Sofia

Skiing on Vitosha Mountain

08 Dec 2016

If you can, take the time to get up Vitosha Mountain, breathe the fresh mountain air and take in some stupendous of Sofia from above. If the ski season has started then (which usually happens in time for the Christmas holidays) you can even make your way up after work on Thursday for night skiing or daytime every day of the week. Skiing equipment is available for hire from the main ski centre on Vitosha mountain, Aleko.

Aleko is best accessed with the gondola lift that departs from the ring road near the turn off for Bistritsa. The lift takes roughly 20 minutes to get to the top and affords a breathtaking view of the city below.

In winter, Aleko is busy with groups of children in matching coloured vests learning to ski, cross-country skiers, hikers and those that come up for the 2 'Laleto' ski runs, which are well kept but not very long. Last year the 'Cherni Vrah' chair lift and ski piste were also in use for the first time in many years. The level is intermediate. There are several 'hizhi' (mountain huts) that serve warm drinks and food, though don't expect to get a gourmet meal up here.

The area attracts hikers year round, with many marked hiking routes starting Aleko. One can walk up to the plateau and enjoy the flat, rugged landscape, hike up to Cherni Vrah (3 or 4 hours there and back), or walk back down the mountain to any of the villages at the base. You may be surprised to see quite a few elderly people hiking in nothing but swimsuits and boots on sunny winter’s days.

Up to date prices for the ski lifts on www.skivitosha.com

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