Make a tour of the region, it is beautiful indeed.
You have to pay visit of very old medieval villages like Leshten, Kovachevica, Melnik(the oldest wine capital of Bulgaria) there are so many historical interests, and they will grip your mind. Also there are a lot of monasteries and churchs in this region like The Rila Monastery,The Rojen Monastery, The "Sveta Troica" Church, and The"Sveta Petka" Church- Rupite.
You can visit one of the biggest caves in Bulgaria the Yagodinska Cave and The Davil's Throat Cave or The Dancing Bear Park in Belitsa there are so many bears on one place it is fantastic experiense.
If you are intersted in mountain hiking there are a lot of places to visit in The Pririn National Park like Vihren Chalet, Damianitsa chalet, Yavorov chalet, Bezbog and lakes like -Okoto Lake, Muratovo Lake, Ribno Lake, Popovo Lake and many others.
- Historical Travel
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
I was in Bansko, long before mass tourism came to the area. Back in 1991 it was still just a small charming mountain village,with crystal fresh chilly air and a local's resort. Bansko is where I first went for skiing in 1991 ,than started to snowboard in 1996....
- Skiing and Boarding
- Spa and Resort
Bansko Slopes map
The excellent skiing conditions in Bansko offer something for everyone.The Alpine character of Pirin mountain with its peaks above 2900m offers a majestic view over the village.
2 000 persons per hour capacity
56 km slopes , among which one called "Alberto Tomba"
5 months long winter season
150 km from Sofia
250 000 guests
10 000 inhabitants
150 years old clock tower
The building in 2003/2004 of the latest model of Doppelmayer Gondola made all this possible. Its total length is over 6 km , and connects the village with the slopes.
- Skiing and Boarding
- Mountain Climbing
Visit Dobrinishte, only 6 km South of Bansko
Dobrinishte is the best ski and spa resort in Bulgaria. The name of the villages came with its first inhabitants. “Dobri neshta” (means "Good things") said the people, charmed by the beauty of the nature, the mineral springs and the fresh air, and thus they gave it the name. Honestly Dobrinishte is perfect for recreation and tourism. It used to be the most famous resort, both ski and spa, in the Pirin Mountain. But recently, after a lot of investments in the town of Bansko, which has turned into the best winter resort in Pirin, Dobrinishte went in to a shadow. We are sure it will become a popular place again soon, mainly because compared to Bansko the mountain around the village is much easily accessible and far from alpine, and because of the hot mineral springs.
- Budget Travel
- Skiing and Boarding
- Hiking and Walking
Along the Glazne...
Most of the tourists who visit Bansko wont end up at the river Glazne. Why should they!? This place is a 150 metres from the Nikolai Vaptsorov place, and not a sight were all tourist operators will stop. Yet, if you have time its nice to walk along the river. There are from the centre two streets that go to the Glazne, that is the Tsar Simeon street and the Garibaldi street. Sitting at the banks of the river you get another view on Bansko. Not the overcrowded tourist place is central in this view, but the way locals are living at the border of Bansko. Also a must see then..
The streets of Bansko
Getting around in Bansko does not require public transport. Taking the subway in Bansko may spoil your opportunities to see all the beautiful things above the ground. As a matter of fact, the subway stations in Bansko are rather badly organised; though there are metros running underground, there are no exits, so just relaxe and do it all by food. My suggestion to get a good impression of Bansko is a walk including the following streets, starting from the place were the monument of Hilendarski is. From there: turn to the east: you enter Velyan Ogrev street. You will find on your left hand the Velyanov house. After a visit to this place go back the street and take the first little street on your right hand, continue this path on the left hand side and you enter the Rilski street, go to the right and you find the Rilski museum house. Well, now you have seen the two most important streets of towns and, interlinked, the two most important houses in town, to which these streets were named. But, then again it may be time to go back to mere mundane Bansko and head for the restaurants and terraces around Vaptsorov place. Of cource you will not end up here, for you have probably seen all the cosey places along the cobblestone streets in the old town. The authentic taverns and restaurants may look more appealing then.
