Postcard from Monday. Dreaming of escapes & mountains.
Where: In daydreams, aka Rhaetian Railway between Klosters and Davos in Graubünden, Switzerland
This time, I’ll let the pictures speak the most. Of the great (proved) cross-country skiing tour from Klosters to Alp Novai. (Fyi, Kloster’s about 25min train ride away from Davos – free with the Davos-Klosters Guest Card – or about 2h from Zürich or St. Gallen.)
Start the tour from Klosters Arena (second pic, few hundred meters from Klosters Platz station) or first take the train all the way from Davos (the first pic). From Klosters Arena, you find a small cross-country skiing center with WC, changing rooms, showers and lockers (works with 5CHF pant), and the official starting point for the cross-country tracks, with information boards and signalisation.
Then, just hit this amazing cross-country skiing track (both for skating and classic style) up to Alp Novai. Continue all the way up, in the wide valley along the river, between mountains and the famous peaks of Piz Buin and Silvrettahorn in the back. Stop by for snacks (your own) in Alp Novai, or for proper lunch and break in the sunny terrace of the restaurant in Alp Garfiun. Finally, slide easily back to Klosters, to continue the day whatever way you like.
After my tour last week (Strava says 16km from Klosters Arena (1191m ) to Alp Novai (1363m ) and back, with elevation gain 289m ) I took the train from Klosters Platz back to Davos Platz, and made another magnificent tour, more of which in here.
In the end, this was a loooong day. But definitely worth the effort.
Note: Many of the cross-country skiing tracks in Davos-Klosters go in the valleys, many of which lined with steep and avalanche prone mountain faces. Therefore, before taking the train and heading to ski in Davos or Klosters, check the weather forecast and other current information for the open tracks.
Information can be found in here or in the info boards on the cross-country and village centres in the area.
Psst: For the hungry skiers, there indeed would be an excellent mountain restaurant in Alp Garfiun (1373m) for käseschnitte, beer etc. Yet, be careful as it’s very popular lunch place – right by the cross-country skiing and winter walking tracks – as you may need to wait for a table quite some time.
When I arrived here last week, there wasn’t any single spot left for me to sit down and enjoy käseschnitte (would have been well earned after the 8km uphill) and the excellent mountain views from the sunny terrace while resting my well worked muscles. Though, with this fail I was “forced” to enjoy my (fast visit to Coop on my way to the station) lunch in the train back to Davos. Saving precious minutes to do another long tour the same day.
Where: Klosters – Alp Novai, Graubünden, Switzerland
I think I’ve said this many times already, but I’ll say it again still. The best kind of getaway is the one from which you are more than happy to return to just resting and working by your laptop for few days. Like my recent cross-country skiing getaway in Davos-Klosters.
Last week – with a short notice in the middle of the week, which this lucky bastard can do – I went to Davos for two nights and three perfect cross-country skiing days. In perfect February weather. It was more than great trip and one of the biggest dreams come true.
For the ones not familiar with my history, I learned to cross-country ski almost immediately after learning to walk. As the tradition in Lapland goes. Alpine and freeskiing – and skitouring – came only later and even though nowadays I enjoy them a lot as well, from the 80’s on I have loved this nordic sport the most.
At school though – yes in Lapland you have to ski nordic at school – it was far from fun sometimes. I also have many annoying memories of cross-country skiing with frozen fingers and toes – and frozen bindings – and failed waxing of classic skis etc. Nevertheless, cross-country skiing has been my favourite outdoor sport discipline since the beginning. I haven’t even minded that especially once in a time it was one of the most unsexiest sports, even in Lapland. (Nowadays happy though that it’s very popular even in these alpine countries – I’ve heard this for the reason it being one of the toughest sports there is – the winter version of triathlon and road cycling kind of.
I personally like cross-country – or nordic – skiing because it’s challenging and damn good exercise. And because in Lapland in winter you are almost always just few steps away from the nearest track, free too use. It also brings me to these amazing places, and nicely combines silent natural settings with hard-core exercise, and simply brings me to the best kind of flow state. And what’s best, few hours of cross-country skiing is definitely worth a beer or two. And many pieces of Swiss chocolate. (Btw, on my tours I like to carry along these Arctic Warriors Puhti Honey Shots).
No wonder I’ve been hooked since kid (minus the beer part).
Kinda naturally so then – besides hooking myself to this sport in the Lapland tracks – I’ve for years already dreamed of the best cross-country skiing places around the world, Davos-Klosters high on the list. For the change of scenery and climate and for the higher altitudes too.
And now, after a good bite of the place, I have to say Davos-Klosters is in reality way better than in the dreams.
After this lengthy intro – maybe you’ve seen the pics and stories in Instagram too – you may already guess that my recent trip to Davos-Klosters was awesome. I mean, all this^ and to make things almost too perfect, the weather was the best kind of weather Swiss February can offer, and the amount of snow perfect.
Sun was shining, the snowy pillows glittering, and the flowing rivers kept my side and majestic mountains the back while I glided on. Though I have to admit, at some points my skiing wasn’t very smooth, for various reasons (something to do with lack of training and not the best skis maybe).
I’m going to introduce you to my exact tours of the three days, for inspiration and useful info, in separate posts this week. But to start with, here’s some pics and general information for cross-country skiing in Davos- Klosters.
First of all, take the train to Davos (Davos Platz or Dorf) or jump off in Klosters (about 30min train ride between these two) . Swiss Travel System and the Rhätische Bahn (Rhaetian Bahn) bring you and your skis to Davos-Klosters (in about 2,5h from St. Gallen and Zürich). And when in place, the cross-country tracks, accommodations and restaurants can be found within a close distance to the railway stations, or with the local buses which transport you all around the village centres and in between.
(Read here more of the Klosters-Alp Novai cross-country track & here of the excellent Sertital -loipe.)
Please note that if you are staying the night (or two) in Davos, and pay the tourist tax CHF4 for the night, you also get the Davos Guest Card for the length of your stay. This lets you travel free in Davos, and even between Davos and Klosters.
Moreover, for the skiers one of the best services in Davos is the Cross-Country Skiing Center – Langlaufzentrum Davos – in Davos Platz. It offers you excellent service in the form of toilets, changing rooms and showers (CHF1), lockers, cross-country track information and a bistro for refreshments. You may also note the excellent terrace on the sunny side of the center, in where to relax after good pass on the tracks. Open appr. from 9am to 4:30pm during the cross-country season.
And last but not least, for the skiing itself Davos-Klosters area offers 170km prepared tracks, some of which for skating, some for classic and some for both. For the evening tours, there’s also some lighted trails and snow farming for early season tours. And what’s best, all these are free of charge to use.
So if you’re still wondering, I would just say just book the damn ticket and go here. You’ll not regret, at least if the snow and weather is even close to what I had.
Ps. With the Davos Guest Card you get some discount from the local spa and wellness center, and very good price for the public bath. Nevertheless, next time I am going to book myself into a spa hotel or at least b&b with sauna. Because first, Davos is also more than fine place for a real wellness holiday. And second, even though my choice, the Davos Youthostel, wasn’t bad for the price and for a solo traveler, I rather walk directly to my room in slippers from the spa or sauna, than walk the deep uphill up to the hostel.
I guess that comes from getting used to having the sauna at home in Finland and especially getting used to the perfect winter ritual of cross-country skiing followed by sauna and beer.
So if you have any recommendations for my next trip when it comes to accommodation in Davos-Klosters, please let me know.
Psst. My restaurant recommendation in Davos: Lokal, Promenade 10, Davos Platz.
Where: Davos-Klosters, Graubünden, Switzerland