Summer in Crans-Montana, Switzerland


James Bond star Roger Moore as soon as lived within the Swiss mountain city of Crans-Montana and I’m additionally anticipating some licensed to thrill actions.

Debonaire Sir Roger fell in love with the upmarket resort whereas filming scenes for For Your Eyes Only and it’s the understated glamour that also attracts scores of British households right here greater than 40 years later.

Famed for being one of many sunniest locations within the Alps, the south-facing resort sits on a plateau within the Valais canton with spectacular views of the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc.

Crans-Montana might not have fairly the identical glitzy cachet of close by Verbier, nonetheless the two-centre city — Crans is the upmarket half, with jewelry outlets and idea shops, whereas Montana is extra low-key and sporty — is gaining a following all of its personal.

Originally a {golfing} and well being retreat within the early 1900’s, Crans-Montana later opened up the mountains to skiers and ultimately mountain bikers within the early 2000s. 

At the energetic après-ski on the Zerodix bar on the foot of the cable automobile the previous England rugby participant James Haskell can typically be discovered spinning the decks to a table-dancing crowd in February, which suggests there’s extra to this city than designer outlets and Michelin-starred eating places.

The stylish resort boasts the most effective Alpine snowparks which means a youthful crowd — together with North Americans and Britons — is being attracted by new additions to the realm. These embody Alaïa Chalet, a sports activities facility in close by Lens, with a skatepark and trampolining centre; and Alaïa Bay which boasts a state-of-the-art wave pool for surfers. Adam Bonvin, the co-founder of Alaïa, says: “This is my home town and I always felt that Crans-Montana had no single real selling point, so I wanted to turn it into an adventure-sports hub that would attract a wider demographic. There is no other Swiss resort where you can ski, surf and skateboard in one day.

Wakeboarding in Etang-Long lake

Wakeboarding on the lake

To that finish, I go to the Etang-Long lake to attempt wakeboarding, the place you’re towed by an overhead cable which in concept has you browsing throughout the water whooping with delight.

I say “in theory”, as a result of I discover entering into the upright place a problem and am quickly being unceremoniously dragged on my stomach alongside the lake as a panicked rainbow trout leaps in entrance of me.

Our teacher urges me to attempt once more, suggesting I take advantage of a special board. Suddenly I’m upright and skimming throughout the lake. I even handle a flip across the buoy for a house run to cheers from bystanders.

La Marmotte Microbrewery

It’s thirsty work this adrenalin stuff, so I head to the La Marmotte microbrewery on the shores of Lake Grenon for a beer tasting session.

Yves Klingler, proprietor of the adjoining Hotel du Lac determined to develop his enterprise into brewing and low making and now produces his personal scrumptious artisan beer together with one named Antigel (antifreeze) gin, cider, and even a single malt whisky.

During the pandemic, the Swiss entrepreneur switched to brewing alcohol hand gel which stored his workers in jobs.

Village of Valençon

Next, I head to the village of Valençon a part of Crans-Montana to pattern the wines of Cave Nicolas Bagnoud.

The vineyard is famend for the advantageous whites and reds they produce with grapes corresponding to Cornalin, the distinguished purple selection frequent to the area.

Bagnoud is a wonderful producer of this purple, thought-about considered one of Valais’ treasures. It’s manufacturing dates at the very least to the early 14th century

Tastings listed below are extremely really helpful and the subtly fizzy white Fendant was amongst my favourites.

The wines paired nicely too with the meal of raclette, which includes the grilling and slicing of rounds of semi-hard cow’s milk cheese heated to simply the correct temperature for consuming then served up with sides of potatoes and pickles. 


E-biking in Crans-Montana

E-biking in Crans-Montana

We’re in want of some carb-busting train the subsequent day so we be part of information Julien Cavé for a day of mountain e-biking: Passionate about mountains and bikes, Julien who can also be a ski and snowboard teacher, shares his most helpful ideas and methods to enhance your efficiency and confidence.

“E-biking is an excellent and fun way of seeing the mountains in Summer,” says Julien, stating the skinny trails weaving down steep grassy slopes above sheer cliffs of gray gneiss [coarse-grained, granite-like rock.)

Although purists may scoff at e-biking, it’s easy to see why these machines are surging in popularity. They are ideal for novice riders who want assistance on the steep climbs but still want to retain that ‘regular bike’ feel on the way back down.

After a brief lesson outside the rental shop, we’re soon powering up the mountain enjoying forests, lakes, waterfalls, pastures and even a glacier, which provides a playground that is perfect for mountain bikers.

Alpage du Sex

We take lunch at the charmingly named Alpage du Sex, a quaint, typically Swiss mountain eatery and cheese farm on the Bisse de Tsittoret walk to the Tieche waterfalls. 

The restaurant is full of hikers and bikers enjoying the al fresco dining. The rosti is the best I have had in the region and sausages and steaks are grilled outside, filling the air with delicious bbq smells.

Colombire eco-museum

Cheese making in Crans Montana

Cheese making

It’s a change of pace the next day with a visit to an eco-museum at Colombire, a hamlet of ancient buildings known as mayen – traditional wooden Alpine dwellings housing families, their livestock and food stores. Now a rural museum, Colombire is a powerful reminder of how tough it was for herders living on the pastures.

After a traditional cheese-making demonstration, mountain guide Etienne Jaccottet also tells us about wolf-spotting and the modern-day tradition of cow fighting.

Each year, Valais hosts a battle of the cows tournament called combats de reines which began in the 1920s and draws as many as 50,000 spectators in a year. The winner of these tussles is called La Reine des Reines (“the queen of queens”) and increases dramatically in value as she’s crowned ruler of the herd.

But there’s no locking horns among the bovines in front of us – they’re lazily chewing the cud to make more raclette cheese for my next visit.

Fact File

FLY: SWISS offers more than 160 weekly flights from London Heathrow, London City, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and London Gatwick (seasonal) to Zurich or Geneva. One-way fares start from £76 to Zurich and from £54 to Geneva.Crans-Montana is just over two hours away by train from Geneva Airport

STAY: Alaia Lodge Alaia Lodge is a fully modernized and renovated Swiss hotel in the centre of Crans Montana and within walking distance of the ski lifts.

GET AROUND: The Swiss Travel Pass offers unlimited travel on consecutive days throughout the Swiss Travel System rail, bus and boat network. This pass also covers scenic routes and local trams and buses in around 90 towns and cities, and includes the Swiss Museum Pass, which allows you free entrance to 500 museums and exhibitions. Prices start from £186 for a three-day second-class ticket. Find out exactly what the Swiss Travel Pass covers here:

BIKE: Crans-Montana Bike School:

About Crans-Montana

Stretching from the Rhone valley to the Plaine Morte Glacier at 3000m, sunny Crans-Montana has breathtaking views over a string of mountain peaks that unfold from Bietschhorn to Mont Blanc via the Matterhorn. With its lakes, forests, glaciers and vineyards, the region has something to offer everyone. For sports fans, there are many amenities dedicated to sporting activities, whilst for cultural devotees, there are museums, events and festivals.

In fact, Crans-Montana combines all the benefits of the urban lifestyle within a mountain setting, with a wide selection of restaurants ranging from mountain huts to award-winning restaurants, boutiques and shops, a wellness centre, a variety of entertainment and a vibrant nightlife. It is one of two destinations in French-speaking Switzerland to have been awarded the label “Family Destination” by the Swiss Tourism Federation.

MORE INFO: For more information, visit,

Also Read: Ski-Safari in Switzerland’s 4 Vallees 

Source: www.thetravelmagazine.web