The upmarket crowd that flocks to Crans-Montana to ski has good reason – this south-facing resort is one of the sunniest in the Swiss Alps. Linking the two villages Crans and Montana, the resort offers a large ski area topped by the Plaine Morte glacier at nearly 3,000m, which is ideal for cross-country skiing and hiking, as well as being the starting point for the longest run in the resort. There’s a good selection of runs for intermediates and a snowpark for adrenaline-seekers. Less confident skiers are better off sticking to the Aminona lift which leads to a couple of decent blues, while the area also has a number of snowshoe trails. The views from the pistes are stunning, the only downside being that it’s sorely tempting to stuff skiing and simply sit back in a mountain restaurant with a beer in the sunshine instead.
In summer the area is well known for its many golf courses, including the 18-hole Severiano Ballesteros course. Hiking, swimming in the resort’s lakes and (for the less energetic) shopping in the village’s exclusive boutiques are also popular activities.