5 Reasons To Visit Crans-Montana In Summer

STORY BY Megan Hughes 23rd May 2018

When you’re looking for a stunningly beautiful base for your summer mountain holiday, it’s hard to beat Switzerland. Here the still snow-capped mountains rise higher, the green valleys are as lush as they can possibly be and the vistas are, well, just breathtaking. And none more so than the spectacular region that surrounds Crans-Montana in the Swiss Alps.  With its lakes, forests, glacier and vineyards, the region has something to offer every nature and mountain-sports lover.

Stretching from the Rhône Valley right to the Plaine Morte Glacier at 3,000m, Crans-Montana is a sunny region with a breathtaking view over a string of mountain peaks that unfold from Bietschhorn to Mont Blanc via the Matterhorn.

Sports fans, too, will be delighted to discover a large array of amenities dedicated to sporting activities, while cultural devotees will enjoy the wide range of museums, events and festivals.

In fact, Crans-Montana combines all the benefits of the urban lifestyle within a mountain setting, with a wide selection of restaurants ranging from mountain huts to award-winning restaurants, numerous boutiques and shops, a wellness centre, a variety of entertainment and a vibrant nightlife.

Here are five reasons why Crans-Montana is the place to spend your summer mountain holiday:

1. A Network of 200km of Road Cycling Routes

From the Rhône Valley to Alpine passes, a network of 200km of road routes, carefully planned by Tour de France regular Steve Morabito, await you, in order to explore the wealth of nature in the region.

These divide into ten routes of varying intensity, all allowing you to immerse yourself in the surrounding countryside in all of its diversity. The roads lead you past vineyards, lakes, picturesque villages and even Alpine pastures.

Image Credits – Olivier Maire

As well as a reputation for normally sunny weather, if you’re after some added excitement on your cycling holiday, the area also offers several events for cycling fans, such as Cycling for Children, a race organised by UNICEF in June, and the Tour des Stations, which takes place in the month of August.

2. One of the Most Beautiful Golf Courses in the World

Crans-Montana is a prime golf destination. Over a century of tradition has forged the destination’s reputation worldwide, alongside its famous courses, the Severiano Ballesteros (18 hole) and the Jack Nicklaus (9 hole).

One special treat is Hole Number 7 on the Severiano Ballesteros course, which is widely considered one of the most beautiful in the world. It offers 180° views over the neighbouring summits, and the magical Weisshorn. A chance to reach new heights!

In September many golf lovers congregate for the Omega European Masters, now in its 72nd year, but others are simply happy to enjoy the wonderful views of the Valais Alps, and to take advantage of the proximity of other courses in the valley, such as those of nearby Sierre and Sion.

3. A Hiking Paradise

The possibilities for walks in the region are infinite. Alongside a stream or a lake, in the forest or mountain pasture, a wide network of 300km of clearly marked and maintained paths delight nature lovers.

The Valais region is famed for its “bisse” – historic irrigation channels, and many walks run at the side of these. Why not opt, for example, for the Bisse du Tsittoret, an irrigation canal constructed in the 15th Century, which is known as it is a magnificent walk, with gentle slopes that are accessible to everyone.

You’ll be using your calf muscles at the beginning, but you’ll quickly forget the effort when you see the magical views that the region has to offer.

A stop at the Colombire Eco-museum will provide you with a chance to catch your breath, while also learning a bit more about the history and organisation of life in a “mayen”.

Along the route of this pretty walk, several restaurants are waiting to welcome you for refreshments, and there’s even a chance to taste a few local cheeses.

4. A High-Quality Wine-Producing Region

Thanks to its soil, and especially its sunny weather, Crans-Montana is an ideal region for growing grapes.  Both modern and rustic cellars, all of them very welcoming, will open their doors to introduce you to the different local wines.

If you want a strongly wine-themed mountain holiday, there are also special wine events, such as the Wine and Local Produce Fair in March, the Open Cellars in May, and the Temps du Cornalin event in September.

But whenever you visit you also have an opportunity to plunge yourself into traditional “savoir-faire”, meet passionate producers and even help with the grape harvest if you wish.

A glass of local wine, a fondue and breathtaking views – isn’t that the definition of happiness?

5. Gastronomy Touches the Mountaintops

In Crans-Montana, plenty of mountain huts and restaurants will be happy to welcome you for traditional dishes such as raclette or Valais platters, served with rye bread and the highly renowned local air-dried meat.

Quality local produce, lots of food and wine events, and passionate local artisans and chefs illustrate the riches of the region’s gastronomy. Indeed, Crans-Montana is delighted to have two Michelin-starred establishments among its many restaurants, Franck Reynaud’s Hostellerie du Pas de l’Ours and LeMontblanc by Pierre Crepaud.

Thanks to their incredible talent, these two French chefs, Valaisan by adoption, interpret with great delicacy all the different flavours to be found in our local produce.

But if you’re ready for a culinary round-the-world trip, you’re in the right place! For a change of scene, you have the opportunity to enjoy a Lebanese, Japanese, Argentinian or Italian meal too in Crans-Montana.

For more information, head to: crans-montana.ch

Featured Image Credits – CMTC/PhotoGenic-Olivier Maire

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