All-season glamour in the sun terrace of Switzerland"
Crans-Montana is one of the exclusive club of 12 “Best of the Alps” ski resorts. Perched on a natural balcony overlooking the Rhone Valley, Crans-Montana faces one of the most beautiful panoramas of the Alps: a view that embraces the 4000m peaks of the Imperial Crown culminating at Mont Blanc in the west. The High Plateau, as it is known, is a compromise between the mountain village and the alpine town. And it is precisely the size of the resort that results in one of the largest offerings in Alpine tourism. From the Glacier de la Plaine Morte, the ski area extends to the heart of the resort and welcomes skiers of all levels. The snow park is one of the most beautiful in Europe and almost every conceivable winter sport is offered in Crans-Montana, such as cross-country skiing, fat bikes, ice skating, etc.
Summer is no less full of opportunities. Between walks, water activities on lakes, mountain bike routes, go-karts, tourists have access to a wide range of various activities. The Omega European Masters of Golf welcomes the best players on the planet on the sumptuous course designed by Severiano Ballesteros. Finally, the versatility of Crans-Montana allows visitors to enjoy some of the best shopping in the Swiss Alps, a cinema (3D), a renowned international school (Le Regent College), a casino, bars, restaurants, discotheques, and a vibrant cultural life.
Property for Sale & Rent in Crans-Montana
What about ski chalets and apartments for sale and rent in Crans-Montana? Thanks to a population of around 7’000 inhabitants (rising to up to 50,000 people during the high season weeks making it the largest city in the canton), Crans-Montana has a very diverse property market. From modest 2 bedroom apartments in the periphery to luxury 4 bedroom apartments located in the centre and on the edge of the golf courses or lakes, from individual chalets to residential hotels, the Haut Plateau’s real estate offering is large.
Over the past years, real estate has suffered a general price decline of about 5-6%. However, the resort is in the ascendant; infrastructure improvements are attracting large-scale mixed-use hotel projects. This fall in prices is rather a normalization of the market after the euphoria of the years 2010-2012 and has had the effect of boosting sales. If the few new promotions are intended for an upmarket clientele, the resale market is lively. Here the volume of real estate transactions has been steadily increasing since 2017.
A Guide to Crans-Montana
Crans-Montana sits at 1500m altitude on a south-west facing plateau in the Swiss canton of Valais. Originally famous for its pure air in an age of tuberculosis, and its exemplary weather – an average of 300 sunny days per year – the Haut Plateau’s summer and winter attractions were identified by the famous Lunn family from Britain. Sir Henry Lunn brought golf to the village in 1906 and the Crans-Montana Golf Club was opened in 1908, known then as the highest in the world. His son, Arnold, organised the first major downhill ski race, the Lord Roberts of Kandahar Cup Challenge, making Crans-Montana one of the pioneers of ski racing.
Today the neighbouring towns of Crans and Montana are home to a permanent population of 7,000, swelling to 50,000 visitors during the Christmas/New Year week. The resort is a thriving community of locals and international residents who have decided to make Crans-Montana their home.
Crans-Montana’s Ski Area
Access to the skiing is from three different points on the mountain, the Cry d’Er gondola in Crans, the Arnouva gondola in Montana and the Violettes gondola in the Barzettes area to the east of the resort.
140km of marked ski runs are available, rising from 1500m to 3000m. With 38 red runs, 14 blue runs and 9 black runs, the majority are intermediate-friendly, wide pistes or through the trees. Those who prefer to go off the beaten track will enjoy the 10 itinerary runs which are patrolled but not pisted and the 40km of ski touring routes that even cater for beginners. Snowboarders and freestyle skiers can take advantage of the terrain park at Cry d’Er with quarterpipes, boardercross, rails and big-air. The two golf courses in the town are perfect for cross-country skiing and there are numerous snowshoe walking trails all over the mountain.
Also, check out our blog - The Uniqueness of Skiing : Downhill race pistes you can ski..
Après ski in Crans-Montana
Montana is more popular with the younger and livelier crowd and Crans tends to be favoured more by the older generation with more expensive bars. The Cry d’Er club on the mountain at 2267m is the perfect place to start, with an unbelievable view of 4000m peaks all the way over to Mont Blanc in the west. Bars at the gondola stations are as good a place as any to kick things off once you are off the mountain. Après Ski Signal bar is at the foot of the gondola in Montana and has the benefit of a terrace. Zero Dix at the Cry d’Er gondola base station is a lively meeting place which also serves good food. Two nightclubs, Pacha and Sky, stay open until 4am.
Eating Out in Crans-Montana
The restaurant offering is diverse with the usual traditional Swiss food as well as Italia, Argentinian, Japanese and even a Lebanese restaurant. Crans-Montana is home to two Michelin-starred kitchens in two of the top hotels, Le Crans and the Hostellerie Pas de l’Ours. On the mountain the former cable car station-cum-hotel Le Chetzeron offers high priced and creative food options.
Summer in Crans-Montana
It is fair to say that Crans-Montana is one of the most well-equipped mountain resorts for summer. Its many lakes provide perfect picnic spots and there are numerous water sports on offer, as well as beach volleyball, tennis, squash, paragliding. Mountain bike trails can be found all over the mountain. And don’t forget the golf – it’s Severiano Ballesteros-designed 18-hole course hosts the annual Omega European Masters tournament, a superb event.
For more details on Mountain Biking in Crans-Montana, check out our blog: Where to go Mountain Biking in the Alps
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