Where is Crans-Montana and Why Should You Care?

Where is Crans-Montana and Why Should You Care?

Crans-Montana is a rare and prized gem in terms of mountain holiday retreats - a unique hybrid of two characteristically distinct, yet effortlessly harmonious Swiss destination resorts.

Unique in unity

The area’s rugged snow-capped boundaries were redrawn as recently as 2017, uniting a picturesque scattering of historic smaller towns and villages into a cohesive and multifaceted single district. True to plan, the newly created Crans-Montana municipality immediately took up its rightful place as a glittering jewel in the crown of Switzerland’s world-renowned Alpine ski haven.

Overlooking the lush vineyards and orchards of the Upper Rhone Valley, Crans-Montana today operates as a complementary pair of twin resort towns basking on a series of sunny slopes and plateaus in the high Valais peaks.

Experienced together as a single entity, the two achieve something even more charming than the sum of their parts: Crans-Montana is where an idyllic mountaintop escape meets the boutique modernity of high-end 21st century tourism, and life here is built around an utterly beguiling blend of tranquility and activity, simplicity and sophistication, the rustic and the modern.

A tale of two towns

As individual locales viewed side-by-side on their shared Alpine shelf, Montana is typically seen as the livelier of the two, and arguably falls more directly in line with its status as a true ‘resort’ town. The whole neighbourhood has a subtly youthful and fun-loving air about it, marking it out as a go-to destination for some of the best apres-ski entertainment in the region.

Montana’s outer fringes blend into those of the marginally more stately Crans, the centre of which - located just a one-mile stroll from the heart of its sister town - is renowned for its exclusive shopping, Michelin-starred restaurants, pedestrianised arcade walks, and overall more laid-back pace. Again, the winning duality here is what makes Crans-Montana such a uniquely vibrant alternative to many other single destinations across the stunning Valais region.

Moreover, as a palpably thriving and perennially sought-after tourist destination, Crans-Montana makes superb use of its idyllic mountain setting to create a more sheltered atmosphere than would be possible in most other locations. There’s always plenty of excitement and activity to be found in and around the bustling town centres - but you won’t have to drift far from those lively streets to find yourself on top of the world in a very different sense.

Bustling and active, peaceful and relaxing

Abundant nature is never more than a stone’s throw from your doorstep in Crans-Montana, regardless of which town you’re using as your base. Dense woodlands carpet the lower slopes, rolling gently down to the pebbled shores of placid Alpine lakes to create a stunning unspoilt wilderness, ripe for exploring on foot or by bike.

Indeed, unrivalled potential for outdoor pursuits and a deeply embedded healthy living culture are key ingredients in making this region so consistently popular with active, fun-seeking individuals and families of all ages. While it goes without saying that skiing is always among the main draws at Crans-Montana, visitors craving more variety in their outdoor pursuits are equally well catered for year-round.

In addition to dozens of fragrant mountain trails and bracing swimming lakes, the area also enjoys a longstanding reputation as a leading European golf centre: for years it has drawn keen amateurs and elite professionals alike to its plethora of world-class facilities (not least the famed Severiano Ballesteros Course, home of the Omega European Masters). Add to that a whole host of other top international competitions - including both the Audi FIS World Cup, and the Longines Global Champions show jumping tour - and it’s little surprise that so many sports-loving visitors to the nearby Sion International Airport are heading in our direction.

Up a hill, down a mountain

Every year, seasoned globetrotters from all corners of the planet visit Crans-Montana - whether to ski, to unwind, to soak up the atmosphere, or for any number of other reasons as diverse as the vast range of lifestyle options they find on arrival.

They’ll all take something slightly different away from here, too - deep relaxation and satisfaction, a newfound taste for world-class food and wine, a Louis Vuitton briefcase, or a newfound love of wild Alpine swimming…more or less whatever they came for. However, one thing that everyone tends to take away with them is a lasting and iconic memory of their time here: the white-flanked crags of those epic Valais ranges, soaring over the stunning Rhone Valley. A dramatic mountain plateau, with twin towns nestling in the sunshine. Life lived at the pace they choose.

Regardless of what you come to Crans-Montana looking for, those things are sure to stay with you when you leave. Those things, and an overwhelming desire to be back here soon.