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A Skiing Holiday with a City Twist

Photo by Vitosha Ski

This eastern European skiing destination combines the thrill of the slopes with the city's charm.


Mount Vitosha is the natural landmark of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, and lies only 10 km from the city centre. One of the most exciting stories about skiing on Mount Vitosha is the legend of the "Vitosha bear", a mythical creature that is said to roam the mountain and protect the skiers from harm. According to the legend, the bear was once a human who loved skiing so much that he wished to become a part of the mountain. His wish was granted, and he became a bear that could ski faster than anyone. He also became the mountain's guardian, helping the skiers who got lost or injured and scaring away the poachers and the loggers.

Photo by Vitosha Ski

Affordable skiing

Mount Vitosha is an excellent destination for a skiing holiday. First, it is very affordable, as lift passes, ski rentals, and ski lessons are some of the lowest prices in Europe. You can buy a one-day lift pass for 26 for an adult and 18 euros for a kid and rent a pair of skis and boots for 16 euros per day for an adult. Discounts are given for seniors, kids, multiple-day rentals and more. You can find more information and buy your tickets online on the official website of the Vitosha ski resort.

Easy access from Sofia

Secondly, it is very convenient, close to the city and easy to access. You can reach the mountain by taking the Simeonovo or Dragalevtsi cable cars from the respective neighbourhoods. The cable cars takes roughly 20 minutes to get to the top and afford a breathtaking view of the city below. You can also drive to the hill by car by following the signs to Vitosha or Aleko, the main ski centre. The road is well-maintained and has parking spaces near the lifts.


15 slopes and 12 Lifts

Thirdly, it is very diverse, as it has slopes for all levels of skiers and snowboarders, from beginners to experts. The slopes are divided into four zones: Aleko, Konyarnika, Vitoshko Lale, and Zvezditsa. The Aleko zone is the most popular and developed, with 14 km of pistes and 8 lifts. It has slopes for all levels, from the easy green ones to the challenging black ones. The Konyarnika zone is the newest and most modern, with 4 km of pistes and 3 lifts. It has slopes for intermediate and advanced skiers, with a snow park and a half-pipe. The Vitoshko Lale zone is the highest and most scenic, with 2 km of pistes and 2 lifts. It has slopes for intermediate and advanced skiers, with a panoramic view of the city and the countryside. The Zvezditsa zone is the smallest and most remote, with 1 km of pistes and 1 lift. It has slopes for intermediate skiers, with a peaceful and natural atmosphere.

Photo by Vitosha Ski

Eating and drinking

If you get hungry or thirsty after skiing, you can find plenty of options for food and drinks on the mountain. Several restaurants and cafes serve traditional Bulgarian cuisine, such as shopska salad, banitsa, tarator, kebapche, and musaka. You can also try the famous Bulgarian yoghurt, which is said to have health benefits, and the rakia, a strong fruit brandy. You can also enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine at the ski bars near the lifts.

Staying in the mountain

If you want to stay overnight on the mountain, you have a few options for accommodation. You can book a room at a basic but cosy hut with a warm atmosphere and a stunning view. Some huts with rooms for rent are the Aleko hut, the Zvezditsa hut, the Momina Skala hut, and the Moreni hut. You can also stay at the Hotel Vitosha Tulip, which is a 3-star hotel located near the Simeonovo lift. The hotel has 18 rooms, a restaurant, a bar, and a sauna.


Staying in the city

However, you prefer more comfort and convenience. In that case, you can stay in Sofia. Staying in Sofia will also allow you to explore the city and its attractions, such as the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Sveti Georgi Rotunda, the Ancient Serdica Complex, the Boyana Church, the Museum of Socialist Art, the Sofia History Museum, and the Sofia Synagogue. Sofia has a lively and diverse nightlife scene, with bars, pubs, clubs, and live music venues catering to every taste and budget.

Photo by Alexandr Bormotin / Unsplash


But skiing is not the only activity you can enjoy on Mount Vitosha. The mountain becomes a paradise for hiking, biking, and nature lovers in the summer. You can choose from many trails leading to different parts of the mountain, such as the Boyana waterfall, the Dragalevtsi monastery, the Stone Rivers, the Black Peak, and the Golden Bridges. You can also join guided tours that will show you the best spots and tell you more about the flora and fauna of the mountain. Rent a bike and explore the mountain on two wheels. The lifts are open to bring you back to the top, so you only need to focus on staying on top of the mountain bike when riding down the sides of Mount Viosha.

Photo by Photo by Vitosha Ski




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