About Bansko and Pirin


Bansko lies in South-West Bulgaria, 160 km from the capital Sofia. Its location in the center between the three main mountain ranges Pirin, Rila and Rhodopes makes it a unique place. The town of Bansko is on 925 m above sea level, and its skiing areas extend between 2000-2500 m above sea level - which provides for excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions.


The Pirin mountain range has a predominantly Alpine character with 2 peaks towering above 2900 m. However, the slopes offer runs and tracks for all types of skiers and snowboarders and will suit both beginners and experts. The skiing season starts in the middle of December and ends in mid April.

Bansko is fast becoming the best developed and equipped ski and snowboard resort
not only in Bulgaria but the whole of Eastern Europe.

Bansko Ski Lifts and Runs (56km total)

Snowboard Competition in Bansko

Of course, there is more to Bansko than just skiing. The Pirin National Park is a natural preserve included in the World Natural Heritage list. In summer people from all over the world come for hiking in the virgin nature with its more than 150 mountain lakes - and for fishing, white water rafting, mountain biking or horse riding. The area is also rich with mineral springs.

Pirin National

Vihren Peak near Bansko

The Greek town of Thessaloniki is only 210 km away - to go for a swim in the Mediterranean Sea or for a change in culture.

History and Culture

Unlike the other Bulgarian ski resorts Borovets and Pamporovo (which are mainly tourist ghettos) Bansko has a life of its own.

It is a heritage town with a population of about 7.000 - and a very special one in addition. Bansko people are different from "regular Bulgarians". They (like many mountain people) are proud, religious, hard working, tough, liberty loving and incredibly hospitable.

During the 600 years of the Turkish occupation of Bulgaria Bansko was home to many a revolutionary. Some of the old houses in the center are connected by secret tunnels, so the revolutionaries could escape Turkish raids. Bansko was the only town in the area where the Turks had no foothold and it is said that the Turkish military made sure to leave Bansko before nightfall.

Bansko's "Holy Trinity" is one of the most beautiful orthodox churches in Eastern Europe and if you ever happen to be in Bansko on (orthodox) Easter don't miss the evening mass. It will be an unforgettable experience for you!

Of course, there are many other things to see. With around 120 cultural and historical monuments in Bansko you will have a lot to explore.

Bansko has the highest known density of luxury hotels and taverns in Bulgaria.

klick me!

The more than 100 (!) traditional taverns in Bansko (called "mehaná") are famous throughout Bulgaria for their local cuisine (mainly stews and meat dishes) and their bands playing traditional folk music (that will tempt even you to join in the local "horo" dance after a drink or two).

Of course, there are also the inevitable pizzerias and some steak-houses and other "exotic" eateries.

Cafes abound and Discos and night clubs work without time limit, usually closing early in the morning.


Snowboard Competition in Bansko

In winter an increasing number of international snowboard and ski championship and also biathlon competitions take place in Bansko.

There are numerous traditional and local holidays with folk concerts and folk dancing.

The annual Bansko Jazz Fest in August is famous for its international artists and unique atmosphere.

In summer there are various open-air rock concerts that fill the town with young people and life.


Bansko Photos ( scroll with mouse < >over Photos )

Pirin Photos ( scroll with mouse < >over Photos )