The ski resorts of Bulgaria have a similar, though slightly shorter season than the Alps, and slightly lower altitudes, yet they still offer good intermediate skiing at great prices. They can't boast the massive interlinked ski zones further west, but bigger doesn't always mean better, and even advanced skiers should be able to keep themselves entertained if they head off-piste or. The clientele that Bulgaria attract is very different from Slovenia. Bulgaria has much more of a production line feel to it: it's popular with binge-drinking Brits who are there for the extensive après-ski drinking opportunities as much as the powder. The beauty of both countries can be found in their low prices and a culture that is sufficiently different from the usual western resort experiences to make things interesting for seasoned ski travellers. These two countries, which lie at opposite ends of the Balkan region, showcase the diversity of Eastern Europe, with distinctly different languages, people and cuisine. They offer distinctly different ski holidays: Bulgaria most definitely fits the cheap and cheerful tag.

Conditions

Bulgaria boasts a long season, with Bansko opening lifts from mid-December to mid-May.

when to go

Bulgaria has slightly shorter seasons than in the high Alps – but generally a trip between early January and late March would be a safe bet for snow. Bulgaria doesn't have any glacial resorts, so summer skiing is out, though the snow can hang around until summer in the highest parts of the mountains, offering backcountry spring skiing for the more adventurous. The slightly lower altitudes of Bulgarian resorts may become a worry in this age of global warming. For now, greater investment in snow-making systems is helping to ensure that seasons are still a respectable length.

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