A ski trip around Bulgaria
It is said that Bulgaria has all it takes to attract tourists and visitors all year round – a wonderful seaside, numerous SPA resorts and many skiing hotspots. A lot has been said and written about Bulgaria’s many ski resorts, though the biggest – Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo, get almost all the attention. We will present to you an overview of 7 of the best ski resorts around Bulgaria trying not to steal the spotlight from the smaller ones.
It is only natural that we will start with Bansko – Bulgaria’s premier ski resort which boasts the most modern ski centre in the country. The 2009/2010 season in Bansko started on December 12th with a parallel slalom of Olympic and world champions. In the last few years a lot of investments were made in the resort resulting in a brand new skiing area and a number of luxury hotels and holiday developments. The ski slopes are suitable for skiers of different levels – from beginners to those who love extreme skiing; after a day on the slopes the restaurants tempt with cozy atmosphere and typical Bulgarian cuisine and shopaholics have the new Mall of Bansko at their disposal. The cherry on the cake is the fact that in the last year or so property prices in Bansko have decreased by as much as 50 percent and now owning a holiday home in the resort in no longer a dream.
The winter season in the other big ski resorts around Bulgaria start as follows:
• Borovets – December 20th
• Pamporovo – December 19th
• Vitosha – December 18th
The next ski resort on our list is Borovets. Like Bansko, a lot has been said and written about this winter retreat, but if you are looking for a smaller resort that will give you a sense of space and freedom then this is the perfect place for you. Borovets has it all – 45 km of ski runs of different level of difficulty, a busy nightlife, it is very close to the capital Sofia (about 70 km) and it can be used as a starting point to a number of magnificent spots in that part of the country.
The ski resort of Pamporovo is set in the magical Rhodopi Mountains – the home of the mythical Orpheus. Pamporovo is also the sunniest mountain resort in the country. The mountain’s rounded slopes and summits makes Pamporovo particularly suitable for beginners but more experienced skiers shouldn’t worry as they will find runs suitable for them as well. Après-ski in Pamporovo is lively with plenty of options to choose from, whether you're the kind of holidaymaker who prefers sipping wine in a cozy piano bar, or partying the night away in a club.
Sofia is one of the few capitals in Bulgaria that can boast a ski resort that is right next to it. Vitosha Mountain protects Sofia from cold winds but it also provides a retreat from the big city, wonderful nature and various ski runs suitable for skiers and boarders of any level. On Vitosha tourists will not find the night life and après ski of the bigger resorts in Bulgaria but the great advantage is that you can be back to Sofia in no time at all where you can choose among a great number of bars and restaurants.
Dobrinishte (5 km from Bansko) is a synonym of alpine nature, mineral waters and a typical atmosphere of a Bulgarian village. This unique combination turns the rich in history village in an exclusively perspective mountain resort. Dobrinishte did not develop like Bansko and remained an unspoilt small resort away from the crowds with just a few family hotels and restaurants. Apart from being a wonderful place to ski Dobrinishte is also appropriate for balneotherapy, tracking and alpinism.
We will now go to the grand Rila Mountain where the resort of Panichishte is nestled on the border with the Rila National Park. It is said that Panichishte is a yet-to-be-discovered gem of ski tourism. Currently Panichishte is not very well developed but it is said that soon it will be able to compete with the biggest resorts in the country like Bansko and Borovets as a lot of investments are planned to be made there. For now the resort is more popular among Bulgarians as it is known as one of the least expensive places to spend your winter vacation. Another advantage Panichishte has is its closeness to the spa resort with the hottest mineral water in all of Europe – Sapareva Banya, where one can relax after a dynamic day on the ski slopes.
Moving north-east to the geographical center of Bulgaria we will find a hidden treasure – the resort of Uzana, set just 22 km from the picturesque town of Gabrovo. If you are looking for peace and tranquility, for unspoilt nature and birdsong, for a feeling of freedom and grandeur then you are sure to find it here in the heart of Stara Planina Mountain. The area provides great opportunities for snow-sports, mountain and ecological tourism. The biggest ski piste is 1,300 meters long as there are a few smaller ones for beginners. Uzana is the perfect place to recharge your batteries and immerse oneself in the beauty of the surrounding nature.
There are many more places to go during your winter vacation in Bulgaria and you are sure to be enchanted by them. However, there is something that only enhances the charm of the ski resorts in Bulgaria, something that can make you come back again and again. This is the fact that currently properties around Bulgaria are extremely affordable due to the crisis that lowered their prices (in some areas by up to 60 percent) and at present one is sure to find a bargain property close to the resort that has enthralled them.
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© Bulgarian Properties Ltd. 2009.
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