With its 6 mountains and 300 km of runs spread over 85 descents, Davos Klosters is one of the largest Alpine winter sports regions. And the best part of it is that there is something for all winter sports enthusiasts: carvers, freeriders, snowboarders and those who want to take things just a little easier.
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.
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.
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.
One of the most romantic spots: Sertig Valley
Sertig, like all of the tributary valleys in Davos, is a typical glacial valley with steps and sills. It is an extremely popular excursion destination – above all due to the remarkable mountains and the waterfall to the rear of the valley. It has therefore also been designated a “special conservation area in Switzerland”. In the hamlet of Sertig, 1,861 m above sea level, the chapel “Hinter den Eggen” – constructed in 1699 – is well worth a visit and is highly popular for weddings and baptisms. At the start of August many spectators are drawn to watch the traditional Sertig swing. Refreshments can be enjoyed at the recommended “Hotel Walserhuus Sertig”, at the foot of the Mittagshorn, Plattenflue and Hochducan and at the two restaurants “Bergführer” and “Mühle Sertig”. Visitors can access the Sertig Valley by car, by post van and even better by horse-drawn carriage.
I strongly recommend a little snowshoeing tour in the Sertig Valley: it is simply magical.
photo credits: V’s World, destination Davos (photographers: Stefan Schlumpf, Jakob Jägli-Schmelz, Marcel Giger)