars. Sample local Swiss fayre, sublime Japanese cuisine or more family-friendly Italian or French dining. The region produces a number of good-quality local wines too. Notable establishments include Le Mayen which does an excellent fondue and raclette and L’Auberge de la Diligence which serves both Swiss and Lebanese food.
Couples and Families will enjoy Crans Montana’s laid-back après ski scene, hosting three main nightclubs, a casino and over 25 bars to choose between. Visitors will enjoy the friendly atmosphere in this picturesque town, as you finish your evening meal with a visit to a piano bar, cabaret or cocktail lounge. Famous bars include the thriving Amadeus bar and New Pub for its pinball and large TV screens showing sport and the like.
The resort is well equipped with a wide range of activities to keep non-skiers entertained. Alongside the traditional selection of ice skating, dog sledding and tobogganing, there is a cinema and bowling alley in resort too, making it the ideal choice for families with young children. Shopping is also one of Crans Montana’s main attractions, with over 150 shops offering everything from designer boutiques to cheese, wine and Swiss watches. Wandering around the classy shopping areas is also an enjoyable way to pass the time after skiing in this smart and attractive resort. Accommodations varies from hotels to apartments and chalets and we are happy to help you find your ideal accommodation for your next holiday to Crans Montana…(or anywhere else that takes your interest).