Bansko is definitely an alternative to Austrian ski resorts for those living in Eastern Europe. After numerous friends praised this place, I got to see for myself the perfect conditions it offers.
This is Bulgaria’s top ski resort and much above anything you can find in the neighboring country, Romania. From Bucharest you need approx. 6,5 hours to get there. It is situated it the Pirin Mountains and offers 75 km of marked ski runs. It’s much quicker to reach by car from Sofia international airport. The A3 highway from Sofia takes you approximately 65 km from destination, journey taking around 2 hours on the road in total.
The slopes are just perfect and once you get to the chair lifts everything runs smoothly. You don’t have to wait at all or max. 2 minutes to take the lifts and enjoy a new descent.
The only inconvenience is the waiting time for the Gondola which is the first lift up, where long queues are formed. Each day we had to wait approx. 45-60 minutes to take the Gondola. But, once you get up to the base platform at 1470 m – no more worries. The good news is that a second gondola project is in talks. There is also the alternative to get up to the platform by car if you’re an early person, or with private shuttles – a bit pricey from what we heard was offered to other groups for a one way.
Just divine snow, view and slopes, perfect for all levels of experience. We were lucky enough to enjoy 3 days of perfect skiing conditions with sun warming our faces.
Numerous bars and restaurant serve the slopes – prices similar to what you get in Austria, value for the money relatively close but still improvements to be made. There is also a language barrier to be considered as English is not a priority to the service personal, but eventually you manage to understand each other.
It was so relaxing. I loved it and can’t wait to return.
Further to the perfect ski conditions, Bansko offers convenient accommodation and numerous restaurants and bars to spend the time after a day on the slopes. Needless to say that you don’t have to worry about the price as it is nothing compared to other resorts in Europe.
As for the accommodation, we have stayed in a rented apartment which was in walking distance from the Gondola – Bansko Royal Towers Apartments.
As for restaurants, we tried different ones and have to say that I was expecting more. Even so, we had an excellent dinner at The Irish Harp (which offers quality Black Angus steaks) and decent ones at the other restaurants we tried.
Wine is a must in Bulgaria, so take advantage and try as many of their local wines as you can. Further, Bulgaria is also famous for it’s fresh cheese.
For me the extended weekend in Bansko was just perfect and looking forward to get back.
My visit period: January 2017.