There are several claimants to the title 'Home of Alpine Skiing,' but few with the credentials of the villages scattered around the famous Mount Parsenn in the Swiss Alps. English tourists began appearing in the area in the1860s, wooden skis appeared from Norway in the 1880s (to be copied by local carpenters) and some of the world's first ski lifts went into operation here in the early 1930s. When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, visited the area in 1894, he predicted the growth of skiing, "I am convinced that the time will come when hundreds of Englishmen will come to Switzerland for the skiing season," he told a contemporary magazine. The great Holmes himself could not have made a more astute presumption...and this was after Conan Doyle had spent a good part of his visit face down in the snow like most first time skiers. You won't find big groups of tourists in Klosters, which appeared way back in 1220AD. The first hotel in the village opened its doors to winter visitors in 1904, but the village hasn't felt much of a need to advertise itself in the usual ways - magazines, travel agents. Indeed the majority of guest beds are in private chalets, often occupied for the whole winter by the rich and the Royal looking for genuine escapism without the glitz (British Prince Charles used to recharge his regal batteries here each winter and still visits frequently). That's not to say that there isn't plenty of room for lesser mortals. Whilst many famous resorts can't resist the temptation to 'maximise their assets', Klosters, located in the Prättigau Valley and with a population of less than 4000 spread between seven hamlets in the area, has secured long term success by controlling its growth. Instead of spending on going 'large', the village has chosen to maintain its picture postcard Swiss architecture in stunning Alpine scenery. At the same time the lift link to Davos and all the kilometres of trails in between ensure that visitors have a truly world class winter sports arena to enjoy, and unlike many big areas, there are challenges for all ability levels here, not just endless intermediate level terrain. Klosters, in common with Davos, St Moritz and several other famous Swiss ski centres, has two sectors known as Klosters Platz and Klosters Dorf. Platz is by far the more lively and centre for most of the hotels, bars, restaurants and shops as well as the cable car link towards Davos. Dorf is the better choice if you're wanting a quiet time. It has the gondola lift to Kloster's own ski area on Madrisa, a free bus service link the two.
A pretty village that is a favourite with British royal skiers, lift-linked to skiing at Davos and with excellent local facilities.