Growing up in Switzerland, I didn't understand what everyone's fascination with the Alps was. Being surrounded by mountains was normal. I wanted to experience the big city life instead! Things changed very quickly though, once I moved to Illinois - the flattest state in the U.S. I miss mountains a lot! Every time Kyle and I go back to Switzerland, we like to spend some time in the Alps and go skiing if there is snow and the weather conditions are reasonable.
Crans-Montana Ski Resort
I have been to a few ski resorts in Switzerland, but grew up exploring the hills of Crans-Montana, a ski resort in the French part of Switzerland, in the canton Valais. It's a two hour drive to get there from Bern and you can either drive via Lake Geneva and stop in gorgeous Montreux and visit Chillon Castle on the way, or you can drive through the Bernese Alps and take the Lötschberg car train which is a fun experience by itself. If you have never heard of the car train before, check out this video. The first time I took Kyle to the car train, he was stunned. If you are driving from Zurich, it is a bit further, but Zurich is also worth exploring, see our post on Zurich from the same trip!
Crans-Montana is 1,500m or 4,920ft above sea level and from there you can access the glacier Plaine Morte which is 2,927m or 9,600ft above sea level. Because the ski resort faces south, you often get the sunniest skiing conditions and best views of the Alps and the Valais.
You can even see the Matterhorn from Crans-Montana, although you'll only see the backside of it which makes it difficult to recognize.
After a bumpy ride up in the cable car, Kyle and I couldn't wait to finally hit the slopes and go skiing in Switzerland for the first time in 4(!) years.
Shop My Skiing Outfit
Many of the items I'm wearing, I've had for years. My jacket is from H&M and I linked similar ones below. My goggles are by Arnette and you can get them on Amazon still.
The morning was a bit foggy but it cleared up soon. The afternoon sun brought the most beautiful views and blue skies!
Luckily, skiing is just like riding a bike if you haven't done it in awhile;, although our legs were starting to get sore rather quickly. After a few runs, we had enough confidence to go down a double black diamond run, but regretted our choice as soon as we looked down the hill. Check out my Instagram stories if you're curious to see the run!
Arguably, the best part about skiing is getting away from the busy city life to enjoy a day in the snow and sun.
And while you're out there enjoying your day, make sure you stop by one of the slope bars and restaurants and enjoy a glass of gluhwein and local charcuterie.
For all the non-skiers amongst us, I can still highly recommend a visit to Crans-Montana. You can take the cable car to the slopes to enjoy the views or stay in the resort town, to go ice skating ...
... go on a walk around the lakes ...
... and enjoy the holiday decorations.
Have you been skiing in Switzerland or would you like to go? Where is your favourite place to go? Let us know in the comments below!
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What about these ones?