Bansko Ski Resort Guide
Bansko in Bulgaria provides visitors with a multitude of beginner and intermediate level ski runs and a friendly atmosphere.
Skiers that need a bit more challenge will enjoy the red and black runs on offer.
Everyone, regardless of expertise level, will appreciate the fresh, reliable snow-cover and the extensive après-ski scene.
Bansko is the largest ski resort in Bulgaria and it is located in South Western Bulgaria at the foot of Pirin Mountain on the River Glazne.
You can easily get to Bansko from either the Sofia International Airport (Bulgaria’s capital) or the Plovdiv airport, both of these airports are located about 100 miles away.
It will take you two hours and five minutes from Sofia and two hours and forty minutes from Plovdiv.
The town of Bansko is known for its rich cultural history and is popular with both skiing and non-skiing tourists. They have shops, restaurants and accommodations that cater to every budget.
Bansko is home to a wealth of new and renovated hotels. Although you won’t find any high-end brand name shopping here, there is a lovely Sunday morning market and several souvenir shops.
On the slopes
The Bunderishka Gondola will whisk skiers from the town to the top of the slopes where they will find several beginner and a few intermediate runs. Travel further up the mountain to explore even more slopes.
In total, Bansko has 21 runs and 75 km of pistes.
Many of the runs are geared towards beginners and intermediates and the off-piste skiing is dangerous due to a high avalanche risk.
Expert skiers should try Tomba – this is the slope the pros bomb down during the world-class races!
The length of the ski season in Bansko is pretty standard, running from mid-December until mid-April.
At an altitude of 2000 to 2600 meters snow conditions are fairly reliable.
In case the natural snow is lacking there are more than forty snow cannons blasting man-made snow over the mountain covering all of the slopes.
The ski runs here are long, with the longest run being a thigh burning 10 kilometres (6 miles).
This resort is definitely easier on the wallet than other ski resorts especially as you go further west in Europe.
It is essential that you arrive early to get on the gondola if you don’t want to wait in a queue.
The first week in February is super busy in Bansko and the line-ups can get kind of ridiculous with delays of up to an hour to get on the gondola.
At times the high winds combined with the uncovered chair lifts will cause some of the lifts to close.
With hundreds of bars, pubs, casinos, and restaurants to choose from combined with cheap drinks, the après ski scene in Bansko is lively.
If you are looking for an elegant and unforgettable party atmosphere try Flash Club, which has won two world awards.
At the Oxygen Club you may find yourself partying side by side with Bulgarian celebrities.
If you are looking for a place that is a bit more low-key, try Jack’s House, where you will be able to just relax and listen to some good music.
As you would expect, dining out on the slopes is more expensive, but there is one exception; Peshterite, with its good food and great value is definitely a place to check out.
You will have to ski down Piste 1 to reach this excellent restaurant. Other notable restaurants and cafes include Forest Cup which is known for its unbeatable coffee and Chevermeto for its top notch traditional Bulgarian food.