If you had to design a ski resort for a short, relaxing break, you would come up with Crans-Montana, it is highly civilised, rarely crowded and extremely friendly.
The resort is spread along a south-facing balcony halfway up the 3000m massif that soars above Sierre in the Swiss canton of Valais. With clear skies above and fresh snow – Crans-Montana takes some beating, the pistes are mostly gentle blues and reds, better suited to graceful cruising than thigh-burning descents, though there is plenty of variety. The mountains you bounce down with the midday sun full on your face are charmingly scenic, the mountains you gaze at – Zermatt’s Matterhorn just discernible among them – are mind-blowing.
The resort is actually two villages, Crans and Montana, that over time have effectively merged into one. Crans is the more upmarket – shops include Prada, Louis Vuitton, Bally and Montblanc – Montana is younger and livelier, especially later in the evening.
When a ski area’s one of the world’s sunniest and has a skiable glacier to boot, the season sees some incredible mountain conditions.
Crans-Montana’s top point is a mighty 3000m, where the Plaine-Morte glacier covers a whacking great 10 square kilometres. A fabulous red run snakes down to Les Violettes at 2250m – but before you ski it, the ‘Imperial Crown’ of surrounding 4000m summits are well worth a gawp at.
Though famed for its sunny disposition, the top half of the area is high enough to hold onto the white stuff all winter, with the rest of the slopes getting a discrete top up via 200+ snow cannons.
Yes, Plaine Morte
Distance from slopes:
39% / 55 km
50% / 70 km
11% / 15 km
La Moubra offers great value accommodation for groups. Rooms are sunny, most with wide balconies and sleep a maximum of 4 persons in bunk beds, all have a wash-hand basin with large vanity unity, each floor has numerous showers and bathroom facilities.
The main building includes a panoramic dining hall, a clubroom, a camp lounge, a sauna and a five minute walk away an indoor tennis centre with 4 tennis courts, 4 badminton courts and table tennis all available.
W-Fi is available free of charge throughout the building.
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