Bansko is the best ski resort in Bulgaria with the longest ski runs and the richest cultural history. The town of Bansko is situated at the foot of the Pirin mountain in the south-western Bulgaria, 160 km from Sofia. The resort offers excellent ski and snowboard conditions and infrastructure. A lot of hotels of various standards and prices are available for booking on-line. Regarding Apres ski - the resort offers hundreds of bars and traditional restaurants called 'mehana'. Bansko mountain resort is an excellent choice for your ski and snowboard holiday in Bulgaria.
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Location: Bansko ski resort is located in the south-western Bulgaria just 160 km from its capital Sofia and 6 km from the town of Razlog. Bansko lies on the banks of the Glazne river at the foot of the Pirin mountain, right bellow the highest and the most beautiful part of it. The Pirin mountain has a predominantly Alpine character. Its highest peak is Vihren (2914 m). The town of Bansko is situated at an altitude of 925 m and its ski area is at 2000 - 2600 m.
Brief Information: The resort has developed into a favourite ski and snowboard destination, thanks to the excellent ski facilities combined with the unique architecture and history.
Equally attractive in all four seasons, Bansko provides an interesting combination of natural beauty mixed with the unique atmosphere of an ancient Bulgarian town.
Bansko is Bulgaria's # 1 ski resort, having the best and most modern ski centre of all Bulgarian ski resorts. During the recent years a multimillion Euros investment in a brand new skiing area has been made by Yulen, the company which has the license to run the skiing area of the resort.
Bansko has the best snow record and the longest ski season (15 December - 15 May) of all Bulgarian ski resorts. During the last couple of years this resort is under a massive investment process with new hotels and resort facilities being under construction. A brand new resort area with super luxury hotels and holiday apartments is being developed just opposite the Gondola lift, which also makes Bansko the resort with the best hotels.
Bansko mountain rescue service: (+359) 887 100 241, (+359) 88 1474, (+359) 749 8 8132;
Medical & dental service: The Emergency ski patrol service is available 24 hours a day. Ambulance and clinic (with doctor and nurse) are available, as well as first aid, on all ski slopes. Fully equipped and functioning hospitals is available in Bansko. Highly qualified dentists are available at the resort too. Pharmacies are also available at the resort.
Some medical and all dental services must be paid in cash to the doctors (clinics). They should provide the necessary bills, receipts and invoices describing the service and the cost, so that you can claim back the expense to your insurance company. It's recommended you call your insurance company and inform them in case of injury. Please follow their instructions.
How to reach Bansko
Bansko is located 160 km south of Sofia, 60 km southeast of Blagoevgrad, 6 km south of Razlog and about 50 km north of Gotse Delchev.
Currently 2 main airports serve Bansko, Sofia (around 160 km away) and Plovdiv (around 180 km away).
Book a ticket at the best rate for charter or regular flight to Bulgaria: http://bulgariaflights.com
By car/ private transfer
The most reliable, comfortable, and quickest way to get to Bansko is by car or private transfer. You will be met at the airport and will have a private vehicle with driver taking you to Bansko.
You can book a private transfer service at a reasonable price here: Private transfer to Bansko
or rent a car.
Bansko is well connected to the major cities of West Bulgaria by buses. Buses from Sofia to Bansko departing from either the Central Bus Station located on Maria Louisa Blvd. or from the Ovcha Kupel Bus Station located on Tsar Boris III Blvd.
Transfer time from Sofia to Bansko is about 3 hours by bus. The town's bus station is located on the Patriarh Evtimii road, about 5 minutes walk north of the centre. It is served by regular buses from Sofia and less regularly from Plovdiv about 3 times a day.
Traveling from Sofia to Bansko by train is a very beautiful journey. But it takes twice the amount of time than by car/ bus (about 7 hours). The journey takes you through the highest train station in the Balkans. There are four trains a day in each direction. You have to change trains at Septemvri, so there's plenty of time to grab sandwiches and beer for the ride. Traveling from Plovdiv to Bansko takes about 5.5 hours.
Bansko ski slopes
The ski pistes are located in two main ski – centres: CHALIN VALOG (1100-1600 m) and SHILIGARNIKA (1700-2500 m). They are approximately 10 km above the town on the northern slopes of Pirin, and are easily accessible for approximately 25 minutes ride on the new Gondola lift which starts from Bansko. The total length of the marked pistes is 70 kilometers.
The resort has excellent snow conditions with great snow cover from December until May. About 44 Technoalpine snow cannons cover most of the slopes and make the ski season last longer. The maximum pleasure from the various ski pistes is guaranteed by 12 Kassbohrer slope maintenance vehicles. Thus the slopes offer runs and tracks for all types of skiers and will suit both beginners and experts.
The snowboard lovers can enjoy the first on the Balkans fun park where people from all over the world are lead by the passion of the extreme. They can build jumps suiting their taste and abilities. Every day skiers and snowboarders can take part in the competitions on the new piste on Shiligarnika.
The lift and pistes operator in Bansko takes care for the maximum comfort of the skiers and snowboarders with the exclusive 8-seats Gondola cabin lift by Dopplemayer, five high speed quads of the latest Doppelmayer models, one 3-seat lift by Poma, 7 drags and 10 baby drags. The total length of the lift equipment in the resort is 26 kilometers. All ski equipment can be used by one chip-card from SkiData.
