Skiing in Bansko
Being back in Greece in a "tough" can say quarantine, after a full time travelling was not the easiest situation. For those who know me already or follow me on my IG page, you probably have already noticed that I'm not a city lover and I'm constantly longing to be in nature. So since travelling far away at the moment, is not the easiest thing to do, but a break was much needed and the weather conditions were favourable for activities on the snow, my friend and I decided to go to Bansko, Bulgaria which borders Greece. Bansko is a resort which is developing with extremely fast temps and it's a famous destination in the Balkans, specially for those who love skiing and snowboarding.
How we went and what you need to cross the borders
We traveled by car. We rented a Subaru, so we didn't have to worry about the snow on the roads, have plenty of space and make our journey smoother. We started from Thessaloniki (north of Greece) and from there to reach Bansko is approximately 2:30 to 3:00 hours.
To travel you need to have:
PCR test for COVID-19 (Printed)
PLF form, which you can fill online here . (This is a form to be filled by people travelling from or to Greece, and you have to fill it one day before you travel.)
National ID or Passport
For your exit from the country you will need exactly the same things. If you want to spent just two days though in Bansko, since the PCR test is valid for 72 hours, you can probably use the same Test you had when you entered.
We returned to Greece after Bansko; in the borders except from the Test we had already with us, they tested us again with the rapid test. We didn't spent much time in the borders, the whole thing was very fast.
About Bansko pistes
The apparent advantage of the ski resort of Bansko is marked and well-groomed pistes of various difficulty levels:
with a total length of about 75 km.
These pistes are intended for both skiers and snowboarders of all levels, from beginners to the most experienced while you can find all categories of complexity, with the main road Tomba and Banderitza for experts.
For beginners are recommended the next pistes:
If you have no experience at all, but you would love to play on the snow, well there will be many instructors available once you get inside. They charge around 70 Bulgarian lev per hour which is approximately 35 euro. I never took an instructor, but I totally recommend it for a beginner it's worth it no doubt. In one hour you can learn all the basics and important things to slide with control and most importantly how to stop! This will take your fear away and have trust in you. Always respect what you are doing and avoid overconfidence, because it's the main reason that injuries happen.
Snowboarders can enjoy the first on the Balkans Fun Park. Snowboard Park and half-pipe at the resort of Bansko are built especially for snowboarders.It offers the option to ski over artificial bumps and jumps as well as to build those on their own. They can find slopes suitable for themselves.
Bansko ski runs info
Height of the resort: 925 m
Highest skiing area: 2600 m
Total length of ski runs: 70 km
Longest track combo: 16 km downhill race
Cross-country track: 5 km
Slalom and Giant slalom runs are available
Direction of slopes: North
Lift opening hours
08:00 – 16:30
Includes Gondola lift, all lifts with unlimited daily use.
Pass prices for:
Half day (12:30- 16:30) - 54 BGN
One day -70 BGN
Two days - 134 BGN
Three days - 203 BGN
There are many more packages for more days or even seasonal. If you want to calculate the prices in Euro, it's approximately half of the BGN.
Ski and Snowboard Equipment
In case you don't have your own equipment, I suggest you to rent from Tsakiris. Not because I'm Greek, just because once you enter you feel the hospitality. They are very helpful, fast and with good vibes. If you want to change your equipment you can do it for free. And the prices are really good. A full day rent for a ski set is 25 BGN and for a snowboard set 30 BGN (for adults). If you want to rent for more days there are fair packages. They do also provide ski and snowboard lessons.
I hope this information is useful for you and I wish you will be able to visit the place and have the best time. Sending big hug to each one of you.
Love & Light