Borovets summer face

Borovets summer face

Sofia Echo,Hugh Fraser 01.08.05

BOROVETS is home to the first and most famous Bulgarian mountain resorts. Only 73km, and less than 50 minutes away from Sofia, the village sits at an altitude of 1350 metres at the base of Mt Moussala (2925m), the highest peak on the Balkan peninsula. Established at the end of the 19th century as a hunting village for the Bulgarian kings, Borovets is now renowned for skiing and winter sports. However, in the summer the Rila Mountain village transforms from a high-velocity, action-packed winter holiday location into a quiet, peaceful summer holiday location. The name Rila descends from the Slavic word rula which means full of water. The mountains are filled with more than 200 lakes and surrounded by wild mountainous terrain containing more than 2000 different species of flora. Local hotel and restaurant owner Ivan, a 26-year veteran of Borovets, said that he encourages nature-loving holidaymakers who are looking for clean and fresh air, long walks and a peaceful alternative to a Black Sea vacation. Borovets in the summer is a totally different place to the winter. We get a lot of pensioners or couples who come to appreciate the beauty and the Bulgarian culture. Quite different to the young, back-packing, hard-drinking British tourists during the winter. In true Bulgarian style, my colleague and I were invited to sit down and sample some of Ivans homemade drink of choice. A fresh carafe of Rakia containing 14 herbs and spices (three more than the Kentucky Colonels it had to be good) was brought to the table, along with a quick shot of advice, those who drink alone, drink twice, and in turn dismissing the foreign culture of some winter visitors, explaining drinking is about the experience and not about how fast huge quantities can be consumed. Borovets is an experience of beauty, nature and Old Bulgarian culture. More than half of the villages numerous restaurants are closed in the summer, but do not despair there is still plenty to choose from to sample some local culinary delights. Its worth taking a short reconnaissance walk around the streets before sitting down in one of the more high- profile restaurants. The choices are plenty and most offer time-honoured delights from salads to lamb on the spit. If the latter makes your mouth water, just make sure you ask for it directly off the spit or else you might not get what you expected. Taking a walk on the Rila Mountain is considered the number one summer activity. The signature hiking route to Chernata Skala, commonly known as Black Rock, takes visitors through century-old pine forests, passing flower-covered green meadows and across small picturesque streams. After the leisurely two-hour trek, you will find there are plenty of places to picnic while admiring the wonderful view. If the four-hour walk sounds like a bit much then adventurers can go on horseback or by horse drawn carriage. The hiking enthusiast can find a wide range of trails from easy to difficult and all generally well sign posted. Some of the more famous walks are to Mt. Moussala six hours, and from the upper station of the Gondola three hours, to Sitnyakovo Palace 1.5 hours, to Chakur Voyvoda Chalet 2.5 hours, to Saragyol Palace three hours, to the Maritsa Chalet 4.5 hours, to the Zavrachitsa Chalet six hours. Gondola* and chair lift will take you up for a cost of seven leva one way or 13 leva return. Borovets at this time of year doesnt cater for the extreme sports tourist just yet, but with some imagination and a mountain bike, there is plenty of challenging terrain to satisfy. Or if you are feeling a little more physical, the Alpine & Mountaineering School is a close 40-minute drive, located in the Maljovitsa Ridge of the Rila Mountains. It is fully equipped, including an indoor artificial climbing wall. The instructors are expert climbers and most of them are lecturers at the National Sports Academy. But all that said Borovetz in the summer is all about relaxation and taking time out to enjoy a little slice of natures paradise. How to get there By bus: Every 30 minutes, a bus/minibus departs for Samokov from the South Bus Station (Avtogara Yug). Approximately an hour later the bus arrives at Samоkov Bus Station where a shuttle van leaves for Borovets every 15 minutes. In Borovets, the van stops in front of Hotel Samokov. For the return journey the shuttle van departs from in front of Hotel Ela. By car: If you choose to travel by car you have to take the following route: Sofia Gorublyane Pancharevo Samokov Borovets. The resort offers ample parking with the largest guarded car park situated by the entrance to the resort. The Rila and Samokov hotels also provide 24-hour guarded parking facilities.
     
