No snow – no problem, Swiss will make it. I spend the last week of 2016 in Davos. I was struggling between going skiing or cross-country skiing as usual, but as soon as I saw the green mountains with white stripes of artificial snow in the middle, I decided for the latter. The snow at trails was artificial too (at least some of it) but it felt as usual. After light snowing, the fields were white so the feeling was good.
Why cross-country skiing?
It is a great sport and everyone can do it! It is a full-body workout as it combines a lower body and upper body workout, while simultaneously working both the “pulling” and “pushing” muscles pf each region. Even muscles that don’t seem to be in use are actively involved to balance and coordinate the entire body (you will know it when waking up in the morning after the intense practice). Cross-country skiing is an excellent form of cross-training and great way to prepare for summer sports and therefore perfect winter work out for practically all athletes – it is an excellent aerobic workout and no single muscle group is over-stressed, which means you can do it for hours. While exercising, you maintain an elevated heart rate, strengthen and improve your heart’s capacity to pump blood efficiently and effectively. To sum up – improves cardiovascular endurance. Last but not least, it is an outdoor activity and a great way to enjoy the sunny (or less sunny) winter’s day.
Photo source: http://www.davos.ch
Davos is VERY friendly place for cross-country skiing. There are many kilometres of trails for skating and classic, there is even a trail where you can go with a dog. The people of Davos are really friendly to the tourists and do everything to attract them. They storage snow and put it on the trails where there is no natural snow. In this case, about 6 km of trails are open which makes it a perfect loop for a workout. There are more trails in Klosters and together with Davos there are over 100 km trails when all are open! The trails are superbly well prepared and I enjoy the cross-country skiing each time.
Photo source: http://www.davos.ch
If you are a beginner, Davos is perfect place to get to known this beautiful sport. You can rent the equipment in one of the many shops and you don’t need any special clothes (winter-running trousers, a light jacket, the gloves and a cap will do). I recommend to hire a coach for the first lesson who will explain how everything works. But the classical technique is really easy (probably not to master, but to move forward and work out) so you can start to work out really fast. The trails around the sports centre are pretty easy, the trails leading to the valleys are for experienced cross-country skiers. However, the place around the sports centre can be pretty crowded, but there are less people on the other trails and you can really enjoy the beautiful nature while working out. And don’t get frustrated if someone surpasses you with an unbelievable speed – the world class athletes are training there.
Where to stay, what to eat?
Davos is not a destination for rich people only. There are many expensive and less expensive hotels in (ask Booking or Expedia or similar pages) but there are also many apartments to rent. I prefer to stay in an apartment close to the cross-country trail. I miss the breakfast, but the hotels can be really pricey therefore I manage to survive with my muesli in the morning. If you have no idea where to go, write to the tourist office and they will make you a suggestion that meets your needs and budget. If staying in apartment, you can cook by yourself of course. If too lazy, you can find many restaurants in the town. Less expensive are the menus at lunch time or the Migros restaurant.
My suggestion for a perfect evening is taking a cable car to Schatzalp and have one of their menus or a cheese fondue there. If enough snow, there is a tobogganing way (open also in the evening) which takes you back to Davos (sledge rental is at cable car station in Davos).
Photo source: http://www.schatzalp.ch
When staying in Davos, there is a bus ticket included in touristic tax so you don’t need your car there.
Other sports: skiing, of course, wandering or snowshoeing and winter walks, swimming (25 m indoor pool), ice skating, curling, shopping, and nightlife.
I’ll be back soon!