Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bankso Lift Pass Prices For New Season


Bansko Lift Pass Prices are detailed here. A one day adult pass is 50lev from 5th Jan to 31st March and 55 lev 24th December to 4th January and 40lev 1st April to 30th April.

Discounts for multiple days, children and season (just 760 levs or €380 approx).

Mountain insurance is included in the the price

From 01.12.2008 to 23.12.2008, and from 05.01.2009 to 31.03.2009

Period Adults Children up to 12 years old
1 day 50,00 30,00
2 days 97,00 59,00
3 days 147,00 89,00
4 days 194,00 117,00
5 days 242,00 146,00
6 days 283,00 171,00
9 days 393,00 237,00
13 days 545,00 329,00
1/2 day after 12:30 pm 37,00 23,00
Gondola lift (both ways) 18,00 14,00
Season Ski Pass 760,00 560,00

from 24.12.2008 to 04.01.2009

Period Adults Children up to 12 years old
1 day 55,00 30,00
2 days 107,00 60,00
3 days 162,00 90,00
4 days 213,00 118,00
5 days 266,00 147,00
6 days 311,00 172,00
9 days 432,00 239,00
13 days 599,00 332,00
1/2 day after 12:30 pm 41,00 23,00
Gondola lift (both ways) 20,00 16,00
Season Ski Pass 760,00 560,00

from 01.04.2008 to 30.04.2009

Period Adults Children up to 12 years old
1 day 40,00 24,00
2 days 78,00 48,00
3 days 118,00 72,00
4 days 156,00 94,00
5 days 194,00 117,00
6 days 227,00 137,00
9 days 315,00 190,00
13 days 437,00 264,00
1/2 day after 12:30 pm 30,00 19,00
Gondola lift (both ways) 16,00 13,00
Season Ski Pass 760,00 560,00

2008/09 season starts:

1st December 2008, ends 30th April 2009

Children: Aged up to 12 years

Mountain insurance included

Exchange rates:


1 BGN = 0.51 EUR
1 BGN = 0.37 GBP
1 BGN = 0.74 USD

*VAT tax included

Benefit from a weak UK Pound against the euro. For the lowest price accommodation by the lift go to:

http://banskoaccommodation.blogspot.com/2008/11/why-mountain-residence-3-in-bansko.html

What do you think? Please comment.

If you enjoyed this article, and would like to receive more like it, then simply register for regular emails.

You'll also receive the new guide to the little known ways of getting the best out of Bansko. This is essential for 2008/2009 ski season as so much is new and there are places to avoid.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Is It Jacuzzi Joy In Grand Montana?



Grand Montana maisonette apartment in Bansko is the the subject of today's audio interview.

The owner, Richard Zeronian, discusses his desirable
two bedroom maisonette apartment and how its own private tower jacuzzi has been a worthwhile addition.



Richard talks about himself, his boarding and skiing and what Bansko means to him these days.

When not there he rents it out. So do contact Bansko Blog to book the few dates this is still available for the ski season.

Its always good to hear owner's enthusiasm -especially when its combined with experience and realism. Check out the audio podcast here:



Often there's no one better to review an apartment than an owner, and Richard gives his personal perspective on what it means to him. Al who stay in thie top floor maisonette will enjoy a very special Bansko experience.



Contact for availability. Week rental prices from £285.

Please feel free to comment on this blog or the audio podcast with Richard.



Useful Links:

http://banskoaccommodation.blogspot.com/2008/11/why-mountain-residence-3-in-bansko.html

http://banskoaccommodation.blogspot.com/2008/11/how-do-i-get-my-bansko-transfer.html



If you enjoyed this and would like to receive more then simply register for regular emails. You'll also receive the new guide to getting the best out of Bansko.

Bansko Blog Forecasts Increase In Greek Visitors To Bansko


Greek skiers and snowboarders are surfing the web for Bankso accommodation bargains. There are early signs of Greeks planning even more trips to Bansko than last season.

This Bansko Blog has seen Greek web surfers, second only to UK surfers, and in recent weeks an increase in room enquiries.

In previous years, there were complaints that the resort was too much of a building site. But this year many of the buildings and roads are finished. But is this the reason?


Prices Down

My guess is that the increase in demand is down to low Bulgaria prices.

Euros in pockets mean that Bansko offers Greeks accommodation often priced in GB Pounds due to the many UK property owners. This means that often rooms are over 20% cheaper than last year. With so many rooms in Bansko - shopping around on the net is making a ski break more affordable than staying in Greece!

Then of course those Bulgarian Levs mean cheaper in resort drinks and food compared to a typical Greek resort.


