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City and Ski

Vitosha mountain is on the edge of the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. Whilst Vitosha's reputation doesn't match up to the big Bulgarian ski resorts, being so close to Sofia makes it ideal for hassle-free skiing during the day and the vibrant night-life of the capital in the evenings. An easy and popular getaway with foreigners and Bulgarians.

Sofia has the rare luxury of having a ski resort on its doorstep, just 15 minutes from the city and close to the airport. Being so well located both tourists and local Sofia residents are to be found on its slopes.


The region between the city and the mountain is one of the most expensive in the area and attracts many upmarket property buyers.

The best way to enjoy your city and ski holiday is to stay in the city and use the slopes for day trips for skiing and snowboarding. The hotel base in the mountain is somewhat lacking as regards top level facilities, so a hotel in town is the better choice. There is something special when walking around Sofia to look up and see Vitosha highlighted by the sun.

There are numerous small bed and breakfasts and hotels in the foothills off Vitosha and also on the southern outskirts of the city close to the mountain if you prefer not to be in the centre.

The mountain is easily accessible. Buses are regular from the bus station in Sofia to the Aleko Ski Centre which is where the main skiing is concentrated. If you prefer, you can take the gondola lift starting from the ring road in the Simeonovo district. There is a second chair lift which starts from Dragalevtsi. The ideal is to hire a car and explore Vitosha for yourself at your own pace, taking the time to visit the remote villages outside the main skiing areas.

Winter in the highest parts of the mountain lasts about 5 to six months with the biggest snow coverage during March. Temerature averages in January are minus 8 C. It generally starts to snow heavily during December and lasts until late spring. Lift passes are extremely reasonable, particularly in comparison with prices at Bansko and Borovets.

The ski runs are particularly suited to beginners and intermediates, although there are some nice slopes for those who are more advanced. Huge ski areas and many ski slopes with powder. There are six ski runs which vary in length and difficulty. Vitoshko Lale is the most difficult. There is also a trail of 9600 m for ski running. Skis, boots and other equipment can be hired at the Aleko Ski Centre. The centre also has highly qualified ski instructors. You'll find opportunities for slalom and cross-country skiing. Weekends and bank holidays are the busiest times, so anticipate some queues. Aleko is some 1800 m above sea level and here you'll find all facilities, restaurants, hotels, etc.

There is plenty of good apres ski with many local traditional mehanas (taverns) in Dragalevtsi and Simeonova - plus, of course, all the buzz of the capital city itself.

For those who would like to visit places of interest : Boyana Church, Dragalevtsi Monastery, Alexander Nevski Cathedral, Church of St. George are all to be found in Sofia ... along with great shopping along Vitosha Boulevard.

A capital city, excellent shopping, restaurants and night life, all combined with good skiing - what more could you want?

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