Amanda’s Recent Ski Trip – February 2020
I recently got the great opportunity to travel to Bulgaria on a Skiing trip with Travel solutions on this trip I got the chance to do some skiing (which I never done before) and visit the hotels which Travel solutions feature in the ski resorts of Pamporovo and Borovets and also sample a bit of Après Ski.
I flew from Belfast to Plovdiv with Jet2 Airlines flying time was just short on 4 hours, on arrival we took the coach transfer to the resort of Pamporovo this is a compact resort particularly suited for beginners and intermediates, transfer time was 1 ½ hour checking into the Snezhanka Hotel and apartments this hotel is a very popular hotel for groups, couples and families in a central location within walking distances to the local bars and restaurants , my room was a good size with twin beds, shower, fridge, TV and Balcony, after checking in we met with the Travel Solutions representatives in the hotel and got the chance to have a look around the Hotel and its facilities this hotel has an excellent foyer with a large open fire plenty of seating areas, lobby bar, shop, Exchange desk also has leisure facilities, Swimming Pool, Sauna and jacuzzi , dinner this evening in the Hotel was Buffet style giving you a wide range of choice.
Day 1. After breakfast in the hotel we took the shuttle bus from the hotel straight out to the ski School in the Malina region the shuttle bus runs every day from the hotel starting at 8.45 up to 10.15 and returns again in the evening from the slopes from 15.30 up to 16.45 dropping us off at the ski centre we met our ski instructor for over the next few days and got fitted out with our skis, sticks boots and lift passes and then the fun began….. today we had 4 hours of ski lessons with our very patient instructor showing us the basis learning to ski and getting us on to the nursery slopes. Lunch was in the very famous Alex’s this a great restaurant located at the Ski School offering great food with a really good mid-day atmosphere the menu in Alex’s was offering chicken burgers, steak burgers, pizzas, toasted sandwiches really an excellent choice of food, also very reasonable priced from 10 Lev approx. £5.00 sterling and some choices even included a soft drink. After the afternoon on the nursery slopes we returned back to the boot room leaving our boots, skis and sticks for the next day, heading back to our hotel with a quick change, headed out on our first Hotel visit this was to the Perelik Hotel, official rating a 5 Star Hotel this hotel is built in an alpine style recently renovated in a prime location, this hotel has a very open and modern foyer with retro furniture this hotel has excellent facilities indoor swimming pool ,sauna, ski storage room and a six lane bowling alley, the bedrooms and bathrooms in this hotel are furnished to a very high with rooms taking up to 4 people some also have their own balconies, the main restaurant is a very large open planned area again modern in design this evening we got the opportunity of sampling the food again all buffet style offering a vast range of dishes to suit everyone.
Day 2. After breakfast in the Snezhanka we caught the ski bus out to the ski school picked up our ski equipment, meet with our ski instructor to start another day of fun, falls and plenty of laughter, Lunch again today was in Alex’s. After another great day at Ski School on the nursery slopes we got the chance to do some Après Ski activities in the form of Skidooing this was arranged with our Travel Solution rep, meeting at the ski school area we transferred up to the designated area to pick up our skidoos after a safety brief we all headed off on our adventure through forest paths and trails this was a great experience very exhilarating would really recommend doing this cost on doing this was 70 lev approx. £35.00 sterling per person .
Our hotel visit tonight was the Orlovets Hotel – a totally refurbished Hotel rating a 5 Star offering a luxury spa ‘The Mountain Wellness’ which is well worth visiting after a day’s skiing , conveniently located in the centre of Pamporovo, bedrooms and bathrooms are furnished to a very high standard, the foyer in this hotel is very open offering plenty of seating areas with the added bonus of the open pit fire which is very impressive, we had our evening meal in this hotel in the main restaurant, this restaurant is very open planned offering buffet style menu such as soups, salads, fish, meat chicken vast range of choices with an excellent sweet selection which I think will be needed for the next day!!!! After our very relaxing meal we headed over to the Perlik Hotel which is just opposite the Orlovets Hotel to try out some bowling, cost of doing this is 20 Lev per person approx. £10.00 sterling great evenings fun before heading over to the famous Dak’s bar which is located next door to the Snezhanka Hotel, Dak’s would be one of the main spots for the Après Ski night entertainment.
Day 3. Breakfast again in the Snezhanka Hotel and then to the slopes, this was when we were told today we are heading up the slopes to do the Green Runs…..to get to them first we had our first encounter with the 3 man ski lift all I can say that this was an experience to go through getting on to it and then to get off it……it was a bit like Bambi taking its first steps, the ski lift brings you up to the Snezhanka Tower which is 1926m high from here you can go onto the ski runs which are suitable for you, taking the green run we made our way back down towards the Ski Centre 2 stopping several times for some coffee and some cases Brandy and Hot Chocolate, stopping at the middle station you get the chance to see skiers coming down The Wall this is the most difficult run in Pamporovo also from here you can take the single chair lift back down to the Ski Centre in all the stop areas there are restaurants serving food and refreshments great chance to sit and take in a bit of winter sunshine.
After a very eventful day on the slopes we headed back to our hotel this was going to be our last night in Pamporovo with dinner booked in the Gloria Mar Restaurant, the Gloria Mar restaurants are a very popular in Bulgaria with one in Sunny Beach and Nessebar before our dinner we had two more hotel visits, Hotel Merryan and the Mountain Lodge located in resort centre both these hotels are 3 Star offering comfortable accommodation on a Half Board Basis, The Mountain Lodge offers 1 bedroom apartments, studios and maisonette rooms this would be very good for families and groups. Our dinner in the Gloria Mar was excellent the menu choice was unbelievable and very reasonable priced T Bone Black Angus Steak 18.90Lev approx. £10.00 sterling, the restaurant was beautifully laid out with large open fires and tables all set up with faux fur rugs on the seats giving the restaurant a fantastic ambiance, I would definitely recommend that you come here for a meal. As this was our last night we said our farewell to our colleagues from Travel solutions and to our excellent ski instructors who presented us all with our Ski Achievement Certificates.
