Holidays in Bulgaria

Have a totally active holiday in the middle of the Pirin Mountains: exploring nature, having fun, and seeking out new adventures…

Your holiday takes place in Bansko, Bulgaria.

Bansko is a holiday resort in the South West of Bulgaria, in the province of Blagoevgrad.

The town is located at the foot of the Pirin Mountains, with the Pirin National Park (a protected UNESCO site) surrounding it, making it the location ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, and convenient for travellers wishing to tour Bulgaria, and take a break on the way to Greece.

In 2018, Bansko and Pirin National Park were listed 1st and 2nd in the Top 100 Tourist sites to visit in Bulgaria.

Bansko has a warm, sunny climate and a cool mountainous breeze, from May to October, making it a perfect summer vacation destination for the adventurous.

Pirin National Park, on the doorstop of Bansko, is a mountainous region containing the second highest peak in Bulgaria, Vihren. Reaching 2,914 metres (9,560 ft), several of Pirin’s lakes are located around the peak, as it is Europe’s southernmost glacial mass, the Snezhnika glacielet.

This combination of glacial lakes and mountainous peaks creates breathtaking scenery and the opportunity to explore the park through a variety of activities, ensuring it is accessible for all.

Bansko Accommodation

Our guest house is centrally located in Bansko Town, providing easy access to all Bansko, and the surrounding National Park has to offer.

The guest house is an old traditional building where on the ground floor you will find the mexana (meh-hanna) – a traditional Bulgarian-style dining room. All bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms.

It is available as a Bed and Breakfast and is ideal as a base for long-term holidays, and convenient for a short stop over on the way to Greece, or on a tour of Bulgaria.

Catering for all holiday makers, the guest house has a beautiful garden with a seating area, where you can sit and relax in the summer evening sunshine while you reminisce on the day’s activities, and plan your next day’s adventure.

• 8 Bedrooms – Ensuite Bathrooms in all bedrooms
• 1 family room
• 2 double
• 3 twin room
• 1 Single room
• 1 Triple room
• Lounge
• Mehanna
• Garden
• Outside Dining and Relaxing Area

• Central Location
• Perfect for solo travellers, couples and groups
• Beautiful garden to enjoy
• Perfect for celebrations
• Bed and Breakfast
• Professional Driver available for excursions (must be prebooked)
• No minimum stay

Summer Mountain Activities

Hiking

With Pirin National Park on its doorstep, and the rugged mountain scenery, beautiful lakes and pine forest surrounding it, hiking, along with mountain biking is the most popular activity at the resort.

Our qualified, local mountain guides, ensure you receive the best information on the area, landscape and fauna, and help to keep you safe on the mountain.

If you are taking advantage of our local guided walking tours the walks are graded as Easy, Moderate or Difficult.

All guided hikes include transport from accommodation to the start of the walk location. The grading system is based not only on length of walk, but also on gradient of climbing involved.

The following is an indication of our grading system:

Easy – we define as walks suitable for general public who can walk for 3 to 5 hours on undulating levels.

Moderate – are for regular walkers who capable of walking for a full day at a moderate speed, and with regular hilly inclines.

Hard – this grade are suitable for regular hill walkers and mountaineers who are used to long days of walking within mountainous terrain and are used to periods of exposure to the elements.

We also have options to spend the night under the stars, or stop overnight in the huts that scatter the mountains.

Mountain Biking

We are happy to tailor our mountain biking tours to suit your requirements, taking into account fitness levels, preferred days and duration you want.

There are tracks for everyone and no age limits.

Mountain Biking provides an exhilarating and fun way to see the breath-taking scenery of this beautiful countryside.

We can also organise for you to rent a bike and explore on your own along the well marked paths if you are confident of your fitness and capable of following a map, or the signposts then we are happy to organise bike rental, helmet and tool kit for you to enjoy on your own.

Horse Riding

An alternative way to travel through the stunning scenery surrounding Bansko is on a Horse-Riding trek.

Choose the number of hours you want to venture out, advise us of your ability and the school will take care of the rest, taking you on the best possible route for your ability.

Sit back and relax as the horse guides you through the countryside.

Fishing

Bansko Dams

There are two dams on the outskirts of Bansko (Belizmata and Krinets) filled mainly with trout, both offer excellent fishing conditions. Fishing Permits are required and cost 5 leva, available from the Tourist Office. Rods can be hired from the restaurants by the dams.

The dams are popular with locals and tourists in the summer months as they provide a perfect day out for families and fisherman to relax and are a pleasant walk from Bansko centre.

A short walk away from Belizmata Dam the Paligoda Monastery or ‘Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary’ can be found and is well worth visiting for the spectacular countryside where it sits.

Dobrinishte

Further afield, just a short drive away, 4km from Dobrinishte is the Ribarnika Complex providing 3 lakes mainly of mountain trout with a restaurant where you can eat.

The complex provides a wide range of fishing equipment for your needs.

It is worthwhile exploring this area further while you are there and taking the gondola to arrive at Gotse Delchev refuge and Bezbog Peak.

River Struma

For serious fishermen, further afield approximately 40 minutes from Bansko the best fishing can be found on the River Struma, where there is an abundance of mountain trout, grey mullet and carp.

Whitewater Rafting

Navigate the numerous rapids and different profiles of the River on an inflatable raft with a qualified instructor. Will you stay in your raft through the Washing Machine?

