Recreational skiing began here in 1888, but Davos first appeared on the world sports stage in 1899, when a large ice rink was opened for the world figure-skating and the European speed-skating championship competitions. In the same year, the Davos-Schatzalp funicular and the Schatzalp toboggan run were inaugurated. Now Davos is one of the best ski regions in the world.
On both sides of the valley, you're faced with five large ski areas, of which the most noted is the Parsenn-Weissflüh. Some experts say that this is the finest ski area in Europe. To reach it, take the Parsennbahn (railway) from Davos-Dorf to Weissflühjoch (2,622m/8,600 ft.), the gateway to the major ski area, with a huge number of runs in every category. A few downhill ski runs leading back to Davos are suitable for only the most skilled skiers.
From Weissflühjoch, where there's a restaurant, take the cableway to Weissflühgipfel (2,778m/9,112 ft.). It takes about 30 minutes transit, via a trio of cable-car stages, from Davos-Dorf. From there, you can reach the celebrated Küblis run to the north.
Davos shares its snow with nearby Klosters, where you can also ski, but cable cars and T-bar lift service may keep you happy with the ski opportunities nearer to Davos. Beginners are advised to stick to Rinerhorn or perhaps Pischa, where, if you're graded "intermediate" by your ski-school instructor, you may be directed to the somewhat more challenging slopes at Jakobshorn.
The ski facilities around Davos aren't the most widespread and far-flung in Switzerland, but they nonetheless incorporate enough challenges to keep intermediate and expert skiers engrossed. Most visitors opt for the RegionPass, which includes access to five different ski regions around Klosters and Davos. Together, they incorporate 322km (200 miles) of marked ski runs, and access to 3 funiculars, 10 cable cars, 4 gondolas, and 39 other mechanical conveyances designed to haul you and your equipment uphill. It also includes free rides on the railway cars from Küblis, a nearby hamlet surrounded by snowfields, back uphill to Davos. Adults pay 133F for a 2-day pass, 235F for a 4-day pass, and 318F for a 6-day pass. Children 6 to 12 are granted reductions of around 70% off those rates, and children 5 and under ride free.
Several winter sports besides skiing are offered here as well. For information on curling, contact the Davos Curling Club/Davos-Village Curling Club, Hintere Gasse 4B, Davos-Platz (tel. 081/420-27-00). Two hours of curling, including instruction, cost 40F to 45F per person.
If you're interested in ice-skating on the Natureisbahn, Davos-Platz, the largest natural ice rink in Europe, phone the Davos-Dorf Tourist Office, which manages the rink. Admission costs 8F for adults, 6F for children. Prices are 1F less for holders of the Guest Card, which is presented to all hotel guests. The rink is usually open from December to late February, depending on weather conditions. Davos-Platz also has a huge artificial ice rink. Both are open daily from 10am to 4pm, with additional openings every Thursday and Saturday from 8 to 10pm. In addition to this natural ice-skating rink midway between Davos-Platz and Davos-Dorf, there are at least two other ice-skating venues. For any information about ice-skating, contact the tourist office or www.davos-skating.ch.
Many Davos sports facilities can be used in both winter and summer. It has first-class tennis courts, sailing and windsurfing on Lake Davos, swimming, and horseback riding. There's an 18-hole golf course, Golf Club Davis (tel. 081/416-56-34; www.golfdavos.ch), with a weekday greens fee of 87F that includes a golf cart; on weekends the fee goes up to 100F. If you're staying in accommodations at Davos, there's a 10F discount. Golf clubs can be rented for an additional 45F a day. There's also a large indoor ice rink if you want to keep your skills and your skates sharp during the summer months.
Davos has an impressive Tennis & Squash Center, on Clavadelerstrasse 2 in Davos-Platz (tel. 081/413-31-31; www.indoor-sport.ch), which is open daily from 8am to 10pm. Prices depend on when you play, day or night. Court rental from 5:30 to 10:30pm is 28F for an indoor or outdoor court in summer or between 35F and 45F in winter.
Want to go swimming? Call Hallenbad, Promenade 90, next to the Kongress (tel. 081/413-64-63; www.eau-la-la.ch), for information on either indoor swimming in winter or outdoor swimming in summer. Adults pay 9F and children 6 to 15 are charged 5F, all of which includes changing-room facilities. With use of the mixed sauna included, adults pay 26F.
Hiking and Walking
Well-marked and -maintained footpaths and mountain trails give access to meadows, pastures, woods, and mountains both close to and far away from Davos. A 451km (280-mile) network of pathways follows brooks, crosses alpine meadows, and leads to remote hamlets, allowing you to explore the side valleys of Sertig, Dischma, and Flüela. Davos mountain railways provide access to five different walking areas and to the most rewarding vantage points around Davos. The tourist office will supply more details.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.