A purpose-built resort of mainly hotels (including a newish five-star), attractively set in woodland a short bus ride from the slopes. The resort has traditionally appealed to beginners and unadventurous intermediates looking for a quiet time on a tight budget - others are likely to find the limited area of short, unchallenging runs very inadequate. But for novices, the quiet, sheltered slopes and highly praised ski school make it worth considering. Like other Bulgarian resorts, there are grand plans for redevelopment - a modern chairlift and new runs in 2008/09 are the first step in a planned link to nearby Mechi Chal. Pamporovo is a purpose-built village, in a pretty woodland area a short shuttle-bus ride from its easy slopes that suit beginners best. The resort is strictly for beginners and near-beginners, with mostly easy and short runs - but some beginners find the runs rather too narrow. Keen intermediates and better will the find area too limited and lacking in challenges. The 37km of slopes are pretty and sheltered, with pistes cutting through pine forest. For 2015/16 a new quad will replace a draglift beside the black No 3 run and will serve about 80% of the slopes, we're told. There's a half-pipe and a terrain park. Snow reliability is poor, but snowmaking covers 90% of the slopes. There are plenty of mountain huts, though they are not enticing. The ski school is praised this year: 'Very friendly, well organized, incredible value.' There are 25km of cross-country trails. A past reporter recommends the hotel Finlandia.
Pretty, tree-lined slopes
Good, low-cost choice for novices
Limited extent and short runs
Poor piste maintenance