Bankso's Reputation

Some Greek web surfers reported that they view Bansko as a resort only now ready to offer quality facilities. They have heard that the huge construction site feel is now largely historic and much more of the resort feels ready.

Bansko in so close to Greece. Under three hours from Thessaloniki, Greece's second city.

With televised ladies super G from Bansko, there is positive news. Much needed amongst the sea of gloom right now.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bansko Ski Season Opening


The official opening of the Bansko ski season will take place on Saturday, 29th of November. World famous skiers will show their skills on “Alberto Tomba” ski slope. (www.visitbulgaria.net)

The olympic champions Hanni Wenzel and Andreas Wenzel, the world downhill champion Harti Weirather, the Italian ski legend Gustavo Thoeni and the multiple winner of the World Cup, Marc Girardelli will be the participants in the ski demonstrations.

The show of the masters will start at 12.30. The festival program will go on at 4.00pm with a concert of Romanetsa and Enchev, and the stars from Music Idol ІІ – Nora, Toma, Yasen and Denitsa. The stage will be situated next to the first station of the cabin lift.

Snow conditions are looking good.

Its snowing with more snow on its way. So if you weren't sure - now is the time to book your Bansko trip.

Why not get some friends together?
Book cheap in UK pounds! Just 1.18 euros = £1

http://banskoaccommodation.blogspot.com/2008/11/why-mountain-residence-3-in-bansko.html

http://banskoaccommodation.blogspot.com/2008/11/how-do-i-get-my-bansko-transfer.html

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Why Mountain Residence 3 In Bansko?



Mountain Residence 3 is like your best friend. And like your best friend, Mountain Residence 3 beckons you to go back and see and stay there.





Click on play below for audio version of this review:






It may be because its just a few minutes walk from the gondola. Or that the Happy End Bar and Pub also a few minutes walk away. Just look how convenient this accommodation is.





Or the fact that the ice rink is just a minute away along with shops, ski/board hire, bars, mehanas and cafes.

Or possibly because the apartments to rent here are large, and very well furnished.

Or the spacious bedrooms, with plenty of storage. Or the contemporary Bulgarian art works and photographs.

But most of all its a place to stay that comes recommended by previous guests. Why is this accommodation deal unbeatable? Quite simply we want you to come back again, and again like others.

That is why we guarantee that if you find something of similar size and location we will match the price! Can't get fairer than that.


Imagine such comfort and convenience at such a low price. You can afford to come to Bansko and stay here.

Price from a genuine €29 PER TWO BEDROOM APARTMENT, NOT PER PERSON. No extras. No catches.




In fact, MY RECENT INTERNET SEARCH REVEALED that a two bedroom here is less than a one bedroom at some others which are over 900 metres away from the gondola!

  • Fully furnished apartments
  • Ideal for groups, families and friends.

Facilities: Gym, Jacuzzi, Plunge pool, Sauna, Steam room, Massage room, Reception, ski locker, underground parking
  • 24 hour security
  • 24 hour reception staffed with information
  • Reception snacks
  • satellite TV - English, Greek, German, French and Bulgarian channels
  • DVD player
  • kettle, toaster, iron and ironing board
  • cooker, microwave, fridge/freezer
  • bedroom 1: one double bed can be separated to two singles
Not sure yet about Bankso? Then check out this video:


  • bedroom 2: two single beds
  • sitting Room: large with double sofa bed, sofa
  • kitchenette, oven, hob
  • dining Room table - seats six
  • bathroom - shower, wc
  • broadband wired internet in sitting room and bedroom
  • lounge seating for 5
  • linen and towels provided
  • own balcony
  • apartments sleeps 6 max (£30 pppw supplement for more than 4 persons)
  • mountains views
  • quiet building with separate entrances
  • massage
  • gym
  • sauna
  • steam room
  • jacuzzi and plunge pool
  • safe
  • ski locker located in basement down stairs are convenient to use.
  • underground parking places.
Mountain Residence 3
Guaranteed Lowest Prices

for 2 Bedroom Apartment

From 1st May 2009
1 to 2 people: €29 per night

3 to 4 people: €34 per night


RESERVE NOW: NO UPFRONT PAYMENT REQUIRED

OFFER MUST END SOON (For all bookings from 1st May 2009)
(CLEANING INCLUDED)

Extra person on sofa bed €9 per night. To book just email me your dates and pay on arrival.


I GUARANTEE To Match The Price If You Find Cheaper


If you find an apartment on the web that is more than 80m2 gross area in size within 300m from the Gondola Station, built within the last five years that’s cheaper than this and includes cleaning - then I will immediately refund the difference. Just notify me within 24 hours of booking.

