Many of you saw my little video on our hiking trip in Graubünden and I already answered most of your emails and comments on my social channels. It was my first hiking trip in Switzerland and I really, really, really, really, really – and I mean REALLY – loved it.
Together with my blogger friends, I went on four different hiking trips in Graubünden, Switzerland – most of them were part of the Walserweg. – The Walserweg Graubünden follows the tracks of the Walsers in the high valleys of Graubunden in 19 one-day stages (total 300 km). The route leads along historic trails through breathtaking nature and intact cultivated landscapes. Hikers gain insights into the culture and history of the Walser folk.
The trail begins in the village of San Bernardino. In 1270 the first settlers crossed the pass of the same name from the Valais and settled in Rheinwald. The impressive houses in Hinterrhein, Nufenen and Splügen are a reminder of the days of trading with mule-trains. The Splügenpass, the Safierberg, Passo del S. Bernardino and the Valserberg were important north-south links. The route leads through historic cultivated landscapes and typical scattered Walser settlements. Hiking time for each stage is between 4.5 and 7 hours. But there is plenty of time to enjoy and explore the beautiful landscape. Alpine crossings link the high valleys, along the way the hiker meets clear mountain lakes and high, protected moorlands. The route leads through species-rich Alpine meadows and shady stone pine and larch forests. These impressive natural environments alternate with evidence of Walser pastures and mountain farming. Typical slanted wooden fences, Walser houses burned brown by the sun, log-cabin-style barns and regional building variations such as steeply-pitched roofs in Vals and wood-shingle roofs in the Safiental valley add to the appeal of this long-distance trail.
A friendly evening meal with local people is a pleasant way to round off each one-day stage. Whether in a village still typifying Walser culture, such as Safien, Avers, St. Antönien or Langwies or in a major Walser tourism centre such as Davos, Klosters or Arosa.
Walserweg stage 16 from Arosa to Langwies
Langwies–Arosa: 1050 m
Walserweg stage 17 from Langwies to Klosters
Klosters–Langwies: 1400 m
Exploring Davos Klosters
Davos Klosters is one of the most renowned holiday destinations in the world, and boasts the most comprehensive holiday, sports and meeting facilities in the mountains. The contrast between the urban Davos and the idyllic Klosters – only ten minutes by car between them – could not be more pronounced. Yet they have one thing in common: the fascinating and breathtaking mountain backdrop.
Davos is the highest town in Europe, famed for the diversity of sports, leisure and cultural offers, its rejuvenating climate, the HC Davos, the Spengler Cup, the Kirchner Museum, the World Economic Forum and the celebrated freestyle scene on Jakobshorn.
Davos originally enjoyed its prominence thanks to its rejuvenating climate, which has been renowned for around 150 years. As early as 1860 the first Davos guest house was opened to welcome spa guests. The German physician who immigrated here, Alexander Spengler, opened a recuperation spa for lung illnesses, which primarily comprised extensive sleep on the sun terraces of Davos, along with Veltliner wine. This treatment made Davos world renowned, and in 1924 the novel “The Magic Mountain” by Thomas Mann made the location immortal in a literary sense too. Alongside Mann, numerous other writers, artists and philosophers also travelled to Davos. They brought their own culture with them, made the spa town famous in their works, or were responsible for initiating the sports, event and cultural facilities that exist today.
Pioneer in winter sports: Davos was at the forefront of the development of modern winter sports. The history of the world renowned Davos sledge started in the 19th century. The sledge received its name at the first historic sledge race in 1883, in Davos. In 1921 in Davos, the Hockey Club Davos was established and today it is akin to myth and living legend. 1923 witnessed the first Spengler Cup, the oldest and most famous international ice-hockey tournament in the world. The Parsenn Derby is the most traditional ski race in Switzerland and took place for the first time in 1924. Ten years later, the first t-bar ski lift in the world was put into operation on the Bolgen. In more modern times, Davos created headlines when it established the freestyle scene in the 1980s. At that time, the Jakobshorn was the only mountain on which snowboarders were permitted to use the lifts.
Benefits of town and country alike: Davos is the highest town in Europe (1,560 m above sea level). The quality and diversity of its facilities is unique: First class leisure options in summer and winter alike in an intact, imposing mountain world, exemplary meeting infrastructure, internationally acclaimed sports and cultural events, renowned museums, galleries and music festivals. With its characteristic alpine flat roof, Davos has developed its very own building style. The Davos ice stadium (1981) is one of the most architecturally interesting of its kind in Europe. Exceptional hotels, restaurants and shopping opportunities are further advantages of the alpine metropolis.
Party town of Davos: The development of an attractive range of leisure facilities all around the urbanised centre made Davos an early trendsetter with respect to leisure stays in the mountains. As such, for over 100 years Davos has boasted coffee houses, theatres, concerts and even six cinemas in which to entertain its guests. This role as a trendsetter, which – during the years of tuberculosis in Europe – acted to generate a spirit of optimism, has remained true of what is now the highest town in the Alps to this day. As such, the most diverse selection of nightlife activities in the Alps is also found here. In addition, the town boasts numerous ski huts and snow bars, in which guests relax with lively après ski fun. Ultimately, here on the fun mountain Jakobshorn lies what could be termed the birthplace of après ski.
Klosters is a picture book holiday resort: an elegant chalet-style village, authentic traditions and an international flair with many cosmopolitan customs. Maybe that is why even royal guests feel so at home here.
Klosters was known as a winter and summer holiday destination more than 100 years ago. It experienced a decisive impetus in its development as a stylish holiday classic for connoisseurs in the 1950s. At that time, many famous names from the American and British film, music and theatre scene discovered the ski resort, which resulted in the name “Hollywood on the Rocks”. During this time, many British and American guests moved to Klosters, and made their second home here. They characterised the style and atmosphere of the holiday village for decades, and their children are still doing it to this day.
Royal guests, original character: During recent decades, Klosters has enjoyed an international media presence, thanks to its illustrious guests from the British royal family. Despite this, the elegant village, which retains its original character and chalet style, is never aloof. On the contrary: Discreet luxury with understatement has become the formula for success in the upper Prättigau. As such, the resort is still a popular destination for many famous guests, who wish to relax in peace here.
Families welcome: Klosters has been one of the most family-friendly holiday villages in Switzerland for many years. The leisure facilities therefore include one form of family fun after another: Themed walks, scooter runs, climbing paths and the fantastic “Madrisaland” – a unique mythical world of fairies and alpine spirits. The numerous hotels and the strict guidelines accompanying the quality seal “Families welcome” ensure that the ideal accommodation is guaranteed.
I really had a wonderful time. We were a fantastic team, had some pretty great laughs, we were getting along so easily and just had a marvelous hiking experience. I miss it already and cannot wait to go back – sooner, rather than later.