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News: Thrilling Bankso has it all

Thu, 29 Nov 07

Located just two hours from the nation’s capital city, Sofia and international airport, Bansko is a thrilling resort for all seasons...

The beautiful and enticing Bulgarian winter sports resort of Bansko which is perched high up above sea level and which nestles cosily between the Pirin, Rila and Rhodope mountain ranges has been receiving considerable attention of late as it emerges from its humble beginnings to become Europe’s newest and most exciting extreme and winter sports resort.

From its modest beginnings as a small ski resort which really only achieved popularity on any major scale ten years ago, Bansko has welcomed multi million euro investment programmes, record growth in tourism arrivals with a 25% increase between the 2005/06 and 2006/07 seasons, witnessed a property boom and ultimately it has truly transformed itself into one of the most exhilarating and fun resorts in Europe for all those who want to take part in winter sports related fun for up to six months of the year, and all those who want a break in one of the prettiest and most diverse resorts in Bulgaria at any time of the year.

Year round appeal

The traditional ski season in Bansko runs from the 15th of December to the 15th of May – but because the town and its surrounding slopes, mountains, geography and environment have so much more to offer adventurous holidaymakers than just ski runs, there is true year round appeal in Bansko with those particularly in search of winter fun able to enjoy themselves for at least six months of the year.

Those who arrive looking specifically for ski action during the winter season will of course find it...in fact The Guardian newspaper recently placed Bansko in the number two position in the world on its ‘most recommended’ list of ski resorts for beginners and intermediate skiers - and their noteworthy praise for the resort is predicted to push 2007 travel and tourism arrivals even higher than the predicted 8.2% increase on last year’s impressive statistics.

The ski pistes are located in two main ski centres namely Chalin Valog which is at an elevation of between 1,100 and 1,600 meters, and Shiligarnika which sits between 1,700 and 2,500 meters. Both centres are about 10 km above the town of Bansko on the northern slopes of Pirin mountain itself.

Accessibility is easy, affordable and fun with the required 25 minute gondola ride starting in Bansko town itself and providing an exhilarating and stunning ride as skiers take in the breathtaking views of the mountains, valleys and geography above and around Bansko.

Embracing the Bankso opportunity

The total length of the marked pistes is 65 kilometers – but there is plenty of off piste action for the adventurous skier or snow boarder. Bansko and its slopes enjoy the best snow conditions in Bulgaria with great snow cover guaranteed from at least December to May, and there are over 40 snow cannons covering most slopes making the ski season last longer and ensuring climate changes will never affect the ski action in Bansko!

The main company licensed to offer skiing and winter sports related activities in Bansko has certainly seized and embraced the opportunity they have been afforded. The company has been behind the multiple millions of euros invested into the town and its facilities – including the construction of the brand new gondola ski lift – and they have managed to encourage foreign direct investment, (FDI), on a scale not witnessed in any of the other winter or summer sunshine resorts in Bulgaria.

The company’s personal enticement of record FDI has substantially helped contribute to the overall 5 billion euros worth of foreign direct investment won by Bulgaria in 2007 already - which in turn has put this nation on the international map in terms of its overall appeal and ensured maximum tourism related exposure for the resort of Bansko.

Alternative winter sports appeal comes in the form of snow boarding on piste, off piste and at the nearby fun park where there are jumps, half pipes and challenges for all levels of ability. Slalom and giant slalom runs are available and Bansko also has plenty of cross-country tracks and a ski run Rollbahn track as well.

A resort for all tastes

If you’re looking for more adventure then try extreme skiing, heli-skiing or even paragliding down onto the pistes – as one adventurer put it: “you look like James Bond and you have the most enlivening experience of your lifetime!” And if the pistes are too tame for you by day then you can night ski in Bansko or even try powder skiing perhaps?

You can ice skate, ride skidoos, you can go tobogganing, or you can get in out of the cold and enjoy spa breaks and shopping experiences in Bansko during the winter months.

According to Tam Stanley, director of Property Growth International: “Bansko has it all which is why it is one of our most requested locations among all real estate seekers, not just those hunting for a ski property – for example, Bansko has a new five million euro mega-mall under development for shopoholics and there are five star hotels and residential resorts in and around the town with a fantastic array of onsite amenities.

“From indoor pools and saunas at the residential developments to complete wellness centers and indoor sports facilities at the superior hotels in Bansko, this is not just a resort for all seasons it’s a resort for all tastes as well.”

For more information, please visit the Property Growth International website: http://www.pgiuk.com.

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