A year in the Swiss Alps: a hand-picked guide to the best experiences
Forget traditional wooden chalets nestled in snow-blanketed Alpine villages. The Crans Ambassador luxury hotel in Crans-Montana offers a contemporary take on a Swiss escape. Think a sleek, minimalist spa with a pool with panoramic views. Relaxed terrace bars serving up creative cocktails. And a location immersed in nature yet within easy reach of a lively, modern mountain town. From winter sports through to summers on the golfing green, here’s our pick of seasonal experiences that make Crans-Montana a year-round destination.
In the City of the Sun
The journey down to sun-soaked regional capital, Sierre, is an adventure in itself. Hop on the funicular in Crans-Montana for a swift descent – watching rugged mountain peaks give way to green valleys and vineyards. Take a tasting tour and sample the local wines, then zip back up to the Crans Ambassador to relax with a cocktail on the terrace. Or take a 5 minute drive to nearby Crans and take advantage of the city's designer shops and gourmet restaurants.
Summer to a tee
With blue skies overhead, take to Crans-Montana’s prestigious golfing greens. With their mountain backdrops, they rank among some of the most beautiful in the world – especially the 18-hole Crans-Sur-Sierre course, which overlooks the Rhone Valley. Players in search of a technical challenge shouldn’t miss the Sion Golf Club. Especially as Crans Ambassador guests have a 30% discount on green fees.
For one of those pinch-yourself moments, head to St Leonard, less than five miles away from Crans-Montana. This Swiss municipality hides a subterranean secret: Europe’s largest natural underground lake. Take a guided boat trip in the Autumn to avoid the crowds and make the most of this fairy-tale grotto.
September brings a highlight of the international golfing calendar to Crans-Montana: the Omega European Masters. Spanning four days of sporting action, watch world-leading golfers tackle the Severiano Ballestros-designed course at the stunning Crans-Sur-Sierre Golf Club.
Crans Ambassador has a focus on fitness. The Performance Lab offers an exclusive opportunity for keen skiers to pick up tips on improving form, and you can work on strengthening your quads in the gym while you’re there. Once you’ve put all the good advice into practice, seek out something delicious from the heated terrace restaurant – you’ll have earned it.
You’ll find a ski lift seconds away from the entrance of the Crans Ambassador, taking you up to over 140 kilometres of slopes. Whether you’re skiing downhill or cross-country, snowboarding or tobogganing, there’s plenty of distractions for beginners as well as more experienced skiers. After a full day in the cold mountain air, find a place in front of the open fire, or dip into a hearty, warming raclette.
Race to the finish
Crans-Montana attracts all flavours of skiers, from excited beginners to experienced professionals. And at the end of March, they can all join the action at the Crans-Montana Lachaux Trophy downhill ski races. Take to the slopes yourself, or watch from the side-lines as skiers glide past – the fancy dress category always gets the crowds cheering.
Crans-Montana is home to the four-day Caprices Festival, which sets up camp in April. This mountain-top electronic music festival features many of the biggest names on the house and techno scene. After all that partying, recuperate with a treatment in the spa at the Crans Ambassador.