Skiing in Bansko

Bansko is Bulgaria’s number one ski resort. As well as having the best snow record and the longest ski season (15 Dec – 15 Apr) of all Bulgarian resorts, the new multi-million Euro investment in the ski area has provided Bansko with one of the most advanced ski centres in Europe. The highlight of this being the direct gondola ride which carries skiers and snowboarders from the town, right up to the first stop in the resort. Regardless of your experience and skill level, skiing in Bansko is perfect for all abilities.

 

Your apartment is about 5 minutes walk from the gondola station, so you should arrive fresh and ready for the slopes. The ski school is opposite the gondola station so you don't have to carry kit to and from the apartment each day if you prefer to leave at the ski school for easy collection in the mornings.

km
pistes to explore
m
of vertical skiing
runs to navigate
fast 6-seater, 4-seater and T-bars
snow cannons with 90% piste coverage

Large screens with live video feeds and weather information across the mountain greet you as you enter the gondola terminal. Boarding the gondola is easy with the new chip-cards which means that you can pass straight through onto the gondola without having to fumble around for your ski pass.

 

Once you have boarded the 8-seat gondola, you can sit back and enjoy the scenic trip which will take you up through the snow-capped pine forests to Banderishka (the first stop and lowest point in the resort at 1800m). From here, you can either chillout with a cappuccino, or you can save that for later and head on up the mountain to try out on one of the many runs. If you’re feeling gutsy, there’s always the Alberto Tomba black run.

 

Continuing up the mountain is made possible with two 6-seater chair-lifts of the latest Doppelmayer model, four 4-seater chair-lifts by Poma, a 2-seater and a combination of T-bars and drags.

 

The large open beginners and childrens area is well equipped with two magic carpets (travelators) and three 100m drag lifts.

Beginner Skiing in Bansko

Beginner skiing in banskoFirst-time, beginner skiers and snowboarders will find Bansko has plenty on offer. From the excellent and very reasonably priced tuition from some of Bulgaria’s best English speaking instructors, to the plentiful well-groomed blue runs linked with a good system of drag lifts. Learning in Bansko couldn’t be any more fun! For the beginner it is possible to ski non-stop from the top of the mountain all the way down into town by linking a series of blue runs. Fortunately, there are plenty of refreshment stops en-route, as the total distance is 16km and a vertical drop of 1,664 metres.

For the kids, the resorts kindergarten provides an excellent introduction to skiing in Bansko with the ‘Wonder carpet’, a slow moving travelator replacing the normal drag lifts up the gentle training slopes. There’s also a ski carousel and plenty of other entertainment to keep all ages entertained while the grown-ups head off to enjoy what rest the resort has to offer.

Intermediate Skiing in Bansko

There is an excellent choice of blue and red runs, for budding intermediate skiers and snowboarders, all joined by a network of mostly chair and some drag lifts. Our instructor is also capable of offering technical tuition for intermediate skiers wanting to improve.

Advanced Skiing in Bansko

AAdvanced skiing in Banskos a regular host to extreme off-piste competitions, Bansko is known for its powder fields, extreme terrain and off-piste action. In addition to its off-piste reputation, some of
the red runs and the Alberto Tomba black run offer the advanced skier and snowboarder plenty of less extreme challenges in the main ski area.

If you’re a snowboarder, then you’ll love the wide pistes and tree-lined runs which provide plenty of opportunities to go off-piste.

The Bansko resort boasts 65km of marked pistes for you to explore, together with exceptional off-piste opportunities. In fact, I think you will find it hard to resist occasionally slipping off-piste now and again. This is possible, since most of the obvious off-piste action will lead you back onto the marked slopes. So if you’ve always wanted to veer off into the powder and glide between the trees, then it couldn’t be any easier.

If you head further into the moutains, you’ll find something which you won’t see in many resorts. I'm pretty sure it’s unique to Bansko. They’re called snow towers, and can only be described as giant snow needles coming out of the ground. I have yet to try them, but they offer an unusual alternative to the half-pipe, which can also be found in the fun park, together with an area where you can build jumps to suit your own taste and ability. If you have a bit of a competitive streak in you, then there are also regular competitions for both skiers and snowboarders.

The resort benefits from 40 snow cannons which cover 80% of the slopes, guaranteeing excellent snow conditions whatever the weather and making the ski season last longer. *

* As you carve your way down the mountainside, you will come across numerous mountain restaurants, giving you a chance to rest your legs, while enjoying lunch or a hot drink with your fellow skiers and snowboarders. Of course, all restaurants come with stunning mountain backdrops, so it’s always worth pausing for a few minutes, even if it is just to take a few snaps. In total, I counted 4 mountain restaurants, all providing hot food and drinks for the hungry and thirsty skiers and snowboarders.

The longest ski run in the resort is 16km which will let you ski or snowboard from the very top of the Todorka mountain, right into the town. What better way to end the day, but to ski right into Bansko, where you can either walk over to the apartment to chill out or call into the ‘Happy end’ bar directly opposite the gondola station for a drink. *

Night skiing

And just when you think the fun is over, they turn on the lights and let you ski the last 7km from Banderishka down into the town by moonlight. The slopes are available to everyone and open from 18:30 right up to 21:30, so this is something not to miss!

If you would like to keep an eye on the latest weather in Bansko, check the Snow Forecast website