Bankso & Borovets – The Best Bulgarian Ski Resorts
Published: 08 May 2015
While we’re already in love with the beaches on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, its spectacular ski resorts haven’t strayed too far from our sights just yet. Though ski season may be drawing to a close, it’s never too early to start planning wonderful winter ski holidays. Save yourself the panic and stress of booking last minute ski holidays and get a head start on searching for the perfect ski holiday packages to enjoy later in the year. Whether you’re just a beginner, an expert or somewhere in between, the renowned Bulgarian ski schools, powdery slopes and pistes make skiing in Bulgaria an absolute delight. Here’s our round up of the best ski resorts for you to explore during your Bulgarian ski holidays in 2015.
Bankso (1700 m – 2,650 m):
With 17 pistes that span over 65 km, including cross-country trails and a 16 km uninterrupted run that takes you all the way from beneath a summit to the gondola on the outskirts of town, Bankso is the number one ski resort in Bulgaria. While it does have the best snow record and longest ski season in the country, it’s not just Bankso’s fantastic ski runs that have earned it this acclaim. The resort boasts of state-of-the art facilities such as artificial snow machines to maintain snow cover even in warmer conditions, hands-free ski passes that can be read through jackets, high-end slope maintenance equipment, two chair lifts and a gondola that can carry up to 8 people at once. The ski school here is exceptional and provides English-speaking trainers, making it ideal for beginners. Intermediates can enjoy incredible views and wide tree-lined runs, while experts can attempt the Alberto Tomba black. There’s even a fun park for general skiing and snowboarding in Platoto. If you’d like to add even more thrill to your Bulgarian ski holidays, try paragliding and heli-skiing which are also available here.
Borovets (1,350m to 2,550m):
Borovets has been around since 1896 and is not just the oldest but the biggest ski resort in Bulgaria, perfect for all kinds of skiing trips. It boasts of 20 individual pistes serviced by 11 chair lifts and a 6-man gondola. These trails range from easy to expert level and one of them, Markudjik 3, has even been approved by the International Skiing Federation (FIS) for giant slalom competitions. Pistes are spread over 3 ski areas, which are – the slopes of Sitnyakovo and Martinovi Baraki (with the lower section of the mountains forming the nursery area), the Yastrebets area, which houses the resort's most difficult terrain including three runs used for international competitions; and Markudjika or Moussala Basin which is the highest and only above-tree-line ski area. About 2 km from the resort, there are cross-country and biathlon tracks as well as cross-country tuition tracks. Speaking of tuition, the ski school in Borovets is of an international standard and has more than 200 ski instructors, all fluent in different languages, many of whom were former professional skiers. If you’re already an expert, you can even enrol in The Peter Popanguelov Ski School for Expert Skiing and can spend your Bulgarian skiing holidays honing your skill to ‘world champion’ level.
Whether you choose Bankso or Borovets for your Bulgarian holidays in 2015, skiing can be a risky sport. But with your Bulgarian travel insurance in place, you’ll always have a safety cushion to fall back on, one that won’t melt away when it’s time to face the heat.