Crans-Montana Tourist Attractions
The popular holiday and winter sports area of Crans-Montana lies northwest of the little town of Sierre in the Rhône valley. It is reached by any one of three roads from the Rhône valley or by a funicular from Sierre.
The attractive resort of Crans-sur-Sierre (1,480-1,500 m/4,856-4,922ft), to the west, lies around a number of small lakes, the Etangs de Lens. For over 45 years the resort has been equally famous in summer for its "Open" on the two splendid golf courses (nine and 18 holes), hang-gliding, hot air balloon meetings and other sporting events as for its marvelous skiing in winter. From Crans a cableway 4,480 m/14,699ft long ascends in 25minutes, via Merbé (1,900 m/6,234ft) and Cry d'Err, to Bella Lui (2,543 m/8,344ft: restaurant), from which there are superb views. Another cableway, roughly parallel to the first, takes 13minutes to reach Chetzeron (2,100 m/6,890ft), from which there is a ski-lift to the Cry d'Err.
The popular mountain and winter sports resort of Montana (1,500 m/4,922ft), 1.5km/1mi to the east of Crans-sur-Sierre on Lac Moubra, lies on a natural terrace covered with forests and Alpine meadows 1,000 m/3,281ft above the Rhône valley, sheltered by the mountains to the north, and has a mild, dry mountain climate. A cableway 540 m/1,772ft long climbs in three minutes to the Grand Signal (upper station 1,712 m/5,617ft), from which there are ski-lifts to Verdet (1,875 m/6,152ft) and the Cry d'Err. Another cableway, 2,500 m/8,203ft long, runs up in 12 minutes to the Cry d'Err (2,263 m/7,425ft: restaurant).
Above Montana, 1.5km/1mi north, is Vermala (1,670 m/5,479ft), with a ski-jump. From Vermala-Zaumiau a cableway 2,545 m/8,350ft long goes up via Les Marolires to the Swiss Alpine Club's Cabane des Violette (2,208 m/7,244ft: restaurant), from which another cableway (3,243 m/10,640ft long) continues to the Plaine Morte (2,927 m/9,603ft), above the south end of the Plaine Morte glacier (summer skiing).
10km/6mi northeast of Montana is Aminona (1,437 m/4,415ft), a popular winter sports resort with a group of hotels, from which there is a cabin cableway 2,410 m/7,907ft long to the Petit-Mont-Bonvin (2,411 m/7,910ft: numerous ski-lifts). Access to the pistes of Crans-Montana is via the Violettes, La Tza and La Barma.
The mountain station of Anzère, separated from the deep valley of the Lienne, lies about 8km/5mi west of Crans. This modern village, with its typical large chalets, is surrounded by excellent long-distance courses and pistes of varying levels of difficulty.
This popular annual festival takes place in mid-July.
The area of Crans-Montana offers superb facilities for winter sports lovers including:Short training lifts in the valley, numerous lifts on the Cry d'Err (2,207 m/ 7,241ft: cableways from Crans and Montana), Chetzeron (2,100 m/6,890ft: cableway from Crans) and Bella Lui (2,543 m/8,343ft: cableway from Cry d'Err). Summer skiing in the Plaine Morte glacier area (3,000 m/9,843ft: cableway from Violettes). Many ski-trails with lifts between Violettes (2,208 m/7,244ft: cableway from Vermala-Zaumiau) and Petit-Mont-Bonvin (2,411 m/7,910ft: cabin cableway from Aminona). There is splendid long-distance skiing between Crans, Montana and Vermala. National teams from all over Europe train on the high slopes of the Plaine Morte glacier. An artificial ice rink, curling, tobogganing and famous Swiss ski schools are also to be found here.The twin villages of Crans-Montana have more five-star hotels than any other Swiss resort except St Moritz. And with a number of new facilities built for the 1987 World Alpine Ski Championships, the intermediate skier finds the slopes of his or her dreams and short lift lines. There is limited beginner terrain and experts will find limited steeps but there is off-piste and tree skiing and the runs developed for the world championships are a good test.
Map of Crans-Montana Attractions