If sunshine, epic views and a lively village scene are on the top of your ski vacation checklist, then a Crans Montana trip should rank high. Located on a high plateau, this delightful resort looks out over the scenic Rhone Valley in the southern “Valais” of the Swiss Alps. With a reputation as the sunniest resort in Switzerland, sun worshipers will enjoy basking in Crans Montana's enviable Mediterranean climate. Crans Montana is comprised of two neighboring villages that sit next to five small lakes, and are connected via a mile-long boulevard brimming with chic boutiques, restaurants, hotels and bars.
Skiing atop the resort offers skiers and boarders unbeatable views of Switzerland’s iconic 13,000-foot peaks, including Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. And, just in case the great skiing is not enough to keep you busy, Crans Montana has extensive cross-country trails, ice skating, tobogganing, equestrian school, tennis, squash centers and some terrific night life including a casino for your vacation enjoyment.
As a large—and popular—resort Crans Montana does see a lot of visitors, but their lift system does a great job of dispersing the crowds. Two six-person gondolas and a new 30 passenger tram carry everyone from beginners to experts to the wide open areas of Cry d'Err, a high alpine zone, where you’ll find a large decked restaurant. Cry d’Err is where the lifts from the Crans side and the Montana side intersect, making it an exceptional meeting spot for a lunch or an afternoon drink. The vast majority of Crans Montana skiing qualifies as “red terrain,” which is intermediate to advanced, but there are some beginner runs situated at the bottom of the resort, and a handful of black, or expert, pistes located near the top of the resort.