Bulgaria best suits novices and early intermediates looking for a jolly time at bargain-basement prices. Bansko’s arrival on the scene over ten years ago raised the bar for the country’s other main resorts, which are now starting to catch up.

Bulgaria has traditionally been a place for a cheap and cheerful holiday. It is well worth considering if you are a beginner or early intermediate on a budget and want a lively time, fuelled by cheap booze. Don’t expect sophistication or big ski areas. A keen piste skier wanting to count the miles could ski even the biggest resort in a matter of hours.

But the ski schools have an excellent reputation. And Bansko has some good hotels and a modern lift system. Even Pamporovo now has a six-pack. The scenery and culture provide a very different holiday experience from the Alps.

Costs very low by Alpine standards.

Good ski schools.

Lively bars and nightlife.


Poor snow record, though snowmaking has been improved.

Small ski areas.

Cheap booze attracts 18–30 crowds.

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