Bulgaria is not only a summer vacation destination, but it also attracts ski lovers during the winter season – from December till April. Bulgaria is the perfect winter escape country with breathtaking mountains, various ski trails and great SPA hotels with outdoors hot mineral springs for those who imagine their winter vacation relaxing and having a great time. Three of the biggest ski resorts in Bulgaria are situated in the heart of the mountainsRila, Pirin and the Rhodopes. Borovets is located in Rila Mountain and is the closest to the capital Sofia. Pamporovo is located in the Rhodopes and Bansko is nestled in the PirinNational Park.
Why visit Borovets?
If you are a winter sports person and want to go skiing, freestyle, free ride, free touring or ski running nearby Sofia, Borovets might be the best option for you. There are 25 trails for all the ages and levels of difficulty with a total length of 58km. You will find green (for beginners), red (intermediate), blue (easy) and black (experts only) ski trails open during the high season. There is a kids snow park called „Borokids“for children willing to learn how to ski. Borovets attracts passionate snowboarders as it’s a real challenge to go snowboarding there. You will easily find ski and snowboard schools if it is your first time skiing. There are different ski passes, ski and snowboard rental shops where you can get equipment. Lifts are open according to the weather conditions and there are gondola lifts, high-speed quads and surface lifts. The ski trails in Borovets are open till 22.00 in the evening. Borovets is an affordable winter resort where you can have a wonderful winter vacation.
Almost every resort in Bulgaria offers a variety of SPA hotels available not only for the guests of the hotel but also for outside visitors. If you prefer to chill and soak in a hot spring pool just pick up one of your choice!!!
If you are a mountain bike lover, you can visit Borovets outside the season and enjoy a great ride in nature. Once the winter is gone, it’s time to rediscover the mountains’ bikes trails!!!!
Why visit Pamporovo?
Pamporo is not close to Sofia, but it’s located in the heart of the mystical and picturesque mountains of Rhodopes. This is the sunniest ski resort in Bulgaria – with more than 100 sunny days during the winter season only! Pamporovo is the best option for beginners. The longest green ski trail in Bulgaria is located there. Ski area MechiChal might be a challenge even for very good skiers and professionals as the main slope is red. The ski lift for Pamporovo provides access to MechiChal too. For better convenience, a special ski shuttle bus is available on a schedule to make it easy to reach the two ski zones. Ski lifts are free of charge for those who have purchased ski passes.
MechiChal is in constant development to host world rang competitions and winter sports events. There is a children ski area with a 24-meter conveyor belt. If you prefer snowboarding, you can enjoy it in Pamporovo, but the best trails for snowboarding in Bulgaria remain the ones in Bansko and Borovets.
Pamporovo is located in a region rich in natural wonders – one of the 100 tourist’s sites, Snejanka Peak, is located there. If you have the stamp booklet, you can pick up yours in “Studenets” rest house. For those who are fond of mountain biking, there is a special biking park in Pamporo, which is the biggest on the Balkans. If you love sightseeing and like visiting a different place every day, the villages of Gela and ShirokaLaka are situated nearby. The city of Smolyan is also not far away. If you need some rest, you can always find a nice SPA to hang out all day long and admire the snow outside.
Why visit Bansko?
Bansko is the most famous of the three resorts. It’s nestled in the heart of Pirin National Park. There are diverse ski slopes not only in the city itself like Shiligarnika, but also in Dobrinishte village located in 10km from Bansko. The highest ski point is 2560 m and the lowest is 1000m. The total length of the trails in Bansko is 75km and one-third of them are for beginners. There are also red and black slopes, so if you are a pro, don’t worry, Bansko is the place for you. Snowboarders are welcomed in Bansko too.
This is the perfect place for a winter vacation as there are plenty of activities you can do apart from skiing and snowboarding. The first thing not to miss out is to head to an epic ride with the Rhodopes Narrow Gauge. You can take the train from Bansko/ or Dobrinishte as this is the departure point and head to a place of your choice. The last stop is Septemvri, but Septemvri might be quite far away, that why just check the map and ask at the train station information desk what’s the best option. It’s once in a lifetime experience and you won’t regret it!!! The most important is to see the highest train station in Bulgaria called Avrmovo.
Bansko is rich in mineral springs and if you like outdoors hot springs and SPA, this is the place to be. There are also various museums and galleries that you can visit. If you go to Bansko in the spring or the summer, put on your radar the oldest tree in Bulgaria – called Baykushevata Mura and 1300 years old!!!
If you are looking for something really special, try Bansko regional cuisine. This cuisine is authentic and has the taste of the great PirinMountain. The most famous one is called Banskistarets(homemade salami made of pork) Banskakapama (stuffed cabbage rolls with different types of meat -pork, chicken, beef, salami), chomlek (a dish made of beef shank with vegetable stew cooked in a earthenware pot), homemade bread, Katino meze (Beef and pork tenderloin cooked with spices, white wine and mushrooms), karvavica (large pieces of beef and porkand their heart, lung and kidney seasoned with spices and stuffed in large intestine and all dried together), shudjuk (sausage made of pork and its heart, kidney and the like), homemade yoghurt with blueberries and honey. Bon appétit!!!
After the sunny beaches, comes the winter. Enjoy it!!