Banskos most impressive street, starting from the second biggest square in town, where the Sveta Troitsa church is situated, longing to the Hotel Bulgaria, the entrance of the national park and the Katerina hotel, is the Pirin Street. This street is not the fifth avenue of Bansko, for that is the main street, rather pedestrian zone between pl. Nicola Vaptsarov and Tsar Simeon street, but it seems as if it is the actual heart of Bansko life. During daytime you find the farmers crossing the streets with their carriages, you see the herders with sheeps passing the street and the street life is lively and, to the standards of a town-village, crowded. At night there the street is a kind of place of traffic of people, mainly locals, who are going and coming from the local pubs and restaurants. But apart from the street being somehow important as a frequented road in some way, is that the street itself is eye-catching. It goes up in the direction to the Pirin mountains and in doing so, it combines all the elements of a picturesque Banskonian site: the houses with that unique architectural style along the ,beginning, of the street, the peaks of the mountains in the background and the rural elements intruding the street at noon. Although the town is formally a town it looks more like a village at Pirin street.
Only the outside
If you are not into house museums and particulars of Bansko history or art, it maybe a good thing just to walk around and see the beautiful buildings from outside. Just walk through the small streets of the old town and enjoy the street-scenery and the striking architecture. Here and there, you may take a look inside the old houses, which are now taverns or restaurants. The owners of these places are proud and eager to show you some of the beauties of their houses interiors. They tell you about the interesting details about the place, also when you are not going to have diner there…they just like it when people are interested. To have a clear image of the area where buildings are becoming more interesting, I can say that the area next to the Sveta Troistsa Church is the place: this area is between the Pirin (street), Rilski street, Sandanski (street). When you stroll the streets in this area, you find all the important and beautifull sights. There, where the cobblestone paths and roads end, the area is ending. A beautiful spot just outside this area is however the end of the Rilski street, here you find a little round square with a fantastic view on the Pirin mountains.
Other things to see
At the second largest place of the town, the place where you can also find the Sveta Troitsa Church, the Paissi Hilendarski monument is situated. This man is the author of the famous Slav-Bulgarian History (18 th. Century). It is however, in my opinion not a monument the good man deserves, it’s a bid awkward, a concrete, large brick on a Stalistic like place. Another thing to see is the house museum of Rilski, a celbrated man of letters and enlightment. The building is a schoolroom and it contains scripts written by the man and some photos of him. Rilski lived in the 19 th. Century and is most known for him being the founder of secular schools
From the outside this building is not of much interest. The inside is qua interior neither interesting. The only reason for visiting the theatre Zelev is because of the work of the painter Zalev is exposed there on a permanent exposition. This painter is not one of Bulgarian’s most famous ones, he is rather a local painter, admired by the Bansko people. Not extremely impressive, but if you like art, its a nice change of senery…
In a convent you can you can see a number of impressive religious icons. Allthough they are beautiful they are exposed behind thick glass and nothing is signed. As is often the case, there is no explanation in English. So, the place is attracktive for real lovers of the visual of Orthodox religion, but can be left aside if you want to get information about the things exposed. Admission is 2 lv.
Nikola Vaptsarov house
This house is the place where Vaptsarov was born. This man, after whom the main square of the town is called, was an enormous popular inhabitant of Bansko. He was an anti-fashistic poet and activist in the thirties of the 20 th. Century. He was writer and an activist for the syndicate and a supporter of the communist ideology (not regime: that’s quite a difference!) He was however captured by the fascists and tortured, so he became a some kind of martyred. He wrote a poem when he was waiting for his execution, this poem is now one of the most important peaces of Bulgarian literature. When visiting this house museum, visitors get to see a film about Vaptsarov and there is some information provided about the things the visitor can see in the house. These include exhibits connected to this mans life, and there are also some crafts and textiles exhibited which represent traditional arts and craftwork from Bansko. There is admission for some 2 or 3 lv.
This is a house museum which is open daily till 5 pm and is interesting for its interiors. You can admire the typical style the house is build in, that is, a straight example of the local style of art, called the Bansko School, so the house features some peaces of woodwork and painting, typically for the region. The place is so interesting because it gives you a good impression of the work of former local artisans. The pace can be visited for a few lev. ( 2 or 3 lv)
Sveta Troitsa tsarkvata
The most striking feature of Bansko is the Sveta Troista Church. This outstanding paece of architecture is dominated by the 30 meter high clock tower, which is, according to the postcards I saw, Bansko’s major landmark. The church is build in the 19 th. Century and is surrounded by 1 meter tick walls, which are some 5 meter high! The buildings interior is impressive, there is furniture from the 19 th. Century, wooden floors and the place breathes out some mystic atmosphere. The place is open till 7 pm, and there is no fee.
Dobrinishte is a vilage 7 km away of Bansko. It's also a good place to visit in this area, with its own interesting sights.