If you live or spend most of your time in the Middle East, the idea of a winter wonderland may be largely foreign to you. Really though, this is just one more excuse to travel the world – and for anyone seeking just such a wonderland, Davos, Switzerland is certainly a good place to start.
Nestled in the Prättigau/Davos region, Davos is an alpine town known for having one of the biggest ski resorts in the country (and by extension, in Europe). The town is linked by six stunning ski resorts, all set against the backdrop of snow-covered slopes and peaks.
There are only some 10,000 permanent residents in Davos, but between the resorts and the fact that it hosts the annual World Economic Forum, the town attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year (and plenty of high rollers among them).
For a bit more on what it’s actually like to vacation there though, here are five reasons to head to Davos the next time you go on a trip:
1. To Ski
Even if you’re an inexperienced skier, the slopes around Davos are as appropriate for beginners as for veterans. As mentioned, there are six ski areas to choose from: Parsenn, Jakobshorn, Pischa, Madrisa, Rinerhorn, and Schatzalp/Strela. Parsenn is the best-known option and the closest to the town center, making it easy to access.
Parsenn and Madrisa have the most ideal pistes for beginners and families, though the latter requires a short train ride to reach. Intermediate adventurers will enjoy the more challenging slopes of Rinerhorn, while Jakobshorn and Pischa are good fits for more advanced skiers. Finally, if your primary focus is on avoiding crowds, the Schatzalp/Strela slopes can be ideal – though the runs pack a few adrenaline-inducing challenges.
2. To Photograph Stunning Landscapes
Davos is an incredibly picturesque town and everywhere you go, you’ll be blessed with opportunities for postcard-worthy photographs. Of particular interest to some sightseers is the Alpine Botanical Gardens, which require a funicular ride to reach. Other than the enchanting flora and fauna you’ll see there, there’s also a waterfall to photograph and easy nature trails to embark on. Another must-see for sightseers and photographers, meanwhile, is the small but gorgeous Lake Davos, which is the town’s main hydropower reservoir.
3. To Look At World-Class Art
Kirchner Museum is a place where tourists can enjoy a change of pace from Davos’s outdoor sights and activities and take the time to appreciate art and culture. Named after Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, a German expressionist painter from the late 1800s, the museum still has a great deal to teach about Swiss culture through its related oil paintings. And aside from oil on canvas, the works also consist of woodcuts and wood carvings that mostly portray humans, busy streets, and the landscape of Davos from which Kirchner he drew much of his inspiration.
4. To Play In The Casino
Another option for some indoor amusement to break up the skiing and/or nature exploration is Casino Davos. Most European casinos you hear about nowadays are mostly digital in nature, and new online casinos emerging on a regular basis are only going furthering the transition of this sort of entertainment to the internet.
But Davos is such a special destination that its casino, too, has remained a draw. Regular players come from different parts of Switzerland and around Europe to keep this charming venue bustling at all times. All of the classic games and a pretty casino bar offer plenty to do as you take a break from the outdoors.
5. To Dine
Of course, no vacation is complete without a bit of food exploration. Luckily, there are dozens of options offering Swiss and international cuisines. Establishments like Scheider’s Restaurant offer the traditional Swiss fondue, a local delicacy that everyone must try.
There’s fine dining in the village too and you can find it in Gourmet Stubli. And for some wonderful fresh Italian food, head over to Leonto, where you may just feel like you’ve slipped across the border and into Italy itself.
Aiden Howell is a freelance writer and blog contributor. Most of his work revolves around his primary interests of travel, lifestyle, and culture. Contact us on [email protected]