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Visitor reviews for Bansko Ski Resort
March 21, 2017
Lars from Denmark
You are right about the base gondola lift.
The gondola already built is more than sufficient. The epically inefficient management of the crowds is the real problem.
The gondola could run at higher speed and filling the cabins would close to eliminate the queues.
Overall: 3.6. Based on 157 votes and 341 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Bansko.
Public Transport: 3.5
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Bansko, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Bansko, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 4.2
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 4.2
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Bansko.
Ski in/Ski out: 3.6
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Bansko, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Bansko is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Bansko relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 3.9
(1) There are no snow groomers at Bansko, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Bansko are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Bansko is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 2.5
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Bansko, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.2
(1) Bansko usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 3.2
(1) The staff at Bansko are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Bansko are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 4.1
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.2
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 3.9
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Bansko has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Bansko, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 2.7
(1) Not even a kicker at Bansko, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Bansko, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Bansko has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 3.4
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 3.4
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 3.3
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 3.4
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 3.7
(1) Overall, Bansko is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 4.0
(1) Overall, Bansko is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
March 19, 2017
Moche from Israel
Bansko is a very bad ski resort. Ski runs are made by people who do not understand skiing. They are just cutting down the forest. The lifts are designed horribly: the lower station has melted snow and the upper station, strong wind. Often they closed the best lifts. The staff of the lifts is rude and do not know foreign languages. Bansko is a city that has never been skiing. Every year skiers in Bansko reduced. I do not recommend anyone to go to Bansko skiing.
February 26, 2017
Themos from Greece
A low cost ski resort. Unbelievably crowded. Really packed with beginners who ski at very high speads. Very poor quality of snow; not pressed at all. A very dangerous place to ski!
February 25, 2017
Iasen from Bulgaria
Bansko doesn't need a new gondola or any more slopes. Even now it is off the scale. Please visit Pirin mountain in summer. You will not find flowers and wild life any more. But you will see what the tourists prefer to drink and eat at the lifts. To build new gondola, the amount of trees that are needed to be cut are enough to build a small town. I am ski and snowboard instructor but never worked there. I have been skiing there, before the bank convert it to their small gold mine. There was a wildlife but now, because of the chemicals they use to make snow at 4C, all the trees are dying.
February 16, 2017
Ann Cullum from United Kingdom
We stayed at Bansko for one week. Yes, it was horrendously busy as we had stupidly booked the Bulgarian and Hungarian school holidays (won’t do that again!) so yes, the queues were absolutely ridiculous (3 hours???). We ended up not even attempting to go up the gondola in the mornings and just enjoyed coffee in the town which, sadly, halved the amount of skiing we could do. Yes, they certainly do need another gondola lift before they hack off all their customers but I understand there’s a lot of red tape to get through first. Forgetting all that, it was amazing! The people were lovely. The food was cheap and very enjoyable. The drinks were a bargain. The local culture was excellent and the après-ski was to die for. We only went to Euphoria which was fantastic with a great live band and Veselo Selo which was so traditional and unusual with Bulgarian dancers.
This is a great place and we will certainly go back there again next year but not in half term!
February 05, 2017
Matt from United Kingdom
I boarded in Bansko with a small group of skiers for a weekend at the end of Jan 2017.
The snow was deep, fresh and well groomed. Off the piste I boarded in deep snow. The slopes weren't busy (except at peak times at the base station, in town, which can be avoided by a cheap taxi) and the up to date lift system made getting around quick and easy.
There is one main hill, and it's got runs coming off it in all directions. There's a large safe area for learners. Great hillside restaurants are a plenty and are well priced. At the end of the day the final run back into town is floodlit.
I experienced all the charm that Bulgaria has to offer. The regional food is delicious, and the size of the town means that you have a wide choice. You can recline with a cocktail in a sophisticated family orientated bar or drink the local beverages while listening to live music.
Yes, I've skied in Ischgl, Zermatt, Tignes, Val Thorens, Morzines, Chamonix, etc, which may have more extensive lift systems, more hills, altitude, village charm. But that's all at a significant cost for marginal gains.
Bansko makes a great ski break for everyone. I'll be returning with friends and family.
February 03, 2017
Alec from United Kingdom
Surprised by the recent negative reviews of Bansko at end Jan 2017. A group of us were there at a similar time (27th-29th January) and the skiing was fantastic. This is from a group of skiers that have skied in some of the best places across Europe. If you can't handle moguls or loose powder, then move down to the gentle blues and greens.
Agree that the gondola queue in mid-morning is bad (Turkish school holidays starting when we were there). But, once you're up the mountain (we get a taxi up for £6 each), the most we queued was 5 minutes.
One issue that may be causing misconceptions of Bansko is the current FIS event. In the run up (i.e. whilst we were there), they do focus the piste machines on making the World Cup run pristine, which can mean the other pistes get less of a bashing.
All in all, a great value resort. I'm looking forward to returning in a couple of weeks with the family.
February 01, 2017
Phil from United Kingdom
I am a Bansko fan, having been 7 times in the last eleven years but it's about time they got their piste management together! Having the tops of small fir trees popping through the middle of the piste like on the top two runs is just lazy preparation. Having the occasional rock, the size of a half house brick on the piste again at the top so it hasn't fallen from anywhere is again lazy. numerous lumps of ice on the piste first thing is also very poor but worst of all, we were there Jan 2017 when they were building the course for the snowboarding championship, was on top piste's were not groomed at all as the machines were solely used for the championship so in other words "stuff the public who had brought the lift passes, you will have to make do with rubbish piste's !! very poor indeed
February 01, 2017
Mark Wood from United Kingdom
Thought I had better add a review as there are some bad ones on here and whilst there is some truth in the points made I think some balance is called for. Firstly, the queue for the gondola: yes, I agree its unacceptable and if it was the only way up I would not go again. However, for a reasonable cost if you are sharing you can get a taxi or mini bus up to the top, or there are free buses that start at 9am that not everyone knows about. Apart from that I just got back and never had any problems with the piste conditions; they were perfect. Also very cheap on the mountain as well as the town for food and drink. Lifts easily accessible and no queues (except as already stated. Its not a massive resort and easily skied in a day, but what is there is fairly varied and enjoyable. Where it scores over many other Alpine resorts is the quality and variety of food/drink and entertainment. Happy End Apres bar is great after a day on the slopes with live music and 'happy hour' beer at 50p a pint. There are numerous very good and varied restaurants and the prices are very cheap and lots of pubs/clubs etc with live music well into the night. Depends what you want of course but I felt these benefits somewhat counter the negatives of the smallish area. I would say give it a try for a long weekend and make the most of the nightlife, but don't queue, get a taxi! Even if it costs.
January 30, 2017
Adrian from United Kingdom
I echo what another reviewer said recently. The queues are horrendous and the piste conditions are really poor. It's cheap to come here for a reason, it's crap! Whatever level you are save an extra couple of hundred quid and go elsewhere. This resort needs some major investment before I come here again.