Few capital cities anywhere in the world can boast such easy access to ski terrain as Sofia, though the ski lifts on Vitosha mountain are currently closed, possibly to reopen in February. Here is a quick overview of the ski facilities within easy reach of the capital.
Distance from Sofia: 70km
Resort Altitude: 1323 m
Highest point of run: 2560 m
Borovets is Bulgaria’s oldest and, till recently, most developed ski resort. Its fame dates back to 1899 when Prince Ferdinand built three palaces and a hunting lodge in the area.The runs are mainly set among the wonderfully thick pine forests and are split into two distinct regions.
The Yastrebets area is accessed via the Gondola cabin lift (20mins), which also leads to the more exposed above-tree-line area of Markoudjik. Majestically overlooked by the imposing Mt. Moussala, the highest peak on the Balkan peninsula (2925 metres), there are three lifts offering runs from beginner to advanced. The picturesque ‘Moussalenska Pateka’ (Moussala path) offers a tranquil and relaxing return to the resort.
The Sitnyakovo area is accessed by chair lifts opposite the Rila Hotel, and offers a good alternative for those in search of shorter intermediate runs in a more sheltered environment.
The base area is packed with restaurants and cafes where the lazy (or non-skier) can easily spend the day sunbathing on the sheltered terraces, watching beginners on the nursery slopes.
Night skiing is available from 17.00 – 21.00 hours. You will need to buy a separate lift pass, however.
Prices in Borovets are extremely inflated during peak season and may be a bit of a surprise to expats coming from Sofia. A one day ski pass costs 45 leva at the weekend and 55 leva on weekdays. Half day passes are available from 12.30.