Here’s a collection of photographs from yet another interesting destination that I’ve been curious about for a couple of years, Bulgaria.

A few years ago, a friend mentioned how great the skiing was in a small Bulgarian resort village called Bansko, a village in a valley below the Pirin Mountains. So the objective of the visit was to experience just how good the skiing was and write about it for both of our two most popular websites, Hotell Addict and Airline Staff Rates.

I’ve been fortunate to have skied in different locations on three continents, mostly in the French, Swiss, and Austrian alps. While not even close to the variety of slopes in Chamonix, Tignes, Val d’sere or Santa Fe, Bansko offered way more than I had expected and was on par with my experiences from two visits to Zermatt in Switzerland. Well, with one exception; the bottleneck at Bansko’s gondola, which can mean at least an hour of queuing just to get into a gondola and ride up the mountain.

Once up there, though, I didn’t stand in line for the chair lifts once. That said, I’ve heard that it can get quite crowded at every lift when both British and Romanian skiers “invade” Bansko during late February and March.

Overall, I was very impressed with the variety of slopes, how they were prepped, the extraordinarily smooth ski rental experience, the village (both the old and the newer areas), and the many friendly folks working in Bansko.

Skiing in Bulgaria is no doubt an exotic experience. Not so much while on the mountain as much as the food and other cultural expressions. There’s no shortage of after-ski venues, restaurants, bars, both erotic and regular nightclubs, sports shops, and ski rentals in the newer parts of Bansko. In “old town”, down by the valley, it’s mostly residential.  At the very end of town is Bansko’s train station.

Getting to Bansko was easy. I opted for a taxi, but there is also a regional bus and a shuttle that will take you there from Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. You can of course rent a vehicle and drive to Bansko.