Your guide for a cheap and comfortable holiday in Bulgaria

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Bulgaria skiing

Bulgaria Skiing

With a diverse range of ski resorts, Bulgaria is an increasingly popular and one of the most affordable skiing destinations in Europe. Stunning winter scenery with good snow cover, combined with lively après-skiing, creates excellent conditions for a skiing holiday to remember in Bulgaria, it's an appealing blend that attracts visitors from around the globe.

Skiing in Bulgaria is an ideal choice for both beginners, who can enjoy professional and friendly skiing/snowboarding lessons, and intermediate skiers and snowboarders looking to hone their skills on more challenging runs.

Find Airport Transfers from Sofia or Plovdiv Airport to Bansko, Borovets, and Pamporovo

Bulgaria skiing - resortsBulgaria skiing resorts: Bansko, Pamporovo, Borovets

Bulgaria's three main ski resorts are Bansko, Borovets, and Pamporovo, however, there is also a number of smaller, less known but also charming, ski resorts: Vitosha, Chepelare, Malyovitsa, Tsigov Chark, Semkovo, Dobrinishte, Panichishte, Kulinoto, and Berkovitsa. Each of the ski resorts in Bulgaria has its own unique character and charm.

Although skiing in Bulgaria is relatively low-key compared to Switzerland or France, you will generally experience fewer crowds and your Bulgarian skiing holiday won't break the bank. Bulgaria's ski resorts are especially appreciated among beginners, both skiers, and snowboarders, offering them very affordable ski rental, lift passes and lessons with the great reputation (available in English and other languages).

Let's have a close look at Bulgaria's most popular skiing destinations:

Bansko - top skiing destination in Bulgaria

An ideal combination of a modern ski resort with a historic Balkan town, lined with cobbled streets and traditional old-style taverns, at the backdrop of the UNESCO site of the Pirin National Park.

Bansko ski resort is located in the Pirin Mountains, in south-western Bulgaria and 160 km from the capital - Sofia. The closest airports are Sofia Airport (160 km) and Plovdiv Airport (180 km).

Bansko offers the best skiing center and the longest ski season among all Bulgarian ski resorts: from 15 December till 15 May. Bansko ski center can be reached by 25 minutes’ gondola ride, and it boasts over 70 km of marked ski runs aided with 22 km of lift equipment (eight-man gondola, 2 six-man lifts, 6 four-man lifts, 1 two-man lift, and numerous drags). Snowboarders will be especially delighted by the Extreme Fun Park, where they can build their jumps. Both skiers and snowboarders have the option of taking the gondola down or skiing all the way down to Bansko on a 16 km uninterrupted ski road starting from the Todorka Peak (2600 m) - the highest skiable point at Bansko ski resort.

Bansko other activities:

  • Après-ski and nightlife: one of the best après-ski facilities in Bulgaria owing to the proximity of a modern ski resort and lively historical town with a relatively large population (ca. 10,000 dwellers). Bansko offers a great selection of traditional 'mehanas' - taverns serving traditional food in an atmosphere of live folk music performances. If your energy permits, you can end your day in one of Bansko's night clubs: Amnesia, Buddha Bar or No Name;
  • Cross-country skiing: Bansko ski center offers 5 km of cross-country track at the Banderishka Polyana slope (height 1530 m);
  • Ice skating: the ice rink is located near to the gondola base, next to the Hotel Strazhite.
  • Thermal mineral springs: in the nearby village of Banya (5 km from Bansko) you can relax in spas and mineral baths:

Borovets - largest and oldest skiing resort in Bulgaria

Conveniently located just over an hour drive from the capital of Sofia, the oldest ski resort in Bulgaria, set at the backdrop of the highest mountains in the Balkans - the majestic Rila Mountains.

Borovets ski resort is located on the northern slopes of the Rila Mountains, at the foot of the highest peak in the Balkans - Mount Musala (2925 m), and 72 km from Sofia. Borovets is the largest and the oldest, dating back to the 19th century, the skiing resort in Bulgaria. The closest airports are Sofia Airport (69 km - 99 km, depending on the route) and Plovdiv Airport (149 km).

Borovets offers 19 ski runs varying in difficulty, from beginner slopes to a couple of advanced ones, with a total length of 58 km, and skiing as high as 2560 m. There are three ski centers in Borovets, supported by a very well developed lift network, including a six-seat gondola, numerous lifts and drags. Additionally, snowboarders will be excited about two terrain parks. There is also the possibility of night skiing every day, by the Rila Hotel from 17:00 to 22:00. Great ski conditions in Borovets usually last from mid-December until April.

Borovets other activities:

  • Après-ski and nightlife: the most lively and famous après-ski scene among Bulgaria's ski resorts. In Borovets you will find a variety of bars, restaurants, cafes, night-clubs, and discos to keep you busy until early morning hours. Apart from foreign dance music, you can also experience regular Bulgarian folklore evenings with lively dances, music, and traditional cuisine;
  • Cross-country skiing:  there is a total of 35 km of cross-country trails available at Borovets ski resort, e.g. at the Shiroka Polyana (3.5 km), at the Varnika (10 km), in the Sports Centre Bistritsa (10.5 km).

Borovets other winter sports:

  • biathlon facilities - are available for competition and training (in 1993 the World Biathlon Championship took place in Borovets);
  • ski-jumps - there is a 70 m high ski-jump ramp;
  • ski-doo - you can hire a 2-person snowmobile and an instructor to guide you through the resorts' forests;
  • snow-shoeing and off-piste skiing.

Pamporovo - the sunniest skiing spot in Bulgaria

Nestled in the Rhodope Mountains at the height of 1620 m, surrounded by virgin pine forests, and with the most sunshine of all-mountain resorts in Europe, Pamporovo ski resort is the most picturesque Bulgarian skiing destination.

Pamporovo ski resort is located in the southern Rhodope Mountains, at the foot of the Snezhanka peak (1926 m), around 240 km from Sofia and 85 km from Plovdiv (which has the closest airport - only 45 minutes’ drive away). Pamporovo is one of the southernmost skiing resorts in Europe, and therefore the sunniest in Bulgaria skiing spot, with up to 120 days of sunshine during the skiing season.

Pamporovo ski resort boasts 17 marked ski runs with a total length of 37 km, which are served by numerous chair and drag lifts. Due to gentle long slopes and rounded peaks, it is an ideal place for beginners to take their first baby steps, and intermediate skiers and snowboarders to practice and improve their skills on plentiful red runs. To challenge the most advanced skiers, there is a run called ‘The Wall', which is the famous World Cup Downhill run. February is the best month, however also the busiest, for skiing in Pamporovo.

Pamporovo other activities:

  • Après-ski and nightlife: after day-long skiing, you can have fun in a variety of lively bars, pubs, and discos with inexpensive drinks and regular 'happy hours' at the start of each evening. All discos and clubs in Pamporovo offer free entry and play mainly popular dance hits. If you prefer to experience a more traditional Bulgarian atmosphere, you can choose from many folk restaurants in Pamporovo, serving traditional local specialties with famously delicious Bulgarian wine;
  • Cross-country skiing: Pamporovo offers excellent conditions for cross-country skiing with 3 trails of the total length over 30 km, making their way through the beautiful forest of the Rhodope Mountains. The cross-country trail can take you all the way to the nearby village of Mugla;
  • Off-piste skiing and snowboarding: great and relatively safe place for off-piste rides but hiring a local guide is recommended.

And one more thing I forgot to mention... enjoy your skiing in Bulgaria!