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Bansko is synonymous with the best skiing in Eastern Europe. It’s a bustling resort at the foot of the Pirin Mountains, but we’ll move past it and head into the backcountry to find terrific terrain and tons of untouched slopes. As locals who have been roaming these mountains for a long time, we created these 5-day Bansko ski holidays to tour some great mountains and scale high peaks. With Bansko as our base, we’ll get to experience a bit of local culture, getting to know the local community and trying out Bulgarian specialties. This trip blends amazing skiing with authentic experiences, and you’ll be planning your return before it’s over!

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Adventure highlights

  • Bulgaria’s favorite ski destination

    Though there’s also a vibrant resort available, we’ll venture off-piste into lone mountains and pristine slopes

  • Feel the hospitality & taste the food

    Bulgarians are known for their warm welcomes, and the most important mission is to have you full after dinner

  • Get away from the crowds

    Local mountain guides will take you to Bansko’s best surrounding mountains where there’s no one to be seen

Itinerary

Join us for this 5-day itinerary of ski touring in the Pirin and Rila mountain ranges, all based out of Bansko. Being in the ski capital of Bulgaria will allow us to go out every day to different areas surrounding it. These Bansko ski holidays are ideal for skiers with off-piste experiences, as there will be options for intermediates and advanced skiers. Apart from the fact that you’ll have expert local guides by your side, who will take you to the area’s best-ofs and make sure you’re safe, a great thing about this trip is that all logistics are arranged for you. Transfers, food, hotel, even equipment rental is possible—you just show up and ski your heart out!

  • Following your arrival into Sofia Airport, you’ll get transferred to Bansko (3-hour drive). We’ll then settle into our hotel, where we’ll stay for four nights, and get to know each other over dinner, discuss the upcoming days, and get some rest for tomorrow.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Accommodation: 3-star hotel in Bansko

    Street view of Bansko, Bulgaria
  • Today we’ll be ski touring in the Bezbog area. We’ll hop on the Bezbog lift that will give us a high start at 2,240 m (7,350 ft). There are a couple of peaks to climb today, including Bezbog, Polezan, Disilitsa, as well as options to ski down slopes, suitable for both intermediate and advanced skiers. It’s also possible to go skiing through the forests of Bezbog. We’ll end the day at the bottom lift station, which is 45 minutes away from Bansko.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Ski touring: 5-6 hours
    Elevation: +600 or 1,000 m / -1,600 or -2,000 m (+1,970 or +3,280 ft / -5,250 or -6,560 ft)
    Accommodation: 3-star hotel in Bansko

    Rugged Bulgarian mountains and skiers
  • The Vihren valley is located southeast from the highest peak of Pirin and the jagged Marble Ridge. The most obvious objective for today is the Vihren peak itself, although it requires good endurance. A great and safe alternative to climbing it is the peak of Hvoynati—1,000 m (3,280 ft) of ascent from the starting point and a good choice of moderate lines to descend. Other options include the peaks of Muratov, Malka Todorka, and Donchovi Karauli. The starting point of these routes is the ski zone of Bansko.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Ski touring: 7 hours
    Elevation: +1,000 m / -1,900 m (+3,280 ft / -6,235 ft)
    Accommodation: 3-star hotel in Bansko

    Group of skiers in Hvoynati in Bulgaria
  • A one-hour drive takes us to the smaller and tranquil ski area of Semkovo, a huge contrast to the bustling Bansko area. It provides access to the main ridge of the Rila Mountains, with mostly mild terrain and beautiful conifer forests. Alternative options include the areas of Belmeken Lake in Rola or Yavorov Hut in Pirin—one of the best places for forest skiing in the area.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Ski touring: 6 hours
    Elevation: +1,000 m / -1,000 m (+3,280 ft / -3,280 ft)
    Accommodation: 3-star hotel in Bansko

    Skier going down slope, Semkovo
  • Depending on your flight arrangements, we can fit half a day of ski touring near Bansko or the area of Kartala in Rila. Alternatively, upon your preference, we can also visit the Rila Monastery on the way to Sofia. If you’d like to stay longer and keep on exploring the area, just ask us for some recommendations!

    Meals: Breakfast

    Bansko, Bulgaria in the winter
  • We reserve the right to adjust the itinerary or locations based on weather and snow conditions. If necessary, changes will be made to maintain the quality of the entire tour.

