The start of skiing season in Pamporovo 15-16 December 2001

The start of skiing season in Pamporovo 15-16 December 2001

Article by Mr. BulgariaSki

We are heading to Pamporovo on 15 December Saturday. Last few days skiing was possible on one of the ski runs of the resort and we are hoping to do some good skiing. Unfortunately the weather is not very cold, so reaching the resort we are a bit worried if the ski runs will be ok. After Assenovgrad (a town on our way to Pamporovo) we have some 70 km of climbing the mountain, and getting to the top we see that the snow is not much and even worse - it is melting! In an hour we reach the town of Chepelare and we have 12 km more to Pamporovo. Still the same, snow cover is not increasing. My friends are also worried... What's the alternative? May be we will do some clubbing in the bars and discos of Pamporovo, instead of skiing for first time this season :( The other group of 6 people, went to Pamporovo earlier this morning, so they should be on the top trying the ski runs. All of us are very eager to talk to them, so finally we decide to call them by mobile phone and find out what are the conditions. Guess what? They say they are on the lift and the skiing was excellent. So, finally, when we reach the resort we are happy and relaxed. It is 3.30 pm, and we have no time to get our gear and get to the runs - lifts are closing at 4.30! However some of the girls from our group, decide to jump on the lift and get to the top, to see by themselves if skiing was really OK. In the evening they told me that it was not a good decision, because they almost missed the last lift from the top, and the guys operating the lifts were desperate to go home and they run the last lift back on the highest speed and my friends almost freezed for the half hour on the lift back... We are staying at Malina chalets which are located within 5 minutes walking from the lifts, and are ideal for our purpose - each wooden chalet accommodates 4 persons in 2 separate bedrooms and has all standard facilities. It is quite warm in the chalet, there is private toilette and bathroom, TV, fridge etc. It seems that the chalets are maintained in very good condition, and would be excellent choice for group of young people (like us) or a family with kids. Decide to have a dinner in the restaurant of the village, which is basic, but cozy, has a fireplace on wood. The staff of the restaurant have no work (the season has not started yet), so they seem very happy when they see us entering the place. I am not surprised that the prices here are 2 times higher than those of a similar restaurant in Sofia. It's quite usual for any resort in the world to have higher prices. I am ordering a local speciality and it is good tasting. The coffee is good too. I'm sure that people working here are enjoying their last 'unbusy' days before Christmas when the resort gets really crowded and it is even a problem to find any room available. Finishing our dinner, the girl asks us if we want our breakfast meals tomorrow to be brought in the chalet. M-m-m, that's a good offer, yes please. Breakfast on the next morning is not much (as usual) but it's tasty! It gets dark at 5-5.30 pm so we are going to our chalets to have some rest after the 3 hours driving from Sofia. What a surprise, it starts snowing! Good. We are 2 km from the centre of the resort, so no one seems to be willing to go in the bars there. Some of the people from our group go to another restaurant near the village to have some drinks and chat. It still snows... In few hours I decide to go to the centre of the resort to buy some things from the shops and I see that already the streets are covered with snow - it is not very easy to drive the car. Looks that it will snow the whole night... On the next morning we are extremely happy. The snow cover looks quite thick, and it keeps on snowing. It is cloudy and quite cold. After we have our breakfast we go to the pistes. Some people of our group do not have own equipment, so we first go to the ski depot, which is next to the lift station (lift No. 5). They collect all they need and we are ready to go. It's the very beginning of the skiing season, so there are not many skiers in the resort. Mostly Bulgarian, and some Turkish skiers. Coming by jeeps or family cars, with skis on the top. They seem very excited of the fact that soon they will be skiing for first time this season. We are feeling the same. No queue on the lift. Even it is 10.30 am the lift is going up almost empty. In 20 minutes we will be on the top, below the TV tower, skiing downhill. The lift is going above the red ski run, which looks OK, but no skiers can be seen there. May be they are on the easier tracks. Before we reach the top, we can see the TV tower coming out of the mist. I know that there's a cafe on the top of the tower, but this year it is closed for re-construction, hopefully it will be open in a couple of weeks. In few minutes we are on the top. The snow cover is really good. The good thing for Pamorovo is that the slopes are covered with grass, and almost no rocks. Therefore Pamporovo needs very little snow to have good skiing conditions. It seems that the people maintaining the ski runs have done their job in the best way. We can see one of the snow machines coming to us. Yes, they look busy. After the machine the cover is perfect. And we are going... Have enough space on the ski piste, as I told you the first skiers are coming just now. We can see some skateboarders too. Few hours later we are tired, but happy. Next few months we will be skiing!
     
