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Ski Pamporovo

Located in the heart of the western Rhodope Mountains in the Perelik range, Pamporovo is a purpose-built ski resort renowned as the sunniest mountain resort in Bulgaria. It is also one of the furthest south ski resorts in Europe and its close proximity to the Aegean Sea means that it has a unique climate with mild winters and around 120 sunny days during the skiing period alone and the surrounding mountain peaks, which envelop the resort protect it from harsh winds and preserve the snow cover on the northern slopes of the Snezhanka and Murgavetz peaks. Pamporovo lies at an altitude of 1,650 m. with its highest peak the Snezhanka topping 1,926 m. It is 240 km from Sofia, 16 km from Smolyan, 12 km from Chepelare, 35 km from Devin and 85 km from Plovdiv, which has the nearest international airport. Regular buses run to each of these towns.

 

Piste Guide

The season commences in mid December through to mid April. Ski pistes are located between 1,926 and 1,450 m above the sea level on the northern, eastern and western slopes of the Snezhanka peak, which is easily recognized by the impressive TV Tower located on the summit. The resort boasts 25 km of excellent ski runs and 38 km of cross-country skiing tracks served by 18 lifts.The total track length is 18 km, the longest being 4 km in length. There are several chair lifts at various points in and around the resort, which connect Pamporovo with the Snezhanka Peak and the Studentets Cabin. All ski runs are well maintained; four snow-levelling machines and six snow cannons guarantee skiers comfortable and enjoyable downhill rides all season long. The mountains around the resort have gentle profiles, which makes the resort perfect for beginners. This does not mean that advanced skiers are left unchallenged; Pamporovo’s Giant Slalom and the black run known as The Wall provide extreme challenge for even the best skiers. There is also great off-piste skiing and snowboarding and local guides are available should you wish to ski off piste. All pistes are extremely well-maintained and in good condition. There is also the opportunity to hire a skidoo or participate in night time skiing. The resort has excellent facilities for those wishing to learn to ski or perfect their technique with over 100 highly qualified ski instructors each fluent in a variety of languages and a ski kindergarten for young children, which is open from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm. Equipment is easy to rent with most rentals stores lying near the ski runs and lift stations. A six-seat lift and two new ski runs have been constructed between Pamporovo and the village of Stoikite creating 5 km of new pistes. Pamporovo is the starting point for many marked ski and hiking trails; the Orpheus Rock is 20 minutes from the Snezhanka Peak, the Murgavets Peak is one hour away, the Smolyanski ezera hut takes 2 h 15 min cross country or 40 minutes by way of two lifts, the Izgrev Hut in Chernatitsa is 6 hours away, the Momchil Yunak hut in Prespa is 4 and a half hours away the Perelik hut under the Golyam Perelik Peak is 4 hours 30 minutes away, the village of Progled is 1 hour and 30 minutes away and the town of Smolyan three hours.

The Perelik Project

The ski areas of Pamporovo and neighbouring Chepelare will be linked by the Perelik Project, which aims to connect the Perelik peak in Pamporovo with the Mechi Chal peak near Chepelare. 55 million Euros will be spent on new pistes, hotels and transportation equipment. The project will add nearly 30 km of new ski pistes. Chepelare will gain 12 km of lifts, 15 km of new ski runs. The project was originally due for completion this year, but Bulgarian red tape and a slow start has meant that the project is still in the early stages. New ski runs have been created, but the new lifts are not yet installed.

 

 

 

 

Apres Ski

The TV and radio transmission tower on the Snezhanka Peak is well worth visiting; you can take in the awesome views of the mountain ranges and nearby Greece whilst sipping a coffee in the panorama cafe. There are some fantastic places to visit should you fancy a day off from skiing. The nearby Bachkovo Monastery, which is the second largest monastery in the country, the medieval Assen’s Fortress and stone church, which stand high above the town of Assenovgrad on a vertical rock face, the museum town Shiroka Laka, which is well known for its original Rhodope architectural style, musical traditions and history, or the towns of Smolyan and Plovdiv are all worth a visit.

Resort Entertainment

The resort contains many super five star hotels many of which provide spa facilities. Most people working in the resort speak English and a host of other foreign languages. There are many shops including a small shopping centre between the Perelik and Murgavets hotels. Stores in the resort sell everything from souvenirs and ski equipment to designer clothing. Nightlife is good with a choice selection of bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Alcohol is reasonably priced and many bars hold regular "happy hours." Many restaurants serve traditional Rhodope cuisine, which is well worth tasting particularly the roast lamb, klim and patatnik.