Skiing

We fell in love with skiing, and particularly skiing in Bansko in Bulgaria, many, many moons ago.  There are 75km of runs, and you can go from the very top to the bottom gondola station which is something like 25km of very nice, travelling runs, which can be mixed in with more challenging runs if that’s what floats your boat.

Yes the queue for the gondola can be crazy at peak times (half term especially) but they do run a complimentary shuttle bus service too, and a cab up the hill hardly breaks the bank.

Lift passes and ski hire are one of the best value in Europe, food and drink are really inexpensive (more expensive up the hill but you would expect that; we always take a packed lunch and fluids up in backpacks), the people are friendly (really, they are, once you can see past the fairly undemonstrative nature).  We haven’t done ski lessons here so can’t comment on the quality of instruction.

I bought an off-plan one bed apartment in 2004 which we keep just for family and friends, and Paul then bought another 3 in the same complex 2013 which are rentals (and for friends and family if we go out as a large party of course).

There are 2 one bedroom apartments which have 2 single beds and a single sofa bed in the lounge/kitchen so can sleep 3 max each but they are next door to each other so if you were a party of 4-6 you are virtually together.

There is also one large studio apartment (we do intend to put up a partition wall at some point which will make it a very spacious one bed) which has 2 singles, a single and a double sofa bed so can sleep 5 max, and also benefits from a balcony.

Each apartment has a fully equipped kitchen, a flatscreen television with DVD player (there is little to no TV reception so bring plenty of DVD’s with you), and a bathroom with shower AND bath (needed to soak achy skiing muscles).

The apartments are in self-contained blocks behind the Hotel Banderitsa (the hotel itself is sadly closed at the moment), ideally located close enough to the gondola station so that you can walk to it in about 20 minutes, and close to the old and new town so that you have loads of eateries and shops a short stroll away.  The PIR lighting in the communal areas is very hit and miss so a torch is a must at all times!!

 

1 bedroom per night – sleep 3

Studio per night – sleeps 4/5

Apr 1st – Dec 15th

30 euros

35 euros

Dec 16th – Dec 21st

35 euros

42 euros

Dec 22nd – Jan 6th

52 euros

62 euros

Jan 7th – Mar 31st

42 euros

48 euros

The prices are per apartment per night, not per person.  If you are interested in booking any of the apartments, please get in touch with us.

Lots of carriers fly to Sofia, just check prices as they can vary and if you want to come at a peak time the earlier you book the better as prices tend to only go up.

Transfers are quite hit and miss – one year they can be good and the next year terrible. Ask on the facebook group “Bansko Noticeboard” for recommendations near the time of coming.

For ski hire we use Ski Point – lovely staff, close to the gondola, and you can leave your footwear there when on the slopes and your equipment there overnight for no extra charge.  They put your ski/board boots on boot warmers to ensure that they are dry for you next day even if they are your own boots!!

Places to eat are plentiful and it depends what you want, but do give a Mexhana a go as they serve traditional Bulgarian food (ask for ktak and lutinitsa with parlenka (all phonetically spelt) if you like garlic flatbread and dips, even if they are not on the menu they will have it).  For the best pizza go to Boyanovi which is straight across the river from the apartments on the left just before you get to Pirin Str.

The little local’s place Traffic Bar is great for a pre-dinner drink and a game of cards, back towards the traffic lights from Boyanovi on the other side of the road.  The dark beer (schumensko duhmno or ariana duhmno (duh as you would pronounce do)) is worth a try if you like real ale or stout.

Other things to do are plentiful.  There are lots of bars which show live sport on the telly, in the winter there is an outdoor ice-rink, there is a bowling alley, there are nightclubby type bars, most with live music, most of the hotels have a pool and spa facilities which you can pay to use for the day, lots of places offer massages (legit massages!).  To be honest we mainly just enjoy having a wander, finding somewhere to eat, then having a few beers and people-watching to recouperate from the exertions in advance of the next day.

For all you need to know about Bansko, and for updates on snow conditions, weather reports, upcoming events, check out Bansko Blog – Lance also has an app and a regularly update facebook page.  If you are a sad person like me, in the run up to your skiing trip you will be regularly checking the live webcams to see what the conditions are like!!  It is also handy, if you are there at peak times, to check how the gondola queue is on the queue cam.

Sadly there is no wifi or internet in the apartments but most hotels, bars and eateries have wifi.

The first 4 are pictures of the large studio, the rest of the 2 smaller one bedroom apartments

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