In March 2012, the Myslopes.com team was on ski holiday in Borovets in Bulgaria.
Ski resort Borovets is is situated in the Rila mountains in Bulgaria and is one of the oldest ski areas in Bulgaria.
We took on a flight on a friday evening to Sofia in Bulgaria (Sofia Airport), this flight takes about 3 hours from the UK. After the flight, the bus ride from Sofia to Borovets is about 70 kilometers. This bus takes you about 1,5 hours. All in All this means you can be in Borovets rather quickly, certainly not taking up a lot more travel time, compared to ski holidays in countries such as France, Switzerland or Austria. The time difference does cost you two hours from the UK (it is 2 hours later in Bulgaria than in the UK).
The name Borovets originates from the word Bor, which means pine tree in Bulgarian. Borovets and its surroundings have these pine trees in abundance. In the past the name of the ski resort was Borovets Chamkoria, this was in the time of the Turkish regime. Borovets is actually more of a hotel village, the people who work there live in Samokov. Samakov is located at about 10 minutes drive from Borovets. Even though the main focus is accomomdation, there are many small shops in Borovets with mostly ski kit and souvenir shops but also including a 24-hour supermarket.
There are more than 15 hotels in Borovets, and also many beautiful apartment complexes. We stayed in Borovets in the Rila Hotel. The Rilahotel is situated directly next to the slopes and has a whopping 500+ rooms. The rooms are clean and well equipped, we had a balcony at the back The hotel, which offers stunning views of the ski slopes. The Rila Hotel has extensive facilities, with amongst others its own pub, a swimming pool, nightclub and casino in he basement of the hotel.
The ski area
The Borovets ski area is very diverse, suitable for all types of skiers. The slopes at Borovets are divided into 3 zones:
1)Ski area Sitnyakovo, with an altitude between 1350m and 1780m.
2)Ski area Yastrabetz, with an altitude between 1340m and 2369m.
3)Ski area Markudjik, with an altitude between 2144m and 2550m.
Together these three sectors accounted for 58km ski slopes, with the longest run an impressive 12km long. This run, "the Musala Pathway" is a path that leads through the forest all the way down into the valley. From Sitnyakovo there is also a nice run all the way down into the village, with a nice stop apres-ski about halfway down at '"George's Hut", where you can buy something to drink or some food. All slopes are linked by the main gondola, four 4-person chairlifts and eight 1-person lifts.
There is a possibility of night skiing in Borovets. Further, there is also "Borovets snow park", this is a fun park with some nice jumps, rails and obstacles where novice freestyle skiers or snowboarders can enjoy themselves. The ski area is also under development, with plans in the coming years to expand towards about 90km downhill slopes.
This is the largest ski school in Borovets with about 100 instructors. The Borosport skischool instructors are all well educated and have a certificate ISIA. The instructors were also very helpful when there was something we wanted to know. For children there is Boro Kids, where they playfully learn skiing in the children's park.
Restaurants & Apres-ski
Nightlife in Borovets is very diverse, there are several restaurants and cafes. Our favorite was the Derby, a nice pub with many international sporting scarves and souvenirs on the wall. Other options we liked were the Elinete, Franco and Bulgare. As mentioned, the apres-ski at George's Hut on the slopes is also recommended.
In addition to these restaurants and bars it's also an idea to book an excursion through a travel agent (alternitavely a ski instructor can usually help). We particularly enjoyed horseback riding and the snowmobile safari (see the picture where we had a horse under the old ski jump by walking).