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Meet your guides

Lyuben Grancharov
5.00
Lyuben Grancharov
UIMLA International Mountain Leader
UIMLA International Mountain Leader
Lyuben has been working as a mountain leader since 2006 and as a ski and mountain bike guide since 2010. Having founded Bulguides, he organizes and guides trips throughout Bulgaria as well as some other Balkan countries and Georgia. With extensive mountain experience, Lyuben prioritizes his guests' safety and ensures they have a great time on their trip, whether it’s a hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, MTB, or a climbing adventure.
Dimitar Berov
5.00
Dimitar Berov
Ski and Mountain Guide
Working as a mountain guide since 2012, Dmitar also has a PhD in Marine Ecology and a wide background in biology and ecology. He spends his time mostly in the Bulgarian mountains like Pirin, Rila, and Vitosha as well as other Balkan ranges. Dmitar mostly guides English and Spanish-speaking clients.
Bulguides
5.00
Bulguides
Created by Lyuben, a passionate local mountain guide, Bulguides is a company with a focus on outdoor adventures with smaller groups and individuals. A dedicated team of professional guides organizes and leads hiking, mountain biking, ski touring, snowshoeing, trail running, and climbing trips throughout Bulgaria. They love sharing their knowledge and experience with guests, taking them to hidden gems only locals know about.
5.00 (1 reviews)
Fred Ballard (source: Trustpilot)

Our guide Lyuben is highly skilled and experienced in driving a team of freeriders/ski touring. He picks up the best sports in accordance with the weather conditions guaranteeing a great versality in the places we’ve been riding. Scenery destinations, gorgeous views, amazing after ski in thermal baths with top notch family hotels driven by local offering that extra additional local touch.
Lyuben is also experienced in other Balkans destinations and has a tremendous experience in Georgia. If you want to move out of the beaten tracks, you know who to contact. Enjoy it.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, local mountain guide with extensive knowledge of the area (and all the expenses of the guide)
      • 5-day Bansko ski holidays
      • Airport transfers and all other transfers during the tour
      • Accommodation for 4 nights (double/twin rooms)
      • Breakfasts and dinners
      • Local taxes and VAT

    What’s not included:

      • Flights to Sofia
      • Ski gear — rental available
      • Lunches and drinks
      • Lift passes
      • Entrance fees for sights
      • Guide gratuities — optional
      • Travel and medical insurance — optional
  • Participants joining these Bansko ski holidays should be confident skiing on red/black runs and have decent off-piste skiing experience. Regarding the fitness level, participants should be able to tour for 6-7 hours in total per day.

  • Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring for your Bulgaria skiing holidays:

      • Touring skis
      • Ski touring bindings with ski/walk mode and brakes or straps
      • Climbing skins
      • Ski crampons
      • Poles
      • AT ski boots — with rubber sole and ski/walk mode
      • Beacon
      • Shovel
      • Probe
      • Rucksack 35-45l
      • Water and wind-proof trousers and jacket with hood
      • 2 pairs of gloves — small ones for touring and ski gloves
      • Sunglasses
      • Sun block
      • Sun hat
      • Warm hat
      • Ski goggles
      • Travel liner for the huts
      • Leisure clothing for the evenings
      • Water bottle or flask (at least 1L)
      • Snacks, personal first aid kit
  • Indeed you can! Your guides offer both touring set rental (boots, skis, tech bindings, sticks) as well as avalanche gear rental for these Bansko ski holidays. You can add these upon checkout.

  • Accommodation
    The base for your Bansko ski holidays will be a three-star family hotel in Bansko. You will stay in double/twin ensuite rooms.

    Food
    Breakfasts and dinners are included in the price of the tour. Breakfasts will be served in the hotel you’ll be staying in, while for dinner your guide will take you to local restaurants for two nights, while the other two dinners will be served in the hotel restaurant. This will be a great cultural experience as well! Keep in mind that special dietary requirements can be accommodated, but please let us know if you have any upon checkout.

  • Group sizes and pricing

      • For these Bansko ski holidays, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 6:1.
      • It takes a minimum of 2 people for this tour to operate. The maximum group size is set at 12 participants.
      • This is a private tour, meaning that you book the dates that suit you and your group. The more of you there are, the lower the price per person.

    Bulgaria skiing holidays can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
  • To get to your Bansko ski holidays, fly into Sofia International Airport (SOF). That’s where you’ll meet up with your guides on Day 1 of the tour, and get transferred to Bansko.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance.

    With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more. Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • Deposits

    You can secure one of the set dates with a 30% deposit upon booking. The remaining 70% of the trip price is to be paid 90 days prior to departure, at the latest.

    Cancellations

    Booking fees are non-refundable in all cases. During checkout, however, you can choose one of 57hours’ flexibility options:

    Basic

      • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
      • For cancellations 60 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a 70% refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 0-59 days before the trip, there is no refund.

    Flexible

      • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
      • For cancellations 60 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a full refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 30-59 days before the trip, you are eligible for a 50% refund of the trip price.For
      • cancellations 0-29 days before the trip, there is no refund.

    Super Flexible

      • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
      • For cancellations 30 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a full refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 0-29 days before the trip, you are eligible for a 50% refund of the trip price.
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