Day 4. Checked out of our hotel this morning to make our way to the other Ski Resort Borovets which is approx. 4 hour drive, on route we stopped in the resort of Chepelare which is 10km from Pamporovo, Chepelare is the home of The giant Slalom and the 3000m long Mechi Chal 1 slope which is suitable for advanced skiers who wants a challenge (I’ll leave this one to the experts)the Hotel in this resort was The Hotel Rhodopi Home a 4 star hotel in the centre of the resort a very nice hotel very spacious comfortable bedrooms with excellent leisure facilities, by staying in this hotel your ski pass will cover skiing in Pamporovo and Chepelare.
Arriving in the resort of Borovets in the late afternoon, Borovets was Bulgaria’s first ski resort with its highest peak at 2925 metres and up to 58km of ski runs making this resort popular with all levels of skiers and boarders, our next few days we will be staying in the Hotel Ela, this hotel is a 3 star hotel an excellent location next to the gondola lift and within walking distance to the main street, this hotel also had a Sauna and Steam Room the rooms in the hotel are very spacious and nicely furnished. After settling in we headed on our Hotel Visits, Borovets Gardens is 3 star self catering apartments within walking distance from the centre and ski lift it also offers a free shuttle bus to the gondola lifts this property is ideal for groups as they have accommodation for up to 5 people sharing, this property is adding on more apartments or 2021. The Lion hotel which is an elegant 4 Star hotel with all modern comforts, this hotel is set in a very scenic setting about 1km from the resort centre with an added bonus of the shuttle bus taking you to the gondola lifts this hotel offers at when you stay at this hotel on a Half Board basis you will receive wine, beer, juice or water along with your evening meal. This evening we got the opportunity to have our evening meal in the Hotel Ela which was very good buffet style with plenty of choices.
Day 5. Breakfast in the Hotel Ela we made our way up to Snow Masters this is where we rented our skiing equipment, purchased our ski lifts and met with our ski instructors, today I was relieved as our transport up the mountain was going to be in the form of a gondola so I knew I was going to have no more bambi moments, making our way up to the Markudjik Ski Centre 2520m from resort it took us 30 minutes this was an amazing way to see the slopes watch other skiers and boarders and take in the amazing scenery, we had a great day skiing in this region the green and blue slopes where very adequate for our abilities with the added fun of the drag lifts….. Lunch today was at the Yastrebets Hut, alfresco dining, great lunch menu with the most amazing views, returning in the evening by the Gondola lift. Tonight we visited the Hotel Samokov hotel this is a 4 star half board hotel and is one of the best know hotels in Borovets in an ideal location for the ski lifts, and the resort centre, this hotel is very impressive offering a vast range of activities such as a Kids Art Club rifle range sports hall along with its own bowling alley great hotel for families with plenty on offer, rooms are very well laid out and are comfortable furnished, this hotel offers inter connecting rooms, if you are lucky enough to get a room with a balcony facing towards the slopes you will be able to watch the night time skiing which takes place from 6.30 to 9.30 ever evening pretty impressive to watch. Dinner tonight was in the most amazing Bulgarian restaurant The Green King its owned by Peter and his family and they serve the most amazing food, Peter will come round everyone talking them through the menu and recommending certain dishes, this restaurant is very quant traditional Bulgarian Style with the most friendly welcome defiantly recommend this restaurant.
Day 6. Checked out of our hotel and made our way up to the Hotel Rila this hotel is a 4 star Half Board hotel in a prime location at the bottom of the chair lift directly beside the nursery slopes and in the heart of the resort, this hotel has lots to offer a choice of restaurants, panorama bar, indoor swimming pool, spa centre, shopping centre and a night club, the bedrooms are furnished to a very high standard offering a choice of rooms from Signature Twin, superior twin and deluxe suites rooms also at this hotel rooms will have slope views with an additional charge but I think it would be worth paying the additional supplement you would get stunning views of the slopes both day and night.
Our last hotel visit before leaving Borovets was the Flora Hotel this is a 4 Star property offering both Hotel Twin rooms and Apartments taking up to 5 people, again this was another great hotel in prime location minutes from the Gondola lift and resort centre, it also has a indoor pool along with a Spa and wellness centre.
Our return flight was leaving Sofia Airport at 22.00hrs making the journey from Borovets time approx one and half hours before heading for our flight home we took a walking tour around the city which lasts approx 50 minutes, this can be arranged through your resort Rep for 25 Lev, on this tour you get to see some of the major sights the city has to offer such as the Alexander Nevski Cathedral completed in 1912 a very impressive building both inside and out, The Presidency Building at the time of our visit we were able to watch the changing of the guard, the Ivan Vazov National Theatre located in the city gardens, and the Statue of Sofia a 48 foot high copper and bronze statue on a pedestal.
I would highly recommend a Skiing holiday to Bulgaria its offers great value for money suitable for all budgets, offering great choice of hotels, very family friendly, superb for beginners and intermediates
My tips would be book into a good standard of hotel which offers good leisure facilities this will be needed by day 3 or if you wanted to take a day off from skiing.
Eat out in resort to sample the Bulgarian Food
Do some of the Après Ski activities such as the ski dooing
Bring Rescue remedy pastilles (to settle the nerves) and Arnica for the bruises
A Fantastic experience definitely will go back…………..
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