Just 70km 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 over 20 ski runs and the Borosport Snow Park, which is 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.
Borovets has great conditions for skiing and snowboarding from December to April.
Sofia Airport (SOF), about 68km north of Borovets.
Book a Thomas Cook holiday to Borovets and spend your days on the slopes and your evenings sipping Bulgarian wine in a traditional mehana bar.
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.
If you’re here for the skiing, take your pick from more than 20 ski runs, catering for all abilities (particularly beginner to intermediate levels). Slow your pace down and feel the calm of the mountains on the 35km of cross-country ski tracks. You can even ski at night! If you need some lessons, the local ski school is one of the best places in Borovets, whether you’re just starting out or want to perfect your skills. It’s a brilliant resort for snowboarding too, with deep snow for freestylers and lots of places to practise new tricks in the Borosport Snow Park.
There are several fun things for kids to do in Borovets, whatever the time of year. Help build their confidence on skis with lessons at the Borokids Park in the winter, open to kids aged four and above. If you’re here during the summer, climb your way around the Borolandia Rope City together, or go on a mountain biking adventure. One of the routes in Borovets Mountain Bike Park has been specially designed for families, while teens might enjoy the challenge of some of the other trails.
Unwind over a leisurely dinner in a rustic tavern with a glass or two of Bulgarian wine. One of the local favourites is cheverme, spit-roasted lamb or pork, served with garlic potatoes. There’s plenty of choice for kids too; most places in Borovets also serve pizzas, pasta and burgers. If you’re after a night out, do as the Bulgarians do and visit a traditional bar, known as a mehana. Decorated in a rustic wooden style, they usually have crackling fireplaces and traditional Bulgarian folk music. It’s the perfect end to a long day on the slopes.
Families: Kids can learn to navigate the slopes with lessons at Borokids Park.
Nature lovers: Borovets is in Rila National Park, home to wild boar, bears and eagles. Remember to bring your binoculars!
Adventurers: Ski and snowboard in the winter. Hike and mountain bike in the summer. You’ll be spoilt for choice if you love the outdoors.
Language: The language spoken in Borovets is Bulgarian
Currency: The currency used in Borovets is the Lev (BGN)
Local time: Borovets is 2 hours ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Sofia Airport. Transfers to Borovets resorts take 1–2.5 hours.
Flight time from UK: The flight time to Borovets is 3–3.5 hours.
Tourist Information: Further Borovets tourist information can be found at http://bulgariatravel.org/en/
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/bulgaria for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday
Temperature: The coldest time of year is January, with an average of 4°C.
Best time to visit: From December to April for skiing.
While the ski slopes and cross-country trails are thick with snow all winter (with a little help from snow cannons if needed), the summer sees comfortable weather in Borovets for hiking, mountain biking, golfing or fishing. It’s a good idea to pack a few extra layers, though.
By lift: There are 12 lifts (including tow-lifts) to get you and your skis to the top of the piste.
By horse: Enjoy the summer sunshine with anything from an hour-long hack to a full day’s trek in the mountains.
By mountain bike: You’ll find colour-coded routes for different abilities across Borovets Mountain Bike Park. Bikes, helmets and instructors are available to hire.
By car: Rent a car if you fancy driving through Rila National Park or visiting Sofia, about 70km away.
Playtime: In January, World Snow Day features free ski and snowboarding lessons and entertainment.
New beginnings: The opening and closing of the summer and winter seasons are celebrated in December and April. Ice carving marks the start of winter, while the summer sees group hikes, parades, face painting, fireworks and sports demos.
Winter sports: Borovets hosts exciting local, national and international competitions throughout the season. You’ll see everything from snowboard cross and ski cross to freestyle snowboard contests and mountain bike snow races.