8 Best Day Trips from Davos, Switzerland 

Davos is famous for hosting the world’s top leaders every year during the World Economic Forum. But not only that. It is also a popular ski resort and one of the highest towns in Switzerland at 1,560 meters above sea level.

The town boasts of six skiing areas to choose from – Parsenn/Gotschna, Jakobshorn, Pischa, Madrisa, Rinerhorn, and Schatzalp/Strela. It is one huge winter arena with more than 300 kilometers of slopes, 100 kilometers of cross-country ski tracks, 58 ski lifts, two ice skating rinks, and curling fields.

And although Davos so many activities available, those who spend several days here might still want to do day trips from there.

For those who want to venture for day trips while based in Davos, here are some ideas for you.

1. Zernez

Image of Zernez by Viola ‘ from Pixabay

Around 42 minutes (or 34 kilometers) away car, Zernez is really close to Davos and perfect for a quick day trip.

Zernez is located in the Val Müstair Region in Lower Engadine. Zernez is the base for those who wish to visit the Swiss National Park. The national park has 100 kilometers of nature trails with 21 routes. The Swiss National Park is mountainous and lies between 1,400 and 3,200 meters above sea level. There are also guided and educational walks available.

A National Park Center in Zernez houses permanent and temporary exhibitions, an information desk, as well as a shop.

If you would like to read more about the beautiful villages in Lower Engadine, check out our article 6 Best Villages in Lower Engadine, Switzerland.


2. Lenzerheide

Image of Lenzerheide by TouringSwitzerland.com

You can also take a day trip to Lenzerheide from Davos in less than an hour. There’s only 38 kilometers between Davos and Lenzerheide.

The Lenzerheide region is another popular mountain resort in the canton of Graubünden. It is connected to another mountain resort – Arosa. Lenzerheide is famous for two things: biking and families. It is a well-known biking paradise with lots of trails and facilities for bikers. Bike Kingdom Lenzerheide opened in June 2020 and welcomed visitors. The Bike Kingdom is the place to be to enjoy freeride trails with various levels of difficulty.

For families, there are also so many activities: a Globi (cartoon character) themed trail, rope park, toboggan run, tennis court, swimming pool, fox trail, and family-friendly lake (Heidsee). Watersports enthusiasts also have windsurfing, sailing, wakeboard, and stand-up paddling offers in the Heidsee Sports center.


3. Guarda

Image of Guarda by TouringSwitzerland.com

Only 37 kilometers away with a car and perfect for a day trip, you can reach Guarda from Davos in less than an hour.

Guarda makes for another relaxing day trip from Davos. It is a small, incredibly picturesque village made famous by the children’s storybook Bell for Ursli (Schellen-Ursli). The charming houses showcase an art called sgraffiti. Sgraffito is a technique of wall decor produced by applying layers of tinted plaster in contrasting colors to produce art or patterns. Windowsills are also often adorned by flowers.

Schellen-Ursli is one of the most famous children’s books in Switzerland. The book was written by Selina Chönz and illustrated by Alois Carigiet. It is set in Guarda and talks about the bell that Ursli received for Chalandamarz. Chalandamarz is an annual tradition on the first of March wherein the young children try to drive out winter using their bells.

In 1975, Guarda received the Wakker Prize. The Wakker Prize is a yearly award for a specific city, town, village, or group by the Swiss Heritage Society. It honors efforts to preserve and develop the architectural heritage of a location.

If you would like to learn more about Guarda, check out our article Guarda: Explore This Fairytale Village in Engadine, Switzerland.


4. Chur

Image by JimboChan from Pixabay

Davos is a great base for a couple of days, but if you want to explore a larger city, Chur is also great for a day trip. From Davos, you can get to Chur in an hour.

Chur is definitely a city worth visting. The small alleys, the churches, the castle, the museums, shops, and restaurants… the city has lots of places to visit. It is the capital of Graubünden – and earns its name as the gateway to Grisons. In Switzerland, this means the gateway to its Eastern Alps.

Chur has an old town dating more than 10,000 years. You can also visit the St. Mariae Himmelfahrt Cathedral and St. Martin Church. For museums, take your pick – Art Museum, Natural History Museum, Rhaetian Museum, Forum Würth, Vinicultural Museum. There is also an Archeological Site in Chur from the Roman Era. This structure was designed by local architect Peter Zumthor.

For more detailed information about visiting Chur from Davos on a day trip, please visit our article Is Chur Worth Visiting? 8 Fun Things To Do In Chur.


5. Scuol

Scuol
Image of a house in Scuol from flickr

Davos to Scuol is only one hour away by car. It’s a perfect day trip from Davos, too.

