Bulgaria is becoming a popular European ski holiday destination because of the low prices, friendly local people and spectacular mountain scenery. One of the best places for beginners and intermediate level skiers, the main resorts are Borovets, Bansko and Pamporovo. Each has a low cost ski school and excellent four star hotels that are very reasonably priced.
Borovets is above the clouds on the northern slopes of the Rila mountain range with the highest peak at 2,925 metres. The sixth highest mountain in Europe, if offers excellent skiing. It is a good place to learn skiing with the ski school that gives four hours lessons per day, so the rest of the time visitors can test their new skills.
Beginners get instruction in English with the gentle slopes very near the village. There are also good runs for intermediates. Expert skiers can try the World Cup run used for testing or the off-piste skiing through the trees on pristine snow.
Famous for its après ski, there are many bars and discos that serve low priced drinks, and Borovets is considered a great place for groups or young couples. There are classical inns with big log fires and bars with loud music and dancing. There is something for everyone.
Bansko is a Bulgarian town that has been given a make-over into a great ski resort while retaining all of its traditional charm. With 65 kms of runs that are perfect for beginners and intermediates, they also have a good ski school with English speaking instructors. There are blue and red runs for intermediates that are joined by drag lifts and chair lifts. Expert skiers will find off-piste competitions and extreme terrain. There are also some red and black runs in the main ski area.
There is a gondola lift as well as 27 other lifts and drags that can accommodate up to 24,500 people an hour. The summit is at 2,600 metres with the ski runs ending in the town.
The hotels are new with high quality accommodation at very reasonable prices. Many hotels have swimming pools, spas and saunas. The old town has quaint shops and almost 100 restaurants that serve well prepared local cuisine as well as international dishes. For great relaxation, visitors enjoy the thermal mineral springs just five kms from town.
It’s a good place for family ski holidays because there are special activities for children including playing in the snow, ski lessons, lift pass, drawing and colouring. All of these activities are on the slopes next to the gondola lift.
Pamporovo, in the south of Bulgaria, is one of the most popular ski resorts in the south of Eastern Europe. Located in pine forests, it is considered a good place for beginners and intermediates. The southern-most ski resort in Europe, it is on the southern slopes of the Rhodope Mountains with the highest peak at 1928 metres. The winter sport season is from December to May with mostly sunny, mild days.
There are 18 lifts, 25 kms of ski runs and 38 kms of cross-country skiing pistes. They have six snow cannons and guarantee a good level of snow. The highly qualified ski instructors speak many languages and also give lessons in snowboarding.
There are 11 beginner slopes with inexpensive English language group lessons. Intermediate skiers can ride to the summit and ski on a choice of several runs back to the village. Advance skiers can try the challenge of the Wall. It is a black run, steep mogul field. There is also an international slalom course where skiers can be timed and several long red runs.
There are many après ski bars that locals also love with entertainment programmes. Hotels offer different amenities including swimming pools, saunas, nightclubs, folklore nights and bowling. For a break from skiing, visitors can go to Greece by car through a new border crossing and visit the coastal cities.
The resort offers child care services where children have great fun in the snow with or without ski lessons. There are group games, sledging and other outdoor games. Later, they can go inside and watch movies, play games or draw. There are children’s menus that offer items children will like.