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Learning To Ski In Pamporovo

February 2nd, 2009

This was my first time skiing and it was such a good experience. I’m so glad I’ve done it, and it is something that I’ll have a lasting memory of. We travelled as a group to Bulgaria after the resort of Pamporovo was recommended to us. We travelled the week of March the 9th and I wouldn’t recommend leaving it any later than this as the snow had already begun to melt at a rapid pace whilst we were there. After a bit of research, we found the best place to exchange money was the airport in Plovdiv, where we got a rate of 2.58 levs to the pound, as opposed to 2.40 every other place we looked, including the resort. We stayed at the Hotel Pamporovo which was very nice and more than comfortable, although we noticed the best hotel in resort was the Hotel Belmont, but it was further out of town. Pamporovo was spread out in its design, which, apparently, is unusual for ski resorts. The centre of resort wasn’t near the slopes at all, but it was still good. The hotels had lots of facilities and many activities take place in the hotels to keep holidaymakers entertained. There were also a few decent bars – we ended up in the Irish bar and one called the White Hart a few times. Considering the resort is more family focused, it offered a surprising amount for party animals.

As for the skiing, I was quite the ‘liability’. I always managed to make a fool of myself but it was great fun because everyone’s in the same boat! Our instructor was fairly strict though and didn’t really understand our sense of humour! Oh…and don’t forget to pull the bar down on your chair lift – we figured that one out half way up the mountainside with a 200ft sheer drop beneath us!!! Apart from that little scare the slopes and the mountains were all stunningly scenic!

Unexpectedly, the resort was more expensive than what we’d been lead to believe, with prices generally equivalent to the UK, and possibly slightly higher is some places.

We had one evening meal in a local ‘Mehina’ which was fun. They were serving chunks of roasted lamb (the lamb had been turning on a spit when we arrived), along with salads and some strong local brandies. Combined with the open fire and the stone cottage it was set in, it was very nice.

By Andrew Milbrook