Obersee Arosa - Claudio Minonzio
The mountain resort of Arosa is located in the east of Switzerland, in the canton of Graubünden. With a friendly feel in the village and ski slopes that are mainly suited to beginners and intermediates, Arosa is a great choice for families looking for a Swiss ski destination.
The formation of the main mountains that surround Arosa (the Brüggerhorn, Hörnli and Weisshorn) has created a large natural bowl for the skiing areas, which is great for getting to different areas of the slopes. At 1775m Arosa is a high altitude resort, so its snow record is pretty good and the scenery fantastic, although many of the slopes are above the tree level because of this.
Arosa is also a popular summer resort, with a picture-perfect setting thanks to the surrounding peaks and the town's three lakes, Obersee, Untersee and Stausee Isel.
With it's two lakes, Obersee and Untersee, wooded lower slopes and mountain peaks wherever you look, it's hard not to enjoy wandering around Arosa. The resort has done well not to over-develop around the Obersee area, and so the hotels, restaurants and bars are spread nicely around the resort, with the main area of buildings being between Obersee and Untersee, as well as to the east of Untersee. The main ski lifts to get you up into the mountains are situated next to Obersee, and you'll also find the tourist information centre and the sports and congress centre down near the southern edge of the lake.
Arosa was first established as an international destination way back in the 1880's, first as a health centre and then as a winter resort, so the village has many traditional alpine buildings and a real Swiss-chalet style feel to it in many parts.
Arosa has a great skiing heritage. Having been established as a health resort in the 1880's, thanks to its high altitude and sanatorium, it slowly developed into a winter sports resort, with activities taking place on its frozen lakes and mountain slopes, and its first ski lift installed in the late 1930's, followed by the installation of the Weisshorn cable car some 20 years later, opening up a more extensive number of slopes. Strangely, it was a trip to Arosa by the author of the Sherlock Holmes books, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, that helped establish skiing as a real tourist industry in Switzerland amongst foreign visitors. Whilst visiting Davos, Doyle tried his hand at skiing in the local mountains and wrote about his on-slope adventures in a British magazine called The Strand at the end of the 19th century. One of the places he skied at was Arosa, and his story helped attract visitors not only to Arosa but to Switzerland as a whole.
A link to the tourist information site for Arosa and any other useful links about the resort.
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