No Catches

Same No Quibble Price Match Guarantee For One week Bookings For Rest Of 08/09 Ski Season

  • SPECIAL OFFER £264 (€315) per week 1 to 2 persons
  • SPECIAL OFFER £336 (€385) per week 3 to 4 persons
INCLUDES CLEANING CHARGE OF £20 (€25)

Easy Reservation:

  1. let us know your travel dates email lancenelson1@gmail.com
  2. we confirm dates back to you
  3. £50 (€60 approx) deposit via secure Google checkout
  4. then book your Sofia transfer, if required. Please read this first:http://banskoaccommodation.blogspot.com/2008/11/how-do-i-get-my-bansko-transfer.html
  5. final payment due on arrival *
  6. enjoy your stay with full in resort representative on hand
No smoking. No pets.


















Friday, November 21, 2008

Bansko Discount Card Participating Outlets



Bansko Discount Card outlets:
(Others may also exist but have yet to be notified to this blog)

VIP CONSULT LAW, FURNITURE BOX, BANSKO SKI MANIA, THE IRISH PUB, HOTEL BANDERITSA

INTERSPORT, PRI DEDO KOZE MEHANA, FOXY BOUTIQUE, THE LONDON PUB, PATIO PIZZA

VAKANOVA KASHTA MEHANA, PIRIN STR SUPERMARKET, DEDO YONKATA TAVERN, BANSKI HAN MITCH

EL TORITO RESTAURANT, GRAPHITE BAR, KEMPINSKI HOTEL

MOLERITE, AMNESIA, DR.RUSKOV SURGERY, DUMANOVA MEHANA

ELIZABETH'S PUB&BAR, HOTEL BRILLIANCE, MARIETA FLOWER BOUTIQUE, WINTER SKI SPORT

GUINESS HOTEL, BELLE VUE RESIDENCE, TANNE HOTEL, CHATEAU HOTEL, GARDENIA HOTEL

EMERALD HOTEL, VILLA ROKA HOTEL, BANSKO SPA AND Holidays hotel, HOTEL PERUN,

HOTEL BULGARIA, TAMPLIER APART HOTEL, ST IVAN RILSKI, DREAM HOTEL, LUCKY BANSKO

MOUNTAIN PARADISE, EAGLE'S NEST HOTEL, HOTEL MARTIN, PREMIER VILLAGE APARTMENTS

BANSKO ROYAL TOWERS, VIHREN PALACE, PIRIN PLACE, ORBILUX, NARCIS

MOLERITE, HOTEL SOFIA, PANORAMA HOTEL, HOTEL MURA, MOUNTAIN RESIDENCE

SNOW LEGEND APARTMENT, BOJUR APARTMENTS, BOJURLAND, BARIAKOV HOTEL

OLIMP HOTEL, CHALIN HOUSE, ZAGORCHIN HOUSE, KATARINO SPA, HOTEL RAZLOG, WHITE FIR RESORT

Here's A Quick Way To Get Cheap Bansko Skiing in Peak Weeks


Balkania Travel have just called me to let me know of a great £79 flight offer which will not last long.

This is a genuine direct flight offer on Bulgaria Air.

You get assigned seating, free baggage, free non and alcoholic drinks and free food. You also fly on BG Air's BRAND NEW A319 AIRBUS AIRCRAFT.

I have found Bulgaria Air to be very reliable and using the new Terminal 2 in Sofia makes it a generally a good flight experience.

Three Easy Steps for your ski trip:


1/ Call Vania at Balkania Travel
Tel: 0044(0) 207 636 8338

2/ Quote their Offer Code: BB11

3/ Then, if you want accommodation, please email me your dates / number of people on lancenelson1@gmail.com for a no obligation accommodation quote.


Note that you may find not all flights are £79, some are £89 BUT all will sell out fast for peak February weeks.

I have used Bulgaria Air a lot and its a very reliable service for taking on and off on time. The in flight service is much improved on board from three years ago.

If you hear of good flight offers please let me know so others can benefit. Its now the time to get the cost of our skiing down!

UPDATE: ITS SNOWING!!
8 days until season starts

If you found this useful, then why not sign up for more like this? You can unsubscribe anytime.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

About Lance Nelson From Bansko Blog


Hello, my name is Lance Nelson. Thank you for visiting my Bansko Blog. Please click on play above for audio version.


I was born in 1965 in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK.

My parents, originally from the south
of England, moved up to Huddersfield in West Yorkshire in the 50’s so my father could be near work.

I'm the youngest of four children, and fortunate to be have been taken on family ski holidays from such a young age.

