Updated: Oct 9, 2020
What do you need to know before you plan your holiday?
Ski passes and gondola tips:
The lift passes mainly remain the same from last winter season, but they are published mostly first in December. So, when you plan your holiday you never know exactly how much will be your lift pass, but just for an idea you can compare with last season prices.
Of course, if you travel in low season – before Christmas or after the 2nd week of March the lift passes prices are discounted – from 10% to 15%, but this information will be published always last minute.
Because of the huge queue by the gondola it is important to buy your lift pass on the arrival day – so, you safe time on first day skiing. The lift pass desk by the gondola is open only until 5:30 during the week and 9pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, but there are several hotels which sell lift passes and are open later and you can buy the day before. Sport hotel and Guiness are open until 7pm, but in Predela 1, Zara hotel and Orbilux hotel you can buy later too/please check with hotel reception the correct time for next winter/. If you have small children with you /up to 7y.o./ it is important to have the child with you when buying the lift passes or a picture from it.
If you don’t manage to buy the lift pass on the arrival day, on next morning it is worth to try to buy it from any of the hotels, instead to go to the gondola because it opens at 8:30 and the queue is already huge… We in Sankiyski School are providing extra service for our clients to buy for them the lift passes and they pick them up by fitting.
In high season – Christmas and New Year, as well in February when all the holidays start, there is option for VIP ski passes. They are quite expensive, but worth, because they can save up to 2-3 hours queue with the special fast truck they provide. You can buy the VIP ski passes from Hotel Ores and Regnum/please call reception for actual working hours/. But if you are a family of 3 or 4 people or a group, then an option to go up are the taxis – that way you will save money compare to 3-4 VIP lift passes. For guests who are arriving to Bansko with their own car or rent-a-car this could be option as well to avoid the gondola queue and rich Bunderitsa or Shiligarnik. In this case is important latest 8:30-8:45 to leave the town and drive up, because later the road stuck and often the road can be closed. Please keep in mind that on the 27th and 28th Feb 2021 there are 2 races from the World Cup Men and the road up to the mountain will be closed at least a week before. So, you are not able to go up with own transport.
If you are single person there are also busses going up for extra charge of 10,- BGN, just mostly the same like the taxis they are driving extremely fast😊 you can get frighten.
It is good to know how to avoid the gondola queue. In high season specially it is always very busy in the morning. It is recommended to go up very early – before 8am to be already by the gondola or after 11am. In the morning at 8:30 there is already 2-3 hours queue sometimes. All this planning is important if you have booked ski lessons – sometimes because of this you can even past your lesson. Keep in mind that the trip with the gondola up is 25min.
Keep in mind that the slopes in Bansko are quite steep. Some of the marks on the slopes are not as usual in the other resorts: the ski road from Shiligarnik to the town is green slope/but is marked as blue/ which is very suitable for beginners even 2nd day if you have taken private lessons; the slopes 3 and 11 on the very top are very attractive for all skiers, but most of them are quite bad surprised sometimes. These 2 slopes like steepness are red slopes, but are marked with blue which misguide lots of skiers and snowboarders.
For families with small children is good to know that the ski road from Bunderitsa between 3 and 4pm is very busy and even dangerous, so would recommend better to take the gondola down in this time to avoid the risk. Otherwise the ski road is perfect to practice with your children during the day😊
You have to know that the slopes are wonderful and quiet in the morning – the best is to take the first gondola up and enjoy the empty slopes before all ski groups start with their lessons at 10:00😊 It is the same with the time for the lessons – the best time is from 9-11 – if you can chose it, just do it. Advantage: no queue or less by the gondola… and perfect slopes…