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Bulgaria’s Undiscovered Ski Resorts - Up and Coming Ski Resorts

 

 

Semkovo

Nestled in the foothills of the Rila Mountain, this area encompasses some spectacular panoramic views of the chain of alpine peaks covered with pine forests. A great feature of this area is the sleigh rides, whereby guests can cover themselves with colourful handmade rugs as they are pulled to the nearby town of Belica or into the centre of Semkovo.

At 1,750 m high on the Rila Mountain’s southern slope, there are some fantastic opportunities for winter sports. The season in this area is shorter due to the areas southerly location. Snow starts to fall around the beginning of November reaching 60 to 80 cm by January. There are seven pistes in total covering 4 km with eight drag lifts; the pistes are extremely well maintained and cover all levels of difficulty. The Semkovo piste covers 400 m with a drag lift, which has a capacity to transport 150 people per hour. The Orlite piste is 800 m in length with two drag lifts. The first lift covers 800 m and the second 1,100 meters with capacity to transport 450 and 700 people per hour respectively.

Uzana

Uzana lies majestically surrounded by oak forests at the base of the Ispolin Summit in the Balkan Mountains 1,420 m above sea level and 22 km from Gabrovo. There are plans afoot to construct a ski run right through the heart of the panoramic Balgarka National Park.

The ski season is open from mid December through to the end of March. Pistes in this area cover 3 km in length with the longest slope covering 1,300 m. This run is serviced by a drag lift and is best suited to intermediate and advanced skiers. Beginners will find the remaining seven ski runs are better suited to their needs. Ski doo rides are available and a lot of people in thisareaindulge incite flying.

The area is rich in local folklore and many visitors choose this region because it allows them to combine their love of skiing with a visit to the more culturally rich side of Bulgaria. There is a good choice of accommodation available with some of the best on offer at the Hotel Prima and the Hotel Geographic Centre.

Kulinoto

Quietly tucked away in the northern Pirin Mountain range in the valley of the Kulina River, this mountain resort lies 1,400 m above the sea level 12 km from Razlog. The area also lies close to Bansko but attracts more local skiers and is another village ideal for those who don’t want the glitz of the large international resorts. However, Balkanstroy, a local development company recently signed a contract with Razlog Municipality to develop the area into a fully fledged ski resort. They intend to extend the ski run, which currently lies at 1,600 m and is served by two drag lifts, and install a chair lift as well as construct new pistes to connect to the Dautev Peak. The developers also intend to extend the season by using snow cannons to manufacture snow – at present the season lasts from mid December to mid March.

 

Berkovitsa

Berkovitsa lies at the northern base of the Western Balkan Range 89 km from Sofia.

Ski areas in the western Balkan Range are planning to compete with Bulgaria’s more established winter ski resorts. Berkovitsa is no exception and its mayor is committed to developing winter tourism in the area. Development plans include the construction of a gondola lift from Berkovitsa to Kom 16 km to the east. Investors have already pledged money to the tune of 80.6 million Euros to develop the area.

At present the area only has one ski run serviced by a single drag lift. The municipality plans to double the size of the piste and to reclaim other older unused runs bringing the total length of the ski runs to 15- 20 km. Plans are also in hand to increase the accommodation capacity by constructing a hotel at the top of the lift station with more hotels to follow in the town itself.