Visitor reviews for Bansko Ski Resort

Bansko Ratings

Overall: 3.7. Based on 187 votes and 343 reviews. Vote

Snowsure: 3.9

(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.

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.

Off-piste: 3.5

(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.

Scenery: 4.1

(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.

Access: 3.5

(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.

Accommodation: 4.5

(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: 4.3

(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.

Childcare: 3.4

(1) There are no child care facilities at Bansko, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.

Snowmaking: 4.2

(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.

Shelter: 3.8

(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: 2.6

(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: 3.3

(1) The staff at Bansko are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Bansko are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.

Crowds/Queues: 2.7

(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: 4.3

(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.

Beginners: 3.9

(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.

Intermediates: 4.2

(1) No intermediate terrain at Bansko, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.

Advanced: 3.6

(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.

Cross-country: 3.1

(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.

Luge/Toboggan: 2.0

(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.

Eating: 4.2

(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.

Apres-Ski: 4.1

(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: 3.5

(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.

Entertainment: 3.6

(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: 3.4

(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): 3.8

(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.

Show all 35 ratings

February 25, 2012
Themos from Ski Greece Greece
It is a marvellous place for skiing, however, a single gondola to transfer all the people up the mountain is unacceptable. We were lucky when we visited Bansko last week during the world games. They had small vans leaving every few minutes transferring the skiers up the mountain with minimal waiting. The following day the line for the buses was long but buses were scarce. We had to wait for almost an hour in line in order to get on the gondola. This happens even early in the morning. They have to understand that all the crowds of people cannot be handled with the single gondola.
February 23, 2012
Petethefeat from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
For those of you who have not been to Bansko before here are some suggestions on where to eat: ZEHTINGIEVATA HOUSE MEHANA – Chicken liver starters very good, The Pork Knuckle 27 Leva is absolutely fabulous and comes with homemade chips and gravy and is enough for around 3 people with say a Vegetable Sache. AXEMANS – Pork Fillets in a cream sauce with mushrooms, garlic and cheese, accompanied by mashed potatoes - 13.90 Leva, also excellent tender Beef Steak (hard to get in Bansko) with chips and sauce of your choice - pepper, chili, barbecue or Rockford - 23.40 Leva, Excellent Homemade Cheese Cake and Baked Banana & very nice house wine. Good meeting place for British & Irish etc at the top end of town, 7:30 prompt! They have a new chef here so much improved. DUMANOV HOTEL - Excellent Beef steaks c29 Leva, with pepper sauce etc (enough for 2? with a vegetable sache) Nice puddings, especially the Baked Banana with brandy and also the baked apple. Good House Red & White Wine & local Brandy. Can negotiate a 20% discount. BARYAKOVA – Excellent Roast shoulder of lamb (cooked for 7 hours) superb comes with homemade chips/boiled potatoes/risotto type rice, 88 Leva for a whole one and enough for around 7 people with some extra accompaniments like vegetable sache or you can buy a roast lamb portion. Chicken Fillet, not nice, reconstituted meat? BANSKI HAN - Chomlec (veal stew) excellent, try with Perlenka (flat bread to dip) & their home made chips. Chicken with Rockford sauce & pork fillet both very nice as is the House red & white wine. Update Dec 2011 Chomlec a bit dry! (5/10 instead of 10/10) hope it’s a one off? ST IVAN RILSKI HOTEL - The pork cutlet chops were very big, char grilled and excellent, 12.60 leva plus 1 leva for wild mushroom sauce. Excellent homemade chips. For desert I can recommend the pancakes with apple and cinnamon, that come with nice ice cream and you get 2 big pancakes which is enough for 2? I did not like the cheesecake here. Nice house red but served to us very chilled! BISTRO PIRIN – V Nice chicken soup 1.80 leva, try the fried rice with