Davos and Klosters, Switzerland; in spite of being established at one end of the Heidi Express, the grey urban sprawl of Europe's highest city, with an out-of-season population of over 13,000, does not evoke cozy memories of the Swiss miss. But for what Davos misses in style of architecture, it makes up for in its facilities and sensational mountain scenes.
Situated in a moderately snow-sure bowl in the Graubunden region, the ski resort can give everything from sanatoriums to the annual World Economic Forum, Bavarian curling and more chocolate than you could possibly fit in your mouth in one week. And surrounding the grey on all sides is the white - 320km of it spread out across four ski areas, plus 75km of cross-country, excellent snowboarding facilities and some of the most extensive off-piste in the Alps. The only negative here is getting between the separate ski areas, though the connecting buses and trains operate with "Swiss precision."
The ski resort in Klosters, a couple of hundred meters down the valley than Davos, is a quite a sleepy place, in spite of its strong royal connections, and has substantially more alpine charm than its neighbor up-the road and this is slightly tempered by the ceaseless hum of traffic on its way through the village.
Davos shares its mountain transport with Klosters, with more than 50 lifts, including a revamped funicular from Davos Dorf going up to the main ski area on Parsenn. This new train has cut back queueing time significantly, which used to reach up to two hours throughout peak ski season.
Skiing and snowboarding beginners can enjoy the mild nursery slopes at Bolgen or Bunda, then cross town and head to the mountain to the wide blue runs on Parsenn. This is the largest of Davos's numerous ski mountains and is linked to the Klosters ski area of Gotschnagrat. It's also home to some truly wide-range terrain and gives access to excellent off-piste. When the snow's good enough, skiing intermediates must set out on the epic 12km descents from the top all the way down to Klosters or Kublis, having a break at one of the cute cafes along the way.
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