Klosters ski resort
With a growing reputation, bolstered by the backing of British Royalty (the resort is a long-time favourite of Prince Charles), the Swiss ski resort of Klosters is coming into its own, emerging from the shadow of dazzling neighbour Davos.
The two resorts, located a few miles apart, share a world-class ski area and a celebrated winter sports heritage, which slaloms back to the early years of downhill skiing.
But while Davos is a bustling mountain town with a plethora of shops and restaurants, Klosters is a low-key and unassuming mountain village with a small collection of largely up-market restaurants, chalets and hotels. This traditional Alpine village feel makes Klosters an ideal place for those wanting an unpretentious, quiet and dignified base from which to tackle some of the most exciting terrain in Europe.
Central Klosters – known as Klosters Platz – provides a good base from which to explore, with its cable car to Gotschna and the Parsenn ski area. Further down the valley is Klosters Dorf, which is the entry point via a gondola to the various runs at Madrisa.
Klosters is situated towards the southern end of the Prättigau Valley, within the easterly Swiss canton of Graubünden. It is 8km (5 miles) from Davos.
KlostersResort Elevation: 1179m
Top Elevation: 2844m
Base Elevation: 1100m
On the slopes
Klosters is linked with its neighbour Davos under the same ski pass; and additionally, the large Parsenn ski area is easily accessible from both resorts – albeit with the likelihood of queues from the Klosters side via the Gotschna cable car. The runs from Parsenn dropping down to Klosters tend to be steep and fairly demanding, with plenty of excitement in the form of moguls.
The only ski area accessible solely from Klosters is Madrisa, where lifts go up to 2,602m (8,537ft). Intermediate and beginner skiers have good options on these smooth, sunny slopes, and the snow cover here is also reliable.
Off-piste possibilities include long descents to Jenaz and Fideris, though some sections will need to be climbed. From here, skiers can go back to Klosters using the regular train service. Expert freestylers and snowboarders are well catered for with a superpipe, parks on Jakobshorn, and boardercross courses in several of the resort's sectors, while there is a beginners' area in Madrisa.
Around 45km (28 miles) of cross-country trails span out along both ends of the valley from Klosters, suitable for all ability levels. But cross-country skiing doesn't stop there. A short ride over to Davos opens up a vast choice of more than 120km (75 miles) of snowy tracks.
The ski season in Klosters runs from late November until April.