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Home » Our Ski Resorts » Skiing in Bulgaria » Bansko

As prices have risen in well-known budget conscious ski areas like many of the resorts in Andorra, skiers have looked to other hidden gems, like the resorts of Bulgaria. Bansko was once a very basic resort with slow, antiquated lifts and long queues, but thanks to multi million dollar investments the facilities are now ultra modern and quick. And the best part? The prices are still low.

The quaint town dates back to medieval times and is surrounded by the Pirin, Rila and Rhodopi mountains. Over the last few years old buildings have been replaced with smart hotels and apartments. It has the best snow record and the longest ski season (mid-December to mid-May) of all the resorts in Bulgaria, and mainly suits beginners and intermediate skiers and boarders. There are many easy slopes for learners, and fantastic well-maintained wide tree-lined runs with fabulous views for intermediates. There are some good offerings for experts, including the Alberto Tomba black and the slalom and giant slalom runs in the Shiligarnika region. In good snow conditions you'll find great off-piste skiing in powder-packed bowls.

The old town, with its cobbled streets and weatherbeaten buildings is friendly and welcoming, and the surrounding area is seeped in history and natural beauty. There are about 150 cultural and historical memorials in Bansko - visit the bell tower at the St. Trinity church, Thracian mounds and archaeological finds. Après-ski is warm and lively, mainly taking place in one of Bansko's animated mehanas (tavernas). The food can be basic but filling and very reasonably priced. While it still doesn't have the huge terrain, glittering nightlife and alpine charm of many of the resorts in the Alps, Bansko is looking like a mighty good option with quick lifts, no queues and great prices - perfect for your first ski trip.

Bansko ski ratings:




Après Ski

Family Skiing

Resort Size 

Ski Schools 

All Bulgaria ski resorts: 

  • Bansko

    Bansko Skiing Holidays

    After multi million dollar investment, Bansko now offers skiers a modern resort with quick lifts at an affordable price

  • Borovets

    Borovets Skiing Holidays

    This hidden gem is the oldest ski resort in Bulgaria, nestled within pine forests offering affordability & buzzing nightlife

  • Pamporovo

    Pamporovo Skiing Holidays

    The sunniest ski resort in Bulgaria, Pamporovo offers wide open slopes for intermediate snowboarders  


More on Bansko:

Bansko for Different Ski Abilities

Beginner skiers

Beginners will be carving perfect lines in the snow in no time at Bansko. The resort is ideal for first timers, with beautiful gentle runs. The pistes at Todorin Vruh provide some gentle inclines and long runs from the chair lift, which are great for learners. The Ulen ski school will give you extremely high quality instruction for reasonable prices - get a private lesson at least once if you can splurge on it - it will help immensely.

Intermediate skiers

A good mix of easy cruisy blue runs and testing reds make Bansko a good resort for intermediate skiers. Add to that hands-free access to lifts and short gondola queues and it's a pretty appealing package, especially for those who want to improve their skills.

Expert skiers

There are some testing reds and some good black runs like the Alberto Tomba to keep experts busy for a while here, as well as the Slalom and Giant Slalom slopes, but most advanced skiers will need to head to the off-piste for a challenge. The resort is also a regular host to extreme competitions and has a good freestyle terrain park.

Bansko Ski Schools

Bansko hosts the best and largest ski school in the region with highly qualified ski and snowboard instructors teaching every level of skier and snowboarder.

 Après Ski and Off the Mountain Activities

 Après Ski

The nightlife in Bansko is warm and lively, mainly kicking off in one of the 200 Bulgarian tavernas (mehana) where you can sample regional cuisine, fine wine and meet a lot of people. Most of the local mehanas also offer live folk music. Vibrant bars and clubs stay open until the small hours, with no set closing time.

Off the mountain 

With so many historical and cultural sites around, it's definitely a good idea to hang up the skis or board for a day and explore the area. Remains from ancient fortresses in the Staroto Gradishte site are just four km to the west. Near the famous Staroto Gradishte site there are Thracian mound hills. The south of Bansko is situated the National Park Pirin, which is on the UNESCO list for cultural and natural sights. The park is packed with lakes, waterfalls, caves and more historical sites. There are also stunning mineral springs in the area. Visit the Rila Monastery or try: bowling, skidooing, ice skating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, paragliding, heli-skiing and a swimming pool.

How to get to Bansko

by air

The closest airport to Bansko is Sofia (170 km), the capital city of Bulgaria. Flights on average take around 2.5 hours from the UK. It takes around 2 hours 30 minutes to drive to Bansko from Sofia.