Winter sports might not be anymore a “crème de la crème” reserved for uppers class as it was a century back in time but still is linked with the luxury. The enjoyment of skiing and boarding becomes a passion for more and more people every year. And since many of them are content with more austere accommodation conditions and care only to spend the hours on the slope, most of the winter tourists still look for a comfortable place to stay at affordable price. This is where Bansko ski resortclaims its place on the map.
Located in the heart of the most beautiful mountain in the country – Pirin, Bansko ski complex offers 16 trails combining all levels of difficulty. While actually not the most suitable for absolute rookies, the Bulgarian winter center offers slopes from the light Blue type (Shiligarnik 1) to the most dangerous Black type – the famous piste Tomba used for FIS World Cup competitions is that kind of challenge. Half of the tracks are Red type (like Todorka) so the skiers have to be experienced to show their skills and feel safe there. 16 km uninterrupted ski run from Todorka right down to the base station is one of the main attractions.
The prices of the lift pass start from a Lev for a daily ticker in the low season for children younger than 7 years and go up to numbers like 3500 Euros for a family season pass for 7 members. The average daily pass is in the range of 30 Euro for an adult. In fact, Bansko lost the title for being the cheapest one in Europe – last year Slovenian Kranjska Gora offered the lowest prices. The Bulgarian town is still in the top 3 of the most affordable ski places with the average price of 351 GBP for a 6 day base for the lift pass, ski school, boot hire, drinks and meals on the slopes.
Breathing the fresh air of heights and pumping the adrenaline on the downhill is not the only thing you can do in Bansko. Types of accommodations also vary – from the low-cost family houses priced for 20 Euro for the night to the 5 star luxury of Kempinski hotel situated right next to the starting point of the lift and going high as up 530 Euro for an Alpine suite. You can check out for some of the options in Bansko ski resort HERE. The town has its own atmosphere and a specific regional cuisine available in dozens of pubs and restaurants. Nightlife is also on the menu so the visitor has lots of options to spend the time – not just skiing in Bansko.
The season is long for skiers and snowboarders – the winter might last from November to April. That’s half a year, depending on the weather, of course. And speaking of the natural conditions, most of the time weather reports are favourable for the tourists. Webcams scrutinize what is going on key places in the resort to provide a real-time picture.
There are several issues on the downside though. Only one lift and the ongoing conflict between authorities and environmentalists claim one victim for sure – tourists have to wait for hours sometimes to get on the cabin. Bansko hotels are full in the high season and not enough for the demand, on one hand, on the other, there are complaints that the town has been already overbuilt and is not so peaceful and quiet on holidays. And while it’s possible to overcome such challenges with the right strategy another problem is unbeatable. There is no airport in the vicinity of Bansko ski resort – from Sofia it takes at least 2 hours by car or bus and the other option is the Greek city of Thessaloniki located about 250 km from this Pirin mountain place. But even the affordable beauty has its price, isn’t it?