chicken (makes a nice change) 8 leva, my lads like the breaded chicken fillet (v big) 10 leva. Proper homemade chips and you get a big plate full. HAPPY GRILL – (Todorka sign above) Opposite the Fortuna Hotel. Very nice local food, good for lunch. I can recommend the following, all homemade: local sausage 8 leva, chips with/without cheese c3 leva, Chicken soup & excellent bread. BOYANOVI PIZZA - Great Pizzas etc MOMINI DVORI – For lunch/starter try the homemade Chicken or Tripe soup with their excellent Parlenka (Flat Bread with/without Garlic) THE PESHERITE - Local sausage 7 leva, chicken “chop” 6 leva, both BBQ`D, first class homemade chips 2.50 leva (big bowl), Very nice omelettes & “poached” eggs (you actually get 3 fried eggs on a plate!) try the homemade ketchup. TEMENUSHKA - Very nice coffee with milk, cakes etc. From my “Pete’s Bansko Winter Guide” if you’re not on my mailing list and want a copy e mail me: pete@explore-bansko.com
February 08, 2012
Dean Snee from Ski Bulgaria Bulgaria
Out in Bansko for the first time. Really sad I've owned an apartment here for 4 years and never used it...the apartments are at Aspen Golf a few km out of the main town but stunning with great staff and excellent facilities. Feel a fool for not coming earlier. Booked a deal through Balkan Holidays, awesome value for money. 6 days of ski school, passes and hire for £100. The best £100 I could ever spend. The skiing has been amazing, soft powder, a great instructor and all round great fun. We have eaten in the town every night and it was awesome value for money. The restaurants serve great food and the beer is less than £1 a pint. (bit more up the mountain and around the gondola station). Bansko is excellent. Learn to ski in the best value resort around. Will I be back??? Oh yes, with all the family.
February 08, 2012
Mike from Ski Cyprus Cyprus
Been there for 5 nights/4 days in January. Skiing was awesome, queues were non existent if you were there between 8am-8:30am like we were. Had 2 skiing days of heavy snow/fog (which I like) and 2 skiing days which were clear and sunny, snow was nicely packed the last 2 days while heavy and powdery the first 2. All the lifts were operational all 4 days we were there. My friend even lost his bag (left it on the lift) and the staff found and kept it. One friend got injured and they snowmobiled him down and he had x rays and medical check for free! Brilliant. The place is cheap, we ate at a place called Yanitsa (small hotel and restaurant) almost every day, cheap food and homely made. Starter, main dish, desert and a glass of wine and water about 10 Euro, what else can you ask for. We stayed in Lucky Bansko Hotel, amazing hotel and spa, a bit far from the gondola but bus every 30 minutes. Place is also good for buying skiing clothing and even skis and boots at amazing prices (if you find a way to bring them back home).
February 03, 2012
Richard Galkowski from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
We have just returned from a glorious week's skiing in Bansko. We own an apartment in Paradiso Verde and this has improved immensely since last year with the opening of the hotel and associated facilities. Because of our apartment, we have been going to Bansko for the past 4 years and last week was by far the best we have had there. The heavy snow fall just as we arrived allowed us to enjoy all types of conditions and the clear skies and sunshine at the beginning of this week were just fabulous. As for the resort, it has become more expensive over the last few years especially up the mountain (white coffee 5 Levs, sausage & chips 16 Levs). That said, there are some excellent restaurants away from the town square where a 3-course dinner & drinks for 4 people can be as little 100 Levs. The gondola queues continue to be a problem but getting there by 0830hrs or later than 1030hrs should see you getting to the top of the mountain within 30-40mins (as long as it is not Christmas or half-term!). Overall, it is an excellent resort that is improving every year but it will need more ski runs soon if its popularity continues to grow as it has done over the past 5 years. Highly recommended.
February 02, 2012
Glen from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Had an excellent week in Bansko 14-21 Jan. The queue for the gondola was about 5-10 mins. There was loads of snow with only one lift shut as they were preparing the run for the world championships! The food was absolutely brilliant, we didn't have one bad meal and ate out every night. Right from a simple shopska salad and pizza, up to fillet steak or sushi!! The Bulgarians that we met were mostly friendly and they love to banter! Could do with another gondola for the busier times of year, but it's a young resort in terms of investment and will get better every year. Can't wait until next year now, too long though I'd go back tomorrow!
