If you’re looking to make the most of your hard-earned cash, Bulgaria consistently ranks up there with the best when providing a great value ski holiday. The quality of what you’re paying for has increased significantly in recently years too, particularly when it comes to the standard of the accommodation, the resort infrastructure and the food and drink. Many of these are now comparable with what’s on offer in the Alps, but prices have still remained significantly lower.
When it comes to the skiing, there’s three main resorts to choose from – all of which are well-served by UK tour operators. Bansko is the biggest of the resorts and is home to the country’s toughest terrain, best lift system, a lively après scene and a historic medieval town centre. Borovets and Pamporovo are the two other options, both of which are good for families, especially when you consider the excellent value of the highly-rated ski schools. Note that snow reliability can be an issue, especially before New Year and later in the season, but snowmaking improvements in recent years have helped things.
As mentioned, standards of accommodation and restaurants have risen significantly in recent years and although there are still holidaymakers heading out for a cheap and boozy, no-frills holiday, there are now some higher-end options, especially in Bansko. You’ll also get to experience completely different scenery to the Alps and the friendly local culture.
Bulgaria is easy to get to from the UK and there’s often incredibly cheap flights into the capital Sofia, from which the transfer is simple – especially if you book through a tour operator.
Don’t come here expecting expansive terrain and real challenges for experts however, much of the terrain is tree-lined and even Bansko is only home to around 50km of pistes. This does unfortunately also lead to some big lift queues during the main holiday weeks, so do try and head here outside of school holidays if you can. In addition, and despite the recent improvements, some of the facilities are still a little rough around the edges, especially in the older hotels and restaurants – but we’d say that for the price you pay, Bulgaria is still well worth visiting.