But less lucky with the "hand me down" ski clothes!

My father got the skiing bug. So our week abroad was in the winter, usually Easter, for a weeks skiing.

My first skiing experience was in Obergurgl, Austria – aged 5. Leather lace up boots, with ankle moving technique, is a world I remember. A far cry from the carving skis and boards we enjoy
today.

Not long after came those high plastic boots, sure to bruise your shins to painful blue. Some of you may recall these days. Ski clothing was just ski pants, goggles and socks. The quilted thin everyday anoraks seemed perfectly okay for Easter temperatures, I think.

In the 80's the high street C&A department store sold skiers the bright ski suits. Those days saw our family ski trips working their way around a diverse range of Austrian, Italian and French ski resorts.

My memories of these annual family ski holidays are the finest. And skiing still, for me, often brings back those great memories.

Recently it was the evocative smell of wood fires in the Bansko town that prompted me to remember past trips

But now, like so many others, I enjoy that warm healthy glowing feeling at the
end of the day on the slopes. My often aching knees never diminishing the fact that it was all worth it.

Twelve years ago, I started running an annual “lads” ski trip. EasyJet low cost flights from the UK had made this possible. The idea came about as I realised I was quite good at organising others. And that, like me, there were plenty of friends, and friends of friends, wanting something to look forward to after Christmas. It also enabled me to guide opinion on which resort to try.

A long weekend in January was the norm. Resorts close to Geneva airport such as Verbier, Portes Du Soleil resorts of Les Gets, Avoriaz and especially the Chamonix valley were the usual favourites.

It was in Chamonix that off piste skiing was introduced to me by a rather ambitious French ski guide. For the first time in a while, I was getting down stuff I wouldn’t have even dreamt of. That's the beauty of going skiing. You progress.

More recently, I have been having some less than wondrous attempts at snowboarding. The jury is out on this one.

My other main interest is paragliding. Having been flying since 1990. Taking off on a wide range of mountain and hills around the world, including Sopot in Bulgaria. I'm still always checking the weather for a good opportunity to go flying.


Here’s a picture flying in June 2008, near Builth Wells, Wales (UK).

Aside from paragliding, I enjoy mountain biking - if I get time.

My work career has been in banking and finance. Mainly management and sales, risk and business development roles.

I worked for divisions of Royal Bank of Scotland for ten years as well as EMC (IT), and GE Capital.

If you’re still with me, then I’ll bring this right up to present. I've been coming to Bansko since 2004 and this blog was borne out of a need to show pictures of my apartment to skiing friends who were looking to go skiing. But they asked me questions, then others did too.

Questions such as how to get there; airport transfers; tuition; crèches; babysitting; lessons, restaurants and accommodation – hotels, chalets, apartments. I also wanted to ensure visitors got the best out of Bansko so I decided to share my experiences of the area and the services I have used on this blob.

I have also been fortunate to travel around Bulgaria at various times of the year and enjoy a great network of fellow skiers and paragliding friends to help. But there has been a lot of trial and error along the way. So, after some positive comments, and also some requests from Bansko property owners to rent their apartment's too, I kept this blog going.

There are many businesses in Bankso visiting this site. Some have asked me to review their services - which I do so when I am able to.

These are recessionary times and, in the same way some of us are adjusting our shopping to Aldi or Lidl budget supermarkets, we are also looking at other cheap ski resorts and summer mountain resorts. Quite simply, we are changing our habits very quickly. We are now motivated to find low prices and value in places we previously would not have considered.

So it the same with skiing destinations, they evolve over time.
Bansko's time has arrived
.

Bansko
and Bulgaria are perceived as cheap by some. It is quite cheap, especially if you enjoy a drink or two. But my goal is for visitors to return in the belief it offers great value for money.

Bansko does deliver for "price conscious" tourists. That’s often why they came in the first place. But its value and service that brings us back to a place.

Ensuring value is this blogs theme. With visitors arriving from all over Europe, more choice and more facilities will continue to enhance Bansko's unique appeal.

But things can always be better. Bansko changes so I aim to give realistic and timely advice on what I experience, and what I learn. Regular Bansko web sites are often out of date. Here I can pass on those changes quickly.

Expect to see news and reviews on child care, transfers, bars, clubs, events, activities, services, ski lifts. You will also get some guest interviews from residents, tourists and local service providers.

My desire is to see that the tourist comes first. If they come and enjoy the Bansko and Bulgarian experience, then I know they will most likely return again soon.

If you are looking at Bansko for the first time, I hope this blog helps you. However, to get the most benefit you need to receive updated infomation along with related deals that help to drive maximum value from your time in Bansko and Bulgaria.

