Had enough with the conventional skiing holidays in the Alps? Why not give the lesser-known and often cheaper ski destinations of Eastern Europe a go? With plenty of snow, unbelievably low prices and a lot of things to do off the pistes, Bulgaria’s ski resorts will fulfil any expectation at a fraction of the cost of the popular winter sports locations.
Borovets is a little ski resort with a regal past, tucked away in the magnificent Rila Mountain. The town was once a residence of the royal family, and later on the Bulgarian political elite. The past splendour of Borovets can be seen in the beautifully ornamented Royal Bistrica hunting lodge, nestling in the woods. Since then, the town has evolved into an attractive ski and snowboard destination for both foreign visitors and locals. In fact, during the peak season, is mainly frequented by folks from the UK, Russia and the neighbouring Greece and Turkey.
Unlike Bansko, Borovets is more tranquil and less busy. That is why this Bulgarian ski resort is ideal for beginners, who are still working on their skills. Borovets has good nursery slopes and wide gentle slopes, with most hotels being right next to the ski runs. The 58 km of pistes offer enough to keep intermediates happy for about week. Skilled skiers and snowboarders can try some advanced off-piste tree runs.
The well-maintained and beautiful slopes with excellent tree runs reveal gorgeous scenery of Rila Mountain. The price of the lift passes is considerably cheaper than in other rival resorts in the Alps and Eastern Europe. There is a solid ski school with acclaimed instructors that will teach all the basics in about 5 to 10 days. Balkan Holidays offers a six-day, beginner ski-lesson package for £121, which covers kit hire, lift pass and ski school.
After a tough day on the slopes, you can unwind in a luxury hotel room, a cosy private cabin in the woods or a comfortable apartment. Most of the market hotels in Borovets have pools, saunas and steam rooms and other spa and massage treatments that will help you relax and recover. One of the most popular places to stay in Borovets is the newly refurbished Hotel Rila.
Like other Bulgarian ski resorts, Borovets is popular for its busy nightlife with buzzing bars and restaurants. The local taverns “mehanas” offer a versatile selection of traditional Bulgarian cuisine and delightful wines. Borovets is very family friendly. At the same time, it offers plenty of fun to those who prefer a more lively night out. Check the club at Hotel Rila or have a drink surrounded by the pine trees in the “Terrace Lounge.” While in Borovets, enjoy the culture and side attractions, including the UNESCO-listed Rila Monastery.
As one of the fastest growing travel markets, their plans for further development of Borovets ski resort including opening up new slopes and building more hotels. So get there before everyone does!