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Crans Montana

Crans-Montana is an amazing ski resort which has been attracting a very high end clientele for over a hundred years. The great skiing area comes with a lively village atmosphere, including various sport activities and an amazing nightlife. Finally, six small lakes and beautiful nature are icing on the cake – Crans-Montana has it all.

Introducing

Perched on the Swiss Heights

Crans-Montana is an impressive ski resort located in the heart of the Alps, in south-western Switzerland, overlooking the cantons of Valais and Weisshorn. The two centers of Crans and Montana have fused to create the resort of Crans-Montana, which belongs to six municipalities: Icogne, Mollens, Lens, Chermignon, Randogne, and Montana.

For Sport Lovers

For sport lovers, the skiing area is composed of 140 km of slopes, with Plain-Morte at the highest point (2,927 m). With newly renovated lifts, the neighboring resorts are easily accessed with minimal queuing. Golfing is possible in the summer, on the highest golf course in the world.

Just Relax

For shopping lovers, the resort also provides the best luxury shops in the Alps. If you came to enjoy the food, there is a plethora of options, providing some of the most gourmet tastes and views. Finally, for those who like to party, Crans-Montana hosts many DJs and Après Ski locations alike and you’re bound to find a scene fitting to your style.

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History

First a Hotel

Crans-Montana was founded over one hundred years ago and has developed more and more due to four aspects – golf, skiing, health, and hotel business.  In 1893, Sierre hotelier, Louis Antille and Michel Zufferey, opened Hotel du Parc, the area’s first hotel. Due to Antille and Zufferey’s passion, Haut-Plateau, a major tourist destination was created.

Love at First Sight

Théodore Stephani, a Geneva doctor, who had fallen in love with the region decided to bring his patients to the area. He truly loved the beauty and fresh air that Crans-Montana provided. In 1896, Stephani opened the first road for motor vehicles and only three years late he created the first hospital in the area, Beauregard. Both a doctor and businessman, Stephani increased the advertising of Crans-Montana by speaking highly of the sunshine in both national and international press. While Antille praised Crans, Stephani thought that the name Montana was better fitting and preferred its American overtones.

An Early Developed Resort

While hotels and treatment centres continued to sprout around the area, something new and exciting was brewing. Sir Henry Lunn, an Englishman, constructed the highest golf course in the world in 1908. Majorly contributing to the resort’s history, Lunn stated that the area is home to “the most beautiful alpine golf course.” The Lunn family continued the development of Crans-Montana, when Henry’s son, Arnold Lunn put toget the first real alpine ski competition in 1911. The event was called the Roberts of Kandahar Challenge Cup and was hosted at the Plaine-Morte. The same year, a railway started up – linking Montana and Sierre. This new investment didn’t stop many of the locals from doing the trip by foot.

Construction of buildings in the area was put on pause during the 1914-1918 war. Development began again in the 1920s with chalets, treatment centers and hotels that blossomed in the area. Crans-Montana has hosted guests such as Jean Cocteau, André Malraux, the Belgian royal family, Colette, the Paris Opera and the Comédie Française. The 1929 crisis followed by the Second World War caused a long hold on the development of the Haut Plateau.

The Final Success

In the 1950s, the resort’s recovery was outstanding and with a boom in the 1960’s, more guests were welcomed than ever before. Crans-Montana truly became “the place to be” – a place where stars crowded and the people followed.

An Attractive Setting

Relating back to the four aspects that led to the success and development of the resort, sporting events (skiing and golf) greatly contributed to the quick expansion of the area. These events include the 1977 Skiing World Cup, the Golf European Masters (beginning in 1983) following the Swiss Golf Open (organised since 1939), the Alpine Skiing World Championships in 1987, and finally Caprices, a rock, pop, and electro music festival that has been hosted in the resort since 2004.

Things to do

Omega European Masters

During three days in September, the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club hosts this very prestigious gold competition. Since 2009, the Omega European Masters has been the first tournament to have been jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the European Tour, giving the 30 best Asian players the opportunity to challenge their European counterparts. Also with extremely breathtaking views and exciting competition, you will not be disappointed whether you come for the sights or the golf.

Valais International Rallye

Taking place in the final week of October, the Rallye International du Valais was first organized in September 1960 as part of a regional fair. His founder Philippe Simonetta called it the ‘Rally of Wine’ with the purpose and philosophy of discovering the region and making the wines. The tourism aspect left place to a pure sporting event. Today, the 830 km race has joined many championships and challenges. It is one of the most prestigious races in the world.

Crans-Montana Classics

A classical music concert with world-renowned musicians. During one month, top concerts and master classes connect the region’s heritage and the best of classical music. A very memorable and luxurious experience, perfect for a night out.

Rip Curl ‘Alive and Kickin’

The event is a European tour that stops in Crans Montana for one day. A helicopter trip reward is offered to the winner of the contest which is accessible to both beginners and experts, on ski and snowboard. Enjoy jumps in a freestyle, relaxed atmosphere.

Caprices Festival

The Caprices Festival was founded in 2004 by five music lovers determined to connect their region to the international music scene. Caprices quickly became the springtime musical event not to be missed, with world-renowned artists and its showcasing of new and upcoming Swiss talent. Crans-Montana’s atmosphere becomes electric and crazy nights are sure to ensue.

Places to see

The Nature Park Pfyn-Finges

The nature park is a beautiful area which includes a natural reserve. Designated as a protected area since 1997, the Pfyn forest is not only one of the largest pine forests in the Alps but it is also home to one of the most significant protected meadowlands in Switzerland and is a spawning ground of national importance. The biodiversity spot has a unique and varied fauna, especially an ornithological diversity. More than 80 wineries can also be enjoyed.

The Gorges of Durnand

Adapted for walking in 1877 and renovated in 1987, the Gorges of Durnand are ranked among the 10 most beautiful in Europe. On the wooden walkways and stairs enjoy the visible part which extends for about 1 kilometre, featuring 14 waterfalls. A breathtaking spectacle.

The Grande Dixence Dam

Founded in 1957, the Grande Dixence complex collects water from 35 glaciers in the Valais region. The dam is the tallest gravity dam in the world which stands 285 metres. The company is able to provide electricity to Switzerland and Europe.

Flore Alpe Botanic Gardens

The Flore-Alpe botanic garden is situated at an altitude of 1,500 meters in a magnificent alpine decor. With paths meandering between the rocks and small bridges overlooking crystal pools of water, go enjoy the panorama of Lake Champex and the snow capped peaks of Les Combins. Three thousand species of plants bloom on the more than six thousand square metres.

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6 Chalets in Crans Montana