Wowcher’s Guide to Skiing in Bulgaria

Wowcher-Guide-to-Skiing-in-Bulgaria

If you’re keeping a close eye on those purse strings but don’t want to miss out on a snowy getaway this year, we’ve got just the ticket. Forget those swanky ‘Val de whatsitsname’ ski resorts in the Alps, because it’s all about skiing in Bulgaria these days. Don’t believe us? Well, how does one-quid pints, slap-up meals for a fiver and a top-notch après-ski scene sound?

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‘Shredding the pow’

Whilst you won’t find over-the-top chalets kitted out with helipads and you may miss the smooth running of Western European resorts, you won’t get a cheaper ski holiday anywhere else. I just got back from a brilliant week skiing with a group of friends in Bansko, one of Bulgaria’s top three ski resorts. Note that whilst Pamporovo is ideal for beginners, Bansko fits the bill for those travelling in a group of varied abilities, and Borovets’ proximity to Sofia makes it perfect for a long weekend. Wherever you go in Bulgaria, ski hire, passes and lessons are as cheap as chips!

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Despite long queues for the gondola and busy slopes (admittedly, our fault for going in half term), the range of slopes and abundance of fresh pow satisfied every skier in our group, from the first-timer to the expert. For those doubtful of what the Bulgarian slopes have to offer, Bansko’s highest run sits at 2600m and the area boasts 70km of ski runs. In comparison, the highest point in the 650km of terrain that makes up the resort of Portes du Soleil in the Alps is 2,466m. To top it off, Bulgarian ski resorts are currently celebrating one of the country’s longest winters in recorded history, so there is snow galore. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a few rays whilst you’re there too. My trip was blessed with a large dose of glorious sunshine, which led to a lot of hot chocolate breaks and long leisurely lunches spent basking in the sun. Now that’s what I call a holiday.

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After the ski, there’s the après-ski

Whether you want to dance on a table top in your snazzy ski gear until 3am or you’re more inclined to enjoy a glass of rouge in front of some traditional folk music, Bulgaria’s got you covered. Whilst there’s a more chilled out vibe in Pamporovo, you’ll find all-night carnage in Borovets and Bansko. Buzzing Borovets has even been dubbed ‘Ibiza on snow’ thanks to its insatiable capacity for bars, clubs and karaoke. Happy hour isn’t really a thing, but that’s alright because every hour feels like happy hour. A shot will set you back less than a chocolate bar, so it’s easy enough to (snow)plough through them. Bear in mind that a double spirit is at least double what you get back home… Not to worry though, that fresh mountain air is the perfect hangover cure!

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We’re absolutely storming through 2017, but it’s not too late to squeeze in a little jolly to the mountains. Skiing snobs may scoff, but it will be you that reaps the benefits of going slightly off the beaten track. So head to Borovets with Wowcher and let the good times roll!