Bulgarian Ski Properties- Bansko, Borovets or Pamporovo

Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo are the three main choices for ski resorts in Bulgaria and many potential buyers and skiers are scratching their heads to find out which one might be the best for them. In fact, there is no perfect place, as its often the case in the real estate business. Every one has to choose according to his/hers taste, holiday plans and property investment objectives. Here is in a nutshell the rundown of their main features.

Part One – Bansko

It used to be an isolated typical Balkan village known to Bulgarians as the place of birth of many national figures and the Banski Starets, a dry spicy sausage. The history of Bansko goes back ages as one can tell by the high stone fences built to defend houses and households from the Ottomans. As with most mountain communities, the people of Bansko were workoholics before Wall Street coined the term and part of their earnings went out to bribe the local Pashas or to keep the bad guys at bay. There werent any magnificent seven peasant lovers to protect them; they had to rely on themselves. And they did well.

Nowadays Bansko is a small town of 10,000 visited by more than 400,000 skiers and holiday makers in high season. A short walk around town will show to what extend things have changed in the last years. Construction is a booming business here with no less than 30 sites open over the last 12 months. You can get a piece of a potato farm land for 200 euros the square meter, if youre lucky, and the average price of a new apartment is 1300 euros/sqm.

If you have the itch to jump on the next plane and buy the dream Bansko apartment you have seen on the net, make sure you know exactly where it is being built. As one can tell after visiting a dozen property web sites, very few publish maps but most claim they are located close both to the gondola lift and to the old Bansko. Thats one statement that doesnt hold water when you go there and check the distances. Because the distance from the central Vaptsarov square to the lift station on my car’s odometer is exactly 1840m. Thats a little bit over a mile. Not thats a huge distance by Aspen standards but Bansko is not Aspen, the streets are narrow and the potholes tricky.

bansko ski resort

If staying close to the gondola is a must look for the Gramadeto district. Thats the name of a small area uphill from the Bansko center, where the local people used to grow onions and potatoes. There are no more onions and potatoes in Gramadeto. Its one big construction site with heavy trucks and cement mixers working to make new homes and biger potholes. During high season however, all heavy work is banned. The happy residents who already bought there take a short horizontal stroll to the gondola while their new ski apartments quietly appreciate under the postcard Bansko sun.

Meanwhile downtown, coffee shops and taverns are opening up and smoke of grilled meat starts to fill up the air. There are over 400 restaurants and taverns (mehanas) in Bansko but I dont think somebody took seriously to count them. The very pleasant pedestrian and cobble stone streets are filled with them. The cuisine is very similar all over, the service varies, so when you find a place to your taste just stick with it. In another piece Ill pay tribute to my favorites.

Bansko real estate listings located near the old center do have a story to tell. For starters, this is what makes Bansko Bansko- the old wood houses with the thick stone fences and the smoke filled dusk. Even after a tough night at the local Irish pub you cant mistake it for Tignes or Chamonix.

Then if you want to spent your summer time off in your new studio or to rent it out in low season, being close to the gondola doesnt help much: the lift is shut for the summer, most hotels also. Gramadeto has this melancholic feeling about it like Brighton beach in December. At the same time the central square attracts the crowds with outdoor cafes, live music and flowers everywhere. Bansko works hard to become a year-round destination. The annual jazz festival is getting good reviews; a golf course is being built nearby. Not that I play golf but its a nice feature to have on a sales brochure.

Stay tuned. Next, Borovets ski resort near Sofia.

2 Responses to “Bulgarian Ski Properties- Bansko, Borovets or Pamporovo”

  1. Mark…

    I was impressed by your site and offerings. I was looking at some of the articles and it really impressed me. All I can say is congratulations on creating this site and what took you so long? I look forward to returning….

  2. Thanks for the great information on this website, I’ll be back!

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