Bulgarian ski resort number 1 – Bansko is one of the most modern and the most developed ski centers in Bulgaria. Its slopes are 65km long and are adapted for all types of skiers – from professional to beginner. Bansko belongs to the National Park Pirin which is listed as the UNESCO World Heritage sights since 1983. It is only 6 hours drive away from the south of Serbia. Therefore, we have decided to choose Bansko for our winter holiday and of course ski fun.
At the first glance town with almost 9000 population leaves a great impression. You know when you think of skiing in some prestige resort with a charming place at the bottom of the mountain – well, that is the impression this little town imprints when you see it for the first time. Narrow streets with the wonderful modern architecture of the hotels give you a great reception.
We have settled in a hotel Casa Karina which is situated within the resort and very close to the ski lifts. We loved our apartment there – it was spacious and comfortable with a separate bedroom and a kitchen. The food wasn’t that impressive though, but the vicinity of the hotel to the center as well as a swimming pool and sauna superseded the lack of a good cuisine.
Equipment rental was arranged in advance with a kind local person, since I haven’t had skis with me. Good hearted, smiling man was waiting for us even though his working hours were over. He gave us a few advices and the equipment renting was done in no time. And then we were in for a surprise!
The whole ski lift system is worked out great and it functions flawlessly. An 8-man gondola carries skiers and snowboarders from the ski centre to the beginners’ area in approximately 20 minutes. The ride in gondola alone is worth it because of the view that reaches over the park. Moreover, you can continue the ride in a two man chair lift all the way up beneath the Todorka Peak on 2500m altitude. At least 7km of the slopes are lit and as I have learnt this is the unique center where you can have a great skiing experience even in warmer climate thanks to the artificial snow machines.
Even though, the skiing experience is flawless during the week this changes at weekends since the place becomes overcrowded. The wait for the gondola from ski center you need at least 40 minutes up to an hour. Up at the slopes the waiting time is a bit shorter up to 15-20 minutes. Many people from the inland are there for the weekend skiing. But the tourist flow is versatile. I was surprised by numerous German and Englishmen. Of course Serbs are unavoidable and you could hear Serbian language quite often . That fact does not surprise since the short distance of the ski resort from Serbia as well as the affordable prices that suit Serbian standard.
Thus, prices aren’t astronomical. It is certainly possible to find deep pocket restaurants but when it comes to food, you can find a tasty bite that suits every pocket. One of the main attractions of this lively place is the party life – day time party life. Most of the coffee bars work all day long and parties start from 15h for the great après-ski experience. Loud music comes from most bars and coffee places and simply invites you to join the crowd of blushed, content people right after skiing. This place is certainly a jack pot for the young, so if you want to combine sport and partying, Bansko is the right place for you.