The winter holiday season is celebrated in many ways around the world with the backdrop of sun-kissed beaches to snow-topped alpine peaks. I have travelled to so many ski resort club places around the world, but this year we are somewhere new! For those seeking a winter wonderland, the neighboring villages of Crans-Montana nestled in the Valais region of Switzerland is the perfect combination of glorious outdoor viewpoints, luxury accommodations, world class skiing and Michelin starred restaurants.
First mentioned as far back as 1228, the two neighboring resorts of Crans and Montana at an altitude of 1500 meters rise high above the Rhone Valley with jaw dropping views of mighty mountain peaks from the Matterhorn to Mont Blanc village. Guests are in constant reminder of the world class skiing and outdoor adventures. Crans-Montana reigns as a family friendly destination having been awarded “Family Destination 2016-2018” by the Swiss Tourism Federation.
In this land of winter enchantment there are a bevy of options for a gastronome or a young adventurer in exploring palate pleasing Swiss cuisine. If your desire is local raclette or other Valais specialties, there are plenty of mountain cafes and local restaurants serving traditional regional cuisine and of course, excellent Valais wine or local brews.
For true oenophiles and culinarians, two Michelin-starred establishments, Chef Franck Reynaud‘s L’Hostellerie du Pas de l’Ours and Chef Pierre Crepaud’s Le Mont Blanc afford a spectacular dining experience with a equally stunning backdrop.
There are plenty of winter sports for all ages and levels to enjoy. For skiers, it is snow utopia. Slopes stretch from high plateaus to the Plaine Morte Glacier at 3000 m. directly beyond the edge of the forest floor, making them ideal for beginners and deep-snow skiers.
For the more experienced, a short chairlift takes you to the challenging run of La Toula. Particularly popular are the broad carving slopes and the valley descent down the Piste Nationale which, at 12 km, is the longest in the region. For a different perspective, many enjoy night skiing as a unique sensory skiing adventure.
New this year, Chalet Alaïa offers trampolines, indoor ramps, foam pits, bowls and an outdoor skate park for added year-round entertainment.
Younger visitors can spend their days taking part in children winter camps where they can hone their skiing skills.
Nearby Bibi Snow Island, open from December to April is available for skiing, sledding and snow tubing fun on the famous Severiano Ballesteros golf course. Crans-Montana is not just about skiing on world class runs it also features indoor and outdoor ice rinks that offer training in ice hockey, figure skating and yes curling.
These international resorts also attract several world class skiing events. This winter Crans-Montana is hosting two Ladies’ World Cup races. On Saturday February 23, 2019, skiers will be racing in the downhill and on Sunday, the famous Alpine Combined will take place, with a downhill/slalom.
A trip to the Valais region is a must on the holiday travel plans. Crans-Montana Switzerland is the place to make it all happen for everyone on your gift list. Exciting outdoor entertainment, regional and internationally acclaimed dining and world premier sporting events will make this a most memorable holiday experience.