Bansko - A golf and ski combination!
Bulgaria is as famous for its mountains as it is for its
beaches, and it's skiing that's the big draw for holidaymakers
here. Bansko is its largest and longest-established ski resort
and the fastest growing in Europe. However Bansko is also
evolving into more of an 'all season' resort - nearby, at Razlog,
Ryder Ian Woosnan has put his name to a new 18-hole golf course
at the Pirin Golf and Country Club, a five-star resort with
superb sports complex, restaurants, spa and beauty centre.
Things are moving in Bansko, a popular tourist destination in
Bulgaria, currently noted for its winter sports but rapidly
adding other pastimes, about 100 miles south of the nation's
In Bansko lots of things are planned. Two more ski gondolas
on the way, an airport within 5 years, three golf courses,
mineral springs being developed and more hotel and apartment
blocks. Bansko is quietly booming.
Already there are new luxury hotels, several more and several
apartment blocks look close to completion. Planning controls are
being enforced to restrict future building and the overall
impression is one of organisation and control, not just a mad
land rush, random development and quick profit.
To many Bulgaria will not be at the top of their places to
visit. But the country has much to offer. It is a land rich in
history and culture, the land area of the United Kingdom, but
with just 12% of the population. Diverse in natural flora and
fauna and a climate that doesn't have the cruel heat of summer
or biting cold of winter and a landscape of mountains, lakes,
rivers, forests and gorges. At the height of summer the
landscape is green and Bulgaria exports its plentiful supply of
water to Turkey and Israel.
Small towns and villages dot the countryside, and the horse
and carts are still common. Monasteries, fields worked by hand,
taverns and fields of vines producing wine so loved by the
One morning we enjoyed a traditional Bulgarian breakfast at
one of the local Mehanas, a small friendly tavern type
restaurant serving traditional food and drink, often with live
entertainment. consisting of bread, platters of cheese,
vegetables, fruit, warm honey, local jam, tea, coffee, fruit
juice. Far too much to eat, we literally waddled out of the
tavern into the fresh air still stunned at the price of around
£1.20. The local beer is around 40p a bottle, a decent bottle of
local wine, £3.00. Petrol less than half the price of the UK and
so on, the cost of living is substantially lower than we were
prepared for or expecting in our wildest dreams.
This combination of low cost of living, a forward thinking
government, looking to expand the tourist potential of the area,
along with visionary entraupenuars has led to companies
investing serious money in the area.
It looks like money invested in Bulgaria will be working
hard for some time to come.