Borovets

General Information

Being the largest and the first mountain resort in Bulgaria, Borovets was previously known as Chamkoria. It dates back to 1896 when the first holiday villa has been built here followed by building the summer residence for Bulgarian King Ferdinand. In the middle of the 20th century, its name was changed to Borovets, which means a place with multiple pine-trees, which are typical for this place.

Location

The resort is located on the northern slopes of Rila Mountain at 1350 m above the sea level. The place is easily accessible from different parts of the country. Bulgarian capital is only 70 km away, while Plovdiv is in 120 km of distance.

The resort boasts with a moderate climate with soft winters that create perfect conditions for skiing and practicing all kinds of winter sports. There is a lot of snow from the mid-December till the end of April, when the ski season is officially opened. The average temperature during the winter is not too low and in the coldest month of January is about 4,8 °C.

Nature and Nature Sites

Being a part of the Rila mountain, tourists can admire the multiple nature sites located here. Among the most popular of them are:

  • The Seven Rila Lakes, which are considered one of the greatest natural landmarks on the Balkan Peninsula. These mountain lakes have a glacial origin and are located between 2,100 m to 2,500 m above the sea level. All of them have different names that present the specific shape they resemble, such as The Eye, The Kidney, The Tear, and The Twin.
  • Mount Musala with its 2925 meters above the sea level is the highest peak in the entire Balkan Peninsula. It is located in the beautiful Rila National Park that can surprise the tourists with the diversity of the local flora and fauna. The mount is a great challenge for mountaineers.

History and Cultural Heritage Sites

Borovets is the very first mountain resort on the Balkans. Known as Chamkoria by the middle of the 20th century, it became popular after in 1896 when the Bulgarian king built his summer residence here along with a few hunting lodges. Noticing this piece of paradise, many aristocrats and wealthy people began to build houses for summer recreation in the region.

The resort expanded in 1960s and 1970s with multiple ski lifts, wide alpine-style slopes, hotels, and all kinds of facilities for winter sports.

The modern Borovets is a year-round resort that features a network of ski slopes and lifts, restaurants, bars, comfortable hotels, and countless opportunities for active winter holiday and entertainment.

Borovets offers many historical sights, but probably the most popular one is the Summer Royal Residence called Tsarska Bistritsa. It is a lodge for hunting built for King Ferdinand. Later, it was used by his inheritor, King Boris III. It is built in a traditional Revival style, but some European architectural elements also present. The royal family still possesses this mansion and spends much time of the year here.

The wooden church in Borovets is another must-see. The famous and rich people of Chamkoria had the idea to build this temple and started its construction 1933 with voluntary sacrifices and donations. The church is built in a Gothic Alpine style by an Austrian architect, which makes it distinct from other Bulgarian Christian temples. It is opened year round for visitors.

The sports history of the resort begins in 1930 when the first downhill race was conducted. 43 years later, in 1974, Borovets appeared in the Alpine calendar of the International Ski Federation for the first time. Since that time the resort was a host of two Word Cups, twelve European Cups and multiple FIS competitions that include different ski alpine disciplines.

Culture, Entertainment and Night Life

There are 3 skiing zones in Borovets that include

  • Ski center Yarebets, which is located between 1340 m and 2369 m above the sea level.
  • Ski center Sitniakovo located between 1350 m and 1780 m above the sea level with a snow-covered installation and artificial lighting for night-time skiing.
  • Ski center Markugic located between 2144 m and 2550 m above the sea level. There are excellent conditions for winter sports like biathlon, alpine skiing, snowboarding, as well as cross-country skiing.

There are 24 marked alpine ski runs with the total length of 58 km. The longest one is 12 km. There are biathlon facilities and cross-country skiing tracks with the length of 35 km.

There are a lot of entertainments that are offered in the resort all year round. These include:

  • Kayaking in Iskar Dam, which is the biggest dam in Bulgaria. This active entertainment is perfect for physical training of adults and children over 10 years old.
  • Bike rental
  • Flight with a paraglider
  • Paintball, which offers tourists to experience a battle adventure in the real setting of the old pine forests.
  • Boroland Rope Town, which is a safe and fun theme park where both kids and adults will find a lot of emotion.
  • The following games are available in Borovets: badminton, volleyball, archery, shooting with a gun, jumping trampoline, tennis.

Tourism

Borovets is an attractive holiday destination during all seasons. There are multiple opportunities here for recreation and entertainment. Imagine to hike or ski amidst centuries-old forests, to conquer peaks or just stroll with your loved ones. All this is possible here, offering you unforgettable mountain adventures.

This is a perfect place for people, who want to get rid of the daily stress, to spend some time away from the busy cities and indulge in the greatness of nature. The beauty of Rila Mountain is stunning all year round. If you decide to visit this place in summer, you will be overwhelmed by the fragrant aromas of wide berries and herbs and the tranquility and pureness of pine forests.

After spending the whole day in the nature, restaurants will invite you to taste traditional Bulgarian dishes. The lovers of night life will also find this resort attractive, as it offers night entertainment in the numerous discos and bars.