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Borovets (Bulgarian: Боровец), known as Chamkoria (Чамкория) until the middle of the 20th century, is a popular Bulgarian mountain resort situated in Sofia Province, on the northern slopes of Rila, at an altitude of 1350 m. Borovets is 10 km from Samokov, 73 km from Sofia and 125 km from Plovdiv.
Borovets is the oldest Bulgarian winter resort with a history that dates back to 1896. Borovets was originally established at the end of the 19th Century as a hunting place for the Bulgarian Kings. Borovets gradually developed into a modern ski resort with hotels, restaurants, bars and a network of ski runs and lifts along the slopes of the Rila Mountains, providing for a whole range of winter sports. The resort has twice hosted World Cup Alpine Skiing rounds(1981 and 1984), while the Biathlon track is one of the best in the world.
The Super Borovets project is one of the largest and most expensive investment and development projects in Bulgarian history. The plan is to enlarge Borovets town to encompass the nearby towns of Samokov and Beli Iskar. The resort will be divided into three levels:
Level 1 or Low Borovets: A brand new development just outside Samokov, this area will cater for the less economically well off tourists, but will have good connections and transport with Borovets and the main ski area. This project will provide around 5,000 hotel rooms.
Level 2 or Borovets: Consists of the existing Borovets with extensive investment and development. This will provide around 10,000 hotel rooms (approximately what Borovets currently provides) and will remain as the main accommodation area.
Level 3 or Super Borovets: This will cater for those looking for 5 star hotels and a luxury experience, however it will provide no more than 2,500 hotel rooms.
The current plan from the architects (subject to review and acceptance by the ecology team) is to expand the number of pistes by constructing 19 new pistes bringing the total ski-able area to around 90 km. To cope with the higher demand for ski-lifts and gondolas, 12 new ski-lifts will be built. One of these lifts will be a multi-station gondola which connects Borovets to Samokov allowing skiers easy access to the slopes from the Lower Borovets development site.
The project was launched in 2004 and was to be completed by 2009, however several setbacks have delayed it. The project was then given the go-ahead in October 2007, amidst opposition from environmentalists. However, by February 2010, still nothing had happened with the whole project mired in financial problems as a result of the late-2000s financial crisis, and the project's backers denying that work had restarted.
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|Average low °C (°F)||−7.1
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The ski resort is at an altitude of 1350 m. 58 km of marked pistes cover the generally north facing slopes up to an altitude of 2560 m, with many runs terminating near the village centre allowing skiers to ski almost to their hotel door. The longest run is a gentle 12 km return to the resort along the maintenance road.
Borovets Ski Slopes
|Ski Run||Difficulty||Length (m)||Inclination (m)|
|Sitnyakovo ski track||Green||6000||0|
|Martinovi Baraki 5||Green||5000||0|
|Martinovi Baraki 3||Red||1260||320|
|Martinovi Baraki 4||Black||1240||302|
|Martinovi Baraki 1||Black||1160||340|
|Martinovi Baraki 2||Red||1160||280|
All ski lifts are open 9.00 am to 4.30 pm. Each lift closes for technical checks and maintenance for half a day each week and for 1 full day each month, see local signs for dates and times for each lift.
|Ski Run/Lift||Type||Length (m)||Elevation (m)|
|Markujik 0 - beginners piste||Drag||500||42|
The lift infrastructure of the resort is very well developed by drag lifts, baby tows, seat chain lifts, plus a gondola lift. 1 six-seat Gondola lift, 2 High Speed Quad Chair lifts, 1 Fixed Grip Quad Chair lift, 10 Surface ski lifts and 9 tow lifts. As for the 6 persons gondola lift, it takes you to the Yastrebets peak on 2363 m above sea level. The difference in altitude is approx. 1046 m and length of route is 4827 m. The gondola lift has a capacity of 1200 persons per hour. The journey takes around 20 minutes. The total capacity of all tow lifts of Borovets is 8150 persons per hour.
A recently completed 200-meter carpet lift takes the skiers from ski center Markudjik to the upper station of the gondola lift "Yastrebetz"; and the widened 10 km long Musala Pathway provides an easy way to return to the resort.
For night skiing there is a special lift pass that has to be bought separately at the kiosks on the pistes. It is valid from 5 pm till 10 pm.
The resort also offers biathlon facilities for training and competitions. 35 km of cross country trails are designed according to the requirements of FIS (Federation Internationale de Ski), although they cancelled the last two cross-country events to be held in Borovets, in 2009 and 2010.
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2 person ski-doos are available for local rent in the resort. Tourists can be guided through the local forests by an instructor.
Every Wednesday the local ski and snowboarding instructors put on a Ski Jumping show on the slopes in front of the Hotel Rila. The show is free for all that attended ski school during the week but there is a charge for those who have not attended ski school. There are, however, many bars in the local area where you can sit and enjoy a drink whilst watching the show for free.
One of the major attractions of Bulgaria and especially Borovets is the high standard of instruction available at a much lower cost than is common in the ski resorts of western europe.
The instruction is divided into 5 different levels according to the skill level of the individual. The lessons may be group or individual (subject to request) and the duration of the course is from anything from 3 to 12 days. There is also a ski kindergarten for the children aged 4 to 8 years which runs for the entire day.
Like most ski resorts, Borovets is quieter during the summer, but there is always horse riding, by the hour or 1 to 7-day holidays, on the wonderful mountain and forest tracks and paths, and more recently, mountain biking has become popular and there are many dedicated routes which include purpose-made jumps. The lifts are working in the summer and bikers can take their bikes up on them. Different lifts work on different days. Hiking is also popular as is fishing at the local trout fishery.
The Kings Palace (Tsarska Bistritsa) is open from 10 till 5 Friday to Sunday and cost 3 leva entry.
- "Bulgaria Gives Go-Ahead to 3-Tier Super Borovets Project". Novinite JSC. (Sofia News Agency). October 9, 2007. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "Bulgaria Denies Report of USD 1 B Super Borovets Development". Novinite JSC. (Sofia News Agency). February 9, 2010. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- , Stringmeteo.com Retrieved February 24, 2012.
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