Ski Bulgaria - Borovets ski resort for a cheap skiing holiday
Cheap Skiing Holidays in Bulgaria
Borovets Ski Resort is right up there when it comes to a cheap ski holiday
I was 39 years old when I finally made it on my first skiing holiday and I was not sure whether I would love it or hate it. For that reason I was a bit reluctant to spend too much on the experience so having done a bit of research we discovered that two of the cheapest resorts for a skiing holiday were Andorra in the Pyrenees and Bulgaria, so Borovets in Bulgaria won the toss.
Have to say it was an experience I shall never forget, how I came out of my first ever week of skiing still alive is a mystery to me right until this very day. I slipped, tripped, fell and hurtled out of control over every part of Borovets that the ski instructor was silly enough to take me.
Actually there really weren't many options for a beginner, you were either on the nursery slopes right in front of the hotel or you were up at the top of the mountain and facing some of the longest drag lifts I have ever seen. Admittedly I hadn't seen many it was my first skiing trip; but that opinion still hasn't changed after since visiting many other resorts around Europe and Canada.
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My First Skiing Holiday
Skiing in Bulgaria Was a Very Cheap Ski Deal
Survive I did however, and with no experience of any other resorts, back we went the following year for a second week of self annihilation, I mean skiing; but this time the kids came to.
We packaged the kids off to ski school and, as I had actually done a bit of skiing now, I went into ski school in the same group as my wife. She had skied a little bit more than me, so I guess you could call it an intermediate group; not that I was anything close to intermediate.
As the week went on I gradually started to get to grips with sticking two great big lumps of composite materials on the ends of my legs, some people call them skis, and actually started to negotiate the slopes, lifts and chairs with a little more competency; albeit I was always the last one to make it anywhere we went. All I had to do now was learn how to negotiate myself down from the top to the bottom one of those steep, snow covered embankments without falling over and I would have it cracked.
My cheap skiing holiday was still more of a 'do anything you can not to kill yourself before Friday holiday' because by Friday the nightmare will be over. But it was still only Tuesday and I was sure the screaming agony that was coursing through every muscle in my body would eventually calm down. Perhaps more alcohol would help, hot chocolate and brandy is medicinal after all.
On Wednesday a small miracle happened, I actually skied from the top of a red run to the bottom without falling over and I did it quite quickly. This was despite my wife's attempt to kill me when she skied straight across the front of my skis and clipped my nose with her ski goggles. For some reason after that she went off to hug a tree, strange woman!!
So that was it, I actually had developed what I think you call technique, and I could traverse across the slope, turn and take the speed out of the run by pointing slightly back up the hill.
Now that might not sound too impressive but as far as I was concerned that little bit of progress meant that I was in fact on a skiing holiday now and not a nightmare holiday.
Needless to say, and much to my wife's relief, I was now completely and totally hooked on skiing, plus by the Friday we managed to ski right from the top of the mountain to the bottom. There was one little mishap on the way which I might share with you some day, but 12 years later the pride is still a little hurt so I think we can leave the details of that out for now.
As for the kids, one hated it and one loved it, my son was doing black runs by the end of his first ever week skiing and my daughter decided she liked it in the hotel better than out in the cold; well you can't win them all.
To find more Sporting Holidays in Europe check out the options via the link provided. Skiing in the Pyrenees is a great option for a cheap family skiing holiday, and perhaps not quite as lively during the apres ski.
Borovets for family skiing holidays - Not a Family Skiing Holiday for Every Family
Probably the best hotel in Borovets
You may have got the impression from my earlier account of Borovets ski resort that I didn't think it was very good for beginners. Well that is true but in my case it was actually more of a reflection on me than the ski resort. There will be some beginners who would find it absolutely fine and have no trouble.
The problem is I came to skiing as a pretty unfit 39 year old with no technique or sense of balance, all of which caused me problems in a lot of ways. It has to be said that Borovets has a lot more drag lifts than chair lifts. So for me expending energy getting dragged up the slope instead of sitting on a nice comfortable chair lift and having a rest made a big difference to my skiing experience (staying out until 2 in the morning partying didn't help much either). So basically I spent most of the week knackered and that definitely makes it harder to learn to ski.
If on the other hand you are a relatively fit twenty something who is looking for a ski package to learn how to ski, then Borovets probably isn't that bad an option especially for those on a budget.
Hand on heart though I have been on a few ski holidays since and would be more inclined to recommend Borovets to intermediate's, primarily, and perhaps advanced skiers, if you look at the piste map you will see why. The intermediates can use the gondola and chair lifts to get to the top of the mountain and have the option to ski all the way down the mountain on blacks and reds whereas beginners are more or less committed to a blue mountain road or the drag lifts which can prove to be very tiring.
That said the environment is really nice, most of the skiing is through woods and you can ski right back to the hotels at the end of the day, drop your skis and go for the apres ski.
The apres ski certainly when I was there it was a lot of fun, being a cheaper option there were loads of lively youngsters going to the bars clubs and getting a bit of karaoke in. Not sure I could cope with that myself these day, I'm usually in bed by 9 but it certainly was a laugh when we were there. Lots of the bars were small and intimate and it was very easy to strike up a conversation. This was much the same on the slopes for the cafes, and everything was very affordable.
There are a lot more night clubs these days and the odd erotica venue, so going back to the family ski holiday question, there are pros and cons.
Certainly it should be a more affordable location than most other places, the skiing is good once you have mastered the basics. I would not be inclined to make it a first location for anyone just starting out skiing, including kids, for the reasons I discussed earlier.
The night life might be a bit too lively for the average family, although there will certainly be some venues that would be fine. It did get a bit raucous after around 11.00p.m. so definitely some places to avoid as well.
On a slightly different tack, Borovets is used for some of the skiing competitions held in Bulgaria and is probably Bulgaria's biggest and most modern resort. We watched a ski jumping contest one evening and it really was impressive, not the sort of thing you will be able to do at any resort.
We stayed in 2 different hotels when we went and much preferred the Samakov over the Hotel Ria; although you never know, the Ria might have been improved since then. The Samakov really was very nice albeit a little bit more expensive.
To get there you need to be flying into the capital Sofia which is about 72km away and about 1 1/4 hours by coach. Sofia is also a great place to visit and there are regular buses to and from the city which is the capital of Bulgaria.
You can view the slopes on this link to the Borovets Webcam
So that is it, my take on Borovets and a little bit about my skiing experience, hope you enjoyed the read and if you do decide to go I am sure you will have a great time, we did.