Crans Montana Absolutely – the official slogan of the Crans-Montana holiday region hits the mark when it comes to winter fun. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking, and so is the huge range of activities on offer: The best prerequisites, in other words, to bring a sparkle to your children’s eyes.
In our case, however, this huge selection meant that mother and child were almost spoilt for choice. You’re about to find out where we got important information and which tips we went with.
Organisation in advance and arrival at the youth hostel
With 140 km of ski slopes, 25 mountain railways up to the Plaine Morte glacier at 3,000 metres above sea level, 65 km of winter hiking trails, toboggan runs and countless other offers, it’s enough to make your head spin.
I got a first overview on the Crans-Montana Tourism website – their family page focuses more on children’s topics. I can also recommend the activities section and the virtual press kit to get started.
However, it is best to combine this prior knowledge with advice on the spot, both at the tourist office (Maison du Tourisme) and at the reception of the Youth Hostel «Bella Lui» in Crans-Montana. Additional priorities can be set based on the local area plan.
If you want to book lessons at a ski or snowboard school or at the snow kindergarten, you should do this in advance. Many ski schools confirm lessons only after payment has been received. The same applies to hiring winter sports equipment: Depending on the size required, it can make sense to call the sports shop in advance to reserve your rental equipment.
In contrast to the family area in Arnouva, there is much more here besides beginner ski lifts and slopes. We were especially thrilled by the rapid snow tubing descent and the freestyle bobsleigh sledging. You can also try out the electric snow sledge, the toboggan run (with magic carpet for your ascent) or the airbag. And of course, check out the child-friendly ski lifts before grabbing a snack from the helicopter.
You can easily manage your trip there and back with the free winter shuttle (Bus Navette) and activities are paid for on site (bring your own helmet). For ski lifts, I recommend a pre-purchased ski pass. However, we were allowed to borrow a sledge or bobsleigh free of charge from the youth hostel.
Skis or snowboard?
This big question was quickly answered because my son wanted to try out snowboarding. So we booked a private lesson from home with the Swiss Mountain Sports ski and snowboard school. Of course, there is more than one provider to choose from. There’s quite a selection here and all ski schools have good experience at various levels.
If you are on a budget, you can check out the special offers and take advantage of the happy hour, for example.
Because we had already experienced Snow Island the day before, we chose the higher-lying skiing area of Arnouva this time. Here I could even watch my son’s first attempts from the sun terrace of the restaurant.
While snowboard instructors and students were busy, I treated myself to a winter walk. I was amazed at how diverse this meeting point is.
Here you will see families with ski equipment and dog walkers, groups on ski tours and snowshoers, ski instructors enjoying a coffee in the sun and teenagers getting ready to go sledding; a sled dog trail runs next to the restaurant. When it comes to winter sports, you can do almost anything here – except cross-country skiing. For this you generally need flatter terrain.
More winter experiences
More tips that will bring a sparkle to your children’s eyes can be found here:
*How about the open-air ice rink at the Ycoor sports centre? The opening hours listed on this page are reliable, other sources are not always up to date.
*Fancy a treasure hunt with Bibi? The tourist information office provides adventure bags for children.
*The lantern walk is currently inactive, but next winter it will once again whisper the starry magic of “Etoile Bella Lui” into the hearts of visitors young and old. There is also a treasure hunt to go with it.
*In case you have the misfortune of experiencing bad weather, which rarely happens, there are plenty of alternatives available. Also in the youth hostel, by the way: My son and I have become real ping-pong enthusiasts, even in dream weather.