While most of you might know Bansko as a favorite ski destination in winter, there are also plenty of things to do here during summer. From hikes in the picturesque Pirin Mountains to relaxing days next to a thermal mineral pool, to big music festivals, there is something for everyone. If you’re tired of going to the beach every summer, then Bansko is the alternative you’ve been looking for.
The Pirin Mountains is a majestic place that falls under UNESCO World Heritage protection. The range extends about 80 km from the north-west to the south-east and is about 40 km wide, spanning a territory of 2,585 km². The area is dotted with over a hundred glacial lakes that form from the melting snow, which doesn’t melt in some places until June-July. The Pirin Mountains are home to many different species of flora and fauna, the most iconic for the area being the mountain goats, which you can often see to the side of the trails.
There are many hiking routes in the Pirin Mountains for any level of hiker. One of the most popular is climbing the Vihren peak (2,914 m. asl.), the third highest peak on the Balkans and second highest in Bulgaria. Another popular and less challenging hike is the Banderishki Lakes Cirque, which circles around the ski area, passing around 16 glacial lakes. If you’re not into long mountain hikes, there are also plenty of leisure routes you can take close to town.
See guided and self-guided hiking tours offered by Traventuria (in Pirin, Rila, Vitosha, The Rhodopes etc.)
Spa & Relaxation
Bansko and its surrounding villages also offer great options for spa and relaxation. In the neighboring villages of Banya and Dobrinishte, you’ll find many thermal mineral spring complexes where you can easily spend a day next to the pool and feel fully replenished afterward. Going to the hot springs, after a long day of hiking is probably the best reward you can give yourself. Some of the hotel complexes also do week-long yoga retreats and other similar activities.
Bansko hosts many events during the summer and some bring in thousands of visitors. The most popular annual event is the Bansko Jazz Festival, which will be held for the 21st time in 2018. The festival takes place at the beginning of August and dozens of bands (some famous, others not so much) come in from around the world to take part. Other than the concerts on the main stage, many other activities and afterparties are organized around the festival.
Another big annual festival is the Bansko Film Fest, which takes place around the third week of November every year. The theme of the festival is all about the mountain lifestyle and you can see movies about hiking, climbing, expeditions, extreme sports and more. Other than films, you can sit into one of the many seminars that go over varying topics or crash one of the afterparties for a good time.
There are plenty of good trails for mountain biking around Bansko, but they’re not very commercialized. The terrain is best suited for XC and Enduro riding, but downhill riders can use the gondola as an up-lift during the summer. It’s best to get a guide if you want to make the most out of your riding or find some GPS routes beforehand. Click below to download some Enduro trails from our friends at MTB-BG (GDP and GPX files). These trails were part of the Enduro competition held in 2016.
Ski & Board Traventuria is a leading provider of lift passes, equipment rental, airport transfers and ski school for the Bansko area. To book your next ski vacation in Bansko with us, please check our website – www.skibansko.bg