Skiing in Bulgaria
Why skiing in Bulgaria is so awesome
When talking about Bulgaria, the first thing you'll most likely mention is its unique beauty of nature. From lengthy beachlines to millennium woods and top-notch ski resorts – this small country has it all. As the ski season is currently in, you'll probably be interested in learning more about the most popular ski destinations in the Eastern European country as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages of going on a ski holiday in Bulgaria. So, here we go.
Where to go skiing in Bulgaria?
To begin with, Bulgarian ski resorts are no match to the Swiss, French and Aussie ski destinations of worldwide popularity. However, lots of people run from the overpriced premium price tag ski resorts and instead choose Eastern Europe and Bulgaria in particular. The main ski resort destinations in Bulgaria are Borovets, Bansko, and Pamporovo. They are the biggest and most developed.
Borovets is the biggest and oldest ski resort. It's an Alps-type resort and is very close to the capital - only 70 km from Sofia. The place is ideal for intermediates so you can enjoy an overall of 58 km of ski slopes. Pamporovo is the third biggest ski resort in Bulgaria and is located in the heart of the Rhodopes. As it's more to the south, this resort is sunnier. Compared to Bansko and Borovets which are famous for their nightlife, Pamporovo is much quieter and is ideal for beginners looking for a family ski holiday or a ski school.
As for Bansko, this resort set in the scenic Pirin National Park is undoubtedly one of the most promising holiday destinations for skiing in that part of Europe. According to Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph, Bulgaria's most modern resort is "the cheapest place in Europe for a family skiing holiday". A one week ski holiday for a family of four costs roughly 1770 euros. Now we know why Bansko has been awarded Bulgaria's №1 resort for the 7th consecutive time by the World Ski Awards.
Prices and comparisons
Usually, ski holidays take a big chunk of the family budget. This is not the case with skiing in Bulgaria. In most cases, you will be able to book a ski package for almost two-thirds the price of a holiday in the premium ski resorts in the Alps. This applies to everything - from accommodations to lifts, ski instructors and meals. Compared to West European ski resorts Bulgaria is a big bargain. Just make sure you buy pack yourself with food and drinks from the nearby cities and towns because the prices are doubled on the slopes and lifts.
The quality of the facilities, the food, and the experience
If you're looking for a place to start your ski experience, Bulgaria is the ideal destination for new skiers or rusty ones. Still, there's enough diversity as both Bansko and Borovets offer a good diversity of blue, red and a few black runs.
The ski instructors are experts, speak good English and cost cheaper compared to those in the West European ski resorts. For example, a two-hour private lesson in Bansko will cost you around 66 euros versus 90 euros in France.
As for the quality of the facilities, Bansko is definitely the most developed ski resort in Bulgaria and it's safe to say that its ski base and accommodation are as good as anywhere in Europe and the world. Moreover, this resort has been hosting World Cup races for the last few years. The other resorts have somewhat dated chairlifts and T-bars. Fortunately, they're slowly updating their facilities.
Unsurprisingly, the Bulgarian culinary cuisine is an eye-catcher for first-timers. The huge variety of soups, salads, barbecue skewers, and slow-cooked meat and vegetable dishes is bound to mesmerize every foreigner without any effort. The best part about the food and drinks in Bulgaria is that they're mostly organic, fair trade and homemade, so everything is rich in flavor.
Wine lovers will be more than satisfied too as you can easily get organic red, white, and rose wine from a nearby vineyard at a bargain price. You can also try out the bargain beers or the typical Bulgarian alcohol drink, rakia. Whether you like partying till dawn or you are into quieter places, there's an abundance of places to go – from the cozy traditional taverns called mehana to bars and discos. It's all up to you!
Is a ski holiday in Bulgaria worth it?
To conclude, skiing in Bulgaria is definitely worth it, especially if you're a first-timer or a beginner. Moreover, it's an ideal place for a ski holiday on a budget. So, if you want to make the most of your money or you're just looking to discover the culture of Bulgarian cuisine, life, and entertainment, then you should definitely visit the country for a ski trip.