February 01, 2012
Rodeo Girl from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Just back from the most amazing week of skiing in Bansko, a mixture of sunny days and 3 days of whiteout which left us with brilliant snow coverage and powder snow. We were at the ski store by 8.20am each day to collect our skis then straight onto the gondola queue. I think the most we waited was about 10 mins on the first day but that was as everyone was in a muddle about where to go after getting fitted for skis, boots etc. No probs at all. The queues for the chairlifts, tows etc were about a couple of minutes at the most and they do their best to fill each seat going up no the chairlifts each time. I went to Ulen Ski School, prebooked through Balkan Holidays and our instructors Mario and Marianna were fantastic. I had previously only skied about 6 or 7 times in Scotland and by the end of the week I was skiing red runs. Their English was very good and they taught us well. The food around the gondola station can be expensive but we mostly had a large slice of pizza and a bottle of coke for about 10 levs which we thought was fine. If you go inside the restaurants it can get pricey depending on what you have. The queues to sit inside can get long also if you don't get in for about 12.00. All the locals we met were very friendly and helpful and we couldn't complain about them. We stayed at the Stratzhite Hotel which was about 5-10 mins away and found this very comfortable too. The food in the hotel was a bit bland but it was edible. We ate out a few nights in the local town and the food was good. There is a good selection of places to eat and drink and at a mixture of prices depending on your budget. The only concern we had was the packs of wild dogs wandering about at the top gondola station and in the town. They follow you or come and sit beside you when you are eating outside but the don't bother you. They can just be a bit daunting as they are so big and especially when you are eating! All in all we had a great holiday, great skiing due to the major snow dump and met great people. So good we are all planning to go back as a massive group next year! It's not an expensive place to go and it's cheap for food and drink. This is not because it's bad but just as the Bulgarians have not yet caught up with prices in other parts of Europe but give it time and they will probably catch up.
January 24, 2012
david cummings from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Bansko is a good place to ski if you are lucky enough to be there on a quiet week. Just come back after a week and the amount of people on the pistes and waiting in queues was horrendous. Although the resort is in a world heritage site the ski runs need to be expanded and improved. Unfortunately, the tree hugging hippies of this world don't want that, they believe that they have the right to dictate to the rest of us what we can and can't do in this life. Been going there every year since 2008, the prices in that time in the town have shot up. The car park for the gondola was 3 lev now it is 10, the prices for meals have nearly doubled and local beer was 2 lev for a pint and now it's 3.50. The business owners think that the tourists from the UK are there to be ripped off because "we earn more than they do" (yes, that's a quote). Bansko is beginning to make the same mistake that Spain did 30 years ago and price themselves out of the market and their idea of customer service is also many years from being acceptable. Some people I guess will disagree with the above. Time will tell.
January 23, 2012
Gary from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Just had a great week in Bansko! The snow was good. Eating out is cheap and to a good standard. My family had lessons with Method Ski School. They were all very pleased and having the only English Instructors on the mountain helped them all come on a lot! Thanks to the team for making it a great week!
January 21, 2012
BG Skier from Ski Bulgaria Bulgaria
Just to let you know that Bansko ski area is built inside a national park, a UNESCO world heritage site. In the summer of 2011 the government said that Ulen was using around 65% more land than the concession rights they had been given by the state. Still, the government seems not to care about this breach. Skiers are, of course, unaware that a 120-year old virgin forest has been cut in Pirin mountains for the ski zone to be built. And the capacity of the ski zone is now around 3 times smaller than the beds available (even when taking into account that some of them are empty), although the concession says that the number of beds in Bansko should not expand because of the ski zone. Currently there are plans to expand the ski zone inside the national park - a vicious circle...