Scuol is a sunny and beautiful village in Lower Engadine. It has thermal baths from 25 mineral sources. Even the spring water from the village’s faucet churns mineral water. For those who want to go to the mountains, Motta Naluns is a fantastic place for hiking, biking, paragliding, skiing, and snowboarding.

Lower Engadine‘s famous landmark – The Tarasp Castle – is also worth visiting. The castle was built back in 1040 and belonged to Austria. In 2016, the castle was turned into a national and international cultural attraction featuring contemporary art and a sculpture park. It also has a 3,000-pipe wooden organ.

If you would like to read more about the beautiful villages in Lower Engadine, check out our article 6 Best Villages in Lower Engadine, Switzerland.


6. Flims

Image of Caumasee, Flims by TouringSwitzerland.com

Flims is around 1 hour and 8 minutes away by car from Davos and makes for a good day trip.

One of the most popular spots to visit in Flims is the turquoise lake Caumasee as shown in the image above. Another option is the nearby Crestasee. There is also a beautiful viewpoint of the Ruinaulta canyon called Il Spir, quite near Caumasee lake.

Flims Laax Falera is a huge ski and snowboard resort well-known for its numerous snow parks. This resort has the world’s largest half-pipe. It also hosts numerous world events during winter. Due to its size and variety, it is a prized destination for beginners and advanced winter athletes and sports enthusiasts alike.

Want to see LAAX in action? Take a look at this video by LAAX Resort:

For more detailed information regarding the Flims Laax Falera ski resort and other ski resorts near Zurich, please visit Popular Ski Resorts Near Zurich – Flims Laax Falera.


7. Pontresina

Image of Pontresina by TouringSwitzerland.com

Pontresina is one of the best mountain resorts near Davos and it’s only 1 hour and 15 minutes away.

Located in the Engadine Valley, Pontresina is surrounded by fragrant pine forests, glacial valleys, and high mountains. Located at 1,805 meters above sea level, it’s a beautiful sunny place at the mouth of Bernina Valley, the highest valley in Upper Engadine.  One of the most popular winter and summer resorts in Switzerland, Pontresina is a picturesque mountain village you have to see.

Pontresina has gorgeous 17th and 18th-century houses and chic Belle Epoque hotels. Pontresina boasts glaciers, snowcapped peaks, and thick forest, as well as spas, wellness centers, and plenty of activities and adventures for young and old.

If you would like to read more about Pontresina, you can check out our article Visiting Pontresina, Switzerland: 8 Best Things To Do.


8. St. Moritz

St. Moritz Lake by TouringSwitzerland.com

St. Moritz is without a doubt the most famous mountain resort near Davos. With only 1 hour and 16 minutes (67 kilometers) from Davos, it’s a great day trip.

The first winter sports resort in the world, St. Moritz is world-famous. St. Moritz has always been about beauty and luxury. In addition to its grand hotels, the town is known for its ski resorts. St. Moritz is a high-end vacation spot that offers modern amenities and architecture.

You can find St. Moritz above the St. Moritz Lake (St. Moritzersee in German), which gets frozen in winter. In the village, there are many things you can do. You can visit the following the town, go shopping, visit museums, swim, or go to the bob run.

St. Moritz has 25 crystal clear mountain lakes adding to the beautiful Alpine scenery. Some of the nearest ones are Lake Staz, Lake St. Moritz, Lake Champfèr, and Lake Silvaplana. There are forests and glaciers to enjoy. Hiking, climbing, sailing, windsurfing, horseback riding, golf, tennis, and skiing are also possible here.

If you would like to read more about St. Moritz, you can check out our article How to Spend 1 Day in St. Moritz, Switzerland.


Summary

Fuorcla Surlej near Pontresina and St. Moritz by TouringSwitzerland.com

For those who are staying for a couple of days in Davos and wish to venture out to other places, we hope that this list was helpful.

In summary, for those in search of bigger places with loads of activities, then Chur and St. Moritz are good options for you. For those who want something more tranquil and surrounded by beautiful nature, then Scuol and Zernez would be our pick. Pontresina has a lot of alpine ibex, which live high up in the mountains. Small, picturesque villages that you can stroll in within two to three hours (or maybe even less) would be Guarda, Zernez, and Scuol.

One of my favorite spots in Graubünden, Fuorcla Surlej is near St. Moritz and Pontresina.

For those who are seeking sports, be it in water during summer or in the mountains during winter, then Lenzerheide and Flims are good options for you to try. Both resorts have many activities – be it biking, hiking, skiing, etc. Zernez is also lovely for hiking and animal watching.