Bansko, Bulgaria- Winter and Summer Activities
October 21, 2018
by Bobbie Boris
Ride The Slopes
If you are keen on skiing or snowboarding and want to enjoy a heavy snowfall during Christmas holidays or whenever between December and April, Bansko is definitely a choice you would not regret. Never been skiing abroad? The Bulgarian most known resort is the best option for a first time experience. Even if you are a complete beginner in winter sports and you want to learn there are dozens of ski and snowboard schools with multicultural instructors always ready to help and motivate you. The various slopes (80km slopes length) are appropriate for both beginners and advanced riders – there are blue, red and black slopes as well as a fun park for wild hearts. In addition, the excellent features of the steepest “Tomba” run made it host to many international championships- Europa cup, Biathlon championship, World cup. The advantage of choosing Bansko is that is very affordable (the Bulgarian currency is lev which is 0.51 euro).
Relax at its Finest
If you do not really enjoy the fluffy snow, minus temperatures and want to just relax and enjoy your winter break while your friends or family is riding up in the mountain, you won’t be bored either. Most of the hotels offer relaxing spa procedures and the thing you should definitely try is the hot mineral pool. Yes, while it is snowing onto your head you can be absolutely fine in your swimsuit soaking into the hot mineral water with a glass of red wine in your hand. Sounds not bad, a?
Riding All Day, Partying All Night?
From December to March is the “rush hour” for Bansko. It is super busy as in the town, so on the slopes. Nightlife in Bansko is something you do want to experience. The fun starts quite early, around 3-4pm. Après ski party is welcoming you right after you get off the Cabin Lift- on the terrace of a local bar Happy End. You can there enjoy last sunrays of the day with good happy hour offers for food and drinks. On the other hand inside part of the bar offers quite Alps atmosphere and there is a live band playing that people just adore and a lot of the tourists are going back there just because of the band and their amazing music. Very popular among English people are the British oriented- Queen’s pub and Lion’s pub. Clubs like Flash, Jack’s house, Oxygen, and Happy end bar are usually very noisy and crowded especially Friday-Sunday, and believe me, Bulgarians know how to party.
If this will be your very first time in Bulgaria there are foods “Must try”. Honestly, meals like banitsa, moussaka, kebabtche, shopska salad, lyutenitsa are the symbols of Bulgarian cuisine and the tourists are dying for them. There are many choices or the meat lovers- the locals are really keen on hunting and making their own kind of “bacon” and “salami”- called lukanka, sudzhuk, babek and etc. For drinks, they say if you have not tried rakia it is like you have never been to Bulgaria. It is the local alcoholic drink that men very often prepare at home. It is very strong, I will not lie, and visitors have mixed feelings about it, but do not hesitate and try it! It is an experience anyway. The restaurants in Bansko have a very international kitchen so don’t worry, if you are suspicious about the mentioned above, you won’t starve.
Saint Trinity church- early January morning
Cool summer in Bansko
Although, mostly known as a winter destination, the last couple of years Bansko is getting really popular with its interesting summer activities. If you are a little bored of hot days on the beach, try something different this summer. Escape the city rush and enjoy the other side of this charming mountain town- the summer calmness.
Take the Forest Paths
What’s better than a sunny day in the mountain, breathing the freshest air, enjoying the silence and the magic of mother nature. “Pirin” National park is like a little piece of Paradise with its old spruce forests, green saturated meadows filled with wild-berries, high rocky peaks and deep emerald lakes. There are some mountain huts like Damyanitsa hut, Vihren hut (called after the highest peak in the mountain) where you can spend the night and enjoy a cozy fireplace, the most delicious homemade food and the hospitality of the hosts, always happy to welcome their new guests. Adrenaline lover? Do not hesitate to take your mountain bike or rent one. The path conditions are perfect for mountain biking. Keep it in mind, though, that the snow cover stays until the middle of May, so probably June, July and August will be the best time for visits and adventures up there. However, if you are not really a hiking person, in the forest right above the town there are many places perfect for a picnic and BBQ and you can go there by car.
Water Attraction at 1650 meters height
Sports lovers have so many different options during the summer. They can practice climbing, horse riding, rafting, golf and many more. Probably the funniest about spending your summer holiday in Bansko will be the water attractions up in the mountain. Yes, you read it correct-water attraction on the slopes! There is inflatable water slide up in Banderishka Polyana (where the snow races for the World Cup are held), which is not only the longest in Europe but also increases its length- this year was the incredible 400 meters. So 400 meters of water drops at 45 kilometers per hour while finishing in the inflatable pool! The Aqua Park also offers the tourists other hot emotion, like sliding on a toboggan run and attractive jumps. For the teens and the elderly, it is especially fun playing the “live foosball” – the emotions are like a real match. Moreover, the summer attractions in Bansko also include football – there is a special playground for small-sized football on Bunderishka Polyana. There is also a shooting range. Mini golf is available. The place is just ideally suited for relaxation – with attractive, artistically arranged benches, arbors, comfortable tables and chairs with a possibility of consumption. For the little ones, there is a children’s kingdom with inflatable castles, a climbing wall, and etc.
Traditions And Culture
For those who prefer staying in town- Bansko has interesting suggestions. First, Bansko is a center of the Bulgarian culture and history. There are many museums, churches, remains of fortresses. In the Old Town is the house-museum of Bulgarian famous poet and activist Nikola Vaptsarov, the house-museum of the cleric Paisii Hilendarski, the museum of Monk Neofit Rilski. Generally, all the little snug houses in the old town are remarkable on their own. The architecture from the Revival epoch is a cultural monument of national importance. The church in the center, called Saint Trinity is a must for the tourists. It was built almost 200 years ago, and it is incredibly painted from the inside. Other things to do in the downtown is going on the traditional Sunday open market, where you can find interesting local foods, homemade by the locals.
Bansko is also a summer musical euphoria. The ladder varies from folk music, through jazz to opera and reggae. There is a style for any “headphones”. Concerts take place in the main square.
I believe I gave you enough reasons to pack your suitcases and take the road to that paradise nook of the incredible country of Bulgaria. I promise you will not regret it!