• BLOG
  • Planning Good MTB Trips In Switzerland For Summer

    Graubünden Ferien / Gaudenz Danuser

    That time of the year. Bike fever. And fairs and dreams. 

    In Helsinki, they had this weekend the annual GoExpo fair for outdoors business and activities, mountain biking included. Also the Finnish outdoor destination of the year award was announced there, this year with a mountain biking theme. And the winner of the year – Ylläs in Finnish Lapland – has definitely done great job the past years developing the year-around mountain biking possibilities in the destination (including the ski resort Ylläs and nearby Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park )

    As a Northern Finn in Switzerland, I am also happy of the direct winter season flights from Zürich to Kittilä (the nearest airport to Ylläs). Although, when thinking of the good mountain biking, it would be even more comfortable if the direct flights would be flying in summer too. Please?

    Arosa Tourismus, Nathan Hughes

    Though, nothing wrong staying in Switzerland either. And this year again I am happy to be living in Switzerland, with the damn good an varied mountain biking possibilities all around the country. This year I also hope to have the money, to update my toys and explore the trails every free weekend and holiday I manage to get this season. (yes, mtb really is the new golf)

    And so, these days, alongside planning my whole strategy for the year, I am researching the options and drafting plans for biking and touring and eating and drinking my way around Switzerland. 

    Jean-Luc Grossmann für Spot Magazin

    swiss-image.ch/Markus Greber Maastopyöräily Sveitsi

    GRF/Ferienregion Lenzerheide Maastopyöräily Sveitsi

     GRF/Destination Davos Klosters Maastopyöräily Sveitsi

     Graubünden Ferien/Gaudenz Danuser Maastopyöräily Sveitsi

    There definitely needs to be biking in Graubünden (in the pics – hope I also get to take my own pics from there soon) and Zermatt. And the all the cheese and beer, in the middle and especially after. Well deserved. 

    Maybe a different kind of tour in Montreux-Riviera too. Biking and wine tasting combined. And some easy everyday tours in Uetliberg in Zürich, if and when I move back to that direction soon. 

    And I should also sign up to one of those technique / bike repair workshops or girls camps. I mean, I can bike and fix something, but some extra lessons never do harm. 

    One just would need to sit down and choose one. Or two. But like with the destinations, while it’s good to have so much to choose from these days, it’s also the problem of too many good things to choose from. 

    And so, feel free to help me in the comments section (or comment in instagram) if you know where what and how I should do better mountain biking this summer. 

    That I would look as cool as the people in the pics here. 

    Graubünden Ferien / Gaudenz Danuser


    Daniel Geiger für Merida/Graubünden Ferien

    Graubünden Ferien Maastopyöräily Sveitsi 2019

     


    Pics: Graubünden, Switzerland. Copyrights:Arosa Tourismus, Nathan Hughes, Graubünden Ferien, Gaudenz Danuser, Jean-Luc Grossmann für Spot Magazin, Ferienregion Lenzerheide, Daniel Geiger, GRF/Destination Davos Klosters, Markus Greber

  • BLOG
  • Tricks For Doing Solo Ski Trip Well

    Davos Tiina Kivelä Creative

    For various reasons, the past years and especially last year I have traveled a lot solo. This way, I’ve had the privilege to travel regularly during the weekdays and off peak season. Making it cheaper and less crowded than in the weekends and peak seasons. I’ve also been able to tweak and adjust it like only a solo traveler and hustler can.

    And more than else, I’ve been doing stuff I really want to do. Not needing to adjust to other people’s desires, schedules and skill levels. Though not saying that it would always be my #1 choice. Many times, I would like to just go with the flow of good company, adjust and make compromises, to enjoy the amazing thing called sharing the best and the worst. Nevertheless, traveling solo is always better than not traveling at all. (Well, at least when it doesn’t cause lots of harm to environment etc.)

