Home WinterResorts Klosters, a charming historical town with gorgeous pistes up to 2844 metres

Klosters, a charming historical town with gorgeous pistes up to 2844 metres

Ski Resort review 2023/24

by Adam Attew

Klosters Facts

LOCAL AREA: Davos Klosters

SEASON START & END: Mid-November  – Late April

SKI ALTITUDE IN METRES: Davos: 1560 m / Klosters: 1200 m / Ski area: 810 m-2844 m / Vertical Drop: 2034 m

PISTES:  Blue: 25 %, Red: 55 %, Black 20 % // 81 pistes for a total of 267 km

LIFTS: Total 53 

SNOW: Snow-sure from November to May; snow-making facilities as backup (Approx 400 snow cannons)

LIFT TICKET: 2023/24 Ski adult Pass: CHF 69 – 1 day / CHF 380 – 6 days

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: 176 km of trails (free of charge for all guests)

LANGUAGE: Swiss German

AIRPORT: Zurich (140 km)

TRAIN: (every 30 mins) into the centre of Davos and Klosters


-75 % of pistes are above 2000 metres which means guaranteed snow

-12 km run from Weissfluhgipfel to Küblis is an Alpine ski classic

-Freeride only at Pischa

Gotschnabahn Klosters Parsenn C Andri Flury

Klosters Town

In 1893 a resident of my home town Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was the first British person to ski tour from Davos to Arosa, he then wrote an article which was published in Strand Magazine and from that day forth Davos and Klosters was on the ‘British Map’. Klosters became known as a stylish winter and summer holiday destination, with the 1950s seeing a peak of visitors from the American and British film industry giving it the name” Hollywood on the Rocks”, as celebrities and royals have become part of the wallpaper and no one bats an eyelid at the sight of them here.

Klosters is certainly a very pretty town, with a history of farming and the local monastery giving its name to the town (cloisters) and as a result, there are some iconic and very rustic buildings. Klosters is a town one can wander around taking in the old architecture, high design shops and perusing the vast amount of estate agent windows.

We stayed in the Piz Buin Hotel, a lovely 4-star hotel with beautifully designed Alpine chic rooms and suites, we could have moved in for the whole winter. The modern spa and pool were perfect for unwinding after a long day on the pistes and the generous servings in the restaurant were well received after a day on the mountain. For a truly Alpine evening dinner, we recommend a trip up the mountain (by taxi or horse-drawn sleigh) up to Alpenrösli for its charming Alpine cuisine and atmosphere.

If you are looking for some other experiences, Klosters has an excellent area for cross-country skiing. I had a lesson with an expert instructor and within an hour I went from an unbalanced baby giraffe to gliding along the tracks. For a fun night out, we travelled over to Davos to experience an ice hockey game between the local HC Davos and EHC Biel in one of the world’s most architecturally stunning Ice Hockey stadiums, the Davos Ice Stadium; a fast-paced, loud and altogether exciting experience.

Eisstadion Davos Hockey Halle InnenaufnahmeC Marcel Giger

Skiing in Parsenn 

The single cable car – Gotschnabahn leaves from the town centre right by the train station, so one can arrive at Klosters by train and jump straight onto the cable car. One has to swap to another cable car on the way up which travels up to Gotschnagrat at 2285 metres; from here the whole mountain awaits you. One can jump straight into a blue or two other directions via red pistes. This area is known as Parsenn and generally consists of lovely wide pistes which are mostly red, with a few blue and black pistes here and there. 

The general characteristics of the pistes in this area are that they are mostly quite wide with lots of rollers which make for fun and very interesting terrain with pistes that wind their way down the mountain. The skiing at Parsenn is best suited to intermediates and experts with nothing much for beginners.

When it comes to eating on the mountain, we loved the 2843 metre high altitude Bergrestaurant Weissfluhgipfel, try the unique wine spritz made with Swiss blackberry liqueur, and the Kaiserschmarnn, which might possibly be the best we have ever eaten (Sorry Austria). When it comes to views, I was in heaven; as an Alpine artist I had to keep stopping to take photographic references for future paintings, much to the annoyance of my group.

