Montana Travel Guide, Switzerland
Located 158km E of Geneva and 280 km from Zurich, at 1,494m, Crans-Montana, this famous ski resort is in the heart of Swiss Alps in the Valais. It is a resort favored by the rich and famous Swiss but also by others and especially by Italians.
At the beginning there were two separate resorts above the city of Sierre: Crans and Montana, but now they are seen as one or twin ski resorts especially by the locals who want to erase differences due to their closeness and to the fact that they are both modern and fashionable.
The setting is perfect; they both stand on a nice plateau and enjoy excellent views and perfect snowfall. Montana hosts the political municipality and it is the older section set around the shores of Lac Grenon, while Crans is the newer one with apartments and hotels built in mountain style. There are no streets names but getting around is made easy by the directional signs. The nearby resort of Aminona is at a slightly lower altitude but in the years to come it might become one with Crans-Montana. You can ski from any of the three resorts so choosing where to stay is not a problem, skiing is guaranteed. The combined resorts offer 160 kms of Alpine skiing terrain easy to moderately difficult and very easy to reach because they have 38 of the most modern cable railways.
It’s the perfect place to disconnect and reconnect with family and friends and has in its collection all of the necessary ingredients for stardom. It shined in 1987 when it hosted the Alpine skiing World Cup and it shines now as home to a Culture and Congress Centre of international repute, which regularly hosts meetings of world-famous political leaders.
Winter sports are number one activities around and they include skating, rink-hockey, snowboarding, ski-bobbing, and ice-hockey matches, and there’s as much cross country skiing as there is alpine.
But Crans-Montana is not known only for winter activities and skiing is not seen as a compulsory thing when you come here there are plenty of other activities like bridge, horse riding, mountain biking, lakeside volleyball, hot air balloon flights, curling, street ball, hiking, archery. And if none of the activities attracts you than you must come for the mountain air, relax in some first class hotels, and enjoy the music festivals, visiting art exhibitions and above all the beautiful view of the majestic peaks from the sun-soaked high plateau.
With so many activities around the place will never seem crowded as the tourists will spread thinly among them and you will definitely find room for you in any activity you like. Room is plenty for accommodation, too so you won’t need to worry about these aspects.
For skiers Crans-Montana offers year-round skiing possibility with 40 km of cross-country ski trails and 60 km of groomed winter hiking paths, there are 41 ski lifts to serve the runs so no matter how crowded the resort gets the system can handle them as it can take 38,800 skiers per hour around the mountain. With the new lift, the Funitel you can easily get to the Plain Morte Glacier. The ski field is well laid out and from the Plaine Morte at nearly 3,000m you can ski down to Crans, Montana, or Aminona and you don’t have to be an excellent skier to enjoy the descent. At a bit lower altitude there’s Cry d'Err which rises to 2,264m and you can get there by taking Crans-Cry d'Err gondola from Crans or Grand Signal gondola from Montana.
Nightlife in Crans-Montana is lively with plenty of pubs, restaurants and discos. Summer time can be just as fun focuses on spa cures, general health, tennis, hiking, mountain climbing, horseback riding, fishing and golf which is the prime sport with the Omega European Masters taking place every year.
The complete range of cultural and sporting events will make your stay at Crans-Montana a truly exhilarating experience.
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