Bulgarian resorts have seen massive investment in the past few years, though it is still probably best suited to families and especially
beginners who need to still find their feet on the slopes.
Stay away if you are a 'piste poser', foodie or if you are wanting five star creature comfort - you will not find it here! However, it's perfect
if you are seeking a cheap fun week in the snow and you don't mind the limited slopes Bulgaria has to be on your list.
If you are an ardent ski hound then the limited slopes in Bulgaria will disappoint.
However if you are a beginner or nervous intermediate you will be very happy here for a week as the main benefit of a Bulgarian ski holiday
are the cheap prices. Whether it's the total cost of a package holiday there, the equipment hire, lift pass, or the tuition -
there are bargains to be had everywhere. The après ski scene is particularly good fun and with beer prices less than the price of a glass
of Evian water in France so your pounds will go a long way!
The main resorts of Bulgaria have seen huge investment in recent years.
Bansko is probably now one of the most popular resorts in Bulgaria for British skiers. The traditional town has
now expanded and although lacking in good shopping facilities there are plenty of traditional mehanas (restaurants/bars) with
log fires and traditional cuisine with three course meals starting from around £6 per head.
Bansko has an altitude of 936m which may sound low but with slopes up to 2060m with mainly north facing slopes and with 80% snow cannoned it
provides good conditions for most of the main season. As it is the least busy of the Bulgarian resorts it means that lift queues are not bad.
The skiing centres around two main ski areas: Chalin Valog 1100 -1600m and Shilgarnika 1700m -2500m.
These are approximately 10 kilometres above the town on the northern slopes of Pirin, and are reached by the new gondola lift within about 25 minutes.
Although the pistes are limited there is an estimated 750km of skiable terrain if you venture off-piste.
Pamporovo at 1650m is a purpose built village with everything you will need but in a very basic way. Many hotels have
been recently built and have pools and saunas. Most are situated a free bus ride away from the slopes.
The 25km of pistes extend to 1926m with sheltered (mainly tree lined) short slopes.
The queues again are not too bad. And the area boasts an excellent ski school and crèche.
The après ski here is a little livelier, you are best to stick to the local bars serving traditional food.
The largest resort in Bulgaria, Borovets, is nestled in the beautiful wooded Rila Mountains at an altitude of 1300m.
The area also boasts some of the best ski conditions in Eastern Europe.
The resort has a large collection of modern hotels - but you will also find traditional more unusual bars and restaurants.
Skiing extends to 2550m with many slopes for intermediates and beginners with excellent ski schools.
So, to sum up Bulgaria. The prices are half those of the alps which means that although you won't get the cosmopolitan atmosphere or the
extensive pistes of the alps what you will get is value for money.
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