It’s easy to see why Bansko is the most popular resort – it has the prettiest, biggest town, best ski area and liveliest après ski. This picturesque old town sits on the valley floor at the foot of the Pirin Mountain in a UNESCO World Heritage site. The conditions are the most reliable in the country – Bansko is known for having the most snow and longest season of all the Bulgarian resorts.
Although knee deep in history, it’s one of the fasting developing resorts of the moment and is constantly improving. Modern lifts serve the ski area which can be completely covered by snowmaking and caters excellently for all levels of skier and rider - the FIS Alpine World Cup has been held here which demonstrates the high level of terrain you can ski. With 100’s of bars and restaurants, this is also Bulgaria’s liveliest resort when it comes to après ski which makes it the most popular destination for groups.
Surrounded by pine forests on the Rila mountain is the famous town of Borovets; the oldest of Bulgaria’s ski resorts with superb beginner slopes and great opportunity for other abilities too. The Biathlon track here is world-class and the nightlife is somewhat legendary thanks to the amazingly cheap price of drink. Borovets is particularly popular with families and beginners and has a strong clientele of return visitors year in, year out.
Nestled in the Rhodopi Mountain you’ll find Pamporovo, the sunniest resort in Bulgaria with excellent slopes for beginners and intermediates and famously friendly locals. This is one of the cheapest places to learn to ski and many opt for holidays here so they can test out the mountains without forking out a fortune – the English speaking instructors, sun-drenched area and gentle, tree-lined pistes are almost certain to give you the skiing bug.
You can ski Bulgaria from the middle of December. Much like its European counterparts, the start of the season can be patchy, so skiing closer to Christmas or beyond will increase the reliability of snow conditions.
Bulgaria has 3 main places to ski:
Bansko has been voted the 'Best ski resort in Bulgaria' at the World Ski awards every year since 2013.
Bulgaria is really accessible for beginners as it lacks the sheer vertical drop you get in France, Austria and other European resorts. Each of the main resorts has its own draw for beginners:
Throughout January you will get consistent conditions, so it's a great time to go for a larger resort with more terrain to discover, like Bansko. Historic snow depth is about 68cm at the summit through the month of January in Bansko.
Snow conditions will typically be great in February. If you're travelling in a high traffic week (like the UK half term) then the larger resorts of Bansko and Borovets have newer, higher capacity lift systems (don't expect French or Austrian efficiency though)
March, particularly later in the month, tends to be the swansong for Bulgarian skiing. The resorts don't have the high altitude you find in the larger European resorts, nor the glaciers. With that in mind, Bansko with it's near 80% snowmaking coverage is the best bet. Failing that Borovets also has 60% snowmaking coverage and the resort itself is higher (1350m elevation to Banskos 925m elevation).
|Property||Resort||Price (per person)|
|Spa Resort St. Ivan Rilski||Bansko||£ 426|
|Aparthotel St George Palace||Bansko||£ 427|
|Hotel Belmont||Pamporovo||£ 529|
|MPM Hotel Sport Bansko||Bansko||£ 589|
|MPM Hotel Guinness Bansko||Bansko||£ 591|
|Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena||Bansko||£ 836|
|Hotel Tanne||Bansko||£ 568|
|Hotel Strazhite||Bansko||£ 555|
|Hotel Premier Luxury Mountain Resort||Bansko||£ 570|
|Hotel Pirin||Bansko||£ 505|