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HEIDI GUIDE TO
Bulgaria Ski Holidays
Great skiing on a budget
Beginner friendly slopes, a buzzing nightlife and bargains galore, what’s not to love about Bulgaria?
Why choose to go skiing in Bulgaria?
Cheaper alternative to the Alps
Hearty hospitality and apres-ski
Ideal for beginners & groups
Bulgaria ski holidays are more than a cheap alternative to the Alps. Packed with relaxing slopes, good food, vibrant culture and a buzzing nightlife, Bulgarian ski resorts have won over legions of ski fans who return year after year.
And with new lifts, and hotels continually springing up each season, Bulgaria is fast becoming a go-to ski destination.
One of the best ski resorts in Bulgaria is Bansko. This big bustling ski village is a perfect home for groups and beginners on a budget. Meanwhile, Borovets combines high-altitude entertainment with the magic of skiing through old pine forests. And for families who want to ski in Bulgaria but dream of a cosy resort with quiet mellow pistes, Pamporovo can’t go amiss.
Good to Know
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Family skiing in Bulgaria
With warm welcomes and easy-going slopes aplenty, Bulgaria is great for affordable family ski holidays.
Bansko is arguably the best ski resort for families. Brimming with family-friendly hotels, and a kids' park for little learners and beginners to practise their turns, it’s got everything you need for a fun-filled family ski holiday.
If you want a quicker transfer (especially after a three-hour flight) then Borovets is a great shout. Just as affordable, and with plenty of mellow pistes for little legs to race down, it’s an ideal option for families on a budget, who want a cheap ski holiday.
Group skiing in Bulgaria
With heaps of affordable hotels and hearty hospitality, group ski holidays to Bulgaria are perfect for those on a budget.
Bansko takes the crown as Bulgaria's best resort for group ski holidays. Low on price and high on fun, its mixed-ability pistes are perfect for groups of beginner and intermediate skiers. And with cheap restaurants and apres bars throughout the resort, groups thirsty for a lively apres-ski scene will struggle to find better.
Borovets is just as tempting for groups looking to save on skiing. With easy-going pistes and a more relaxed apres-ski scene, it’s a great option for those wanting a bit of everything.
Bulgaria ski holidays Your questions answered by our Bulgarian ski holiday expert
Alexander Blunt (Co-Founder)
When is the best time to ski in Bulgaria?
The Bulgarian ski season is shorter than its high-altitude cousins in the Alps, typically running from December through to March.
But with slopes rising to almost 2,600m, the Bulgarian ski resort of Borovets has one of the longest ski seasons in the country - with a dash of spring skiing found until mid-April.
For those who want to experience Bulgaria’s best snow conditions, the prime time to go is late January to mid-March. Bulgarian ski resorts typically experience the most snowfall during this time.
Christmas, New Year and half-term are best avoided if you want quiet slopes. Meanwhile, January is the coldest month by far, with March quickly easing in spring skiing, longer days and ultimately cheaper deals.
What are the best ski resorts in Bulgaria for beginners?
Cheap deals, big open slopes and far fewer punters make Bulgarian ski resorts perfect for beginner ski holidays.
Jam-packed with easy groomers, and ideal for first forays into the snow, Bulgaria’s best ski resorts for beginners can be any of Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo.
Pamporovo’s easy-to-navigate pistes and long green slopes are a great choice for families learning to ski.
And thanks to a large ski area with the majority of slopes in the blue to red range, Bansko is another great option for beginners. With a lively village for apres-ski fun, beginner skiers can experience a perfect package, far cheaper than the Alps.
What are the best ski resorts in Bulgaria for advanced skiers?
While not as rich in hair-raising terrain as France and Austria, Bulgarian ski resorts still provide a challenge for advanced and intermediate skiers.
One of the best ski resorts for advanced and intermediate skiers is Bansko, offering plenty to those shredding hard and fast. The ‘Tomba’ black run (affectionately named after a local skiing legend) is no stranger to downhill World Cup races. And thankfully it's often blessed with pristine corduroy with heaps of open space - perfect for strong skiers wanting to nail some carving.
You’ll also find plenty of steep, speedy terrain in Borovets. With multiple black runs and the high-altitude pistes often being deep in snow during the peak season, this Bulgarian ski resort is a great option for advanced skiers.
What are the best ski resorts for off-piste skiing in Bulgaria?
Bulgaria is no stranger to quality off-piste, having held host to recent World Freeride Tour events. But the best off-piste skiing in Bulgaria is found in the Pirin Mountains where Bansko is nestled.
Bansko has some of the best lift-accessible off-piste terrain in Bulgaria, whether you just want to explore the powder at the side of the slope or you’re an expert in need of some big open faces or tree descents.
