Ski Centre for Europe
Bansko is now a fantastic destination, for all 365 days of a year. There’s no doubt about it. Bansko has become as a “must visit” destination all year round. There are so many reasons why it has become so popular. Starting at the obvious, this small town with a history and unique tradition going back thousands of years is slowly transforming to a hugely popular ski resort, matching its European counterparts in every way.
In spite of this, the inhabitants jealously protect their town from over development. The heart of the town is very much a traditional village with remarkable stone houses and cobbled streets.
There you will find the mehani (taverns) and you’ll probably spend all your nights, eating the finest food and drinking excellent wine whilst being entertained with traditional music and singing.
The architecture, the food, the entertainment is here to stay and they will never change. Around the heart of the town, near the ski gondola new developments of top quality hotels and apartments are being constructed.
The style of the new buildings is in line with traditional ski resorts on the exterior, and inside incorporates luxury features like indoor swimming pools, spas and restaurants for the benefits of the residents.
Bansko boasts an extremely good snow record and the surrounding mountains provide excellent opportunities for expansion. Bansko has the longest ski season (15 Dec – 15 May).
A major English newspaper has labeled Bansko as the new “St. Moritz of Europe”! The cost in resort both for skiing and entertainment are significantly lower than in other European ski resorts.
So why is Bansko so popular for skiers? Take a view of what it has to offer. Currently 65kms of ski runs with plans for expansion.
Run heights from 2560 meters to 990 meters. 26 kms of ski lifts, 13 kms of which are seated, 7 kms are drag and 6 kms cabin. 35% of the runs are for beginners; 40% for intermediate and 25% advanced. There is also a ski road for intermediates and snowboarders.
This is covered by snow cannons and is lit to create a fantastic journey from the highest ski run to the town. Children have not been forgotten, there is a ski kindergarten with every facility to introduce them to a wonderful sport.
For beginners there is the largest ski and snowboard school in the region with dozens of highly qualified, multi lingual instructors. The very latest equipment is at hand for hire as well. So from December to May the ski enthusiast is assured of a superb sport, excellent entertainment and a fulfilling activity holiday.
But what about the rest of the year? Surrounded by 3 mountain ranges, multiple rivers, meadows and forests, Bansko is the heart of a unique place in the world.
In the summer months Bansko takes on a different character entirely. The countryside welcomes the visitor with accessibility to most areas including the mountains. Park your car and take a stroll (or hike, depending on your energy) through stunning countryside alongside clear mountain streams and lakes in the shade of huge beech and oak trees. You can stop and enjoy a barbecue at one of the many strategically placed picnic sites which have hearths all ready for you to get cooking.
For those seeking a spa, 7 minutes away by car is the village of Banya you will enjoy an open air pool with hot mineral waters. Hunting and fishing are a great pastime. The rivers and streams offer an abundance of sport. The forest and meadows house red deer, fallow deer, chamois, boars, hares, partridges and pheasants. Hunting is strictly controlled and a license is required, but once in possession the sportsman has at his disposal huts and hunter’s houses from where they can enjoy their sport.
Golf at its Best
New to the area is golf, and as with other sports, Bansko has approached the project with care and diligence. Designed by Ian Woosnam, the victorious 2006 European Ryder Cup team captain, Pirin Golf Resort, lies a few kilometres from Bansko and houses a beautiful new parkland style, 18 hole championship length golf course with all the facilities.
Golf has added yet another dimension to the beauty of Bansko. There are several projects under construction by the golf course for those who want “front line” positions. So there it is, at your disposal, skiing, hunting, shooting, fishing, walking, climbing, golf and culture in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. If only there were 400 days in a year in Bansko!