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Bulgaria’s Undiscovered Ski Resorts - Dobrinishte and beyond

 

 

 

Dobrinishte

Dobrinishte is a traditional Bulgarian village surrounded by the most amazing alpine scenery and natural mineral springs close to the international ski resort of Bansko. It is the second most important ski area in the Pirin Range and is located at the base of the Pirin Mountains in the south- eastern Razlog Valley 810 m above the sea level.

There is an excellent range of pistes covering 7 km and suitable for all abilities. The two main areas in this district are the ski chalets of Gotse Delchev and Bezbog. They are connected by a two- seater chair lift with a capacity to transport 500 people per hour. The lift connects with some of the country’s longest ski runs. The pistes in the Bezbog region cover 5,600 m with a total drop of 950 m. Those in the Gotse Delchev area cover 1,500 m and are frequently used for slalom. There are plenty of places to rent equipment and a ski school for both adults and children.

The area offers much in the way of accommodation and restaurants and is a great way to experience some amazing scenery and quality skiing, away from the hustle and bustle of Bansko yet near enough should you wish to add some more variety to your daily runs.

 

Malyovitsa

Malyovitsa lies 40 km from Bulgaria’s oldest ski resort Borovets. It is a scenic area in the north- western Rila Mountains and is easily accessed by a good road system.

There are several ski pistes in the area and plenty of places to hire equipment. The Malyovitsa summit is 2,729 m high and there are several more peaks in this region. The Malyovitsa pistes cover only 4 km in total with the longest, the Uleya covering 1,200 m. The top of this piste is a good black run, but as the elevation decreases the slope gets easier, ending in a blue run and less challenging to the advanced skier.

The other main piste, the Rajdavitsa is 900 m in length and is great for beginners as are the pistes of the Mecha Polyana. The Govedartsi piste covers 900 m and is great for intermediate skiers. Malyovitsa has five drag lifts and several t- bar lifts.

There town offers many good quality restaurants and a few hotels. This is a great resort if you like a little skiing but are not mad keen on getting in as many turns as possible. The stunning scenery and close proximity to some spectacular cultural and natural sights like the Rila Monastery make it a great place to spend the weekend.

Tsigov Chark

Tucked away in the western part of the Rhodope Mountains, 8 km from Batak and 24 km from Velingrad, this charming ski area lies 1,100 m above sea level. There are some excellent conditions for both skiing and snowboarding and plans are afoot to expand the ski territory within the next few years.

The pistes here cover 1,500 m and are divided into two with the lower pistes suitable for beginners. The average drop is about 100 m, making it ideal for both beginners and intermediates alike. The lower piste is served by two drag lifts, whilst the upper slope is better suited to intermediates and advanced skiers and is served by t-bar lift.
A day pass costs 6 Euros and a day’s ski rental costs the same. Ski instruction is also available on request. There is plenty of accommodation on offer here and most of it at low prices. This is another resort, which is great for those who want to do a little skiing and enjoy the charms of the surrounding area which include the beautiful Batak Lake and the natural springs in Velingrad.

 

Panichishte

Panichishte lies 1,350 m above the sea level and borders the Rila National Park and the spa town of Sapareva Banya. It is home to a variety of ski facilities and is one of Bulgaria’s least expensive ski areas.
There are a variety of runs here; the Bekyara covers 470 m and is serviced by a drag lift, which can transport 280 people per hour. The Ajdena run covers 400 m and is also serviced by a drag lift with the same capacity.

This area is great for beginners especially children because it includes the small, gentle run known as the "Baby Ski Run". There is another run close to the Pionerska Hut, which covers 400 m and is serviced by a drag lift with a capacity to transport 350 people per hour. This run also has a designated sledge area, which covers 1,130 m and there are often sledging contests here. Close to the Seven Lakes Hut there is a 300 m piste and drag lift and a 950 m run near the Rila Lakes Hut. There are future plans to link these two huts with a two-seater chair lift. A cross country piste is located close to training area at the fascinating Dry Lake. This area is being equipped with biathlon facilities including shooting platforms.

There are plenty of rental shops and ski centres offering tuition as well as some comfortable accommodation, some in the many rustic, mountain ski chalets.