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  • Zoe Cooper

Skiing in Bansko, Bulgaria - not for the feint hearted for all sorts of reasons!!

Updated: Jan 27

The bustling town is in Pirin National Park and based at the foot of the Pirin Mountains, with the Glazne River running directly through the middle.

The tourism part of town is obviously on the up, and many new plush hotels are being built on every free bit of unmade ground they can find! Go slightly (and I mean slightly) off the main stretch and you will find bars for rent or buy, hotels boarded up and the quiet community trying to go about its everyday business.

The old town continues to hold its authenticity and beauty, and the food (lots of chargrilled meats) unexpectedly delicious, I had visions of stews at every corner but I was wrong! Thank goodness!

From the point of view of a girl travelling on her own, it was a friendly and safe place to be with only a few GoGo Bars (yes they still have them!) and men outside every shop persuading you to come in and buy/eat something, plus the Après Ski bouncing at any time of day or night!! Including on the slopes!

The daily 25 minute gondola ride to the mountain ski range was a highlight, if you have a fear of heights, this may not be the resort for you! I won't quickly forget travelling above and through the stunning snow covered forests! Amazing!

When persuaded to go for a horse ride (see the enthusiastic photo of me! I was glad we were taken to an authentic rural location, with mud track roads and sheds fastened together with anything they could find. The friendly and dedicated workers (dedicated to their animals!) welcomed us with a wide range of choices, where you literally could choose from colour, size and temperament!

And the other treat was a natural thermal pool - we went to Izgreva Hot Springs, in Banya, 15 minutes from Bansko. After a tough day on the slopes, it was divine to relax your muscles.

A question I keep asking myself though is....I wonder what the town is like for the other 9 months of the year? I might have to pop back one day and see!

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