DAVOS KLOSTERS: THE HIDDEN SWISS GEM
Davos Klosters: The hidden Swiss gem for skiers and boarders
Looking for ski resorts to add to the bucket list once we’re all ready to travel again?
Davos Klosters is the hidden gem that few Southern Hemisphere skiers and boarders have on their list. Sometimes overshadowed by the bigger names in the Switzerland game, it’s well worth the trip, and not just because it’s home to the highest town in Europe; it’s also one of the largest ski resorts in the Alps, and generally regarded as the birthplace of skiing in Switzerland.
Locals and tourists have been adventuring around the area for over 150 years, discovering the descents and creating alpine legends, with the first pair of skis documented as arriving in the area in 1883. So you know when you’re cutting laps here, you’re doing so on runs that are full of remarkable history.
Here’s everything you need to know about Davos Klosters, your next favourite ski resort.
You’ll find Davos Klosters spread across six separate ski areas, deep in the Graubünden area of Switzerland. Get there by flying to Zurich and jumping on the train to get to Klosters, a 137km trip which will only take a couple of hours.
Klosters and Davos are two separate towns, 11km apart, and are connected by ski lifts, trails, a railway line and a road for quick car trips. Davos has great ski access, nightlife & shopping, while Klosters is known for being authentically Swiss. Our top picks are the Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvedere, which has been operating since 1875, or the Hotel Alpina in Klosters for prime position in town.
This is Switzerland, so of course there are great bus and train connections between ski areas, all access included in your ski pass.
The incredible thing about Davos Klosters
Having so many ski areas to choose from ensures there’s never a dull day to be had. Explore over 300km of terrain, with a huge variety of pistes to choose from, and 57 lifts to get to all of them. There’s so much to discover that the terrain map has to be divided into the left side and right side of the valley.
From a dedicated learn-to-ski area through to top-to-bottom valley trails that run for over 12km, with over 2000m of vertical, there’s truly something for everyone; plus plenty of challenging freeride terrain to be found.
As for the snow on the ground, you can expect over 10m of snow every season; the area is known for highly reliable amounts of snowfall thanks to its 1900m altitude.
The ski areas
The six ski areas, yes, SIX, include:
- Jakobshorn, the freestyle mountain with over 20 features at the Jatzpark plus a beginner area at the base.
- Parsenn, home to wide slopes, long runs and and traditional mountain huts. The annual Parsenn Derby is the oldest downhill race in Switzerland!
- Madrisa, a family-friendly ski area with dedicated kids zones plus wheelchair-accessible chairlifts, gondolas and restaurants
- Rinerhorn, home to night skiing until 11pm on Wednesdays and Fridays; a magical forest for children; and plenty of runs for the grown-ups
- Schatzalp, the smallest and sweetest of the bunch, and so environmentally friendly that climate activist Greta Thunberg set up camp on the Schatzalp during her visit to the World Economic Forum
- The freeride mountain Pischa, home to just one cable car and all the fresh air and stunning views to lap up
The best part is that the modern and the vintage collide here to form one big mash-up of magic. You have the newest of technology right alongside old-timer locals riding ski lifts almost as old as them.
All the fun things
There’s so much fun to be had on the slopes, such as with the Raiffeisen Skimovie Run. You can play the role of a downhill racer and immortalise your performance on film. Or you can race other skiers on the special ski and snowboard cross course by the Totalp chair lift.
Off the snow, you’ll also find plenty of fat biking, sledging, snowshoeing and even snowkiting in winter, plus an igloo village to stay in Parsenn and… alpacas! Yep - a petting zoo featuring some of our favourite family friends can be found in Rinerhorn.
But what’s really exciting is the après-ski parties in the Jatzhütte at Jakobshorn, one of the most famous mountain bars in Europe. From full-moon parties to cult drinks and the hot tub at 2,560m above sea level, all bets are off once the day goes past 2.30pm.