  • Liz From England
    Sent on 19 November 2017
    I went with my daughter January 2018. I was a cheap half board flights included and we wasn’t expecting much.... but what a fantastic week we had!! Stayed at the Lion hotel which is about a 10-15 minute walk to the slopes/town. A free shuttle is provide by the hotel. The hotel and staff are lovely. The food was always varied and hot. My daughter and I are vegetarians and in only two nights were we disappointed with the choice - but we heaped up on pudding so didn’t go hungry. Am lucky enough to be going back in 2018.
  • val From United Kingdom
    Sent on 15 February 2017
    group of us just back from borovets.we arrived 4th feb 2017 and departed 11th feb.had a great time.hotel rila was fab.great gym and spa.food was good.ski school was great.we had a really good instructor Martin Hristov.he was really good with everyone took time to try and learn everyone.we all had a great time thankyou.will be back next yearx
  • Alison From England
    Sent on 15 January 2017
    I wonder if the poor review is really about the Winslow Elegance. We have been going for years. It does not serve food and never has done. However, the spacious accommodation is for self-catering. We have always found it to be clean and we have always found that the reception staff can not do enough for you. We are looking forward to our next visit in February, 2017, Bring it on!!
  • RobJ From UK
    Sent on 01 January 2017
    Had a great week over xmas there - Hotel Lion was great, didn't see any lift queues but I did get there early. Easy blues for the most part, not loads for the advanced skier but great for beginners and families. I had more fun here than Chamonix last year at the same time. Bottom line ...manage your expectations... it is more than value for money but don't expect Whistler.
  • Pepa From Madrid
    Sent on 24 August 2016
    Un citio presioso pero todo lo demas mentira.la comida,el personal muy mal.No lo recomiendo a nadie.Es una publicidad engañosa.Y de All inclusive nada.No se dejen engañar por las paginas web.Por desgracia en Bulgaria todavia el consumidor no es nadie.
  • Juglena Bankova From Bulgaria
    Sent on 13 May 2016
    Nie byakhme tam na Velikden i pisha malko kŭsno. No vpechatleniata sa ni poveche ot prekrasni! Velikolepna kuhnia (ne savetvat jenite na dieta, da hodiat za poveche ot tri dni, zashtoto yastiyata sa neustoimi, vkusni i ogromni)! Great stil! I mnogo priaten personal!(osobeno damata v restoranta) Pozdravleniya !
  • ger99 From turkey
    Sent on 01 March 2015
    We loved it. Had a perfect 2 bedroom apartment modern, clean new renovated With view to slope. Perfect location in pamporovo as central ski in ski out. Friendly staff, not ovr crowded relaxed athmosphere. our friends (group with total of 7 rooms) all very happy! It is away from city center but close to bowling and 2 nice reaturans.
  • ashley hensman From uk
    Sent on 01 March 2015
    Flora is a lovely hotel clean in a great location and the food was good just make sure you use the safes.
  • Enjoy ski From UK
    Sent on 27 February 2015
    Just came back from Sevlievo in Bulgaria. Drove up to Hotel Impulse in Uzana where I hired skis, boots and poles for myself and two children for just 17 levs for adult and 10 levs each child and used the hotel ski slope 5 levs each. Perfect for the kids first time as parking right at entrance to hotel and slope is 20m walk! Food in restaurant tasty and cheap. Perfect for beginners!
  • Charlotte Hennessy From england
    Sent on 23 February 2015
    WOW, thats all i can say about the previous week of my life. The snow conditions were amazing and the people were so friendly. The night life was always active and the rila hotel was especially fantastic. I loved the accommodation at the rila and i loved the way it is right on the slope. I wouldn't have changed a thing about the holiday and i would recommend this resort to everyone including beginners and experts. Overall, i had an amazing time!!!
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