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Crans-Montana, Switzerland
Sun-soaked slopes with stunning views and big town base.

european skiing crans montana switzerland

When conditions are right - clear skies above fresh, deep snow - Crans-Montana takes some beating. The mountains you bounce down with the midday sun full on your face are charmingly scenic, the slopes broken up by rock outcrops and forest. The mountains you gaze at - Zermatt's Matterhorn just discernible among them - are
mind-blowing. When conditions are right, mountain-lovers may forgive Crans-Montana anything - in particular, its inconvenient, linear layout and the plain, towny style of its twin resort centers.

Sadly, conditions are more often wrong than right. Except in the depths of winter, the strong midday sun quickly bakes the slopes. For someone booking six months ahead, this is enough to keep Crans-Montana off the shortlist. For those who can time a visit according to the weather - and are more interested in impressive distant views than cozy immediate surroundings - the resort is worth serious consideration.

What's Great
What's Not-So-Great

+ Large slope area suitable for all, except if you prefer black runs

+ Splendid wooded setting with magnificent panoramic views

+ Fair number of woodland slopes - good for bad weather

+ Modern, well-designed lift system, with few queues

+ Golf course provides excellent, gentle nursery slopes

+ Very sunny slopes (but see right)

+ Excellent cross-country trails

Snow badly affected by sun except in early season

Large town (rather than village) composed partly of big chalet-style blocks but mainly of dreary cubic blocks

and therefore entirely without Alpine atmosphere

Bus or car rides to lifts from much of the accommodation

Not many challenging slopes

Learn more about Crans-Montana

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Content on this page by permission from SkiEurope (©SkiEurope) and "Where to Ski and Snowboard 2001" (©Chris Gill & Dave Watts) The best ski guide ever published. Get your own copy here.

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