Break Boundaries and begin the ski season in Bulgaria
The winter season will be upon us before we know it, so how about trying out a new skiing destination? We suggest that you travel to the beautiful Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria where its second largest ski resort, Pamporovo is located. Here there are 37 km of pistes for downhill skiing and 25 km of great cross country skiing, there is a good variety of runs for the amateur to the advanced skier or snowboarder. The number of ski canons are added to every year ensuring snow cover regardless of the vagaries of the winter weather.
The resort has 9 chair lifts and 6 drag lifts which are maintained by the Austrian company Axess and the capacity is 11,600 people per hour and a ski piste for night skiing all looked after by a ski patrol. Even during the holiday rush skiers never wait for more than 15 minutes to get onto a lift and an experienced English speaking ski guide charges E25 per hour, the lifts cost E25 for a full day pass which make this a very attractively priced and relaxed place to ski. Pamporovo hosted a run for the European ski cup in 2012 as well as the world competition of the International Ski Instructors in the winter of 2013.
But where to stay? The stunning, family owned and run, Villa Gella is set high up in the Rhodope Mountains, south of the city of Plovdiv. The villa is arranged over 6 large double bedrooms with their own bathroom and fireplace in each, and every room is individual in its contemporary style and design by interiors guru and ex-Giorgio Armani PR, Marja Breukhoven Bezemer.
All the rooms are extremely spacious and comfortable with pure wool duvets, locally woven cream blankets, and underfloor heating throughout. The huge heated terrace leading from the sitting room / dining room, has panoramic views over the mountains and it couldn't be a better place for skiers to relax after a full day on the piste. The villa can be taken on a room by room basis or as a whole.
The food at Villa Gella is sublime with all the freshest, seasonal produce coming from nearby farms and small holdings. Herbal teas are made from the mountain herbs gathered by the villa staff and the local wine is a revelation, absolutely delicious.
There are many other things to do for those who don't ski including whizzing about on Skidoos or taking a horse drawn sleigh ride into the mountains which is equally lovely for romantic couples or families with children. There are beautiful nearby chapels which are very moving, and you can meet with extraordinary iconic painters or listen to traditional Bulgarian bagpipes which are amazing. As the villa is so beautiful, the family and staff the most delightful people for whom nothing is too much trouble and will arrange massages by the indoor pool and gym, walks in the mountains and picnics, weather permitting or visits to local beauty spots of which there are many, no one is going to feel left out.