So do register your name and email on this blog now. I’ll also send you regular reviews and tips - not always shown here as sometimes they can be a little controversial.

Sign up now and you will receive useful info straight away - including my new report in written and audio form, "7 Little Known Ways To Get The Best Out Of Bansko" all for free.

This is an opt in email system. I guarantee no spam. Your email will never be sold or rented, and you can opt out receiving Bansko newsletter - whenever you like. Finally, please can you comment? Good and bad experiences. Email me on lancenelson1@gmail.com. If you like what you read, please pass it on.

Until next time, here's to your Bansko holidays,

Lance Nelson

Monday, November 17, 2008

Will The Bansko Discount Card Save You Money?



Today The Bansko Discount Card is launched. The money saving idea from GS Properties is ready to buy. For Euro 20 (Leva 40), you own your Bansko Discount Card ("BDC").


How much will I save?

Early indications are that, with one Bansko Discount Card covering discounts for two people, is that you will save enough to warrant the purchase of a card for just one week stay in Bansko.

I will do the maths in more detail another day; but if any readers would like a go, then please comment at the end of this post.


How does it work?

After you have purchased the card, you're ready to use it. Just look for the BDC sticker that indicates a participating outlet or advertised on the web sites of hotels, furniture, Bansko transfer companies, activity company and a wide range of Bansko services websites.

The savings seem to be around 10%.

The list is already long (see below). Colin and Duncan tell me the number of participants is growing very rapidly and so far it covers the following things:

Ski lessons, Ski & Board hire, Ski Boot clothes hire, Hotel reservations, Spa
facilities, Airport transfers, Rent-a-car hire, ATV (Four wheel motorcycle hire), Bars & nightclubs, Mehanas & restaurants, Pizzerias, Excursions incl. Hiking, Walking, Pony Trekking, White Water Rafting, Fishing, Paint balling, trips to monuments, historical sites, and visits to vineyards, Discounts at Ski / High St clothes shops, Supermarkets, Jewellery shops, Doctors, Lawyers, Furniture purchases.

The Bansko Discount Card is valid until 30th November 2009.

Look for the Bansko Discount Card sticker at locations across the town, and produce your Bansko Discount Card to claim the discount on offer.

So far the list of participating companies, outlets, restaurants, bars, ski hire etc click here: http://banskoaccommodation.blogspot.com/2008/11/bansko-discount-card-participating.html


Saturday, November 15, 2008

How Do I Get My Bansko Transfer?



Are you thinking about your Bansko transfer? You're not alone. This is the second most popular search that brings folks to this Bansko Blog.


Have you ever been left waiting in the icy cold - waiting for transport that never arrived?

Looking desperate like a lost child searching for their mummy? Examining every waiting person - hopefully expecting that they are your taxi transfer.

It then gets late.

So late that you're left with the old man on the night shift for company. And the faint buzzing sound of his floor polishing machine.

He looks up at you, with that look that says he's seen it all before.

Been there? So have I.

Here's how to avoid this experience ever again...

There Are Six Options From Sofia Airport:


Click Play For Audio Version Update to this article made on 14th December 2008:



1. Bankso Express
2. private transfer

3. hire a car
4. take a taxi
5. take the bus
6. take the train

bonus option 6: fly to Thessaloniki (Greece) or to Plovdiv (Bulgaria)


1. Bansko Express


www.banskoexpress.com This will be a new service costing from £10 per person.

As of today from their web site they say:

EasyJet, Wizz Air and Aer Lingus Flights are covered.

Book well ahead.

This COULD BE YOUR CHEAPEST TRANSFER

"
Bansko Express works as a booking agent which gets holiday makers from the same flights and transports them between Sofia Airport and Bansko in one vehicle.

Depending on the number of bookings the vehicles used are cars, shuttle buses, mini-buses and coaches. If you are the only booking for your flight then it would be like a private taxi transfer at a much cheaper price. Whatever type of vehicle used, your journey will be pleasant."

Initial reports have been favourable.


2. Private Transfer:

The most common way for skiers to get to Bansko from Sofia, unless you have booked on a package trip.

Here are my recommended transfer companies. There is competition. So here are six to choose from.

1/ www.bulgariatransport.com/transfers.html

They currently charge according to number a number of people.

Expect to pay for 1/2 people 1
38 euros return.
For 3/4 people, 145 euros in total (€74 if just one way, no return)

So that's €36.25 per person return if there is four of you.

Call Alex Lub. He's a great guy and speaks perfect English and is very helpful. Tel:+359.886.222.400 or email Alex on: office@bulgariatransport.com
www.BulgariaTransport.com.

