Bansko is a unique small town of authentic architecture from the Bulgarian Revival period. In Winter, Bansko is the winter sports center of Pirin Mountain; during the Summer, Bansko is the premier starting point for a number of tourist routes to the Pirin Mountain. Closest airport is Sofia Airport.

Distance from Sofia: 150 km, Southwest Bulgaria; transfer time: two-and-a-half hours from Sofia Airport

Population: 10’000; Climate: mild in-town climate, temperatures are slightly lower than those at major cities.




Altitude: 990 m, altitude of highest ski run: 2500 m, altitude of lowest ski run: 1100 m, longest run: 3,5 km

Total kilometers of marked ski runs: 65 km, total kilometers of marked cross country trails: 9 km

Difficulty of slopes – beginner: 35 %, intermediate: 40 %, advanced: 25 %

Transfer to the ski runs: one 8-person Gondolla cabin lift with a capacity of 2400 person/hour

Total number of lifts: 14; lift types: one Gondolla, 6 chair lifts, 6 drag lifts; lift hours: 9:00 – 16:15

Ski and snowboard school: some of Bulgaria’s best instructors

Other winter sports: snowboarder’s half-pipe, a biathlon track with a shooting range, a winter sports stadium, a Junior Ski Club


Bansko, the most fast growing Bulgarian ski resort has the best snow record and excellent ski runs, catering skiers of all standards, from beginners to experts and the longest ski season that lasts from mid December to mid April. The ski runs are serviced by a number of chair lifts and drag lifts, all of which are cutting edge Doppelmayer ski lifts, including the 8-man Gondola and the four-chair lift with bubble shields to protect from harsh weather conditions. Less than 20 minutes takes the trip with the fast Gondola cable lift up to the ski centre. On the way back at the end of the day there is an option to either return by the Gondola or ski down the ski road, which ends five minutes away from Mountain Dream Hotel. The last 7 km of the slope are lighted, and the entire facility is equipped with artificial snow machines to ensure a great skiing experience even in warmer conditions.


In addition to on-piste skiing, skiers and snowboarders are welcome to the fun park in the Platoto area which offers fans of the extreme winter sports the option to ski over present artificial bumps and jumps as well as to build those on their own. Also, the half-pipe located by the place where Bansko’s famous snow towers are usually built, offers both skiers and snowboarders an arena to boast their latest tricks. Among other Bulgarian mountain resorts, Bansko offers what is probably the best après-ski with the unique combination of a modern mountain resort and a living rustic town with many cultural monuments and museums which add a historic ambience, blending perfectly with the facilities of a modern ski resort. Live music, a disco and nightclubs are all part of the local scene.




Summer activities include walking tours, horseback tours, hiking, mountain biking, alpine climbing, paragliding, swimming, soccer, and special craftsmen demonstrations or courses at request.

Bulgaria's second highest range, the mountains are Incredibly rich in wildlife, flora and fauna, whilst the valleys of the Struma and Mesta rivers ensure that the summer months are warm with the highest number of sunny days of any mountain area in the country. Pure water tarns and wildflowers abound in the highland valleys and the unique ecosystem is home to a number of rare plant species such as the Edelweiss. The mountains are easily accessible between May and October with the best of the weather falling during July and August when temperatures are high with little rain.
Bansko is not only the perfect place for a skiing holiday. It also serves as an ideal base for a mountain activity holiday at other times of the year.
Bansko is a leading European destination for hiking, with an abundance of marked trails throughout the National Park with its awe-inspiring mountain scenery, beautiful lakes and Alpine forests. In summer you can take a bus from Bansko up to the Vihren Hut, a popular starting point for many walks. It is also possible to visit the famous Baikuscheva white fir, the oldest or tallest tree in Bulgaria. Some companies now offer 1-3 day guided hikes through the mountains with night stopovers in mountain huts.

Mountain biking and white water rafting are becoming increasingly popular activities, and horse riding is offered in the nearby village of Bechevo.

A golf course designed by Ian Woosnam is currently being developed in the Bansko area. The nearby villages of Banya and Dobrinishte offer mineral springs with swimming pools. Dobrinishte is also the starting point for the famous scenic narrow gauge train ride to Septemvri (with stopping off point at Velingrad). A visit to the dancing bear rehabilitation park at Belitsa is always popular. Other possible excursions include the Rila Monastery, the wine-growing area of Melnik and the caves around Smolyan. In summer Bansko hosts the famous annual Bansko Jazz Festival and a number of other festivals are also held throughout the year.