  • Lasse WP From Denmark
    Sent on 15 February 2015
    We just had a wonderful trip to Pamporovo. We were a group of 10 adults, and 3 small children (1 to 3 years old), who stayed at the Castle complex, in 4 apartments, for a week (7 days stay, 6 days skiing) Everything at the Castle was great, and the staff was very forthcoming and helpful in every way. The apartments were very practical, and equipped with all necessities. Not luxurious, but really good and adequate in size and layout. You should note though, that towels are not changed every day. Towels are not needed to bring to the spa area and treatments. The food at the Excalibur restaurant was typical for the area, and well prepared. The staff at the restaurant is also great. The Castle complex is situated 2-3 km. from Ski center 2 (Malina). It is of course easiest if you are driving, but there are shuttles from the hotel to the ski center and lift. Ski in-/out is possible at the backside of the complex. We had booked ski- and snowboard packages, and that worked out perfectly as well. The snowboard instructor was a true professional. Patient and very focused on making sure that all of us learned the moves, at our own individual pace. Everyone had a great time, and learned a lot. The area was perfect for us, as we are all beginners on snowboards. Had we been on skies, I suspect the terrain would not be challenging enough for an entire week. We can definitely recommend Pamporovo, and the Castle complex, and will be back next year.
  • Jnet From UK
    Sent on 06 January 2014
    Just had a brilliant week's skiing (and walking) in Pamporovo - the sun shone every day, there was plenty of snow, the pistes were well groomed and, as always, the restaurants and staff were friendly and welcoming. If you've been before you'll know how great Pamporovo and Bulgaria are and if it's your first time you'll be pleasantly surprised! In our opinion - best hot chocolate - Panorama Terrace Bar at the mid station, THE best spit roast chicken - The Lodge at the top (get there early!), best wild mushroom soup - the little restaurant to the left of the six person ski lift at the top, best home cured ham - Ochko's at the top and best overall friendly welcome, hot wine and pizza - Brothers! (If you can make it down into Smolyan town for an evening, the prices are even cheaper and a huge meal at the Pamporovata Kushta, on the left half way down the main street, will only set you back around £6 a head including drinks.)
  • kaz From Ireland
    Sent on 29 January 2013
    here come the Irish on Sunday!
  • Lori From Belfast
    Sent on 28 January 2013
    Coming here on 3rd Feb 2013 for the 12th year in a row! cannot wait, would highly recommend Bulgaria to anyone!
  • Faith Purkis From United Kingdom
    Sent on 19 February 2012
    A group of us (2 families ) went to Pamporova 2 years ago. It was everyone's (except my) first ski hol. We thoughly enjoyed every moment. Great place, friendly and helpful people. Highly recommed for families. It was a very well organised holiday. Stayed in Rhodopia House which was professionally run and very helpful in waking us up on time for our lessons! We would definitely go again; had a brilliant time :)
  • Nikki Hickley From Ireland
    Sent on 03 January 2012
    Just back from pamporvo first ever sking holiday absolutely loved it cant wait to get back, BIG thanks to my ski instructor hristo he was great.. .
  • mick From ireland
    Sent on 31 January 2011
    HI JUST BACK HAD A GREAT TIME IN PAMPOROVO, HAD FRESH SNOW GOOD CONDITIONS, THANKS TO BURIN OUR SKI INSTRUCTOR FOR BEING SO HOSPITABLE AND GIVING OUR CLASS A REALLY ADVENTUROUS WEEK, LOOKING FORWARD TO ANOTHER VISIT SOON PG. THANKS TO DUNDEE FOR LOOKING AFTER OUR OTHER HALVES.
  • Salome From ireland
    Sent on 13 January 2011
    Love this place went here twice in 2008 & 2009 both in feburary it was brill!!!!!!!!!
  • joseph mc elhinney From Ireland
    Sent on 01 December 2010
    im goin to pamporovo on 26 th of dec 2010 was wondering are we guarenteed snow
  • mick From ireland
    Sent on 29 October 2010
    our 2nd lovely skiing hol in pampy end of jan 09 and 10. lots of fresh snow were lucky, not for advanced skiiers but if you just want a relaxing leisurely skiing hol and not looking for really challenging runs its grand some good reds,blue and greens, and a couple of blacks for the adventurious.locals grand, have giving into the bell sellers too many times though , if you see a paddy selling bells on resort its me off loading lol.food and craic ok , not overly exspensive, the hotel accom pamperova was lovely no complaints, roll on jan 2011 pg.
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