A winter sports guide to Davos & Klosters Speed skating in Davos, courtesy of Destination Davos Klosters

A winter sports guide to Davos & Klosters Featured

With skiing, ice climbing, ice skating, sledging, curling and more there's lots to keep you occupied this winter.

Davos is a winter sports lover's paradise. While skiers of all styles and levels find perfect mountains to fit their style, there’s more to Davos and Klosters than just skiing. Discover ice-skating on Europe’s largest natural rink, sledging, curling, snowshoeing, and ice climbing or take a trip into one of the area’s spectacular side valleys.

Know your mountains

Recreational skiing began in Davos in 1888, so it’s not surprising to find some of the best prepared slopes in the world here. Where you’ll go to ski depends on the style you love most. The ski area spans 300 kilometres across six mountains and includes 85 descents.

Each area specialises in a particular type of skiing and winter sports activities. The Madrisa and Rinerhorn areas are popular with families. Jakobshorn ranks high on the list for freestyle skiers, and Parsenn is the classic ski slope. Pischa stands at the top of the list for off-piste skiing fanatics. Schatzalp is Europe’s first slow-zone for skiers.

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The Parseen Mountain offers classic skiing. Parsenn’s wide slopes and traditional lodges make it a favourite. Slopes can be reached via the funicular rail from Davos which takes you to 2,680 metres, or by cable car from Klosters. A twelve kilometre descent from Parsenn to Klosters was one of the first created in the area. Alpine restaurants and snow bars serve up rösti and fondues for easy refuelling and warm-up breaks.

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Davos calls itself the place where freestyle skiing began. Snowboarders and freestyle skiers find Jakobshorn’s Jatz Junior snowpark a blast. Set at 2,500 metres in altitude, it’s equipped with kicker and rails to create a freestyle lovers’ dream zone. You may spy skiers sporting helmets heading to the half-pipe at Bolgen for flips and turns. It’s floodlit three nights a week and visible from Bolgen Plaza. A perfect spot for adrenaline junkies.

The Schatzalp/Strela area insists on a slower pace. Located at about 300 metres above Davos, a funicular departs every 15 minutes and reaches Schatzalp in four minutes. Schaltzalp, or the ‘Magic Mountain’ as author Thomas Mann called it, proposes a traditional ski style at an easy pace. It’s considered the first ‘slow mountain’ or slow zone for people who enjoy nature and like a more serene rhythm.

Cross-country, winter hiking and more

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Not into skiing? Ride up to Schatzalp and walk the winter hiking paths back down to the town or enjoy the 2.8 kilometre toboggan run, also ideal for beginners. It’s a good area for snow lovers easing into skiing, who want to enjoy the magic of a winter landscape and get a taste of winter sports.

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Both Davos and Klosters offer cross-country ski trails including some areas lit until 9.30pm. There are trails for skating and for dogs. Klosters offers unique air-board slopes and rentals for sports fanatics who want to try a new adventure. Light, inflatable air-boards add a twist to traditional sledding and act similar to body-boards in the ocean.

Ice skaters will love Europe’s largest natural rink which is used for ice hockey, curling and Bavarian curling. A space reserved for speed skating is perfect for skilled adrenaline junkies. The Davos Vaillant Arena ice hockey stadium is home to Davos’ hockey club, one of the most popular clubs in Switzerland.

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Other tempting adventures include paragliding for a gorgeous view of the winter Alps. Or learn to cut out ice blocks and build your own igloo with expert guidance. If you have an artistic bent and want to perfect snowman building, give ice sculpting a try with a pro instructor.

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Looking for an adventure off of the beaten path? Locals suggest a horse-drawn sleigh ride in one of the less visited side-valleys, offering glimpses of wild animals such as chamois goats, ibex, and foxes.

See www.davos.ch for information on ski passes in Davos and Klosters, and for more details on other sports opportunities.