Bulgaria has fast become on of Europe’s most popular ski and snowboard destinations with a number of modern hotels having been built in recent years amongst the more traditional tavernas. Excellent ski conditions, untouched scenery, and extrememely low prices has meant that in recent years more and more tourists are heading east to see what Bulgaria has to offer.
Bansko is known as a climatic mountain resort blessed with a hot albeit short summer by Bulgarian standards, however it does benefit from a long mild winter. Snow dumps are plentiful during the winter season meaning that the average winter snow cover is over metres thick. The Pirin mountains are visually spectacular and considered by many to be the most beautiful in Bulgaria, and the locals are proud to be residents of one of only 112 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, meaning that Bansko is considered an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The town of Bansko has an historical angle with its 120 cultural monuments attracting many visitors. It is famous for its traditional houses and public buildings such as local museums as well as the Bansko School of Art, which have been fortified over the years whilst maintaining most of their original features. Another interesting building is the Holy Trinity Church which boasts a 30 metre high bell-tower and clock, original woodcarvings, and some wonderful murals. Each August Bansko stages the National Jazz Festival.
Bansko offers skiers a superb 16 kilometre uninterrupted ski run which is the envy of many a resort, commencing at the Todorka Peak (2600 metres) which is the highest point to the west of the ski centre, threading it’s way down the peak and completing it’s journey at the Gondola bas station just to the edge of Bansko.
The final 7 kilometres of the slope are supported by floodlights, and the whole ski centre is well-equipped with new and modern snow-machines which are designed to ensure a world-class standard of skiing whatever the conditions.
Bansko is a great place to visit during the warmer months from May through to October. The Pirin National Park boasts breath-taking views along with excellent hiking and sightseeing opportunities, including a plethora of waterfalls, caves, lakes, and other sites of natural beauty. The town of Bansko and its nearby villages are also known for their mineral water springs famous for their healing properties, perfect after a tough day up on the ski slopes.
Nestled amongst the Rila, Pirin and Rhodope mountain ranges, Bansko is situated in the shadow of the Pirin National Park. Located at 925 metres above sea level its main ski area is an impressive 2600 – 1635 metres above ski level, additionally there is a smaller ski section which can be accessed at the mid-station of the Chalin Gondola (1467m). This region is famous throughout eastern Europe for its authentic cuisine and colourful folklore and is well suited to offering a variety of entertainment opportunities.