Winter holidays in Bansko. How to get there, where to sleep, what to try?
Bansko is a small resort town in the Blagoevgrad region, located at an altitude of 936 meters above sea level at the foot of the Pirin Mountains.
The population of the city is approximately 10,000 people. However, in the winter months, numerous hotels, hostels and guest houses in Bansko are overflowing with tourists - fans of active winter recreation from around the world. The resort's hotel base is able to accommodate up to 15,000 guests per day. Each year, the city updates its attendance record - in general, between November and March, around 2,000,000 people manage to visit here. Since 2014, Bansko has been holding the leadership in the list of the cheapest ski resorts in Europe.
The secret of the popularity of Bansko doen’t only rely on cheapness. Excellent natural and climatic conditions, infrastructure and service, which are getting better from year to year, traditional Bulgarian hospitality and unique rural style attract foreign tourists no less than low prices.
How to get to Bansko?
Distance from the airports of Bulgaria to Bansko:
- Burgas - Bansko - 430 km;
- Varna - Bansko - 520 km;
- Plovdiv - Bansko - 150 km;
- Sofia - Bansko - 160 km.
You can get on a rented car, the minimum cost per day will be 10-15 euros, but it can be higher on holidays, for example, on New Year’s Eve. You can also pre-book a transfer, which usually costs from 80 to 200 euros depending on the distance and number of passengers. You can save a lot by traveling by bus or train, after getting to the bus station or train station. The train and bus timetable can be found on the website of the respective transport terminal in each city in Bulgaria. There are no direct buses and trains from the coastal cities - you will have to change in Plovdiv or in Sofia. Cost of bus tickets:
- Burgas - Plovdiv - Bansko - from 18 euros;
- Varna - Plovdiv –Bansko - from 22 Euro;
- Sofia - Bansko - 8 Euro;
- Plovdiv - Bansko - 7 Euro.
Getting there by train is cheaper, but sometimes much longer.
Where to stay Bansko?
In Bansko there are more than 450 hotels and complexes in which apartments can be rented.
- 5 five-star hotels, prices that start from 150 euros per room per day;
- 39 four-star hotels - from 60 euros per day;
- 107 three-star hotels - from 20 euros per day for a double room.
The price of the room usually includes breakfast, ski storage in a special room, and sometimes dinner and use of the spa center services.
On holidays - Christmas and New Year’s Eve - prices are rising, hotels offer special holiday packages, including a gala dinner and musical performance.
When traveling a large company or families with children, you should consider the option of accommodation in a 2-3-room apartment, where 4-6 people can comfortably relax at the price of a room in a three-star hotel. But in this case, even breakfast you’ll have to cook yourself.
Where to ride in Bansko?
The total length of the ski slopes in Bansko is 75 km. They are located on the hills of the Pirin mountain range at an altitude of 1110 to 2500 meters above sea level. In total there are 21 tracks:
- 2 of which are difficult;
- 11 - of medium difficulty;
- 6 - easy;
- 2 of which are super light and designed for beginners.
16 lifts - 9 chairlifts, 6 ski lifts and 1 gondola - deliver skiers and snowboarders to the slopes.
The cost of packages, including mountain insurance, equipment and a 6-day lift pass, starts from 200 euros for an adult and from 100 euros for children from 7 to 12 years old. A little more expensive will be the package with additional group training. You’ll pay a bit less if you have your own equipment. Going to the mountains do not forget aboutspecial medical insurance.
Where to eat? What to try?
Information on 126 places to eat and relax in Bansko can be found on our website.
Tourists who come to Bansko for the first time should definitely visit the local taverns-mehanas, decorated in the national rustic style and offering national dishes.
The residents of Bansko - Banskaliyas - have long been considered skilled cooks, and the cuisine of this region of Bulgaria is one of the most delicious all over the Balkans. The long winter in the Pirin Mountains implies daily use of the stove for heating and cooking. For several centuries, housewives in Bansko have been cooking delicious meat, vegetables, legumes in ceramic dishes in the oven in the “slow-cooking” mode. This method of prolonged (5-6 hours) stewing makes the meat incredibly tender, reveals the taste of vegetables, and preserves their nutritional value.
One of these dishes is called kapama. Different types of meat are stewed with sauerkraut and rice, seasoned with spices and red wine.
Be sure to try the rich aromatic meat soups with beans, which perfectly restore power after skiing.
It is recommended to drink grape rakia with local meat delicacies - the thinnest strips of dried ham (“Bansky Boot”, “Bansky Starets”) or local dry sausage made from minced pork with the addition of a whole arsenal of spices.
For dessert, order a sweet banitsa - a pie made of many layers of thin dough, or the famous banski kukurini - deep-fried cookies, reminiscent of German krebels. As a souvenir, buy a jar of homemade jam, candied nuts or halvah.
Prices in restaurants:
- main course 5-15 euros;
- raki 50 ml. - 1.5-5 euros;
- beer 500 ml. or a glass of wine 150 ml. - 2-3 euro;
- coffee, tea - from 1 euro.
For your convenience, we also offer the following lists:
Mehanas in Bansko, where you can try the local cuisine and listen to folk music
Restaurants at the hotels of Bansko, where you can go for a dinner
Places in Bansko where real steak is cooked
Places in Bansko where you can smoke hookah