Davos, Switzerland, is a veritable playground for alpine athletes and chic ski bunnies. Nestled in the Swiss Alps, this otherwise sleepy municipality offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding nature has to offer, as well as plenty of scenic activities during the warmer months.
Take the Schatz-Funicular up the mountains to explore the Alpine Botanical Gardens. Not only are there wonderful views and hikes from this point, but the gardens are also home to a fascinating variety of flora and fauna, and even a gorgeous waterfall. The hikes around the garden are not strenuous, making the Botanical Gardens the perfect outing for groups of all ages. This is a great activity for anyone who wants to relax while getting back to nature.
Davos has a multitude of beautiful woodsy trails, offering a variety of walks and hikes for all interests and fitness levels. There are plenty of rugged trails that offer several hours of hardcore hiking up an intense incline, as well as gentler walks suitable for the whole family. Of particular note is the series of themed paths, which is punctuated by discrete information boards that combine adventure with education. The Sculpture Path, for example, extends from Davos Fraunekirch to Stafelalp and is studded with striking stone installations and tree carvings by local Swiss artists. Similarly, Thoman Mann way will guide you through the main points included in the author’s famous novel The Magic Mountain.
This almost goes without saying, since Davos is world famous for its slopes and a ski village par excellence. Hosting over 200 miles of terrain and six main slopes, you’ll find some of the planet’s most popular ski resorts in Davos proper, and in the nearby community of Klosters. Parsenn and Gotschna in Klosters are known as the most luxurious, attracting rich and famous patrons from around the globe during peak season. Jakobshorn is also very popular. The slopes are very well maintained and in pristine condition across the board, with plenty of backcountry that’s perfect for cross country skiing. If you enjoy winter sports, these slopes should be on your bucket list.
At the foot of Jakobschornbahnen mountain, there are trails of three, eight, and 13 km respectively, especially designated for Nordic walking. If you haven’t tried this low-impact sport yet, now is the time to give it a go. It proves slightly more challenging than regular walking, so it’s the perfect low-impact workout for those who want to challenge themselves but aren’t up for crazy vertical hikes up steep mountainsides. The trails are relatively even, making them perfect for promenades with the whole family.
According to a Swiss newspaper, Davos has some of the best nightlife Switzerland has to offer, no matter what time of year. Come to Jatzhütte for a surprising combination of dance, whirlpools and astounding high-altitude views; Pöstli Club for an ultra chic Saturday night full of celebrity sightings; or Ex-Bar for an all around relaxed party atmosphere that goes well into the wee hours.
When the snow has melted in the Summer months, grab your bike and hit the trails in and around Davos’ Klosters. Whether you’re a recreational biker or a seasoned expert ready to attack more rough terrain, Davos has many biking options for fun loving families and die hard bikers. The path that extends from Gotschnaboden to Klosters is free to the public and offers a great ride of intermediate difficulty, where you’ll be challenged but not overwhelmed, while the 10,000 vertical meter freeride tour is an unbeatable thrill, normally requiring five cables cars to reach the top. There are also plenty of easygoing options for families in the lower valleys.
Sore muscles after literally hitting the slopes? Don’t despair: Davos is known not only for its mountains, but also for its exceptional spas. This alpine city boasts several high end wellness facilities, offering numerous treatments and amenities that will sooth your aching muscles and calm your mind. Try the Hotel Sunstar Park for its public thermal spa and sauna area, indoor pool, steam bath and solarium, or the Waldhotel Davos for its solar heated swimming pool with Jacuzzi beds, massage jets and neck jets. You’ll leave either of these establishments utterly rejuvenated for another round of skiing.
Approximately 90 minutes from Davos by car or bus, a visit to Chur, the capital of the canton of Graubünden, is a great full day excursion. This iconic Swiss village, nestled in the foothills of the Alps, has much to offer in terms of restaurants, museums, and cultural history. Expect to see happy goats wearing shiny brass bells roaming in nearby fields, alpine flowers, and magnificent mountain views and immaculate cobblestone streets.
During the off season, generally the Spring and Fall months, the center of Davos is happily besieged with market traders who come and set up stalls peddling everything from clothing to artwork to produce. Make sure to browse the markets if you’re looking for a bargain in a colorful atmosphere. For a genuine Swiss snack, you’re sure to find fresh Magenbrot (local spice bread) and Bratwusrt (Swiss sausage) at numerous stands.
About an hour’s walk from Davos Dorf station, the Climbing Garden is a must see if rock climbing is on your radar, especially during the warmer months of the year. The Climbing Garden is completely exposed to the sunshine, and provides amazing views of the surrounding terrain. There are 24 routes of 1 to 3 rope lengths, in various levels of difficulty and can be used free of charge. Avid adventurers and outdoorsy types will be fully in their element here.