A 12km long thrill-seeking ride through the rapids takes approximately 1 and ½ hours. You receive all the necessary safety equipment just bring your swimming gear and towel.

Canyoning

A perfect combination with the Whitewater Rafting trip. Walk up the river, climb the waterfalls, then jump into the pools below. Swim and relax in the sun.

Zip Line and Rope Garden

24 elements make up the Rope Garden, can you conquer them all?

Built on 2 levels. Both levels have difficult elements, particularly the second which has some extreme elements and not for the faint hearted.

Before entering the rope garden, you need to have a safety briefing and will be provided with the needed equipment. You may want to bring gloves for support.

The zip line is about 80 metres long and starts from the bridge above Struma River. This is a 1 minute, adrenaline rush fly, if you dare!

Golf

Pirin Golf and Country Club is located only a few kilometres away from Bansko (approximately 15 minutes’ drive).

Clubs can be rented from the golf house.

There are a variety of lesson packages available as well.

Jeep Safari

A fun, exhilarating drive, in an open top jeep through the countryside.

Stand up, if you dare. Duck to avoid overhanging branches

Cling on over the bumps. Oh! And you might get a little wet!

Be prepared to be jostled around as you journey to awesome viewpoints and visit local sites of specific interest with your knowledgeable guide, learning about the historic and geographical formation of the wonderful country of Bulgaria.

It’s definitely an alternative way to see this amazing landscape!

Excursions

The Bear Sanctuary

Located in Belitsa, 33km from Bansko. Journey time: 45 minutes
The park offers a safe haven for former dancing bears. This cruel tourist attraction is now, thankfully, banned in Bulgaria, but still happens in Russia and others.

Located in natural forest, the sanctuary is supported by Four Paws UK and Bridgette Bardot Foundation and provides a suitable lifelong home for mistreated and neglected bears. There are guided tours around the park every hour, which take about an hour.

The park currently houses 24 bears, split into friendly groups in 7 different enclosures. Food is scattered around the enclosures to stimulate the bears to forage for themselves and live as they would in the wild.

Sadly these bears are too damaged from the trauma of their previous life to ever be released.

The Sanctuary is the next best place for them and allows them to live the remainder of their lives in peace.

Melnik and The Rhozan Monestery

Famous for its winery’s, Melnik, the smallest town in Bulgaria (housing approximately 300 people), is also rich in history.

Surrounded by its fantastic sand pyramids Melnik truly is a must-see excursion from Bansko.

Take a walk around the town, visiting the Wine Museum, History Museum, Roman Bridge, the monument to the Bulgarian and Macedonia hero Yane Sandanski and the Kordopulov House dating back to 1754 (home to Kordopulos, one of history’s local rich men, famous for his trade in wine production).

Our trip starts 7km east at the Rozhen Monastery, one of the best-preserved medieval Monasteries in Bulgaria today.

A short walk uphill takes you to one of the most beautiful viewpoints of the Sand Pyramids which makes the landscape in this area so dramatic.

Rila Monastery

The Rila Monastery is the largest Orthodox Monastery in Bulgaria, and one of the most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments.

It was declared a national historical monument in 1976, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

Named after its founder, the hermit Ivan of Rila who actually lived in a cave near the site, while the Monastery was under construction.

For a late lunch before leaving the area, exit the monastery on the northeast side and walk a short distance down the hill where the Rila Restaurant can be located.

Travelling to Bansko, Bulgaria

By Air

Check before you travel from your local government whether a visa is required for entry to Bulgaria.

The International Airport is located just outside Sofia and most major airlines and many ‘low-cost’ airlines service this airport. From the UK, these include EasyJet, WizzAir and Ryanair. The flight time from the UK to Sofia is approximately 3 hours.

Some travellers also arrive from the Greek Airport at Thessaloniki.

 

Driving To Bansko

From the airport, travel time on the roads if driving are as follows:

  • From Sofia to Bansko is around two hours (approx. 170 kms)

Directions: Take the E79 route from the southern ring road. Follow signs to Kulata. Turn right signposted to Bansko and Razlog after the town of Simitli.

  • From Thessaloniki to Bansko is approximately 4 hours (225 kms)

Car hire is available from both airports.

Note: If driving, headlights need to be switched on at all times.

 

Private Transfer

For those staying in our accommodation, we offer private transfer service from the airport to our accommodation which costs the following:

Transfers from Sofia Airport
1 car one way (3 people maximum): 150lv
1 minibus one way (6 people maximum): 200lv

Transfers from Thessaloniki Airport to Bansko
1 car one way  (3 people maximum): 250lv
1 minibus one way(6 people maximum): 350lv

 

Public Transport By Bus To Bansko

If you want to use public transport to get to Bansko then there are two bus stations in Sofia. The easiest and quickest way to get to them is by taxi.

Always go to the taxi area outside the airport and look at the cost on the rear passenger side windows of the taxi before getting in one to get a good idea of the cost per kilometre.

Buses depart frequently throughout the day from around 9am to 4pm.

The bus takes approximately 3 ½ hours and stops for a comfort break at Blagoevgrad before continuing on.

Summer Holidays With Total Chalets

Total Chalets provides great value, high quality holidays in Bansko, Bulgaria.
In Summer with Total Activity Holidays and in Winter with the Total Chalets team.

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