    In other words, there’s many benefits of solo travel and the freedom I have. Yet, I have to admit many times it’s damn demanding and tiring to be in charge of everything myself. To make all the planning, execution, hustling and figuring out all by myself. No extra pair of hands available to give a helping hand when needed. No extra pair of eyes looking after things needing looking after. And especially, no stupid jokes in every possible occasion. And the only possible solution for pictures of yourself are the selfies.

    All this said, I have luckily figured out few tricks which makes traveling solo a bit more easier and pleasant. Especially when it means traveling for skiing and other activities, when traveling with many heavy bags and hangry moments.

    And for the nice person I am, want to share them in here. With this stupid selfie from my Davos trip last week.

    Douchebags Davos-Klosters Ski 2019

    Doing Solo Ski Travel Well

    • Get good bags for your toys. Like, really good bags. The handy robust ones. The ones with wheels and/or possibility to carry them in your bag/shoulder and the ones with as little extra weight as possible. (Extra points for good looking and recognisable bags). You’ll really thank yourself when you haul them into the trains through crowds and long staircases and icy roads. My choice for my skis: Douchebag.

     

    • Figure out where to storage your stuff, well in advance. For example, if you don’t get into your accommodation or don’t stay in the destination for the night you have to have secure place for your stuff, as your mom or no one else is looking after them. Figure out where’s lockers and at which size and with which price, and how long the storages are open. As a skier/snowboarder/whatever, you can never travel light and you most likely will have some stuff you don’t wanna carry along all the day.

     

    • Get used to being ok eating alone and finding out the good in it. When googling where to eat, check for recommendations for single eaters and really go for the things you really like. When solo, you don’t need to worry of the friend only eating still living stuff nor the other highly allergic to chili. On the other hand, you need to be happy to be squeezed into communal table or get a seat only from the bar. Yet, there’s the good in that too: you easily get to chat with the staff, get very personal service or alternatively can just concentrate on your phone or book or food or beer or the other guest. My restaurant recommendation for Davos in the pics: Lokal.

     

    • Get used to not getting the best accommodation if and when you don’t have limitless budget. Unfortunately, the single tax – higher price if it’s just you in the room vs. two person sharing the room – is still exciting in many places. Also, very few places have good deals for solo travelers, even though the trend is picking up the businesses too. So, if and when you’re not into paying 200,- for a hotel room, you have to stick to the hostels most of the times. Nevertheless, if you are also interested to combine i.e. spa or sauna or other activities into your trip, have a look at how much the hostel bed + local spa visit costs separately bought and compare it to the best rate to a room in a spa hotel. Alternatively, keep an eye on the camps and similar, in where you end up being one solo traveler among many other solo travellers. Might get you surprised. And, if you’re going for the hostel and especially in Switzerland, check the Swiss Youth Hostels. There’s a hostel in almost every best mountain destination, some of which with very good views and breakfast and the whole thing focused on sustainable business.

     

    • For the transport, skip the car and take the train and/or bus. Roadtrips are super nice, but especially when traveling solo you most likely want to stress less of finding the right way and parking place, and of the traffic conditions in the foreign place etc. Also, sitting in the car all by yourself is not really good for the environment.  So, let’s skip that. And then in the train and bus, try to be there well in time to secure the window seat. It’s way nice to look out from the window or lean your head to the window when napping, than do the same to the stranger sitting next to you. In Switzerland, Swiss Travel System is my more than recommended transport method, for solo travellers especially.

     

    That said, look at how happily I enjoy my daily exercise in the pic above. Dragging my two pairs of skis and boots and other heavy luggage uphill in over 1500 meter above sea level. All the way up to my hostel behind the steep uphill, after not being wise and going directly from the train to the Langlaufzentrum Davos, to keep my stuff there while waiting for the hostel to let me check in and doing my first cross-country tour of the visit.

    My solo travels doesn’t always go as smoothly as I would like to. But most of the times they are still more than worth doing.

     

    Davos Platz 2019 Tiina Kivelä

    Davos-Klosters Train Travel 2019

    Tiina Kivelä Creative
    Davos Tiina Kivelä Creative

    Tiina Kivelä Creative


     

    Where: Davos, Graubünden, Switzerland