How to get there
A lovely Alpine resort with majestic views of the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc, Crans-Montana is conveniently located in the canton of Valais, just 180 kilometres east of Geneva. There are three main ways of reaching the resort: by air, by road, and by rail. From the UK, most people choose to fly to Geneva. This route is well-served by flights from various airports around the country. The Cointrin International Airport at Geneva has frequent and reliable rail links to Sion and Sierre. Once you reach these towns, you must transfer to a Post bus, which will take you to Crans-Montana in just 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can take a funicular railway to the resort from Sierre. The smaller airport at Sion is also serviced by flights from London. Buses and taxis run between Sion Airport and Crans-Montana regularly. If you would prefer not to use public transport after landing in Switzerland, you can always rent a car at the airport.
If you choose to drive from the UK to Crans-Montana, you will need to allow about nine hours from Calais as the resort lies 885 kilometres from the port. The route will take you along the A-26 and the A-9 as you approach Sierre. You will pass through Reims, Dijon and Lausanne and Crans-Montana is clearly signposted during the final stretch of the journey.
If you would prefer to travel by train, you can take the Eurostar to Paris Gare du Nord. Check online for special rates and offers available direct from Eurostar. Once you have arrived in Paris, change to Gare de Lyon and take the train to Lausanne. From Lausanne, you will need to take an Inter-regional train to Sion and then catch the Post bus to the resort.
Who does the resort cater for?
The resort is ideal for families and skiers/snowboarders of a beginner to intermediate standard. Expert skiers may be frustrated by the relative lack of black runs. Children are made to feel especially welcome here, since the resort offers a range of childcare facilities such as a kindergarten and a ski school. Cross-country skiers will also find an excellent range of trails here that provide a great challenge as well as panoramic views. Snowboarders will be pleased to find a fun park and a half-pipe as well as a number of slopes suitable for free-riding.
The resort is made up of two villages, located side-by-side: Crans and Montana. Crans is slightly more upmarket than Montana and has an array of expensive specialist shops, whereas Montana is more relaxed and suitable for families. For those who do not wish to hit the slopes, the nearby town of Sion offers some good sight-seeing opportunities. Alternatively, a range of winter sports is on offer and families can choose to participate in ice-skating, curling, horseback riding, and mountaineering.
What accommodation does the resort offer?
The standard of accommodation on offer at Crans-Montana is excellent. There are more than 50 resort hotels, guesthouses, cabins, and apartments on offer. Some popular hotels include the Hotel Crans-Ambassador and the Hotel Art de Vivre, which offers spa treatments and excellent mountain views. Hotel Le Mont-Paisible is a charming option and lies deep in the heart of a stunning natural reserve. The hotel has tennis courts, a sauna, a swimming pool, and is ideally located for the resort ski lifts. There are two relaxing lounges, both of which provide the ideal environment for relaxation after a hard day on the slopes. Overall, the resort caters for all budgets and good offers are easy to find, particularly around New Year and towards the end of the season.
There are 2 black runs (suitable for expert skiers), 28 red runs (suitable for intermediate skiers), and 20 blue runs (suitable for beginner skiers). The longest run is 12 kilometres and all the slopes are served by modern cable railways. Over 36,000 skiers per hour are taken up the mountains by a combination of cable cars, gondolas, and draglifts.
The season starts in December and lasts until April. The slopes will be in their best condition between February and March, when the snow cover is at its peak.
- Downhill Pistes: 160 km
- Cross Country Trails: 40 km
- Number of Ski Lifts: 34
- Maximum Vertical: 1500 m
- Highest Lift: 3000 m
- Altitude of Resort: 1500 m
- Lowest Piste: 1500 m