2. www.banskoservices.moonfruit.com - Jordan speaks excellent
English and is helpful too. Recommended.

3.
www.autorentbg.com - Radoslav. Drivers vary, but very reliable and
good car hire too.

4. www.sofiaairporttaxis.co.uk - HHB Travel quote €150 return up to four people

5. www.motoroads.com - Very reliable service. Competitive prices

6. www.skidvd.co.uk/bulgariantransfers.htm - Prices on request. Luxury van from Steve. Recommended.

7. www.transferbulgaria.com - No reports but efficient on email quote. But it was €178 for two people return to Bansko.


3. Taxi

www.oktaxi.net - I have used OK taxis several times. And its not a bad option - well, its just okay!

They are the official yellow taxis outside airport. If you're up for some hard bargaining remember its just one way, so start at €50/100 lev. Try and pay €80/160 lev. Let me know how you got on.

If you were last minute and all other options failed. Or you just forgot to book.

All is not lost. OK Taxis (Supertrans) will get you there. Try and pick and English speaking driver.

Very poor boot (trunk) space for your baggage. There is a large gas bottle in the boot.

www.sofiaairporttaxis.com


4. Hire a Car:

www.BulgariaTransport.com Alex provides great rates from just 16 euros per day. Good service.

www.autorentbg.com
who also provide a very flexible car hire service. Their yellow mini cooper drew admiring glances driving through remote villages.

There is now lots of hire car competition and prices have come down.

Hiring a car is a good option once you have been once to Bansko - or are used to driving abroad.

A car will also mean you will save money by driving out of Bansko in the evenings to local restaurants. Restaurants that are often half the price of Bansko's Pirin street mehana tourist traps.

www.autorent.bg
www.rentacarbg.com
www.bulgariacarrent.com
www.rentacarbulgaria.com

Go to
http://banskoaccommodation.blogspot.com/2008/06/getting-there.html.
for directions from Sofia Airport to Bansko


TOP TIP: Be sure you have a ticket attached to screen for the motorways outside Sofia. Do check you have winter tyres attached and that the windscreen fluid is full.

Carry your driving licence. Be very careful to obey speed limits.

Police (Kat): The time spent stopped by police makes it a waste of time speeding. Be sure you have a road legal vehicle. Don't drink and drive. Winter tyres are essential.

Go to
http://banskoaccommodation.blogspot.com/2008/06/getting-there.html for directions from airport to Bansko.

If you can recommend other transfer companies then please can you comment? I will then add them to the list.


5. Take the Bus

Why not take the bus? Save the environment and save cash. This is cheap, about 14 lev (7 euros approx) each way. It will take longer though.

Go to this site:
Central Bus Station - Sofia for timetable (its in English). But here its is as of today from Central Bus Station:

Be warned, this will take time as you have to get to Central Bus Station.

Best to use Ovcha Kupel bus station. But at least its on the right side of town. You will need to check these times.

Sofia Ovcha Kupal Bus Terminal to Bansko - 07:00, 09:20 (not Tues), 10:30, 11:50 (not Sun), 13:05, 13:55, 14:30, 14:40, 15:10, 15:28 (not Tues), 15:55, 16:30, 17:00, 17:30.

Bansko Bus Terminal to Sofia - 05:40, 7:00, 08:40, 13:15, 15:20 (not Tues).


6. Take the train

Never done it. But why not if you.ve got the time. Admire the scenery. Read a book. You'll have to change. Takes 7 hours, 7 euros click here for Sofia train station timetable and info http://www.razpisanie.bdz.bg/site/search.jsp)

Thessaloniki option

Fly to
Thessaloniki, hire a car and drive to Bansko from Greece. Car hire costs more and its a bit further but getting out of Sofia at busy times makes this an option to consider especially if you fancy time exploring Greece.

I went to
Thessaloniki in May 2007 and really enjoyed the atmosphere. Great bars and restaurants and really different from Bulgaria. Be prepared for drinks prices that are equal to, if not more, than London, Paris, Dublin etc.

Quality is high, however, and the weather is almost always warmer than Bulgaria.

Plovdiv Transfer Option

Sorry no knowledge of this. So no comments. But if you have experience of a private/taxi transfer from Plovdiv then please comment, thank you.

Do you have any more options? Please comment.

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Oh, and grab your free guide to Bansko.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Warm Up For Bansko At The O2



Paul Rodgers and Queen rocked the O2 (formerly Millenium Dome in London) on Friday night. Just a spectacular show.

