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Bansko

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1 Bed Apartment in 5* Complex
Sleeps:
4 (1 Bedrooms)
1 Bed Aparment (sleeps up to 4) located in new complex 10 minute walk from main Gondola. Complex offers swimming pool, spa & jacuzzi, free wifi,
 
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Belmont Apartments, Bansko
Sleeps:
4 (1 Bedrooms)
This new apartment hotel is offering 74 luxury one- bedroom apartments.
 
Price:
EUR 275
-
EUR 275
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Chalet Jora
Sleeps:
14 (5 Bedrooms)
Your first choice for a catered ski chalet in Bansko. Centrally located, within very easy walking distance to the bars, restaurants and shops. The gondola is an easy 10 minute walk from the chalet, although we offer a free flexible shuttle service.
 
Price:
GBP 195
-
GBP 215
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White Wood A3-02
Sleeps:
4 (1 Bedrooms)
Fully furnished 1-bed apartment
 
Price:
EUR 140
-
EUR 231
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Complex with spa facilities 5 min Gondola walk
Sleeps:
7 (2 Bedrooms)
Spacious apartments in prime location for easy walking to the gondola & ski road. Facilities free to guests include;- Indoor Pool, Jacuzzi, Sauna & Gym. Massage also available at extra cost. Cafe, bar & shop on site. Restaurants easy walking distance
 
Price:
GBP 200
-
GBP 600
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Bansko Luxury Ski Apartments & Spa
Sleeps:
2 (1 Bedrooms)
The Aparthotel
The Studio Apartment, twin beds, modern kitchen with dining table, spacious sitting area consisting of a leather sofa bed and luxurious armchairs, bathroom with shower or bathtub, Safety deposit box, Mini bar, TV, telephone, Wireless
 
Price:
GBP 200
-
GBP 275
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Delightful Chalet Georgi’s House sleeps up to 12 people
Sleeps:
12 (5 Bedrooms)
A delightful new Chalet Georgi’s House sleeps up to 12 people comfortably in 5 bedrooms with 4 private facilities and are located on the 1st and 2nd floor of the chalet. Close just 100 meters to the lifts and great value for money Chalet Georgi’s
 
Price:
GBP 219
-
GBP 410
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Studio apartment
Sleeps:
4 (1 Bedrooms)
1st floor studio apartment with luxury bathroom in small quiet development opposite Lucky Bansko 5* hotel. The apartment comprises of 2 double sofa beds, kitchenette comprising of 2 ring hob, fridge and sink fully equipped.
Prices from £100 p/w
 
Price:
GBP 110
-
GBP 120
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White Wood A4-07
Sleeps:
6 (2 Bedrooms)
Fully furnished 2-bed apartment
 
Price:
EUR 182
-
EUR 315
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Spacious 2 bedroom Appt near Gondola
Sleeps:
6 (2 Bedrooms)
Cosy 2 bedroom appartment on the 4th floor at White Peak Lodge,5 minutes from the gondola station - sleeps 6 people and has 24 hour manned security - appt has a wood burning stove and 2 balconies
excellent location off the mountain road
 
Price:
GBP 150
-
GBP 250
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Little Snow Jewel - 3 apartments
Sleeps:
4 (1 Bedrooms)
Perfectly located between the Ski Hire and Gondola (5 mins walk) and the traditional Old Town (10 mins walk). Can cater for groups of up to 12.
The apartments are next door to the Irish bar and Restaurant (was called Sir Galahad)
There is an excel
 
Price:
GBP 120
-
GBP 295
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Mount view Lodge, Bansko
Sleeps:
6 (2 Bedrooms)
Mountview Lodge is a fashionable new apartment complex of 52 apartments, all equipped with fireplaces.
 
Price:
EUR 312
-
EUR 312
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Bansko Royal Towers 1155
Sleeps:
7 (2 Bedrooms)
A 2 bedroom apartment only minutes from the Gondola
 
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Resort guide for Bansko (Click on the arrows)

Bansko

Bansko lies 2.5hrs south of Sofia, Bulgarias's capital and is home to the largest ski resort in Eastern Europe. With 75km of mostly reds and blues, Bansko is ideal for the beginner and intermediate.

A recent property boom in the resort has mean't that accommodation consists mostly of Bansko apartments all huddled next to or convenient to the gondola station. From here, a 20 minute ride takes you up to the main ski area at 1635m. The highest run in the resort starts at 2600m and at the end of the day many visitors enjoy the final 7km ski road back to the town.

We like

  • Incredible value. Everything, from the cost of accommodation to eating out is very reasonably priced.
  • The convenient location of accommodation in Bansko focussed around the gondola station
  • Fast lifts thanks to a very modern ski infrastructure 
  • Traditional town with some cobbled streets

We don't like

  • Long queues at the gondola station during peak periods
  • Not many restaurants cater for vegetarians
  • Signs of building works in some areas
  • Not much to do for non-skiers

Location

Bansko lies at the foot of the Pirin mountain range in South Eastern Bulgaria at 936m above sea level.

The most convenient airports to Bansko are in Sofia and Plovdiv. Sofia is the country’s capital and is served by several airlines including easyJet, Wizzair, Ryanair, Bulgaria Air and British Airways. There are also a number of indirect routes operated by European airlines.

Bansko is situated 160km South of Sofia, so expect a 2.5hr transfer. Although it is possible to reach Bansko by bus and train, the preferred option by most visiting Bansko is to book with one of the many airport transfer companies. Most are reasonably priced and depend on the number of travellers in your party. Many will include stopoffs en-route for refreshments and/or a visit to a local supermarket to stock up on essential food items.

