MOUNTAIN BIKING TAKEN TO THE NEXT LEVEL IN DAVOS KLOSTERS
But first, then, a little history…
From Mountain Village to World Famous Spa
The region has a rich history dating back to prehistoric times. Over time, Davos has undergone a remarkable transformation. Archaeological finds suggest that the Davos area was inhabited as early as prehistoric times. However, it is the more recent history – which can still be soaked up here today, as if it were yesterday – that could pique our interest.
Emergence as a spa due to the tuberculosis epidemic in the 19th century
In the 19th century, tuberculosis (also known as TB or consumption) was one of the most deadly diseases in Europe. It was responsible for a large number of deaths, especially among young adults. The disease spread easily in densely populated urban areas, where poor living conditions and lack of sanitation facilitated its spread. Faced with an alarming increase in tuberculosis cases, doctors and health experts sought new ways to treat and prevent the disease.
Mountain Climate as Treatment
In the mid-19th century, it was noted that patients with tuberculosis who lived in the mountains often showed improvement in their health status. It was thought that the clean mountain climate and air had a beneficial effect on the patients’ lungs, resulting in relief of symptoms and sometimes even complete recovery. Davos thus became the spa of choice. Located at an altitude of over 1,500 m, the pure, dry air of the surrounding mountains as well as the favorable climate, with its many hours of sunshine, were considered particularly beneficial for patients’ lung health. Sanatoriums sprung up like mushrooms, and the village was flooded with visitors hoping for relief or a cure for their illnesses.
Transformation into a winter sports resort and the Olympics
In the second half of the 20th century, the popularity of winter sports grew rapidly, and Davos was no exception. Its vast mountainous surroundings offered excellent opportunities for skiing, snowboarding and other winter activities. As a result, Davos developed into a prestigious destination for winter sports enthusiasts from all over the world.
Today, Davos remains one of the most popular and coveted destinations in the Alps. The village has become a modern town with excellent facilities for tourists, including hotels in all price ranges, restaurants, stores and recreational facilities. In addition, Davos is home to the World Economic Forum (WEF), an annual gathering of international leaders and business people to discuss important global issues. In addition to offering a wide range of winter sports activities, Davos also attracts visitors during the summer months. Mountain biking is the most popular activity next to hiking during the warmer season. After our visit to Davos, we know why.
A Playground for Mountain Biking:
Davos Klosters has earned its reputation as a mountain biking playground thanks to its extensive network of trails suitable for all levels of cyclists. From novice cyclists looking for a leisurely ride to seasoned adrenaline seekers craving challenging descents, this Swiss paradise has something for everyone.
Singletrails you won’t soon forget
“Switzerland’s longest singletrail adventure, a 10,000-meter-deep cable car ride, a freeride slope similar to Whistler in Canada and specialized cycling hotels. Davos Klosters is one of the most attractive cycling destinations in the Alps. It doesn’t matter in Davos Klosters whether you have just started mountain biking, already have a good riding technique or are a (near) professional. There is a route for every skill level on the 700-kilometer trail network. The trail ticket in blue, red and black variants helps you classify, just like you know from ski slopes. Most tours have one thing in common: short distances to singletrails and long, flowing descents.” That’s how to picture Davos as a mountain biking region.
We were invited by the tourism department to go on our own adventure in the region to see if these words can indeed be experienced that way.
Bike Academy Davos
We went there with one of our employees who had only recently felt the mountain bike fever. As a beginning mountain biker, Jennifer still had to master all the enduro skills and for this we called on the Bike Academy Davos. That way we could get a good idea of how good guidance can make someone develop into a better enduro rider in a short time.
One of the local guides Heini Stiffler took care of us and took us to the Bike Park to test and improve our skills.
Jennifer was trained in no time, only to tame some nice enduro trails a few days later. Of course this went through trial and error, but it was amazing to see how quickly the technical level went up. And above all…how quickly confidence grew and the fear of falling became less and less. The Bike Academy is highly recommended to raise your level. By the way, the rental bikes are also perfectly fine and customized.
Terrain for all levels
Day 1: Cross-Country
Since the region has an array of well-maintained cross-country trails, our choice for the first day fell on this physically demanding branch of the sport of mountain biking. The trails wind through lush alpine meadows and dense forests. We were immersed in the natural beauty of the region while enjoying the thrill of navigating varied terrain of rock, gravel and meadowland.
While straining on the demanding trails of Davos Klosters, you are rewarded with breathtaking views that seem almost too good to be true. The abundance of natural beauty ranges from lush valleys dotted with alpine flowers to snow-capped peaks that make the whole experience idyllic. The iconic Swiss chalets nestled in this picturesque landscape add extra charm. The trails take you everywhere past meandering, roaring waterfalls and/or cabled streams among the alpine meadows, and with the snow still on the highest peaks. That’s pretty much the picture you’ll find here in late June, making every bike ride – whether you pick the lightest or toughest trails, it doesn’t matter – an unforgettable experience.
Day 2: Electric biking – Enjoyment with the big E
Over breakfast, we wondered if yesterday’s day could be matched. With the e-bikes, we would not be hiking as high and deep into the mountains today, so we thought the views would be a lot less. But nothing could be further from what we thought. Around 9:30 am we were ready to pick up the bikes at the Bike Academy Davos. The bikes for rent at the Bike Academy are of the highest quality and perfectly maintained. And it must be said, we loved the e-biking. After yesterday’s tough ride, it was enjoyable to use the electronic support. In fact, it was much more than enjoyment. What we described above for the cross-country routes is equally true for the less technical e-bike routes. The beauty can hardly be described with a pen and words are in short supply to convey to our readers the feeling that biking in this area brings. You have to do it yourself and experience it, because e-biking allows you to take it all in even more, notice even more details of the natural spectacle and enjoy it even more. For nature lovers, e-biking is simply the best way to fully explore the region around Davos.
Day 3: The first real downhill
On our third day, the time had come. Jennifer was slightly worried. As we sat with our bikes in “die Bergbahn” to the Jakobshorn, her nerves began to get shaky. Would she dare to do it? Was she ready?
A little later it would turn out that she would steadily and in a controlled manner at her own pace complete the entire downhill. Except for one small slide that we were able to capture on camera. Was it perhaps because the camera was present that she made this slip? It probably was.
Once down, it was a matter of getting the adrenaline rush back under control and curbing the happiness hormones a bit, before taking the mountain railway back up for another adrenaline shot.
Mountain biking is cult in Davos
Davos Klosters prides itself on being more than just a mountain biking destination; it is a culture. Among the population, mountain biking is a part of life that children are introduced to at a very young age. The region hosts several prestigious mountain biking events that attract enthusiasts and professionals from all over the world. These events include competitions, workshops and guided rides, giving visitors the chance to connect with like-minded individuals and the local mountain biking community.
Similarly, the Swiss Epic draws to Davos annually. This multi-day mountain bike race that attracts athletes from around the world has start and finish of the fifth and final stage in Davos. Participants go on an epic journey through the Swiss Alps, braving challenging terrain and experiencing the best of what Davos Klosters has to offer.
Mountain biking is cult in Davos and every mountain biker should put this on their bucket list and also tick it off very quickly!