Home   Holidays   Article

Winter sports, skiing and socialising on offer in the Graubunden region of Switzerland

For a rank amateur, the prospect of hurling yourself down a mountain attached to a variety of seemingly cumbersome contraptions can, at first, seem quite daunting.

The idea of coming face-to-face with cold, compacted snow or the hard exterior of obstacles on the alpine terrain can chill the bones more so than the softly falling flakes.

But conquering this fear can also prove to be one of the most exhilarating challenges.

Skiers enjoying the slopes
Skiers enjoying the slopes

My time in Graubunden began in the district of Davos, one of the highest inhabited areas in Europe at around 5,120 feet above sea level.

The cool mountain air was invigorating from the first breath, and the luxurious surroundings of the InterContinental Hotel only added to its effect.

From this base, my home for half of my four day stay, I made my first attempts on the mountainside.

While more experienced skiers and snowboarders made use of the wide variety of runs, suitable for all skill levels, my first few hours were spent on the gentle inclines of the nursery slopes.

The chief obstacle was my own timidity. Thoughts of Michael Schumacher’s unfortunate accident and the sight of celebrities tumbling on Channel 4’s The Jump had done little to calm my nerves.

Scenic shots of Davos/Klosters
Scenic shots of Davos/Klosters

My style could initially be described as Bambi on ice but, with the help of my instructor, my confidence soon built. Before long I was throwing myself into the turns and twists of my new found hobby.

Skiing is by no means the only activity on offer and I was keen to try my hand at others.

When the clear skies which blessed my stay in Davos turned to snowstorms at the village resort of Lenzerheide, my final destination, a snow shoe hike provided a unique opportunity.

Far from the gruelling trudge you might envisage, a guided tour through the valley region afforded a more nature-oriented view of the Swiss countryside.

But perhaps the most carefree activity was the use of sleds, which I enjoyed on a number of occasions.

The Priva Alpine Lodge ski resort
The Priva Alpine Lodge ski resort

During my stay I had also been keen to sample the famous après-ski socialising. This was more apparent at the Priva Alpine Lodge, where I would spend the second half of my visit, whose atmosphere was perfect for families or groups of friends.

The two cultures collided one memorable evening at Restaurant Alpenrosli, situated high up in the mountains.

After sampling a fondue and some of the traditional regional delicacies on offer, including the liquid variety, our group made our way home along an unlit toboggan run, winding our way back down to the village below.

A traditional cheese fondue
A traditional cheese fondue

The initial instinct of the health and safety-minded Brit might be to shy away from hurtling along a mountain’s edge, with only the moon to light your path.

But you soon forget any falsely imagined danger in the adrenaline rush which follows.

That little voice of negativity is so often wrong in life, questioning and doubting our actions.

If I take home one lesson from my time in Graubunden, this would be it.

Prices at the InterContinental Hotel, Davos, start from around £260 per room, per night, if you book in advance.

Prices at the Priva Alpine Lodge resort in Lenzerheide start from around £130 per person for a two night stay in spring, with a 10% discount on long-term stay. A free ski school is available for children.

Flights provided by Swiss International Air Lines. Return flights from London Heathrow to Zurich start from £146.

Travel from Zurich Airport to Chur on the Swiss rail system using a Swiss Transfer Ticket.
First class tickets cost £153 per person and second class tickets cost £96 per person (valid for one month).

For more information on tourism in the region, visit the Graubunden Tourism Board's website.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More