Thursday, 16 October 2014

Stay Safe On The Slopes This Winter

Judging by the way most Bulgarians are known to drive, you may be forgiven for being a little cautious before hitting the slopes for the very first time in Bulgaria. However whilst it is true to say that general disregard for the rules is commonly experienced on the roads, skiing in Bulgaria is nowhere near as hazardous or nerve-racking as the driving.

Evidence over the years has shown that is not necessarily the locals, most of whom are good skiers even if a little reckless, that cause the biggest danger on the slopes. It is commonly known that every skier and snowboarder should follow the International (FIS) code of conduct for skiers; however it seems that very few people are aware of these guidelines. Try skiing in America where they have patrols, who reinforce the rules and will even throw you off a run if they think you are not good enough to be skiing on it.


In Europe we rely on the understanding that these guidelines are there for the safety of all skiers, including you. Some of the simplest rules like "not skiing alone" or "not skiing off-piste" are ignored time and time again putting the offenders own life in danger. All skiers should ski within their ability and with full awareness of those downhill from them, in no way endangering them or restricting their manoeuvres.

As with most of the popular ski resorts, a general lack of courtesy in the lift queues can be found. You will find that some eager skiers will push and barge their way to the front while you wait patiently for your turn. While a few sharp words can usually bring some of these 'bargers' into line, it’s best not to get too annoyed about it, you'll get to the lift eventually.


One of the biggest, if not the biggest hazards on the slopes, is people skiing beyond their abilities. Why so many people feel brave and silly enough to tackle a black run after just a few days of lessons is beyond most people’s understanding, however occasionally some skiers may not have actually realised they were on a black run because they did not see the signs. Unfortunately though, far too many young skiers believe that once they’ve mastered the snow-plough turn they are ready for everything! Be aware of the signs around you and if you do see anyone struggling please let your instructor know.

Both ski guides and ski instructors are plentiful in Bulgaria and it is always advisable to have them show you the best runs for your ability on the first day, and perhaps a few tips on style and technique from them could prove extremely helpful. Some skiers have commented in the past "I had a week of lessons last year; I don't need a ski instructor." This is not the wisest way of thinking and we will always advise you seek the guidance of an instructor first before heading off on your own.


Finally, ensure you are fully prepared for the slopes before heading off for the day by always being properly dressed (jeans are not OK), wear layers, gloves, sunglasses and a hat. It’s also very important you do not forget the sun protection. In previous seasons, we have seen more casualties from sunburn and snow blindness than actual skiing accidents, and nearly all deaths in ski resorts are related to excessive alcohol consumption and not reckless skiing so please do take care when off the slopes as well. If you do happen to run into trouble while off the slopes, be sure to contact your Balkan Holidays representative immediately who will assist you as best they can.

Here’s to a safe skiing season in Bulgaria and plenty of snow!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Balkan Holidays Launches Summer 2015 2nd Edition Brochure

New with the second edition of our Summer 2015 brochure - 21 new hotels and apartments in Bulgaria, Croatia and Montenegro, plus three new seven-day Croatian Island Hopping Tours.


Our NEW Summer 2015 2nd Edition brochure is packed with great savings and offers including:

- Package prices from £259pp.
- Special Low Deposit £49pp (for a limited time only)
- FREE child places, child prices from £99.
- FREE child insurance.
- Early Bookings Discounts - up to £487 per couple.
- Special Offers - save up to £276 per couple.
- Over 60 All Inclusive Properties.
- 5% Loyalty Discount (for a limited time only)
- 20kg free luggage on all charter flights - for Premier Hotels 30kg.
- Zero Single supplements.
- Fantastic Group Discounts.

 


Balkan Holidays are delighted to announce a selection of new flights for Croatia Summer 2015 package holidays, giving you more choice and flexibility...

- Edinburgh to Split (Sundays)
- Birmingham to Pula (Tuesdays & Saturdays)
- Bristol to Pula (Saturdays)
- Edinburgh to Pula (Saturdays)
- Leeds Bradford to Pula (Sundays)
- Manchester to Pula (Thursdays & Sundays)
- London Gatwick to Pula (Tuesdays & Saturdays)

 


We have also added 21 more properties in the countries of Bulgaria, Croatia & Montenengro...

Bulgaria:

Golden Sands

St Konstantin
Sozopol
St Vlas
Sunny Beach
Croatia:
Montenegro:

Petrovac


Also new for 2015, is our exclusive dine around concept in Baska Voda, Central Dalmatia. Guests booking Half Board (HB) at the 4* Hotel Horizont, which features a stunning spa and is set 50 metres from the beach; can upgrade to enjoy different restaurants and meal times.

