Ski & snowboard, equipment hire, lift passes, hotels, transfers
Bansko is the best and the most modern ski centre of all Bulgarian resorts and Eastern Europe in general. Located at the foots of Pirin Mountains National Park nowadays Bansko prides itself with: more than 70km of marked ski runs and cross country tracks (longest run is 3,5km) designed to suite skiers and snowboarders of every level: from beginners and intermediates to advanced and off-piste; altitude of the ski runs between 1100 and 2560m with main exposure being North; 6 chair lifts, 1 gondola (8-seat), 7 drags and 10 baby drags; the best snow record and the longest ski season of all Bulgarian resorts; great variety of accommodations – from guesthouses and cozy family pensions to 5-star hotels; more than 100 taverns (called “Mehana”) with live folklore music and exceptionally colorful nightlife.
►The excellent ski runs comply with the standards of FIS and are located in two main ski-centers – Chalin Valog (The peak’s hollow) (1100-1600 m. a.s.l.) and Shiligarnika (1700-2500 m. a.s.l.). They are situated at approximately 10 km distance away of the town and are easily accessible by the Gondola starting from Bansko. On your way back at the end of the day it is up to you to decide whether to return by the Gondola or ski down the ski road, which marks Bansko as one of the few resorts in the world to offer this option.
►The total length of the pistes is about 70 km (some of them with safety net installations). Several tens of snow cannons maintain the snow coverage in perfect conditions when necessary, making the ski season last longer. Variety of many different inclines and types of snow offer the best opportunities for ski enthusiasts of all levels, from the absolute beginner to the extreme high performer. Some good off-piste riding is available but local knowledge is essential to avoid the hidden dangers. In addition to on-piste skiing, skiers and snowboarders are welcome to the fun park in the “Platoto” area which offers fans of the extreme winter sports the option to ski over present artificial bumps and jumps as well as to build those on their own.
►The ski runs are serviced by a number of chair lifts and drag lifts, all of which are cutting edge Doppelmayer ski lifts, including the 8-man Gondola and the four-chair lift with bubble shields to protect you from harsh weather conditions. Expect no queues for this and the coming seasons for the easy hands-free access to all lifts is secured by SkiData chip-card ski passes that you never need to take out of your pocket, which is still a rare occurrence in many other resorts. There are several monitors broadcasting live the conditions of the upper parts of the lifts, preparing people of the weather expecting them a bit higher in the mountains.
►Last but not least, Bansko offers its guests a unique 16-kilometre uninterrupted skiing, starting from Todorka Peak at the highest point of the ski center, all the way to base station of the Gondola lift at the outskirts of town. The last 7 km of the slope are lighted, and the entire facility is equipped with artificial snow machines to ensure a great skiing experience even in warmer conditions.
► MAP of the Bansko ski tracks
Children of 4 and up are invited to join the Junior Ski Club that will reveal them the first steps in skiing, combined with lots of fun and entertainment. Along with memorable experience kids also get a small gift to take home and the oportunity for further discounts.
OFF SLOPE CHILD CARE
Purposely located on your way to and from the first station of the Gondola, the Non-Skiing Kindergarten takes care of children aged 3-7 (English-speaking only). Supervised activities, fun, games and special entertainment take place Sundays through Fridays from 9.00 to 17.00. Please, note that reservations are made only through your holiday representative on the spot.
The abundance of blue runs and the availability of baby drags make Bansko a great place for first-time skiers and snowboarders. The ski-schools have some of Bulgaria’s best instructors and the ski depots offer the latest in ski and snowboard equipment.
Variety of blue and red runs, suitable to intermediate skiers, make the resort a very good choice both for those committed to becoming experts, as well as for those who take up winter sports merely as a recreational activity.
ADVANCED & OFF-PISTE
While some red runs and the “Alberto Tomba” black run should keep most experts busy, Bansko is probably more popular for its great offerings of extreme and off-piste skiing. The resort is a regular host to extreme competitions, but even on quieter days there is the alternative to compete on pre-defined slalom traces on the marked slopes. The ski and snowboard fun-park area and the half-pipe facility are popular playgrounds for experts to boast their latest tricks. If you wish to take it off-piste, please make sure that your insurance policy covers off-piste skiing and that you take a guide with you.
BIATHLON & CROSS COUNTRY
Bansko, with its biathlon and cross-country trails, is also the choice of Irina Nikulchina and Nina Kadeva, two Bulgarian women that are among the world’s top ten biathlon racers.