Bansko is a town in southwestern Bulgaria. It is located at the foot of the beautiful Pirin Mountain whose slopes cuddle the adored by each visitor ski zone. Bansko was awarded the prize Best Winter Resort in Bulgaria in the last several years according to the Kitzbuehel World Ski Awards Academy.
The resort reaffirmed its rank at an international level too by hosting the Alpine Skiing World Cup Championship several times. Along with its splendid runs the resort boasts a fun park for the extreme sports fans, numerous off-run terrains and wonderful winter landscapes for ski touring. The tracks the resort offers satisfy the desires of both masters and beginners having resolved to embark into winter sports. There is a great number of facilities serving the zone, and they are new, fast and comfortable. The safety of the runs is ensured by protection nets and mattresses, located where needed. The ski zone in Bansko in figures.
Total length 22 km
Chair lifts 13.2 km
Drags 2.4 km
Gondola 6.2 km
Ski runs over 70 km
For beginners 35%
For intermediate advanced 40%
For advanced 25%
Number of snow machines 230
Ski road, unique 16 km ski road, suitable for intermediate advanced skiers and snowboarders, covered with snow by the snow machines and well lighted, connecting the biggest ski run with the town.
At a national level Bansko is famous not only as a winter resort. Artists, revolutionaries, writers and educators were born, lived and worked in the town, who, with their works, occupy a great part of Bulgarian history. The local people keep folk arts alive and you can witness them by the demonstrations of the Bansko schools. Here you can enjoy century old architecture and set off on the town culture study tours. Wine cellars and restaurants form an unchangeable part of the entertainment programme of the town, and there you can taste the local cuisine which has preserved the traditional recipes.
The Bulgarian municipality of Bansko was established around 1850 as a successor of the common rural council, formed in 1833 by Lazar German to collect funds, materials and workforce for the construction and decoration of the Sveta Troitsa Church, which was sanctified in 1835 as a part of the local Bulgarian self-governance organization. The municipal leadership was formed by influential representatives of the commercial and crafts professions. In the 60s and 70s of the XIX century the municipality led the fight for independence against the Greek ecclesiastical authorities and for provision of education in the village. In 1857 it initiated the building of a new school and transformed the joint school into separate classes. Newspapers and literature were disseminated. The municipal authorities organized the construction of the Sveta Troitsa Church bell tower in 1850 and the installation of a clock mechanism in 1865.
Bansko – a magical symbiosis of history, traditions and culture. With all that the visitors can discover here – antique architecture, heroic history, authentic folklore, centuries-old culture, preserved customs and traditions, specific cuisine, incredible humour and rich oration, the mountainous Renaissance town is an original symbol of the Bulgarian spirit.
Pirin is the second-highest mountain in Bulgaria. Its highest peak is Vihren (2914 m). The oldest known name of the mountain is Orbelus – snow-white as the Thracians used to call it, while in the language of the Slavs it was named Perin or Perun. The Bulgarians traditionally believe that the name Pirin comes from the Slavic God Perun, the master of thunders. More serious studies however show that the names Pirin and Perun simply coincide without connection and the name Pirin originates in the Thracian word “perintos”, meaning a rock, which in turn comes from the Hittite “perunash”.
Bansko, once mainly a stockbreeding and travelling merchant community, has become an international centre for winter and summer tourism. The mountain peaks near the town, the numerous lakes and the old pine woods make it a popular site for recreation. Bulgaria's share in European winter tourism is steadily rising, and Bansko increasingly competes with resorts in France and Switzerland due to the comparative lower costs but not in quality.Improvements to the infrastructure and organisation of the ski area on Todorka have been made annually to accommodate the rising number of tourists. A gondola lift was built from town in 2003, replacing the minibus ride to the primary base area of Banderishka Poliana. As of 2010, the ski area has 75 km (47 mi) of ski runs, 14 lifts and drags, serving up to 24,500 persons per hour. The lift-served summit rises to an elevation of 2,600 m (8,500 ft) above sea level. The vertical drop is nearly 1,000 m (3,300 ft) to the base area at Banderishka Poliana, and over 1,600 m (5,200 ft) with the ski runs to town