The Crystal Ski Holidays Blog

A quick guide to Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s national parks and tree-lined slopes are a great alternative to the Alps. And the value for money here is hard to beat, with high-quality hotels for bargain prices – so you can dive into the snow in Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo, without diving into your bank account.

Restaurants next to the ski slopes
Plenty of piste-side action in Borovets

Country stats

Resort height: 925m
Km of piste: 75km

Resort height: 1,350m
Km of piste: 58km

Resort height: 1,600m
Km of piste: 36km

Best for

  • Families: Bansko
  • Après: Borovets
  • Beginners: Pamporovo
Tree-lined slopes in Pamporovo

What’s the skiing like in Bulgaria?

Bulgaria’s a good choice for beginners, with lots of long gentle runs and excellent, English-speaking ski instructors to help hone your skills. Away from the nursery areas, intermediates and families love the many blue and red slopes that snake through the trees.

Tomba and Tomba’s sleeve black runs: Named after Italian racer and Bansko regular, Alberto Tomba, these are the most challenging runs in the resort, with gradients up to 31 degrees.

Snowpark Borovets: At the bottom of the Martinovi Baraki 2 lift, freestylers can get creative on the 300m-long terrain park, filled with rails, boxes, a wall ride and an air bag. 

Ski Road Pamporovo green run: Once you’ve mastered the magic carpet, build your confidence on the Ski Road Pamporovo – a 4km green run that winds from the top of the mountain back down to the ski school.

Bansko Old Town
The cobbled streets of Bansko Old Town

Things to do in Bulgaria

Bansko Old Town: A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983, the old town is full of cobbled streets, stone buildings and traditional Slovak-pubs. 

Horse-riding in Borovets: Saddle up and explore Bulgaria’s natural beauty on horseback. You can go on a short or all-day ride, and add on a barbecue picnic if you like.

Folklore evening in Pamporovo: Every week, the Chevermeto restaurant hosts a traditional folklore evening. The festivities start with the ceremonial chopping of the cheverme – that’s spit-roast lamb – followed by folk songs and dancing. 

Where to eat in Bulgaria

Mehana Momini Dvori: In the heart of Bansko’s Old Town, this traditional Balkan bar serves up regional dishes with a mix of eastern European and Turkish flavours. If you’ve worked up an appetite, the roast piglet is a popular choice.

Vicky’s Pizza: Walk five minutes from the slopes to find one of the best menus in Borovets. Expect a warm welcome and generous portions of barbecued meat and fish. And don’t miss their signature dish, a 1m-long meat sword.

Neptun: This stylish restaurant in Pamporovo offers fine dining that’s easy on the wallet. With an excellent menu including dishes like fillet of Greek sea bass and traditional Bulgarian roast lamb, you might be tempted to visit more than once.

eating next to the ski slope
Eat. Ski. Repeat.

Nightlife in Bulgaria

Sing Song piano bar: This spot in Bansko serves great cocktails, so treat yourself to a daiquiri or an Old Fashioned, then sit back and enjoy some live music.

BJ’s Bar: An Austrian-style après bar, this is a lively way to end the ski day in Borovets. Get there in time for the 2-for-1 happy hour, then play a game of nails – the last person to hammer their nail into the tree stump buys the next round.

Dak’s Bar: Go for a pint of Guinness in the only Irish bar in Pamporovo. It’s popular with locals and tourists alike, and the DJ makes sure the party continues long after the lifts stop. 

Where to stay in Bulgaria

Hotel Lion, Bansko: A modern 4-star hotel that doesn’t scrimp on the facilities, meaning you can add a touch of luxury to your trip without breaking the bank. There’s a large pool, sauna and steam room, as well as a menu of spa treatments if you need some extra pampering.

Hotel Rila, Borovets: This ski-in ski-out, 4-star hotel has everything you need to make the most of your holiday. With a spa, a nightclub, three restaurants and two bars on site, you might not even want to leave the hotel.

Hotel Snezhanka, Pamporovo: A simple, comfy base tucked among the trees, just five minutes’ walk to the resort centre. Relax in the sauna and indoor pool after a day on the slopes. In the evening, you can listen to live music in the hotel’s tavern or show off your dance moves in the disco.

Check out our latest deals to bag a bargain on Bulgaria next winter.

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