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Collection of large, modern hotels in a beautiful wooded setting. The skiing is convenient, fair sized, varied, pretty. Good ski school reputation, improving resort facilities.
Most people come here on packages and stay in big hotels with their own bars, restaurants and shops within them. There is also a large selection of quirkier and lively small bars, shops and eating places. 'There must be over 40 if you include the back streets,' said a reporter, 'with touts outside most bars trying to get you in.'
Nevertheless, the resort's beautiful woodland setting gives a degree of Alpine-style charm.
A long, slow gondola rises over 1000m in 25 minutes to reach both the short, easy slopes of Markoudjik and the longer, steepish Yastrebets pistes. The runs are best for good intermediates, and include some longish reds. The resort is not ideal for novices: nursery slopes are crowded, and the step from easy blues to testing reds is a big one. There are two terrain parks, with lines for all levels. For 2014/15 night skiing was increased and is now on eight runs. There's 35km of cross-country.
Recent reporters found no big queues. Snow-guns more than doubled from 75 to 160 last season and now cover over 60% of the slopes. The ski schools are praised - a 2015 visitor says of Borosport: 'My instructor was friendly, polite, patient - I learned a great deal.'
Most reporters stay at the huge 'Soviet-style' Samokov or the Rila, which is due to be refurbished for 2015/16. Two 2015 reporters praised the Lion and another was 'very happy' with the 4-star Radina's Way - 'plush rooms, nice pool and sauna area, helpful staff'.
The Crown restaurant is praised this year - 'inauspicious exterior but good grilled meat dishes'. The Finish Line does 'good chicken kawarma (a local dish)' and service was 'efficient'. There are plenty of lively bars with 'dancing girls and live music', including the Black Tiger. Buzz is said to be one of the liveliest, and there's a night club in the Rila hotel. The Red Lion is a 'good drinking place with a real fire'. Katy's Pub 'with a guitarist in the attic' and Mamacita's Mexican restaurant and bar have been recommended in the past. There are also 'adult' bars, but they are away from the main streets, and advertising is now said to be banned, though there are plenty of touts.
Tour operator reps organize pub crawls, folklore evenings etc. Excursions to the Rila monastery or to Sofia by coach are interesting.
- 17 Dec to 15 Apr: 0845-1630
- Sofia airport - 1 hours
Lively, convenient village
Not ideal for beginners
Some good intermediate slopes
Nightlife can be tacky
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Where to Ski and Snowboard 2016
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