Delicious Bulgarian meals and local red wine are easy to find. Over one hundred places to dine out, predominantly local-style “mehana” restaurants. Live performances of local artists are common in “mehana” dining places. The peculiar local cuisine includes traditional meals, such as Kapama, Chomlek, Banski Starets.

Total kilometers of marked ski runs: 65 km, total kilometers of marked cross country trails: 9 km

It is extremely easy to eat well and for a very reasonable price – over 100 places to dine out. The local eating places are called 'Mehanas' . Often you will find that these have been created from old family homes and the owner is also your waiter - therefore, they are proud to present their dishes and happy to recommend a menu for you. The menus are nearly always translated into English but be careful …. the translations can be a little misleading on occasion! However, we have never had a bad meal and have found that the Mehanas are very child-friendly and welcoming.
Meals can cost as little as £5 (14 Bulgarian Lev or €7) per head, with a pint of beer at approx 50p and an excellent choice of Bulgarian Merlot and Cabinet Sauvignon wines. The local drink is 'Rakiya' - beware!! Naturally, meals are more expensive within the Hotels where an impressive, fine dining selection may be also found.
Local dishes include the 'Sache' which is a sizzling stone plate brought to your table with meat, vegetables and spices - often shared by 2. Also the 'Kapama' and 'Banski Starets'. Meat is often pork but chicken is nearly always available too. Children's meals are not offered but the options will keep little ones happy too!




During the ski season, there is no shortage of 'Apres Ski' to suit all tastes. The 'Happy End' bar is just at the base of the Gondola and you can relax there with a drink or a coffee after coming down from the slopes. This becomes a busy night-time bar in the evenings. If you prefer a quieter evening, there are countless Mehanas where you are welcome to come in and have a drink or a coffee and children are also welcome.
Within Bansko Royal Towers itself, there is a restaurant and bar and comfortable lounge area - or of course you can simply relax in your own apartment with a selection of DVDs and games.
If you fancy a night at the Casino whilst in Bansko, there are now two - one at the 'Strazhite Hotel' opposite the Lion Bar on the main road from the Gondola and the other half way down Pirin Street on the right as you walk to the town centre. You can play Roulette, Black Jack, Poker and a selection of Fruit Machines. Just remember not to spend it all on the first night!
10-Pin Bowling
This is again at the 'Strazhite Hotel' next to the Casino. There are also pool tables, a bar/café and mini arcade machines and is suitable for children of all ages. The lanes are not full sized but are neon-lit which adds to the fun of playing to the lights!
Ice Skating Rink
This rink is new to the 2007/2008 season but is an amazing, new, state of the art rink for all abilities and with a large amount of arena seating. It is situated about 10 minutes walk from Bansko Royal Towers




Popular sites include the St. Trinity Church, Velyanova House, Neofit Rilski Museum-house, Nikola Vaptsarov Museum-house, Poetry and arts house, numerous souvenir shops. Local men dress as Koukeri on Januray 1st and chase away evil spirits from the streets of Bansko. Other prominent events include Easter concert, Bansko Tradition Festival in May, Bansko Jazz Fest in Summer, and a Christmas concert.




Bansko Bulgarian Municipality is a public organisation of local self-government in the village of Bansko (today a town), established circa 1850. The Bansko Bulgarian Municipality is a continuation of the all-village community council founded in 1833 by Lazar German for raising funds, materials and labour force for the construction and iconography of the Sveta Troitsa church, which was consecrated in 1835. Prominent merchants and craftsmen were elected to serve as village council elders. The Council’s activity during the 60-70s mainly consisted in fighting off Greek church authorities in order to gain independence for the Bulgarian church and set the ground for development of educational and cultural activities in the village. By the Council’s initiative a new school was built (1857), the "mutual school" was upgraded to a class school, Revival period newspapers and literature started to be disseminated. The municipality organised the construction of the bell tower of the "Sveta Troitsa” church (1850) and the mounting of the clock (1865). During the 70s, together with other municipalities from the Razlog region, the town council fought back against Protestant propaganda. The Bansko Bulgarian Municipality assisted financially families that suffered after the crush of the Kresnensko-Razlozhko uprising 1878 - 1879 and the Ilinden uprising 1903. During the Balkan war, at the liberation of Bansko (October 1912), the municipality organised the collection of food and clothes for Bulgarian army and the volunteer groups of VMORO (Internal Macedonian Odrin Revolutionary Organisation). The new five-member municipal authority, elected in 1912 and headed by Mayor Asen Todev, was included in the newly established state administrative structure of Bulgaria.

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