Located on a south-facing plateau and blessed with 300 days of sunshine, Crans-Montana in the Swiss canton of Valais offers superb skiing amidst stunning alpine scenery. Unlike some ski resorts which are vacant during the warmer months, Crans-Montana is a true year-round town underpinned by a sense of community with a population of 10,191 residents and two of Europe’s finest educational institutions.

Since hosting the skiing World Championships in 1987, Crans-Montana has been making a name for itself as a ski destination and is often on the World Cup schedule. One of the largest ski areas in Switzerland, Crans-Montana boasts 120km of slopes which cater predominantly to intermediate skiers and offer stunning views of snow-capped Matterhorn and Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in the Alps, on the way down.

For those who prefer something off the beaten piste, Crans-Montana opened Rando Park in 2017 which is the largest ski touring network in the world with 15 avalanche-protected trails. Routes range a newbie-friendly 1.3km trail to a colossal 34.7km route with an altitude gain over 3,000m, aptly named ‘La X’treme’.

A year-round sports paradise, as the snow melts away, four golf courses with overlooking the Rhône Valley are revealed. The host of the OMEGA European Masters, Crans-Montana is a major golfing destination with a heritage spanning more than a century. The town opened its first golf course in 1908 and at the time it was the highest golf course in the world.

However, it is not just about sports, there is plenty to see and do in the resort itself. Crans-Montana’s answer to London’s Bond Street, Rue du Prado is like an open-air shopping centre in the heart of the Alps with a plethora of boutiques and designer shops behind traditional alpine facades. There is also a thriving gastronomy scene with an exciting mix of local and international cuisine, including two Michelin-starred restaurants. Thanks to its sunny climate, Crans-Montana is one of Switzerland’s major wine-producing regions and enthusiasts will enjoy the Salon des Vins et Terroir event in March which showcases the finest wines from the Haut Plateau.

Well-deserving of its Family Destination Label (2019/20), Crans-Montana is a very family-friendly resort with plenty of activities for children to enjoy. In the winter, there is the child-friendly Snow Island with sledges and snow tubing whilst Summer Camp Montana takes centre stage in the summer months. Operating for 50 years, this renowned summer camp for 8 to 17 year-olds has international appeal. Plus, for those who chose to live here, there are plenty of amenities for families including one of the best schools in Europe, Le Régent Crans-Montana College, and the prestigious École des Roches international hotel management school.

The experts say

Many things to many people, Crans-Montana is so much more than a ski resort. Active throughout the year, it has a real community feel and prides itself on its commitment to catering for families. Akin to Chamonix in the French Alps, Crans-Montana is a dual-season resort with plenty to do in the summer months too including hiking, canyoning, water skiing, paragliding and swimming in the alpine lakes.

The property market in Crans-Montana

Whilst there are restrictions in place which limit what international investors without a Swiss Residence permit can purchase, it is possible to buy a property in one of Switzerland’s tourist areas, such as Crans-Montana. However, the property must be a second home that has hotel-style services and facilities and is professionally managed and rented out when not in use too. This means that property opportunities in Crans-Montana which fulfil all of these requirements are a rare find. Property prices in Crans-Montana have an average of CHF 9,000 per sqm including new-build and resale properties. However, prices can easily go up to CHF 27,000 per sqm for high-end new-build properties in prime locations. Apartments which are close to the golf course or the ski lifts are likely to rank higher on the property market whilst the most sought-after area is Plan Mayens. Crans-Montana is a good place to rent out a property due to the popularity of the Swiss resort and its dual-season aspect. Annual rental can reach more than CHF 300 per sqm or even more for high-end properties on the pistes.

How to Get There

By Road

Crans-Montana is two hours' drive from Geneva by car. Alternatively, it takes around four hours to drive to Crans-Montana from Zurich.

By Train

The closest train station is in Sierre. From here visitors can take a bus or the Montana-Funicular to the resort.

By Air

Geneva-Cointrin is the closest international airport and is just two hours' drive from Crans-Montana by car. Sion regional airport is closer to Crans-Montana but has limited international flights and tends to serve private planes.

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