Huge monitors showing pictures from the different pistes are based on the starting station of the Gondola. Thus people are informed for the wind and temperature conditions before climbing up on the slope.
Slalom and Giant slalom runs are available. Bansko offers a cross-country track with a total length of 5 km. A 3 km ski run Rollbahn track is situated 2 km far from the town.
|Ski run||Difficulty||Length [m]||Inclination [m]|
|Tomba||Difficult ski run||2567||925|
|Ski way Band. polyana-Bansko||0||0|
|Ski way Shilingarnika-Band Polyana||0||0|
|Ski way Shilingarnika-Chalin Valog||0||0|
Bansko mountain resort is remarkable regarding restaurants and nightlife. Several après ski bars offer refreshments and snacks on the ski zone, and in the resort. Wild parties and unforgettable moments are guaranteed in the local clubs and discos that work without time limit, and usually close early in the morning.
Numerous high class restaurants with perfect service and sophisticated menus can be found in most of the 5 and 4 star hotels.
More than 200 traditional Bansko taverns (called "Mehana"), with their exceptional charm and style offer local atmosphere by their cuisine and good selection of Bulgarian wines. They often provide live music and entertaining program with folklore music, which create unique atmosphere that can only be felt on spot.
The combination of a well developed mountain resort and a living historical town turns Bansko into an elegant place for entertainment. Virtually every house has its own story to tell, which indeed can turn your vacation into a journey to the Bulgarian traditions.
The following taverns are recommended by BulgariaSki team. More information about bars and restaurants in Bansko read here.
BulgariaSki team highly recommends some of the top hotels in Bansko resort. Check out the list of hotels we have prepared for your convenience, choose the one that suit your requirements, fill in the booking form and a representative of BulgariaSki.com will be in touch with you shortly.
- Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena is situated opposite the Gondola station in Bansko. The hotel offers luxury furnished rooms and suites, several restaurants and bars, conference facilities, SPA centre with indoor and outdoor swimming pools...
- Premier Luxury Mountain resort is located at walking distance from the gondola ski lift station and Bansko's centre. The complex offers fully furnished apartments, SPA centre, conference facilities and restaurants with international...
- Lucky Bansko complex is located at the entrance of Bansko, at the foot of the Pirin Mountain. The hotel offers free transport to the ski lift every 30 minutes. The hotel features luxurious studios and the apartments, restaurant, SPA...
- Bansko Spa & Holidays hotel is situated 15 minutes away from the gondola lift in Bansko mountain resort. The hotel features different types of rooms and suites, a restaurant and a tavern with Bulgarian cuisine, SPA centre, two conference...
Location: Green life ski & spa resort Bansko is the new name of the former Paradiso Verde Ski and Golf Residence. This is a luxury holiday complex is located in the picturesque area of Gramadeto, at the foot of the northern slopes of Pirin...
Places to go near Bansko
There's a lot to see in the town of Bansko itself, with around 120 cultural and historical monuments and a lot to explore. Various souvenir shops offer the creations of the local artists and smiths.
South of Bansko is situated the National Park Pirin included in the UNESCO list for cultural and natural sightseeings. The park is rich with its lakes, waterfalls, caves and venerable trees. Part of the National Park Pirin are Popovi lakes and Nature Reserve Yulen.
Popovi lakes are the biggest group of lakes located in the northern Pirin Mountain approximately 2200 m above sea level. The group consists of 16 lakes that are situated in the circus of Popovi Lakes (the Papazgyolski circus) – the Popovo Lake, the Samodivski Lakes, the Polejanski Lakes, the Banski Lakes and these, which are located along the upper course of Retije river. The origin of the lakes is glacial. They drain into the Retije river. The temperature of the water during the summer is 11-14°C.
The Popovo Lake is the largest and the deepest in the Pirin Mountain - 480 m in length, 223 m in width, 29.5 m in depth and its volume is 1.27 million m3. It covers an area of 123.6 decares and is the second largest lake in Bulgaria and on the Balkan Peninsula. The lake is situated to the west of the Djengal peak (Samodivski peak) at an altitude of 2234 m above sea level. There is a small island in its northwestern part.
The two lakes called Banski Lakes are situated to the northeast of the Djengal peak at about 2210 m above sea level. The larger of the lakes is 125 m long and 120 m wide. The other lake is 50 m long, 25 m wide and it covers an area of 1.2 decares.
The lakes, which are situated along the upper course of the Retije river, are situated terrace-like one below another.
Nature Reserve Yulen is located at an altitude of 165 – 2851m. It includes the following lake groups: Vasilashkite, Tipitskite, Strazhishkite, Polezhanskite and Disilishkite. The Reserve Yulen is intended to preserve forests and endemic animals and plant species. There are pine forests and over 700 species of higher plants, 44 out of which are included in the Red Book of Bulgaria.
Dobrinishte is a popular summer and winter resort with its mineral springs, ski tracks and virgin nature. It is situated at the foot of the Pirin Mountain just 6 km south of Bansko ski resort. Dobrinishte is a spa and balneological resort with 17 mineral springs. The town provides open-air mineral water swimming pool as well as two lifts to “Bezbog” chalet situated on the northern part of Bezbog Lake in the Pirin mountain.
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