You have made the decision, flight tickets have been purchased already but still plenty of things to consider before visiting Bansko for the first time. Below we have tried to list some tips, meant to make your holiday safer and more enjoyable.
TRANSPORTATION TO BANSKO:
– Book transfers in advance! Either shuttle or private service. Rates on spot at the airport will be higher, service may not at all be available at the timer you arrive, and most of all quality and security may be something you will be missing during the 2,30hrs drive to Bansko.
– Variety of websites, offering transfer services, can be found on the Internet. Mind that most of these belong to taxi companies and clusters of freelance drivers, operating at the edge of the law or completely illegally. Many of these businesses are not licensed, drivers do not work on contract, seats are not insured and if an accident happens responsibility will be on you. If the car breaks in the middle of the road, there might not be a substitute vehicle send to finish your journey. To avoid hassle make sure you book through a licensed operator! Might be slightly more expensive (not always though), but risking your life and spoiling your holiday for a few euros less is not worth it.
– Whichever company you book with, ask them if they will monitor your flight and in case of delay there will be a person waiting for you at the airport (without extra fee).
– Always require the 24/7 emergency phone number of your transfer providers. Especially for the return transfer this may be vital. You’d better wake them up if the transfer is not there, instead of missing your flight because you are unable to find an alternative mean of transportation at 07:00 am.
– Some people decide to go using public transportation. To make use of this option you need to get to the central bus station (close to the central train station) from Sofia Airport. Take the subway from the airport and change at Serdika Station for the line, that will bring you to the central bus station. Timetable for buses to Bansko is available here: http://www.centralnaavtogara.bg. Time-consuming option, where you may have troubles loading your own skis/snowboards on the bus. Also a bit risky in case your flight is delayed for some reason and you miss the available connections.
You can read more about how to get to Bansko from our themed post HERE.
SKI & SNOWBOARD PACKAGES:
– It is essential to book in advance your ski or snowboard packages. This will save you a lot of time and hassle in the resort, not to mention expenses. Deals saving up to 60% of what you would pay on spot are available for online booking. TripAdvisor is your best place to check for “Things to do” in Bansko as most of the decent ski rental shops are published there. Also loads of adds in Google will help you navigate among the best offers online. Booking an all-in package from one supplier (incl. lift pass, equipment hire and group tuition) is your best choice, as this will save you a lot of time and money, rather than booking separate services from different suppliers.
– Make sure you book direct through a licensed tour operator and NOT from blog sites or bloggers, hotel sites, or other irrelevant sources providing such packages online without a legal background, but on behalf of third parties! Dealing with illegal entities may cause you loads of problems in resort – from confiscation of your lift pass to life-threatening issues with your equipment hire (broken or not adjusted bindings for example). A lot of accidents happen on the slopes, for which your insurance claim may only be honored against an official statement issued by a licensed tour operator.
– Some ski hire shops will require your identity card, passport or driver’s license as a gage in order to make sure you will return the hired equipment. This practice is illegal and you can contact local police officers in case you have troubles with such issues.
– Most of the ski hire shops in Bansko do not have boot drying facilities or storage, where you can put your equipment at the end of the day. Blisters caused by wet boots may prevent you from skiing from the second day of your stay till the end of your holiday. Make sure your ski hire shop has such facilities, and you can use them (even against a small fee).
– The mountain insurance, which is normally included in your lift pass, only covers your transportation from the ski slopes (not valid for off-piste skiing!) down to the medical center. Any further treatment afterwards is to be covered by your own insurance (the latter should have a winter sports coverage) or paid on spot if you don’t have such.
– Booking a Bansko lift pass? Consider our dedicated post before buying online.
– Booking.com is the best source to book accommodation and to read reviews about it from past customers, and so is the TripAdvisor for additional information.
– Check exactly where your accommodation is located. Some hotels, that are 10km away from Bansko, also advertise their complex as being located in Bansko. If this is the case make sure they have a free (and frequent) shuttle service to the town and the lower Gondola lift station.
– If swimming pools, saunas and SPAs within your complex are important facilities for you: read carefully reviews if these are working properly also in winter. Some swimming pools are not being heated in winter, saunas may work only for advance bookings, some facilities may be paid extra etc.
You can read more about the accommodations in Bansko from our themed post HERE.
For more info on Bansko, download our FREE guide. Click HERE.
OUR GENERAL ADVICE:
Transfers and ski packages are offered online by a variety of illegal providers. For safety, peace of mind and to take the best of your holiday, make sure you book direct through a licensed tour operator!
Traventuria Ltd. (www.SkiBansko.bg) is one of the leading providers of lift passes, ski and snowboard equipment hire, ski and snowboard school tuition and airport transfers for Bansko area. Traventuria Ltd. is fully bonded tour operator and holds tour operators license No PK-01-6434. With several thousands of satisfied customers each season we are rated #1 as “Things to do in Bansko” on TripAdvisor. Book ski deals online HERE.