Do you remember the sound of cracking snow under your feet? Opening the blinds in your room and being surrounded by mountains? That particular smell of ski-holidays? After two years being held up in our houses, two shots and a booster later we are finally able to do what most of us haven’t done in the last two years: skiing! For the opening of the 2022 skiing season, I’m heading down to Crans-Montana in the Swiss alps to get a taste of what has been too long!
Fatbiking, Snowshoeing and Wine Tasting
Crans-Montana is a paradise when it comes to skiing. You’ll find yourself on 140 kilometers of slopes, going from 1500 meters up to 3000 meters of altitude, surrounded by the most mythical mountains in the alps with magnificent views on the Mont Blanc. Expect a luxurious vibe in the towns of Crans-Montana, without being snobby. The twin towns are a mecca for skiing, golfing, shopping, hiking, and swimming in one of the five picturesque lakes. Maybe taking a dip isn’t the best idea at this time of the year though!
For those who would like to ease into the new season without being on the slopes ten hours a day, here is what you can do this season in Crans-Montana.
Ever heard of a fatbike? These bikes with oversized tires are designed to be used in the snow. They are a great way to discover the two villages of Crans and Montana, bike over the frozen lake and the legendary golf course. Be advised that it can be slippery. I have gently kissed the ground twice on my tour, luckily without any harm.
For those who are looking for a less adventurous activity, the Yeti Safari Tour is a great way to enjoy sports and experience a thrill on the way down. You will climb on a scenic slope with snowshoes, arriving at an adorable little church where you can enjoy a Valaisan aperitif, including cheese and local wine with a beautiful view over the village. No need to walk back, because you will be sledding down the hill back to the village.
Are you familiar with Swiss wines? They are difficult to find outside of Switzerland but nonetheless worth discovering. Catherine Antille of Valais Wine Tours takes you on a hike in the vineyards explaining the basics about Swiss wines, why the Gamay grows like a lord on the granite soils of the Rhône bend, what the functions of Mazots is, and why they were important for the vineyard workers in the region. After burning calories on the hiking tour, enjoy a tasting journey for all your senses with the best wines from the region.
If you thought your legs were tired after a day on the slopes, wait until you’ve checked out some of the 120 boutiques and shops in Crans-Montana. Here you will find everything on sale, from the latest outdoor gear to diamond earrings. Time to give those legs and your wallet a well deserved break? Enjoy a delicious meal at one of the typical Alpine Inns you will find strewn across the mountain resort.
Light Festival Etoile Bella Lui
New this season is the Etoile Bella Lui festival from the 3rd of December until the 9th of January 2022. Discover the magic winter wonderland of Crans-Montana, illuminated by the light of the lantern path and the ferris wheel. The festival is based on the story of The Shepherd and the star Bella Lui and honours the magic of winter lights in the mountains. At the foot of the ferris wheel you can find the Chefs’ Market where you can discover local products from the best chefs, winemakers and artisans in the region. Make sure to pass by if you are visiting the region!
Why Should You Visit Crans-Montana?
– Between 1500 – 3000 meters of altitude
– 140 kilometers of slopes (for all levels)
– Modern facilities
– Not only for skiing, plenty of off-slope activities to discover
– Magnificent view of Mont Blanc
– Instant holiday feeling in the idyllic villages
– If you like boutique shopping, you are at the right place
– Unforgettable raclette evenings
For more information: visit the website of Crans-Montana.
Practical COVID related information:
– You do not need go in quarantine upon arrival in Switzerland
– You will need to present a negative PCR test (also when you are vaccinated)
– You need to fill in this entrance form
– You need to do a PCR test or rapid antigen test between the 4th and 7th day after your arrival in Switzerland
– This situation is rapidly changed and this information might be outdated. Always check the latest travel restrictions on https://www.crans-montana.ch/en/coronavirus/