Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo ski holidays

Ski season is upon us, and Bulgaria’s snowy mountains are waiting.

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Ski resort tourists in Bansko, Bulgaria

You’ll never have to pay a premium to go skiing again thanks to Bulgaria’s growing number of low-cost ski resorts.

Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo are the three main resorts and, while they may not have the challenging runs you’ll find in the Alps, they’re the perfect place for beginners and intermediates to get their skiing skills up to scratch.

Quickly compare Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo ski holidays:

ResortSki-in/ski-outDistanceLift pass price (3-day adult pass)Is there a resort village?
BanskoNo(2-hour drive from Sofia)£89Yes
BorovetsYes(1.5-hour drive from Sofia)£72Yes
PamporovoYes(2.5-hour drive from Plovdiv)£75Yes

Which is the best ski resort in Bulgaria?

Use our quick stats to find out which of these ski resorts tickle your fancy.

Three happy friends riding a ski lift in the mountains

1. Bansko, Blagoevgrad Province: Best for first-timers and value for money

Tucked away in the UNESCO-listed Pirin Mountains, this picturesque resort has the longest ski season in the country thanks to reliable snowfall and a few fancy snow cannons.

Besides this, its 5-star accommodation, modern infrastructure and balmy low prices have earned it the title of “Best Value Ski Resort” as voted for by the Post Office.

  • Location: Pirin Mountains, Blagoevgrad Province (2-hour drive from Sofia)
  • Runs and terrain: 18 runs (36% beginner, 57% intermediate, 7% advanced)
  • Length of runs: 68km
  • Vertical drop: 1,610 metres

Pros

  • Great beginner slopes
  • Historic village and old town
  • Lively apres-ski

Cons

  • Limited slopes for experts
  • Small skiable area
  • Can get overcrowded


Ski

2. Borovets, Sofia Province: Best for apres-ski and non-ski activities

Borovets has maintained its stellar reputation for excellent apres-ski since it opened its doors in 1896. The fun doesn’t begin until 9pm but goes heavy on the rakia shots and continues until the early hours.

It’s all well and good, then, that most slopes here are green or blue with only a few challenging runs to navigate with a sore head. If you fancy taking a break from the slopes, you’ll find steamy hot springs, plenty of spa centres and even the opportunity to go horseback riding.

  • Location: Rila Mountains, Sofia Province (1.5-hour drive from Sofia)
  • Runs and terrain: 24 runs (32% beginner, 59% intermediate, 9% advanced)
  • Length of runs: 58km
  • Vertical drop: 1,250 metres

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Lively apres-ski scene
  • Affordable ski equipment hire

Cons

  • Poorly linked ski areas
  • Few runs for experts
  • Long queues for the gondola


Lift in the fog

3. Pamporovo, Smolyan Province: Best for beginner and intermediate lessons

Bright blue skies and fresh white powder sum up a day on the slopes at Pamporovo. Over half of the runs here pander towards beginners, and there are nearly 100 qualified English-speaking instructors to give a helping hand.

While beginners will find great progression slopes, fast-improving intermediates may struggle to find enough challenging runs to satisfy their thirst here.

  • Location: Rhodope Mountains, Smolyan Province (2.5-hour drive from Plovdiv)
  • Runs and terrain: 19 runs (65% beginner, 26% intermediate, 9% advanced)
  • Length of runs: 38km
  • Vertical drop: 505 metres

Pros

  • Well-maintained slopes
  • Friendly apres-ski vibe
  • Snow-sure and snow cannons

Cons

  • Very few and short runs for experts
  • Busy slopes, especially during school holidays
  • Quiet apres-ski scene


Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo ski holidays by the numbers

ResortNumber of runsLength of runsVertical drop
Bansko18 runs (36% beginner, 57% intermediate, 7% advanced)68km1,610 metres
Borovets24 runs (32% beginner, 59% intermediate, 9% advanced)58km1,250 metres
Pamporovo19 runs (65% beginner, 26% intermediate, 9% advanced)38km505 metres

Where can you go skiing in Bulgaria?

Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo ski resorts can all be found in Bulgaria’s southwestern corner, within easy reach of Sofia or Plovdiv.

When is the best time to ski in Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo?

Bulgaria’s mountains are blanketed in a thick powder of snow from December through to April, giving you a huge window of opportunity to ski.

School holidays in Bulgaria and neighbouring Hungary mean the slopes can get crowded in late December, early February and mid-April.

It’s best to check the exact dates of the school holidays before you book as these differ from year-to-year.

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