Davos is regarded as one of Europe's oldest mountain resorts. It established itself as a health resort in 1860 and as a sports center in 1930. Today Davos is a city way up in the mountains on 1560m that is popular all year round. Not your average Alpine ski village, but a bustling place, famous for its fresh mountain air, its consistently excellent snow cover and one of the most extensive ski areas in Switzerland. It has been attracting skiers for generations and recently gained fame as a hip snowboarding destination.
Davos extends for almost 2.5 miles and is divided into Davos-Dorf and Davos-Platz and is located in Graubunden in the East of Switzerland on the Landwasser river. It is easy accessable Zurich and Chur or via Glacier Express from Zermatt or from St. Moritz.
Davos offers many sporting and leisure activities as well as fine dining, shopping and entertainment. Huge indoor and outdoor skating rinks, a sports center, two sled runs, 143 miles of skiing slopes in winter and 280 miles of picturesque walking path and mountain bike trails in summer. The skiing area and its 45 ski lifts constitute one of Switzerland's largest and most remarkable skiing resorts with snow coverage usually satisfactory between December and April.
Originally Davos was a health resort. Its high altitude and long hours of sunshine eased the suffering of tuberculosis patients from around the world. Robert Louis Stevenson completed Treasure Island while resident at a Davos sanatorium in 1882 and Thomas Mann, the great German writer and Nobel Prize winner in Literature in 1929, spent time in Davos in 1911 where his wife was in a sanatorium. His stay inspired him to write his novel The Magic Mountain, which was published in 1924.
Attractions and Activities
Excursions in Davos
1 hour on foot there and back. A perfectly planned road, level and sometimes under trees, kept clear of snow in winter. This walk can be reached from Davos-Platz by the road behind the Seehof Hotel (near Parsenn funicular station) or from Davos-Platz by a steep path which continues the lane to the Catholic Church.
At 8,497 ft. it is offering a panorama view over the whole Davos and Klosters area as well as the Sertig Valley. Access by funiculars, then 5 minutes on foot up a steep incline. Allow at least 2 hours there and back to enjoy the beauty of the surroundings.
Winter Sports in Davos
The wintersport map of the Davos/Klosters region!
Davos offers g lorious slopes amid spectacular scenery in the place where alpine skiing began over a century ago. The large town shares its Parsenn ski area with Klosters. It is good for all standards of skier. The Parsenn is one of Europe's classic ski areas, where the sport first developed in the early 1880's.
Davos is part of the “Top Snowboard Resorts” (along with Ischgl, Austria, Madonna di Campiglio, Italy, and Val d’Isère, France). The group’s goal is to maintain first-rate snowboarding conditions and to advance the sport. Snowboarders enjoy a variety of runs and two half-pipes in the Jakobshorn area as well as funparks in the Pischa and Rinerhorn areas.
Cross-country skiers roam over 75 kilometers (47 miles) of trails with separate trails for skating and classic styles. There's an illuminated trail for night skiing and a lodge with a waxing room as well as trails that allow skiers to share the adventure with their dogs.
Other Winter Sports
Include ice-skating, curling, tennis, sleigh rides, snow-bikes, squash, swimming and tobogganing.
Summer Sports in Davos
Davos has many opportunities for hiking. There are numerous well-marked footpaths and walks including the Hohe Promenade. Mountain railways make it easy to reach the high altitude rambling areas. There are many mountain cabins and restaurants ready to offer a warm welcome and a leisurely rest.
The Davos Golf Club is just 1km outside of Davos. The 18 hole course has a yardage of 5751 and a SSS of 68. It is open from May until October.
Other summer activities
Include swimming, tennis, squash, mountain biking and bowling.
Entertainment in Davos
Since Davos is an actual town and not just a resort, dining and apres-ski possibilities abound. The 78 restaurants in the area range from chalet-style restaurants serving cheese and meat fondues, to the open-air Snow Beach restaurant serving fish and meat dishes as well as homemade pastry. Twenty-one bars and pubs, 10 cafes and bistros, and four discos keep the action going long after dark. The Casino Davos is a popular stop for visitors and has recently added 70 new slot machines and some new table games.
Shopping in Davos
Davos is not obsessed with Swiss folklore but you'll find lots of emphasis on cutting-edge sports equipment and high-fashion sportswear, plus leading international labels such as Prada, Gant, Tod`s and JetSet.
Events in Davos
The Spengler Cup was first awarded in 1923 to a team of Canadian Students from Oxford University. It is the oldest international ice hockey club team tournament in the world. The tournament, entry to which is by invitation, is hosted by the Swiss Team HC Davos. The tournament is played each year between Christmas and New Year's Day. It features club teams from around the world.
World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Held in Davos during the last week of January, presidents, prime ministers and assorted mega-suits of the World Economic Forum meet to discuss global cashflow and set the financial agenda for the year ahead.
Museums/Libraries in Davos
Kirchner Museum – This museum represents the largest collection of works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880 – 1938) in the world. The German expressionist painter, a leading figure in his time, moved to Davos in 1917 and remained there until he died.
Skiing in Davos goes back to 1873. In 1893 the Branger brothers and Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle were famously intrepid. Skis and bindings from this period can be seen, together with those up to the present day. There is an impressive collection of sledges (remember the Davos sledge of your youth?), but rather a lot of Ice Hockey stuff that is not so likely to appeal. This is a twenty-minute visit rather than anything longer, for most people.
Location and Map
Davos is located in Eastern Switzerland, 147 km (92 miles) from Zurich, the nearest airport. Travel time from Zürich is 2.5 hours by car and 2 hours by train. The resort is 419 km (260 miles) from Geneva and 262 km (163 miles) from Berne.
By train, take international train connections to Landquart and change for a train going to Davos.
Tourist Office: (Verkehrsbüro) Tel. 081 415 21 21 – Fax. 081 415 21 00