We’ve always planned to go skiing in Bulgaria since reviews are very good, but our itinerary brought us here just now. The snow was low with no prognosis to rise, in other places we considered, so we used our chance to visit Bulgaria. Borovets is one hour drive from the Bulgarian capital Sofia or 430 km away from my hometown (475 km from Belgrade) and our journey wasn’t tiring – the highway is almost to the border and after that you have about 130 km to this ski center on Rila mountain. The Rila is the highest mountain of Balkan Peninsula, wild, beautiful, covered with pine woods, with seven magnificent lakes, great for walking and climbing as well as for skiing.
My expectations were not high – when you read about this ski center you find out that it has 12 ski lifts and 58 km of slopes and after last year Austria experience, I was a bit doubting. Besides, our hotel Flora doesn’t have a flattering rating on Booking.com (I prefer 8.5+) and I was ready to be disappointed. Luckily, I wasn’t right – Borovec is 120 years old ski center and even though there is old infrastructure (there is no heating for seats or covers on lifts) it was a good surprise – our hotel Flora was at first sight just about right but everything was really good – rooms are simple but warm and tidy, food is great – you can always choose from different dishes, salads, fruits… and the location is excellent – base station of gondola lift is 200 m from the hotel. You can go on skis when there is enough snow. Slopes are wide, long and well prepared. You can choose where to spend your ski day, which starts at 8.30 and ends at 17.00. There are enough nice Caffe-bars, restaurants and places to take a break, eat, drink or warm-up. Slopes are a bit harder than in Serbia – when you see “red” it means that it has some black parts. But, most of the people ski well enough and I must notice that snowboarders are very, very good. Borovec has its own app (AppStore, Google Play) which is quite accurate and helpful.
As wild as it is with the highest Musala peak (2.925 m) and skiing at 2.385 m where gondola lift takes you, Rila mountain can be tricky at winter, especially when it comes to the wind – we had two windy days (from our 6 for skiing) when the gondola didn’t work and the other lifts were crowded. On a first windy day, we went to Martinovi Baraki part of the mountain and at noon we were driven away by a strong wind, wet icy snow mixed with rain and crowded slopes and spent the rest of the day into the spa and enjoy in hotel facilities. On the second windy day we took a taxi to Jastrebets Express ski lift. It was bit crowded until noon and then people disappeared 🙂 Maybe they just came for half-day skiing or were driven away with 20 minutes waiting at the lift station, I don’t know, but from 13 to 16.40 it was great, despite the wind or the fact that highest part of the mountain was closed. At the end just one opservation – money/value ratio is great.
This was one of my best ski holidays. Hoping to give you exact impressions, here are some photos 🙂