Davos Klosters is the destination for perfect snow conditions and great nightlife. If you wanna have a blust in the Swiss Alps, experience pure igloo life at the Davos Igloo Village – an absolute must visit!
The Davos Igloo Village is located below the Weissfluhjoch station on Parsenn at the Schifer/Totalp branch at an altitude of 2,620 metres. It is open from December, 23rd 2017 until April, 7th 2018 and offers beds for 46 overnight guests.
The Concept of the Igloo Villages
At the Davos Igloo Village we learned that all igloo villages have a similar concept. The igloos are connected with one another via a corridor system and are not isolated. But still, each location is individual and unique. The igloos vary in size; there are larger social igloos and smaller igloos, for example the overnight igloos (approx. 4 metres diameter). You can stay overnight whatever the weather, except in extreme storm and if there is no snow to build the igloo.
Every year, each of the igloo villages is rebuilt in over 3000 man hours. The igloo team uses large balloons, snow blowers and plenty of muscle power to build the individual villages, igloo by igloo.
The snow and ice art is created by artists from around the world. Every location has a new motto each year, which the beautiful decorations are based on. For this year’s motto click here.
It is not possible for an igloo village to collapse in winter! Its individual construction method makes it very stable. During construction, the snow becomes so hard that a groomer vehicle could drive across it without anything happening.
Zugspitze / Zugspitzplatt 2’600m
Davos / Parsenn / Weissfluhjoch / Abzweigung Schifer/Hauptertäli 2’500m
Engelberg / Titlis / Trübsee 1’800m
Gstaad / Saanerslochgrat 2’000m
Stockhorn / Station Chrindi / Hinterstockensee 1’600m
Zermatt / Gornergrat / zw. Rotenboden und Riffelberg / 2’700m
Getting around at the Davos Igloo Village
All igloos and passages have integrated LED lights. In the public rooms, they are on all the time, and in the sleeping igloos they can be switched on and off.
Temperature: The temperature in the igloo is relatively constant, around freezing point. Please dress accordingly throughout your stay. You will not be cold if you wear the right clothes in combination with their program that includes hot food, exercise and use of the whirlpool/sauna as well as hot tea and fleece blankets.
See section Clothing/Equipment in the day and night arrival informations of the destinations. My personal tip: bring some self-heating U.S. army pads with you. I was actually pretty glad and thankful that I had them with me!
Also, at the locations in Gstaad, Zermatt and at the Davos igloo village, each igloo has a heated kota next to it. There is a sauna in Davos, Gstaad and on the Zugspitze, which is open in the evening; but of course the idea is not to spend all evening there.
In Engelberg you have the option of booking a hot igloo and spend the night in the warmth.
Air supply: The snow itself has a high air content and is air-permeable to a small extent. The sleeping places are higher up, which means the nitrogen drops down to the lower-lying areas. There are several outlets that allow the air to circulate. The rooms are very high and filled with plenty of oxygen. They only use candles in the public areas.
Eat & drink: As a welcome, they serve a glass of mulled wine to the guests in their restaurant or in the Igloo Bar and you can help yourself to nuts, crisps and other savoury nibbles. Before dinner, the guests who have booked one of the Romantic packages or an aperitif, are served a delicious platter of cold meets and cheese from the region as well as a glass of Whitesecco.
For dinner in their restaurant, they serve hot vegetable bouillon (self-service) followed by a delicious cheese fondue with fresh bread. The fondue is lactose-free and contains less than 0.1% alcohol. As an alternative to the fondue, they serve pasta with tomato sauce.
You can help yourself to tea throughout the evening. You can of course also order other drinks from the guides (not included in the price); they have a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks on the menu. One of the guides told us that we should drink at least 2-3 liter due to the dry air.
In the morning, they serve a good-morning cup of tea directly to your sleeping bag. Afterwards, there is a breakfast buffet in the mountain restaurant.
Sleeping area: They built a sleeping area using snow and palettes. The surface is then covered with thermal mats and thin foam mats. On top of that, there is a mattress cover and their exhibition sleeping bag (up to -40 degrees) stuffed with synthetic fibres as well as an inner sleeping bag. The Romantic categories have real sheepskins under the sleeping bag. You do not need to bring your own sleeping bag.
