My friends and I have just come back from our first experience skiing in Bulgaria, rather than our usual France/Austria. We wanted to go away just for a weekend of skiing which is also something we hadn’t experienced before as normally we would have a weeks holiday.
Enter EasyJet Holidays where we found a weekend to Borovets, Bulgaria. We got 2.5 days of skiing altogether, leaving Thursday morning from Gatwick and leaving Sofia on Sunday. Borovets is an hour transfer from Sofia airport and roughly a 3 hour flight time from Gatwick. The holiday including flights, accommodation (incl breakfast, spa) and a private transfer cost £300. On top we needed ski hire where I only needed skis/poles and then lift pass for 2.5 days which was £60. We also did one night of night skiing which cost £12, bargain! For a week in France you are usually looking at around £200+ for a lift pass. We also hired a locker to leave our stuff in resort which cost us very little too.
Our hotel was a 5 min taxi from the slopes or a free shuttle ride. There were also deals to stay at hotel Rila which was at the bottom of the slopes. I think a trade between being more costly but closer to the slopes or further out but a nicer hotel.
Piste – We basically covered the whole piste in the time we were there. The piste is 58km in length with 1 gondola and 3 chair lifts. There are 19 runs, the longest run is 12km and there are only a few black runs which seem more like reds so plenty of skiing for beginners/intermediates. For the fearless there is also a ski park but that wasn’t open when we were there. The piste is very beautiful, with huge pine trees throughout. The resort is 1350m and the highest run is 2560m.
Food – like most ski resorts there are a lot of carbs on offer. Being meat free I ended up eating a lot of pizza and chips however we ate one night at Rila Hotel Terrace where we had a good veggie burger and grilled veggies to share. Out favourite meal by far was Hunters. A cute restaurant with tea towels from various places around the world hung for decoration. In the middle is a brick fire/chimney where we had grilled skewers both meat and veggie and the Turkish bread was delicious.
Apres – a huge part to pretty much any skiing holiday. The Apres isn’t the same as somewhere like St Anton in Austria. We didn’t end up going straight from the slopes to the bars as we usually would but ended up going out post dinner. The main place seemed to be on the corner at a bar called BJ’s. We also tried Funky’s, Cool Runnings and Black Tiger which to be honest was just full of men and we were practically the only four women. I would say that in general the ratio of men to women is not balanced in Bulgaria.
All in all I would definitely recommend a weekend in Borovets for skiing. I personally wouldn’t want to spend more than a week as I think I would get bored of the piste area as fairly small. However for a weekend it is great and if you are a complete novice than it is a much cheaper way of trying out the slopes in a beginner friendly environment.
Remember to always wear a helmet on the slopes. I am telling you, you do not look cool without one.