Ski Alpin Parsenn 2021CMatthiasPaintner 1

Skiing in Madrisa

The base station for Madrisa can be accessed by the local bus or by car. Once you travel up the Madrisabahn gondola, one arrives at 1887 metres to a lovely south-facing ski area with stunning views across to Parsenn and along the valley, the sun is their logo for good reason. Whilst not the largest of the skiing areas it has some good long red and blue pistes.

The Madrisa skiing area is mostly aimed at families and the youngest skiers, with a great selection of drag lifts and chair lifts. The blue Piste 4 is a great place to practise carving whilst the slightly steeper and very undulating pistes 5 and 1 are great for practising shorter turns. What makes the area fun for kids is that many of the pistes have undulating dips and bumps making for a playground-style ride. 

There are some harder pistes over the back with red 9 and black 9, these are long with some steeper sections so be prepared, and only take on the black 10 piste to the valley bottom if you have energy and your ski legs are in good working order. For dining, we like the Madrisa Hof, a cosy location with a huge menu that has something for everyone, including delicious food-fired oven pizzas.

Ski Alpin Klosters Madrisa CMatthiasPaintner

As mentioned there is nothing in Parsenn for complete beginners, but with a bit of experience some of the blue pistes are fabulous, for example, 11, 6 and 40/41; but ultimately one needs to be able to ski red pistes to access these pistes. However, Madrisa is the perfect place for beginners and for the little ones to experience their first moments on skis with some perfect nursery pistes and the pistes that will help them progress, plus south-facing pistes mean that the little ones are less likely to freeze.

Intermediates can pretty much ski anywhere they like, with a fantastic array of fun and energetic long rides. We loved the long winding red piste 17 which leads into 21 back down to Klosters. If you include the black piste from the top of the Weissfluhgipfel, you cover many kms on what was once the longest piste in the world back in the 1970s. The ride back down to Klosters might be narrow in places but it is a visual delight as you pass by farms and through forests to finally arrive at the train station. Note that if planning to visit Davos, only a black piste gives you access, but the funicular train is an option.

The black pistes are a pleasure to ski, beautifully groomed in the mornings. We loved the number 7 piste down to Davos, with its 1/4 pipe bowl shape near the top and tree-lined lower pistes, ready for a short walk through town to the funicular though. Like an upside-down ski resort with many of the black pistes at the bottom of the mountain, so make sure that there is enough snow and your legs are ready for it.

Ski Alpin Parsenn 2021CMatthiasPaintner

Ecology & Sustainability Facts

-“Davos 2030” was launched in August 2021, it was the first destination in Switzerland with a Net Zero Target

-800´000 kWh of energy produced through local Hydropower

-CHF 10 million spend on Solar  energy between 2022-27 spread over 40 sites on Parsenn/Gotschna and Jakobshorn

-Power harnessed from the Rieberbach and Leidbach streams to generate electricity. The new power station is expected to generate approximately 1.2 GWh of electricity annually. 

-All oil power systems will be removed over the coming year.

-A satellite-connected system (SNOWsat) has been installed on all snow grooming vehicles, making it possible to measure the depth of the snow during snow grooming. This allows for optimal allocation of the snow, thus saving resources.

Rewilding, the now defunct FIS Ischalp slalom run has been reforested, giving more than 10,000 square metres of the mountainside back to nature.

Klosters, Switzerland

Panoramakarte Parsenn Madrisa

Photos copyright of Destination Davos Klosters


  • Adam Attew

    Ski is life and life is ski, but when Adam is not skiing he is an accomplished Alpine Landscape artist specialising in winter scenes and has exhibited in London, Austria and beyond. With over 40 years of skiing experience from ski touring to Giant Slalom, Adam is a BASI-qualified Ski and Telemark instructor and is also a member of the prestigious Kandahar Ski Club. Despite his love of G&Ts; health and nutrition are a way of life for Adam who has lived Paleo or 'eating like a caveman' for over 20 years.

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