Ski Lifts In VITOSHA MOUNTAINS
VITOSHA SKI RESORT is located in Vitosha mountain range, just next to Sofia – the capital of Bulgaria. The gondola bottom station is in Simeonovo area, a suburb of the city, 40 min drive from the city center, the top station is at Aleko Hut. The high parts of Vitosha are also accessible by public transportation from the Hladilnika bus stop. There is an asphalt road up to Aleko Hut – starting point for ascending Vitosha mountain’s highest peak – Cherni vrah, 2290m.
GPS: 42 36 59.7N 023 20 55.0E
8:30 – 16:30
Last load from upper station – 16:30
Contact: (+359) 882 111 480
The lift operates in weekends and holidays only.
Chairlift “Vitoshko lale 1”: 8:30 – 16:30, night ride: 18:30 – 22:00.
An asphalt road goes to the lower chairlift station’s parking lot (GPS: 42 35 10.2N 023 18 14.4E). Accessible by car.
Chairlift “Vitoshko lale 2”: 8:30 – 16:30
The lifts operate in weekends and holidays only.
Contact: (+359) 882 111 481
GPS: 42°36’7.83″N 23°14’28.03″E
It is 12 km away from the city center and 3 km away from the area “Zlatnite mostove” (The Golden Bridges) on Vitosha mountain at 1510 m above sea level. The ski run is category “blue”, served by a drag lift.
Contacts: (+359) 882 111 725
BOROVETS SKI RESORT – is one of the three biggest ski resorts in Bulgaria. It offers excellent conditions for skiing in winter and well maintained mountain bike park and routes in summer. Borovets, the gondola’s upper station “Yastrebets” (2369m) and “Sitnyakovo” chairlift’s upper station are starting points for various hiking routs to huts and peaks including Mount Musala (2925 m) – the highest peak in Rila mountains and the Balkan peninsula.
GPS: 42°16’14.94″N 23°36’20.59″E
GPS: 42°15’58.99″N 23°36’11.30″E
Every day: 8:30 – 16:30
Last load from upper station 16:00
Night ride: 18:00 – 21:30
Contact: (+359) 889 607 000
GPS: 42°14’24.02″N 23°19’37.06″E (chairlift)
The area of the Seven Rila Lakes is one of the most popular destinations in the Bulgarian mountains. There is a chairlift from Pionerska Hut to Rila Lakes Hut, which is a starting point for visiting the lakes and for various hiking routes to: Malyovitsa area, Seven Lakes Hut, Ivan Vazov Hut. There is also a mountain bike park. The distance from the top drag lift point to the lower chair lift station (Pionerska Hut) is a 4.5 km descend on various terrain mostly off piste and there are suitable ski paths for intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Contact: (+359) 884 163 479
MALYOVITSA SKI AREA – NOT OPERATING JANUARY 2020
GPS: 42°12’38.34″N 23°23’17.25″E
This mountain resort is much smaller compared to Borovets and 40 km further up in Rila mountains (86 km and 1h 40 min drive from Sofia and 30 km and 40 min drive from Borovets). It is a starting point for ascending Malyovitsa peak (2729m) and various hiking and rock climbing routes including a 3h hiking route to the seven Rila lakes.
There are 3 ski runs (served by ski drags) with total length of less than 3km, suitable for beginners and intermediate skiers.
Contact: (+359) 88/ 5 553000; (+359) 88 524 1403
KARTALA SKI AREA – NOT OPERATING JANUARY 2020
GPS: 42° 2’35.47″N 23°21’39.67″E
Ski resort Kartala is in Rila mountains and 27 km east direction from the town of Blagoevgrad. The ski runs’ total length is 5 km. The top station is a starting point for the routs to Macedonia hut, Chakalitsa hut, Predela hut and Dobursko hut. The gondola is working in the summer, but must be booked in advance.
Gondola and ski drags: 8:30 – 16:00. Closed every Monday until lunch time.
Contact: +359 889 500 421
GPS: 42°2’53.54″N 23°31’32.29″E
Another small mountain resort in Rila located 17 km 30 min drive from the town of Belitsa in the east-south part of the mountains. Belitsa is a small town 135 km and 2h 30 min drive from Plovdiv; 23 km and 25 min drive from Bansko; 170km and 2h 14min drive from Sofia. Nearby is the Dancing Bears Рark – protected territory for rescued bears (42° 1’52.01″N23°34’39.54″E). From Semkovo there are hiking routes to Dobursko Hut, Macedonia Hut and Ribni Ezera Hut.
There are 7 ski runs with total length of 4 km.
Ski drags: 9:30 – 12:30; 14:30 – 17:00
BANSKO SKI RESORT – Bansko is a small town at the foot of Pirin mountains and one of the three biggest ski resorts in Bulgaria. The total length of the ski runs is 75 km and of the chairlifts, drags and the gondola – 22 km.
In the summer: the gondola operates on a specific schedule. It goes from Bansko to Bunderishka Poliana, which can be the starting point for various hiking routes including ascending Vihren peak (2914 m) – the highest in Pirin Mountains. But there is an asphalt road going in the same direction as the gondola and reaches further up to Vihren Hut. A mini shuttle bus is going from Bansko railway station to Vihren Hut on specific schedule (+359 887968608). At Bunderishka Poliana there is a small summer activities fun park. Various mountain bike routes are starting from Bansko and going up in Pirin and Rila mountains and around the Razlog Valley.
