Crans, Switzerland

Living in Crans-Montana

Iyna Bort Caruso
It’s been written that the best part of waking up in Crans-Montana is the view. The French-speaking municipality in the Swiss canton of Valais sits on a plateau above the Rhône Valley about a two-hour train ride from Geneva. The scenic panorama stretches from the iconic peak of Mont Blanc in the west to the Matterhorn in the east.
Crans-Montana is a twin town separated by a lake. Combined, they form one of the biggest resort destinations in the region.
The area developed as a wellness retreat more than a century ago. Then as now, crisp air, abundant sunshine and seemingly endless opportunities for healthy recreation draw people to this Alpine resort from all over the world. Marked ski trails extend over 140 kilometers. Not surprisingly, the mountain is a regular on the Alpine Skiing World Cup circuit. Crans-Montana is also a golfing mecca. Winter is no deterrent to golfers who play virtually year-round.
In warmer weather, outdoor enthusiasts turn to hiking, canyoning, lake swimming and biking along a network of scenic cycling routes extending some 200 kilometers. For walkers and joggers, the countryside offers paths that run along historic irrigation canals, or bisses, that once brought glacier water to the pastures.
Life here is not lived in ski boots and hiking boots alone. Chic boutiques, popular festivals and an enviable gastronomy scene add to the attraction. Valais canton Is Switzerland’s largest wine-producing region, and the slopes around Crans-Montana feature more than a dozen vineyards alone.
Crans-Montana has long been attractive to both domestic and international property buyers. In recent years, the real estate market has benefitted from infrastructure enhancements and an expanded selection of residential developments. Inventory includes luxury chalets and upmarket apartments with resort-caliber amenities. Although Switzerland restricts international purchases in major cities, buyers are free to purchase homes in tourist areas, such as the ski resort communities of the Valais canton.