About 90 minutes' drive from Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, Borovets was the country’s first major ski resort. If you’re into adrenalin-pumping winter sports, you’re in for a treat. Borovets has more than 20 ski runs and the Borosport Snow Park, one of the best places in Eastern Europe for snowboarding. Summer is no less exciting, with hiking trails across the mountains and perfect conditions for mountain biking and horse riding.
Things to do
Before you hit the slopes, spend some time brushing up on your technique at the Borosport Ski School. When you’re ready for some action, take your pick from over 20 runs, with something to suit every skill level. Come to Borovets in the summer and try one of the great hiking routes into the wilds of Rila National Park. If you’re feeling adventurous, join a guided one-day tour to Musala Peak, Bulgaria’s highest mountain. An SUV safari through the mountains is a great way to see the local wildlife. Keep an eye out for bears, eagles and wild boar.
The destination is not only popular for its snow sports but tourists are also drawn to the area for the beauty of the national forest. There are lots of routes and trails to spend the afternoon hiking, even in summer. Impressive lakes can be found hidden among the trees; a stunning sight to see is the Seven Rila Lakes that are an amazing azure colour. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to see the different species of animals in and among the trees, including red deer, wild boar and a small number of bears, foxes and wolves.
History and traditions
Borovets is located in the northern part of the Rila Mountains, in a picturesque valley at the foot of Mount Musala. The highest peak has an altitude of 1350 meters. The resort was founded over 100 years ago by past Bulgarian kings who liked the area so much they built a traditional hunting lodge and beautiful palace.
The resort is favourable among holidaymakers for the customs and rich Bulgarian traditions. Bulgaria is made up of beautiful villages hidden in cosy valleys. It’s not uncommon to be welcomed by the locals to join in an evening fuelled by hearty local food and delicious wine before participating in dances that are driven by lively, centuries-old music.
The buzzing resort of Borovets has an exceptional party atmosphere and loads of activities to keep you busy when the slopes are closed. Some call it ‘Ibiza on snow’ as a feel-good vibe flows from the illuminated valley when night falls. Most of the bars and pubs have a theme, so you can easily tailor your nightlife accordingly. For casual après drinks, head over to Harp Bar or Mamacitas where you can unwind in the wooden lodge and listen to live music. If you want to escape the chilly weather, warm up in The Titanic bar where you can enjoy a reasonably priced meal and a quick drink in a traditional log cabin.
For a wilder affair, gather your friends and sing your heart out at Black Tiger, whose extensive karaoke list will be sure to get you laughing. End your evening in Buzz Bar where you’ll be able to take to the floor and dance to the latest club classics.