This charming, historic town nestled at the foot of Pirin Mountain is a year-round destination that offers a slice of village life plus good skiing, hiking and restaurant experience. Bansko has been a hot spot recently, raising its popularity gradually throughout the years. Each year, the world’s best skiers officially opened the ski season in Bansko. So far, prominent guests to the grand celebrations have been Alberto Tomba, Lasse Kjusse, Mark Girardelli, etc. “Tomba” is the name of the most challenging ski track in the resort.
Bankso, the newest Bulgarian winter resort, is located in south-east Bulgaria, 62 km from Blagoevgrad and 160 km from the capital Sofia. The town has a short summer and long, mild winter. The snowfall is plentiful, ending in April. The average temperature for January, the coldest month, is -2 C. The altitude and the geographic location create perfect conditions for alpine skiing. The snow cover stays until May.
The infrastructure in Bansko is excellent. This is due to the fact that Bansko has emerged relatively soon as a popular ski destination and the development of the town has been planned very carefully. Bansko has the best equipment of all Bulgarian winter resorts: the best lift system and many modern winter sports facilities. The resort has 70 km of top-class ski tracks (17 tracks), skating ring, Winter Fun Park, tracks for cross-country skiing and biathlon shooting ground. There are also numerous restaurants and brand new hotels. 5 km from Bansko is Banya, a village known for its 27 thermal mineral springs.
The town of Bansko carries a lot of culture and history. It is a great example of how the old and traditional can live hand-in-hand with the new and modern. The resort is a town-museum, it is a mix of typical Old Bulgarian houses and brand new hotels, many of the roads are cobblestone roads. There are more than 140 cultural landmarks in Bansko. Some of the more important museums in the town are: Velyanovata Kushta, Nikola Vaptsarov, and Neophyte Rilski. One of the greatest Bulgarians of all times, Paisiy Hilendarski, the father of the Bulgarian Renaissance, was born in Bansko. More famous Bulgarians from Bansko are Nikola Vaptsarov – a famous poet, anti-fascist, awarded with the International Peace Award, and Neophyte Rilski – the patriarch of the new Bulgarian education and enlightenment.
Throughout the recent years of globalization, Bansko has managed to preserve its own identity and culture. To dine in a local restaurant is a must for Bansko. The local people are very proud of their town: they have unique meals for Bulgaria, their own, specific dialect and old architecture from Bulgarian revival period. These characteristics make Bansko is a great place to ski, rest, one with nature and forget about the problems of the fast, everyday life.