Be aware: there are no marked and secured off-piste tracks in Bansko, so if you do venture into the backcountry you should have the skills and experience, or a guide.
What are the best high-altitude ski resorts in Bulgaria?
Bulgaria may not be the Swiss Alps but it's no stranger to high-altitude skiing. Borovets sits just underneath Bulgaria’s highest mountain, Musala. Here the skiing rises to 2,600m, offering a high degree of snow-sure skiing during the peak season. This makes it Bulgaria's highest-altitude resort, with a range that many Alpine alternatives would be envious of.
Not far behind is Bansko, another of Bulgaria’s best high-altitude ski resorts. With a decent 1540m of elevation on offer, you’ll have plenty of pistes to carve back down on.
What are the best resorts for snowboarders in Bulgaria?
Bulgaria’s big open terrain, easy-going slopes and lively apres make it a prime destination for a snowboard holiday on a budget.
Bansko takes the cake as the best resort for snowboarders. With big quiet pistes begging to be carved down, beginner snowboarders and confident intermediates have plenty of room to hone their skills. And with lively bars only moments from the lifts, it's easy to park up post-piste for a big night of apres-ski.
Borovets is another great option for a cheap snowboard holiday. It delivers cruisy forest-flanked pistes, a huge terrain park and great apres-ski to boot.
Which Bulgarian ski resorts are best for food and drink?
There’s definitely a different vibe to Bulgarian cuisine compared to alpine classics, being influenced by dishes from the Balkans and Mediterranean. Expect to see lots of chicken and lamb grills, hearty stews with pickled cabbage and Bulgarian white brine cheese, as well as familiar faves such as pizza. Beer is a fraction of the UK’s price and the local wine is excellent – and also pleasantly cheap. So whether it's Bansko or Borovets, it's always easy to find a feast.
What are the best Bulgarian resorts for apres ski?
Cheap and cheerful and kicking long into the night, Bulgaria has some of the best apres-ski on offer in Europe.
If you’re looking to take full advantage of cheap booze, head to either Bansko or Borovets for Bulgaria’s loudest and liveliest après-ski – many stag and hen parties already do. The bars at the bottom of the gondolas start filling as the lifts close. And for a different vibe, try a ‘mehana’, a cosy tavern which also serves food.
If you prefer somewhere quieter to kick off those ski boots, head to Pamporovo, whose après is more geared around warming hotel bars and restaurants.
What are the best ski resorts in Bulgaria for ski weekends or short breaks?
Thanks to being cheaper than Alpine alternatives, it’s easy to head on a short ski trip to Bulgaria.
Borovets is your best bet for a weekend or short ski break. It’s the closest resort to Sofia airport and just over an hour away by car. By contrast, Bansko is over two hours and the transfer to Pamporovo is three hours.
Borovets is also great for all ability ranges, with over 50km of easy and intermediate slopes, plenty of accommodation near the slopes and an après scene for all tastes.
But If you don’t mind a slightly longer transfer, then Bansko is a great choice. With tons of hotels for all tastes and cruisy corduroy ready to be carved it’s a prime candidate for mixed-ability groups. Plus, with a lively apres-ski town kicking on late, it’s easy to squeeze in many extra hours of fun.
What is the ski accommodation in Bulgaria like?
From living like royalty in a slopeside hotel, to cheap and cheerful self-catered, Bulgaria’s ski hotels offer incredible value for money.
No matter the ski resort, prices are typically lower than Alpine classics. With cosy accommodations coming in the cheapest, it's easy to spend a little more for the luxuries of ski-in ski-out, pools or saunas, and half-board dining.
But the big tip from the Heidi team is to check the star ratings of the hotel. A 4 star in Bulgaria is closer to a three-star in France or Austria. So if you don’t need rooms bursting with extras, then Bulgarian ski hotels are always a great pick.
What are the entry requirements for Bulgaria?
Entry requirements are completely dependent on your nationality. Things can change, so for the most up-to-date visa and passport information, we advise checking the international travel advice for your nationality, below are two examples.
Here are just some of our top ski resorts. To find the perfect one for you, speak to one of our specialists.
Borovets is a well-thought-out purpose-built ski resort with great-value accommodation and lots of lively bars and restaurants to explore. The skiing is well suited for beginners and intermediates with wide, tree lined runs to explore.
Sitting at the base of the mighty Todorka peak, Bansko is Bulgaria’s newest ski area. Given the rustic mountain charm, fantastic skiing and lively après ski scene, it comes as no surprise that the resort is continuing to draw skiers who return year after year.
Pamporovo is a purpose built ski resort lying in the pretty forested foothills of Snejanka Mountain. The resort has lots of lively bars and restaurants to explore and a variety of great value accommodation. The ski area is small but great for beginners.