Brian May and Roger Taylor really looked like they were loving it.

In fact those crowd pleasing Queen tracks make great ipod listening whilst tackling the Tomba run.


Yes a very happy audience, and I was delighted to be amongst the action near the stage. Thanks Spud for organising tickets and to Kipper for his company and photo.

Freddie Mercury sadly missed though.

Anyhow, the point of today's blog, is that this winter the O2 (formerly the Millennium Dome) will open London’s first ever indoor artificial twin ski slope.


  • From late November to 25 January 09, visitors will be able to ski, snowboard or snow tube at The O2.
  • The twin slopes, both 45 metres in length will give Londoners the option to learn to ski or snowboard.
  • Experienced skiers can warm up their ski/snowboard legs before heading to the mountains.
  • Tubing will also be available.
  • The Warren Smith Ski Academy will offer top level coaching for all levels at The Slopes.
  • Ski and Snowboard manufacturers, K2 and Ride, will be supplying the range of skis and snowboards to rent.

Niccy Hallifax, Head of Special Events at The O2, said: ‘The Slopes is a fun and safe way for both experienced skiers and snowboarders to gear themselves up for the real thing or as an introduction for complete beginners. The Slopes are designed for all abilities and the snow tubes are ideal for both small and big kids alike!’

With the whole of the London Piazza themed like a winter resort, The Slopes, along with real snow covered trees and chalet will help create the perfect day out this winter.

A trip to The Slopes could also be combined with a visit to one of The O2’s 26 bars and restaurants, a show in The O2 arena or indigO2, or to see a film at the 11 screen Vue cinema.

Tickets start at £15 per adult per hour (ski/board rental additional £5) and snow tubes £8 per half hour (subject to booking fee).

Looks all set to be a great start to the season. Early snow reports from around the Alps are in. Some resorts already open.

www.theo2.co.uk

If you enjoyed reading this, then sign up for more. like it. Free newsletter with some Bansko deals. Reviews, Snow Reports and more...

Kempinsko Hotel Grand Arena Bansko Wins Bulgaria's Leading Hotel

Kempinski Hotels shone brightly once again on the

world stage as its portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts harvested a number of awards at the recently

concluded World Travel Awards and received honours from the Conde Nast Traveller List (US edition).


At the World Travel Awards 2008, one of the most respected award-giving bodies in the hospitality industry, Kempinski Hotels was among the ceremonies' biggest winners, walking away with nine awards, including:

Middle East's Leading Leisure Hotel (Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates), Middle East Leading Conference Hotel (Emirates Palace), Tanzania's Leading Hotel (Kilimanjaro Hotel Kempinski Dar es Salaam), Bulgaria's Leading Spa Resort and Leading Resort (Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena Bansko), Bulgaria's Leading Hotel (Kempinski Hotel Zografski), Germany's Leading Hotel (Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin), Turkey's Leading Golf Resort (Kempinski Hotel The Dome Belek Turkey), Switzerland's Leading Hotel (Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains St. Moritz), Malta's Leading Spa Resort and Leading Resort (Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz Gozo Malta).

Meanwhile, the prestigious Conde Nast Traveller (US edition) singled out Kempinski branded and managed hotels in it annual list of the world's Top 100 hotels, including Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden (7th), Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin (9th), Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul (27th), Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest (38th), Kempinski Hotel Moika 22 St. Petersburg (44th), Hotel Atlantic Kempinski Hamburg (50th), The Leela Palace Kempinski Bangalore (57th), and Commune by the Great Wall Kempinski China (97th).

'Our winning tradition continues, and we attribute these achievements to the men and women in Kempinski's properties all over the world who continue to make the Kempinski tradition of luxury service come to life for guests visiting from all corners of the globe.

Each hotel is an architectural masterpiece, with unrivalled amenities and facilities, but what makes a stay truly memorable and truly distinctive is the overall Kempinski experience. We thank the World Travel Awards and the Conde Nast Traveller List for recognizing our hotels.

It's an honour and an inspiration to just do better, each time a new guest arrives or a familiar face returns for another memorable Kempinski experience,' said Reto Wittwer, President and CEO, Kempinski Hotels.

A preferred hotel for many GCC travellers, based on record arrival figures from GCC nationalities across Kempinski properties in the region, Kempinski Hotels offers an extensive network of luxury properties and exotic getaways perfect for business and leisure travel.

'GCC tourists can look forward to the same level of superior service in every Kempinski Hotel worldwide, but always a different and unforgettable experience,'

COMMENT:

I can't recommend the Kempinski enough. Perfect location, great service and good food along with a world class Spa.

