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Skiing Borovets, Bulgaria
Wednesday 27 March 2019
Borovets Ski Resort, Bulgaria.
I have recently returned from a weekend of skiing in Borovets Ski Resort, Bulgaria. I never skied before so I was quite nervous about the first day but also excited to experience what the resort had to offer. Borovets is a modern resort with a great selection of ski slopes, ski lifts, cosy hotels, numerous dining and entertainment places surrounded by stunning nature. Rila is the tallest mountain in Bulgaria and on the Balkan Peninsula. It is located in the South-West part of the country. With its highest peak– Musala reaching 2925m, Rila ranges 6th among Europe’s tallest mountains behind the Caucasus, the Alps, the Sierra Nevada, the Pyrenees and Mount Etna. From my knowledge before I arrived in Borovets, I had thought the resort was only for beginners. This isn’t the case, as there are black and red slopes with plenty of advanced skiers travelling to Borovets also. There are three ski centres in Borovets. They include ski runs of different levels of difficulty- from beginners to experts with a total length of 58km.
As I was a complete beginner, departing with Travel Solutions really helped me to have my beginner ski packs, lessons and lift passes included and also resort reps to meet us at the airport. We flew out from Dublin to Sofia with Ryanair. On arrival in Sofia we were transferred to Borovets, this took approx one hour thirty minutes. I stayed in the 4* Hotel Lion in resort. The hotel was about a five minute taxi journey from the main resort centre. It was very homely, but quite quiet so I wouldn’t recommend it for a lively group, but apart from that it was lovely. The rooms were clean and quite large. We were on a half board basis and the food was lovely with a wide variety of options each day.
On our first full day we got a taxi to the Samokov hotel, which is where we collected our skiis, boots and poles daily. On the bus on the way to the hotels we each were given a form to fill in our shoe sizes, height etc to get fitted for our ski equipment. We had a brief meeting with our reps explaining how a typical week skiing would go and then we were brought to get fitted for our ski equipment. We then met our ski instructor who would be teaching us how to ski over the two days.
I found the ski lessons quite difficult at the beginning, but the instructors do put you at ease and are very encouraging. As others were progressing in my group quicker they moved further up the mountain but our instructor always stayed with the ones who were further behind to help them grasp the techniques. He definitely had his work cut out with me! I eventually did master the snow plough technique, but I didn’t quite get the hang of turning! The ski instructors are very helpful and you will learn loads from them. Top tip: Don’t be afraid to fall over!
Nightlife & Eating Out
Borovets as a resort in itself is super! There is such a buzz at night time with plenty of bars and restaurants. The main bar to visit is BJ’s bar. It tended to be the busiest and most lively but there are plenty of others too. For food, we ate in a traditional Bulgarian restaurant, The Green King, the food was excellent and I would highly recommend it. The resort is super cheap for eating and drinking. Most bars offer buy one get one free on spirits which saves money. You can withdraw Bulgarian Lev from any bank machine.
My Ski Trip Tips!
- The Hotel Rila is extremely popular to visit for Après ski they have a cafe bar with great views of the resort.
- The ski boots can be uncomfortable to wear at the beginning, just remember to pack thick thermal ski socks which will help when adjusting to wearing them. Sometimes you may need to go a size up in the boots as they are so bulky, but if they don’t fit you right on the first day they can be changed.
- Tipping is customary in Bulgaria. For meals and drinks, people in the service industry do expect tips. We also tipped our ski instructor when we were finished our lessons. This is also customary as they will meet you after the last ski lesson with certificates before they say their goodbyes.
I'll Be Back!
Overall I really enjoyed my weekend of skiing in Bulgaria. In Borovets, there is something for everyone from the beginner to the advanced skier, great entertainment in the hotel, brilliant nightlife in resort and you could even fit in a day trip to Sofia.
I am already planning my return to skiing to improve my skills and maybe not fall over as much!