Gondola: 8:30 – 17:00 (winter operating hours) GPS: 41°49’38.06″N 23°28’39.25″E
Chairlift “Mosta” last load – 16:15 (the lower station of this chair lift is below the top gondola station and the middle gondola station is not always accessible from there, depending on the snow conditions. So, if you’re riding down runs 10 and 12, make sure to have your return to Bansko secured.)
Contact: (+359) 749 84480
GPS: 41°49’16.14″N 23°33’47.04″E
Dobrinishte is a very small town 5 km away from Bansko. 12 km up towards the Pirin Mountains from Dobrinishte is located Gotse Delchev Hut GPS: 41°45’33.77″N 23°32’46.90″E, where is the lower chairlift station. The chairlift goes up to Bezbog Hut and serves a 5-km ski run. The top station – Bezbog Hut is a starting point for various hiking routs.
The chairlift operates all year round.
Chairlift and ski drags: 8:30 – 16:00; last load 15:30
Contact: (+359) 7447 21 20
GPS: 41°51’57.43″N 23°20’36.23″E
This area is located in the northern part of Pirin mountains 12 km from the town of Razlog, 20 km from the ski resorst Bansko and 3 km from Predela passage. There are a 1.3-km long ski run and 2 ski drags. Operates depending on the snow conditions.
GPS: 41°39’26.12″N 24°41’43.80″E
This is one of the 3 biggest ski resorts in Bulgaria. Situated near the town of Smolyan (17 km and 25 min), 230 km and 3h 15min from Sofia, 80 km and 1h 40 min from Plovdiv. The resort offers 19 ski runs with total length of 37 km and 30 km cross country/biathlon ski runs. The ski area Mechi Chal is above the town of Chepelare and there is a shuttle bus connecting the 2 ski areas.
In the summer the resort offers various activities like mountain biking (there is a bike park) and hiking.
Chairlifts and ski drags: 8:45 – 16:30
Lift №4 “Smolianski ezera”: Wednesday – Sunday 8:45 – 16:30
Contact: (+359) 700 17 702
GPS: 41°39’30.43″N 24°46’19.79″E
Momchilovtsi is a village near the ski resort Pamporovo. Near the village at 1660 m above sea level is the Fun Park „Kartola“ GPS: 41°41’44.06″N 24°47’15.69″E – 16 km and 25 min from Pamporovo, 72 km and 1h 45min from Plovdiv. There is an artificial climbing wall and various opportunities for winter and summer outdoor activities. The ski run is served by 2 drags with total length of 800 m.
There are 24 old orthodox chapels around Momchilovtsi, which are part of the hiking routs in this area of the Rodopi mountains.
Ski drags: 9:00 – 17:00
Contact: (+359) 0301 62530
GPS: 42°47’38.59″N 24°37’34.98″E
The tourist area Beklemeto is near the town of Troyan – 20 km in south direction and towards the Troyan Pass, which connects the northern and southern Bulgaria. It is situated 175 km from Sofia and 100 km from Plovdiv. Beklemeto (1360 meters above sea height) is part of the national park “Central Balkan”. It is a starting point for hiking routes to Dermenka hut, Dobrila hut, Steneto Reserve, Kozia stena reserve and hut.
3 ski runs equipped with ski drags. 2,3,5,7 and 10 km cross-country/biathlon ski runs.
Ski drags: 9:00 – 16:30
Contact: +359889 000223
GPS: 42°39’15.15″N 24°45’17.47″E
Sopot is a small town situated in the sub-Balkan mountain valley of Karlovo, immediately below the steep southern slopes of the Troyan Balkan Mountain. There is a chairlift from the town (42°39’51.21″N 24°44’49.70″E) to the Central Balkan National Park up in the mountains. It is a popular spot for paragliding. The middle station of the chairlift is a starting point for the hiking rout to Dobrila hut (http://www.dobrila.eu), where in the winter time a ski run served by a drag lift is operating. The upper part of the chairlift is currently closed for repairs.
Chairlift: 8:30 – 16:30 (winter); 9:30 – 17:30 (summer); 9:30 – 19:30 (summer weekends)
Contact: (+359) 7001 5438
GPS: 42°40’54.51″N 26°19’23.33″E
The town of Sliven is located 300 km east of Sofia, 180 km east of Plovdiv and 100 km west of Burgas. The most visited geographical location and attraction in the city is the area called Karandila. It is a hilltop 1050 m above sea level, with great sights overlooking the city. Karandila is in the nature park Sinite Kamani (http://dppsk.org/en/), whose peak Bulgarka (1181 m.) is the highest in the eastern Balkan Mountains. In the region, there are interesting rock formations, rapids and waterfalls.
There is a chairlift starting from an area in the town called “Kaptaja” (GPS: 42°42’6.68″N 26°21’3.71″E) and going up in the mountains to an area called Sluncheva poliana. The lower station is near the National Park Sinite Kamani Info Center. Near the top station are located Karandila hut and Karandila hotel (30 min walk).
Chairlift “Sliven-Karandila”: Tue – Sun 8:30 – 16:30, last load 16:00 (winter), 8:30 – 18:00, last load 17:30 (summer); Mon 12:00 – 16:00
Contact: (+359) 44 625334
Author: Lyuben Grancharov
“The World is a book and those who do not travel read only a page” (Augustine of Hippo). I enjoy filling up the page, called “Bulgaria”, both working as a guide and writing about the mountains of Bulgaria on this blog.