Belfast Telegraph

Skiing made easy in Bulgaria

If you’ve ever wanted to learn to ski, and haven’t a clue where to start, this could be the year for you. Or even if you’re just a seasoned skier looking for a new destination, then Bulgaria beckons.

New flights have started from Belfast International direct to Sofia for onward quick connections to three fabulous ski resorts.

Great value ski trips

Many consider skiing to be outside their budget, but Bulgaria is the most affordable destination. The Post Office Ski Resort Report has put the Bulgarian resort of Bansko at the top of the best value list for two years running. When in resort, the currency is Lev not Euro, meaning your pounds will go further. In fact a bottle of beer is less than a pound!

Easier than ever

This winter Balkan Holidays launch a new weekly flight on Sundays direct from Belfast International to Sofia. It will depart from 29th December 2019 to 1st March 2020 inclusive. There is still availability for popular peak dates of New Year and mid-term but seats are selling fast. Keen skiers will know that January is a good time to go, after the busy festive period and before mid-term. The snow is often excellent, and the slopes are less busy. Balkan will pick you up at the airport and arrange a coach transfer to your resort.

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Choose from three great resorts

Which resort is right for you depends if you are keen on busy après ski, or would prefer a quieter time.

Bansko is the main resort, with modern lift infrastructure. It combines breath-taking scenery, excellent ski facilities and the spirit of a traditional Bulgarian town. Bansko suits skiers and boarders of all abilities and ages and is considered one of the best European ski resorts.

Borovets is considered the liveliest of the winter resorts in Bulgaria. It has the perfect setting for a wonderful winter holiday due to great conditions for skiing and boarding during the day and a wide choice of après-ski activities and nightlife.

Pamporovo has numerous fantastic ski runs for beginners and intermediates, plus challenging black runs for those who wish to test their skills. The beautiful slopes are not crowded.

All three resorts benefit from superb modern facilities which include snow cannons to ensure that no matter what time of the season you go, there will be plenty of opportunity to ski and board.

Before you go, there are some early booking offers to be snapped up

Not only are the holidays inexpensive, there are some great value offers to claim.

For guests of Balkan Holidays in need of an intro to skiing, there are 10% discounts off ski days at Craigavon slope, County Armagh. There’s up to 15% off ski packs and tuition for early bookers and 2-for-1 lift passes on selected departures. Don’t hesitate, as soon as the season beckons, the offers will lapse.

Prices for a package start at £336 per person staying at the 3* Hotel Victoria, Borovets departing on the 12th January 2020. Prices include a 10% online booking discount.

Look out for further discounts – up to £200 per couple if you book early.

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Where to stay

The choice of accommodation is vast, from tiny, small and friendly hotels to 5* luxury. You might want to consider whether you stay in a ‘ski-in-ski-out’ hotel for easy and immediate access to the slopes, or stay away from the action and enjoy a more remote, calm and pretty location.

New hotels for the season include the four star Grand Hotel Murgavets in Pamporovo, with extensive facilities including a spa centre renowned for its health and fitness packages. The hotel’s top floor Viennese Café also affords superb views of the Rhodopi Mountains.

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Whatever you choose, you’ll be in safe hands with Bulgarian specialist Balkan Holidays who have arranged package holidays for over 50 years. For more information visit balkanholidays.co.uk/belfast or 0845 130 1114

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