And finally.... we have added three stunning new Island hopping tours of Croatia departing from Dubrovnik and Split.


For more information on our range of Summer 2015 holidays request our brochure, search and book online on our website: www.balkanholidays.co.uk or call our friendly reservations team on 0845 130 1114/0207 543 5555.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Get Skiing In Slovenia This Winter

If you don't think of Slovenia as a skiing destination now, you will by the end of this article. The country is home to three fantastic resorts - Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj and Kranjska Gora - that demonstrate that it deserves its place among the top locations for the sport in the world.

Excellent facilities, incredible views and of course, great pistes, Slovenia has everything you'd expect from a winter sports destination. Check out our guide below and you won't want to go anywhere else for all your skiing and snowboarding requirements.

Stunning Views

Like the pieces of a giant toblerone, Slovenia's mountains rear beautifully against the azure sky, forcing their way out of the Earth like enormous needles. Their picture perfect snowfall is great not only for skiing down, but also for photo shots of you and your family against the unique landscapes. Lake Bled is particularly incredible for the aesthetics, with a 360-degree panorama of breathtaking views.

Lake Bled is famous for its island in the middle of the lake with its baroque church

Unique Apres Ski Culture

Part of the necessary ski holiday experience is the nightlife. After a day on the slopes, sportsmen love to hit the bars and the clubs for a spot of partying. Slovenia is no exception - between them, the resorts offer three fantastic apres ski experiences that will prove unforgettable. Bled is generally relaxed and informal, Bohinj more low-key, while Kranjska Gora is more party-atmosphere with a good selection of discos.

The beautiful Kranjska Gora resort comes alive at night with a good selection of discos

Facilities

The facilities on offer in Slovenia are so varied that you may find yourself struggling to choose between resorts. Rest assured they are all modern and of very high quality, and they also offer excellent teaching services for those taking their first steps on the snow. What's more, Slovenia's ski scene is excellent value for money, meaning you are likely to get more bang out of your budget if you come to this fantastic destination.

Slovenia provides skiers with modern, high quality facilities

History and Adventure in Nessebar

Nessebar is one of those destinations that feels like the complete package. Luxurious hotels and villas are complimented by a vibrant local life and fascinating Old Town. And we haven't even started on the the resort's coastline, which is among the best and most charismatic in Bulgaria.

If there's one thing Nessebar is known for, however, it's history. The town contains a great many links to the past and it's well worth exploring these during your time here. Take a look at our some of our favourites below.

The Church of Saint Sofia

Located in Old Mitropolia, this place of worship was once the centre of an ancient city. A three-naved unvaulted basilica, it is an architectural beauty. The building's role and appearance has changed on many occasions throughout history, and a visit allows you to explore its beautiful intricate passageways through time as well as space.


The Old Windmill

A link to a time where things were simpler and the world hadn't heard of Facebook. Venture to The Old Windmill on the passageway between New Nessebar and Old Nessebar. This well-preserved eastern Europe-style windmill, which is considered a symbol of the town, was constructed is a rather rough, basic style. The design is meant to harness the sometimes fierce power of the wind at the Black Sea coast, and transfer the wind power down to the milling area inside the windmill. A fascinating visit indeed.


The Old Town

Thanks to Nessebar's location, the Greeks, Romans and countless other societies have had an impact on its history. This is evident from a stroll through the streets of the Old Town, which contains authentic medieval streets that have been constructed at varying points in the resort's history. This district also contains a plethora of churches - Nessebar once boasted the highest concentration of holy buildings in Bulgaria.


Fortress Walls

Great blocks of stone, and a well-preserved gate. This is all that remains of the old fortress that guarded the medieval Nessebar. Walk around these fantastic structures and imagine how hard it would have been to put a battering ram through them in times of old.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Learn To Ski On A Budget

Learning to ski is a life-changing experience that will always have you looking forward to those dates when you can return to the piste and slice your way down the mountainside. If you've always been put off of the sport because of the cost, you no longer have an excuse as you can get hold of fantastic deals in Bulgaria. 

With great prices for the upcoming season at popular resorts including Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo, you can be sure of value for money for a great session out on the slopes. To find out why skiing in Bulgaria is truly fantastic for those on a budget, read on.

Variety of Accommodation

Whether you choose Bansko, Borovets or Pamporovo, you can be sure of being offered a variety of accommodation. There's scope to spend a lot of money, of course, for those willing to splash out, but if you're more interested in maximising your time on the slopes then you can opt for the most basic available.