However there ia a price to be paid! A family of four in two rooms can rent an apartment nearby for a whole week for less than two nights in the Kempinski!

You can pay to use the Spa and also use Bansko Royal Towers Spa nearby. Choice is Yours.

Check out ways to save money in Bansko below and sign up for free tips today:

http://banskoaccommodation.blogspot.com/2008/09/bansko-budget-skiing.html

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

International Festival of the Mountain Cinema, Bansko 27th – 30th November 2008

Bansko hosts the International Festival of the Mountaineers Cinema, announced by Natali Petrova, festival organisor.

75 films from five continents, taken from the sea bottom to the Himalayan peaks, will be presented in three halls.


The documentaries show the lifestyle, art and religion of the mountain people, as well as the ecology issues of the planet.

Gustavo Tony (Italy), Borge Ousland (Norway) and others will present some personal collections and prints during their stay in Bansko, ready for the future National Mountaineering Museum.

The international jury, lead by Mariana Evstatieva – Biolcheva will determine the winners of the six prizes in the program.

The program also includes art exhibitions, among which “Bulgaria in Antarktika”, marking the 20th anniversary of the Bulgarian science in the region of the South Pole and etc.

The audience will have the chance to watch six films – “The starts of the winter Olympics on the big screen”. The entrance for all shows is free.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Secret To Credit Crunch Skiing Is One More Day!

The "Crunchie Credit" Bansko accommodation deal is extended by one day until Thursday 6th, 6:00pm. The secret to credit crunch skiing is... just one more day.

The time for deliberation has passed. Its time to make a decision. 6.00pm on the 6th November.

http://banskoaccommodation.blogspot.com/2008/08/mountain-residence-3-special-offer.html

After tomorrow, the Welcome Pack offer closes for good. Be sure to register today and email back with offer code WP0505.

I am here to help.

Recent emails I've received from people were not sure about Bansko. They had various questions but many were:

* thinking of booking your winter ski holiday elsewhere
* unsure about Bulgaria or Bansko
* skiing at peak times or school holidays and not sure about nurseries or child care

Relax, as I could give them all the info they needed to ensure a great holiday. I help you sort out the important details...

Transfers arranged, in resort representative to assist with anything from babysitting, medical emergencies, restaurants, shopping, spa, lessons, passes, board/ski hire, excursions.
Here's a reminder of the deal:

I'm offering you a one off FREE Welcome Pack (worth £20 / €25).

This deal puts even more cash back in your pocket.


Free Welcome Pack. Just email me lancenelson1@gmail.com your requirement of at least one weeks accommodation by midnight Wednesday 5th November. That's it.

You save money and I get accommodation booked up early.

The free Welcome Pack is popular. Imagine arriving with bread, tea, coffee, milk, cereal, butter, jam and four 500ml bottles of refreshing chilled Zagorka beer awaiting you in your apartment.

If you want wine instead, or other items, these can be arranged for a small extra fee.

So don't delay

Email Me For Latest Availability in:
Mountain Residence 3, Predela, Villa Daisy & Grand Montana & others


Ski season starts 29th November

I guarantee the best value Bansko Accommodation. I have checked prices on other web sites for the same accommodation and these prices cannot be beaten.

If you find the same sized accommodation, as close to the lift, cheaper than on my site I'll refund the difference!

Avoid commissions. Book Direct and save money.

Ski from £325 per week for a two bedroom apartment LESS 5% discount PLUS FREE Welcome Pack. Spacious and modern accommodation a few minutes from the gondola!! One bedroom apartment available on request from £225 in the ski season.

Just reply quoting FREE WELCOME PACK 0505.

Please state:

* preferred dates
* number of people
* one, two or three bed apartment


Links to Bansko apartments can be found here:

http://banskoaccommodation.blogspot.com/2008/08/mountain-residence 3-special-offer.html

http://banskoaccommodation.blogspot.com/2008/10/rent-this-predela-apartment-to-be-proud.html

http://banskoaccommodation.blogspot.com/2008/09/villa-daisy.html

http://banskoaccommodation.blogspot.com/search/label/three%20bedroom
%20apartment

http://banskoaccommodation.blogspot.com/2008/10/you-don't-have-to-be-rich-tostayin.html


http://banskoaccommodation.blogspot.com/search/label/transfers

Here's To Bansko Skiing,


Lance

PS: Those who have registered for "7 Little Know Ways To Get The Best Out Of Bansko". My apologies.
There were some errors and this report is being updated and will be sent out to all on list soon as well as news of a very special weekend skiing offer.

Your comments and experiences, that will help others get the best out of Bansko, would be very much appreciated. Please comment below or email me.