Bansko itself has a population of around 10,000 and dates back to the 16th century. The old part of the town is well worth a visit as it has changed little in that time. Despite some building work still being evident, the newly developed areas of the town are sympathetic to the town's historic architecture and blend well with no high-rise buildings and most built using traditional stone and timber.

The newly developed areas mean that accommodation in Bansko has been focussed around the south side of the town where the gondola station is located. Most Bansko accommodation will be within a few minutes walk of the lifts and those further out are usually serviced by free shuttle transfers to and from the gondola station.

 

Bansko map

Resort stats

Size of ski area (km) 70km
Resort height
936m
Highest lift 2600m
Lowest piste 936m
Maximum vertical 1664m
Green runs 0 %
Blue runs 35 %
Red runs 60 %
Black runs 5 %
Lifts 24
Snowmaking 80 %
Linked resorts n/a
Currency Bulgarian Leva

On the slopes

The ski area is set above Bansko and is reached by an 8-person gondola from the South side of town. The gondola ride takes approximately 20 minutes to reach the main base Bunderishka Polyana, which also acts as the meeting point for those taking lessons as well as being home to the nursery slopes and most of the mountains bars and restaurants. Bunderishka sits at 1635m above sea level and at the end of the day many choose to return to the town below via the 7km ski road. The ski road is almost always in shade, so maintains good snow conditions throughout the season. In warmer weather this is assisted by stationary snow cannons.

Half way between Bunderishka and the town is a smaller and quieter ski area called Chalin Valog which has a couple of good red runs, one of which starts out as quite a challenging black. It links up with a half-way stop on the gondola run, so skiers and snowboarders can jump aboard a gondola at the halfway point to head up to Bunderishka or back down to the town.

From Bunderishka, a 4-man and 6-man chair lift provide further access up to the bulk of the 70km of pistes spread across the mountain. The highest run starts at 2600m and winds down past the snow park onto the treelined pistes, past a couple of mountain restaurants and finally down to the second large meeting and rest area called Shiligarnika at 1725m. Many choose this area as the base for their adventures. From here there is also a lesser well known ski road down to the Chalin Valog ski area.

As the main ski area is high above the town, there are few options for true ski-in/ski-out accommodation. Although the ski road winds all the way down to the town and has reliable snow cover, the slope side accommodation will most often require a short walk before you can put your skis on and scoot down to the gondola. On the plus side, most accommodation in Bansko has been built with convenience to the gondola in mind, so most will not have too far to walk and those that are based a little further out are usually catered for by free shuttles to and from the gondola.

For the Beginners

 
As you exit the gondola station at Bunderishka, you’re greeted by the ‘Meeting point’ sign as this is where all instructors and students meet each morning to start their lessons. Bunderishka is home to Bansko’s nursery slopes, complete with magic carpets, drag lifts and a childrens play area. Most beginners will spend the first part of their week in this area before testing their newly learned skills on the gentle ski road back down to the town. For those with tired legs, taking the gondola back to the town is also an option. When you’re ready, it is possible to take the chair lifts to the highest point in Bansko at 2600m and link a series of blue runs to take you the 13km from the top of the mountain down to the town.
 

For the intermediates

 
In my opinion, Bansko is best suited to beginners and intermediates, not only because the majority of the slopes are geared towards this experience level, but also because the cost of lessons in Bansko is considerably less than in other European resorts. Although the number of reds almost matches the number of blue runs, the blue runs can be quite challenging themselves in parts with steeper sections that I would normally associate with reds. For intermediates, the Chalin Valog area also has a couple of red runs that start as steep blacks. Chalin Valog is an often overlooked ski area, so the pistes are often quiet and the snow well groomed.
 

For the experts

 
While Bansko might be better suited to the intermediate skier or snowboarder, experts won’t be dissapointed either. The reds are extremely challenging in parts and the Black Tomba run that drops into the Bundersishka area will really put your legs to the test. Off-piste in Bansko is usually reached via a short hike from the top of the mountain and there are a number of guides in the resort offering trips in search of fresh powder.
 

For the snowboarders

 
Wide pistes and a variety of piste-side obstacles and forest detours make this a great place for snowboarders. Althoough I tend to skirt around it, the fun park looks like fun for those that are up to it. What will really please snowboarders is the lack of drag lifts. The longest and most painful drag lift was at the very top and was the only option for those wishing to take run after run at the snow park. Thankfully this has now been replaced with a faster and  more comfortable chairlift.
 

For children

 
Ulen the company that operates the resort, offer a ski Kindergarten which can be booked at the gondola station. The idea being to introduce children to skiing through play in the Bunderishka area with a ski carousel and childrens drag lifts on open gentle slopes, while the parents can head off and explore the mountain. For older children, group lessons usually combine a mix of age groups, so adults and children all learn together, which is great for families learning together for the first time.
 

Off the slopes

 
Apres Ski
 
Bansko boasts around 200 bars and restaurants, known locally as Mehanas. These tavern style bar restaurants serve mostly local cuisine in a very tradtional setting, often with Bulgarian folk music to add to the experience. For the less adventurous, there are numerous restaurants serving more familiar burger and chips, curry, pizza etc.
 
There are no shortage of bars in Bansko and there are quite a few nightclubs dotted about the town, including the popular Basecamp and Oxygen.
 
For children and families, the town has an outdoor ice skating rink and ten-pin bowling alleys, both a short walk from the gondola station on Pirin Street. Shops generally open late.
 

Resorts nearby

Other ski resorts in Bulgaria that you may like to consider:

Borovets

Pamporovo

Ski guide provided courtesy of Escape 2 Bansko.

The images used were provided by Ylber Jusufi

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