Great Resources

Despite such cheap packages being available in Bulgaria, the resorts themselves have been hailed as offering some of the best resources around for new skiers. Borovets in particular has received particular acclaim, having been awarded third place in a value for money analysis by the Post Office. Meanwhile, Bansko has been featured as Best New European Ski Resort, despite having remarkably cheap prices for ski equipment rental.


Apres Ski

It's not just accommodation and ski equipment - you will also be surprised at the cheapness of the apres ski culture in Bulgaria. You can expect excellent prices, whether drinking at a local bar or enjoying a meal.


Balkan Knows Best

Finally, you can be sure of getting the best value for money by opting for our pre-booked First Time Ski and Snowboard Packages. Designed for complete beginners, you can be sure of getting the best tuition around as you take your first tentative steps on the snow.

The Best of Sunny Beach's Nightlife

When you arrive in Sunny Beach stoked up and ready to dance the night away, you can be sure of not being disappointed with the quality of nightlife here. There is party atmosphere aplenty and an insatiable appetite for going until the early hours of the morning. Check out our guide to the hottest spots in town.

Mexo Bar

Not for just any reason has Mexo been voted the best beach bar in Bulgaria by various internet polls. Situated in the very heart of Sunny Beach itself, this hotspot keeps the party going long after all of the other clubs have given up and gone home. There are regular fire shows, the cocktails are potent and the staff know what they're doing.


Guaba Beach Bar

Arrive by day and grab one of the hammocks by the sea. Then return as the sun goes down for a night of pure indulgence. You have the opportunity to chill in a teepee on the sand, or get soaked at Sunny Beach's biggest and most popular foam party. Fire breathers also regularly perform to heat things up.


Revolution

Serious dance fanatics can party it out in this 800-capacity venue that regularly attracts international DJs playing house and club anthems. The decor is stylish, the cocktails strong and the atmosphere electric. Quite frankly, you will not want to leave after spending the night here. Revolution is one venue that will challenge the die-hard clubber.


Iceberg

Think of everything you know about clubbing and then toss it out of the window. Iceberg challenges the conventional club by offering a complete melting pot of sounds and cultures, meaning it attracts a very international crowd. One moment, you could be dancing to a chart hit from a Slovakian artist, the next you might be chilling out in the chic waterfront bar with a mojito.


With over 130 restaurants, live music bars, pubs, nightclubs, discos and cafés, you are most certainly guaranteed to find somewhere to let your hair down in the resort of Sunny Beach this summer. To find out more or to book your Sunny Beach holiday please visit our holidays to Sunny Beach page.
With over 130 restaurants and numerous live music bars, pubs, nightclubs, discos and cafés, you are most certainly guaranteed to find something to love about the resort of Sunny Beach this summer. To find out more or to book your Sunny Beach Holiday visit our website. - See more at: http://blog.balkanholidays.co.uk/2013_03_01_archive.html#sthash.Bo7kv74j.dpu

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Borovets: The Best Apres Ski In Bulgaria...?

When it comes to nightlife and apres ski, there is one Bulgarian resort that stands out above all the others. Of course, we're talking about the incredible Borovets, which deserves a gold medal for its nightlife alone. The resort is particularly popular with younger skiers and especially stag dos and hen parties. Bring on the party and we'll find out why exactly.

Join a bar crawl

You've just arrived in Borovets and spent your first day on the slopes. Your legs are aching, but that shouldn't stop you from joining a bar crawl. It's good to get your bearings and meet people as quickly as possible - this is the best way of doing this. Bar crawls are popular in Borovets and you'll soon make plenty of friends over a cheeky rakia or three. Most of these events either start or finish at Buzz Bar, the most well-known of Borovets' drinking venues.


Experience variety

One of the best things about going out in Borovets is the sheer variety on offer. Modern bars serving up beers from across the world rub shoulders with traditional Bulgarian venues that offer the best in local beverages. Starting the night at one type of bar and finishing in another presents an enjoyable experience.


Night skiing

If you'd rather hit the hill than the bar, Borovets caters for those who wish to ski under the nights sky before joining the fun after a little bit of sport in the crisp mountain air. Runs are illuminated either side by strong lights that help to guide your way - they're open until 10pm, after which time it is perfectly acceptable to hit the dance floor.


Pampering

Apres ski isn't just about the nightlife, and if you fancy a cheeky pamper in the spa, you're more than welcome. Kneipp baths, various saunas and steam rooms are particularly popular with skiers looking to loosen their muscles before the dancing commences.


Secure your winter holiday to Borovets today with our special low deposit of just £49pp and discover a resort that loves to have endless fun without emptying your wallet.