Sanitary facilities: They have guest toilets in the centre of the igloo village. The toilet is more like a semi-permanent latrine. The Romantic Igloo Plus and the Romantic Igloo Suites have private toilets for the overnight guests. In the toilet facilities you can brush your teeth and use liquid disinfectant to clean your hands. There is no running water and no shower in the igloo. Hot running water is available at the initial meeting place and in the morning at the mountain restaurant. My personal tip: make sure to bring some baby wipes. AND: Wear a jacket when you have to go party at night!
Hygiene: They adhere to the hygiene standards based on the annual inspections of the cantonal food authorities. Each guest is provided with an inner sleeping bag made from cotton (Romantic Igloo guests are provided with a double cotton sleeping bag), because while the expedition sleeping bags are aired and disinfected every day, they are not washed. The whirlpools are cleaned daily and the water is replaced regularly. The water also has plenty of time to recover, because only the overnight guests use the whirlpool. Wet wipes/disinfectant spray are available in the toilet.
The difference between a standard and a romantic igloo
The main difference is the number of people they accommodate. The Standard Igloo has room for up to 6 people. If you book 2 spaces, 4 other guests will be allocated to the igloo. There is no separation by gender or age. It is not exclusive. People can be allocated across different igloos, but they try to avoid this whenever possible. Prices start at 119,- EUR per person per night for a standard igloo.
In the Romantic Igloo, on the other hand, there will be just two of you, or you and your family in the Romantic Family Igloo (however many people you have booked for). Prices start at 259,- EUR per person per night for a standard igloo.
In my opinion, I would always go for either a romantic plus igloo or a romantic suite ’cause I prefer it more private and cozy. The romantic plus igloo has much more comfort. It is an artfully decorated igloo for two guests, including a private toilet. (209,- EUR per person)
The romantic suite is pure luxury with a private jacuzzi and your own toilet. Of course, this my favorite kind of igloo. :D – However, it is rather expensive: 415,- EUR per person. BUT: If you plan a special occasion or wanna surprise one of your loved ones, I think, it is worth it. I personally would save up for it!
The igloo village is in a remote location in the countryside on the mountain. Make sure that you bring the appropriate gear. The temperature in the igloo village is generally constant, around freezing point.
Recommended clothing and equipment:
￼• Winter-proof, warm clothes (as for skiing)
￼• Comfortable, warm winter boots (e.g. snowboard boots or moon boots)
￼• A good pair of gloves!!
￼• Dry socks, a change of long underwear, pyjamas if necessary
￼• Two hats (second hat in case the first one gets wet in the whirlpool)
￼• Bath towel, Swimwear and flip-flops if necessary for the whirlpool/sauna
• A torch, with headlight if necessary
• Toothbrush (you can brush your teeth)
• Cash (EC and credit cards only in Engelberg, Gstaad and Zermatt)
￼• Sunglasses & sunscreen (for the journey there and back)
A backpack is the perfect piece of luggage for your overnight stay in the igloo village.
The programme timetable and the programme itself is different for each location. The basic programme is as follows:
- Meeting at the mountain hotel/restaurant, welcome and instructions
- Welcome drink and savoury nibbles in the igloo
- Igloo guided tour
- Fondue dinner
- Tea throughout the evening
- Use of public whirlpool (all locations)/ mixed sauna (only in Davos‐Klosters, Gstaad and Zugspitze)
- Short snowshoe walk (in the Swiss locations)/ night time walk (Zugspitze), weather permitting
- Overnight stay in the igloo
- Good-morning cup of tea served to your sleeping bag
- Breakfast in the mountain restaurant
Wellness at an Igloo Village
The sauna and whirlpool are open in the evening for overnight guests only. There is a whirlpool at all locations. The Igloo Romantic Suite guests have their own exclusive whirlpool right next to the sleeping igloo. – Once again, this is so worth it!!! – There is a mixed sauna in Davos, Gstaad and on the Zugspitze. Make sure to bring your own bath towel and flip-flops and wear a hat in the tub! Otherwise, your hair will freeze and you will get cold over night. The head needs to stay warm.
I would strongly recommend to do both, the whirlpool and the sauna. The planned itinerary helps you staying warm throughout the night!!
Yes, it is worth it!
Milos and I were kindly hosted by the tourist destination DAVOS and the Davos igloo village during our press trip to Graubünden. However, this did not affect our personal views. I would truly recommend this one-in-a-lifetime experience for any winter sports enthusiast who is up for a little adventure!
Yes, the night is rather short and you need some time to relax after such an experience, but the mountain views are so worth it.
Now, Milos and I are off catching up on our sleep! :D
photo credits: V’s World, Igloo Village