Wednesday, 21 January 2015

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.

5 Photos that will make you fall in love with Slovenia

Tucked into a mountainous corner, between Austria, Italy, Hungary and the Adriatic Sea, Slovenia has been blessed with everything in abundance. From her majestic Julian Alps with its glacial valleys, sparkling rivers, crystal clear lakes and breathtaking waterfalls to the deep forests and mysterious Karst caves, fascinating medieval towns, beautiful castles and gothic churches. The fertile coastline of Slovenia explodes with every type of greenery and plant life imaginable including vast orchards of olive and cherry trees, rich and versatile, bathing in the hot summer sun rays.

With so much natural beauty on offer, it wasn't hard to find these breathtaking images we think just might make you fall in love with Slovenia in 2015. You can click on any image to enlarge it.

1. Summertime at Lake Bled

The stunning Lake Bled is famous for its island in the middle of the lake with its
baroque church whose bell when rung is said to make wishes come true.
 
2. Winter Sundown in Kranjska Gora

The picturesque resort of Kranjska Gora is Slovenia's oldest and most established
ski resort with a great base for exploring the Julian Alps.

3. Ljubljana in Spring

This beautiful capital city is a unique crossroad for Germanic, Slavic & Latin
cultures whilst managing to keep its historic centre intact.

4. Fishing at Lake Bohinj

Bohinj is the best known glacial valley of the Julian Alps. At its head, in an amphitheater
overshadowed by the sombre face of the Komarca, you can will the famous Savica waterfall.

5. The Piran Cape at Dawn, Portoroz

The stunning Piran Cape has much medieval architecture, with narrow streets and compact
houses providing a unique charm and feel to anyone who visits it.

To find out more about our summer and winter holidays to Slovenia visit the Balkan Holidays website today!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Designed Just For You, Balkan Holidays Hotels in Bansko

Skiing in Bulgaria is proving to be more popular than ever and with holidays to Bansko becoming a favourite for winter sport enthusiasts it's clear to see why thousands of holidaymakers are flocking to the resort every year. Besides the fantastic ski and snowboard facilities and vast variety of aprés-ski on offer, Bansko also provides a range of outstanding and affordable accommodations. 

At Balkan Holidays we know that choosing the right hotel is just as important as choosing the right winter resort, so with that in mind, we are delighted to offer you a choice of four fantastic Balkan Holidays owned hotels for your next winter holiday to Bansko:

1. Hotel Bansko
 

This 4 star hotel is conveniently located a short walk from the resort centre and only 1400 metres from the ski lifts, making it an ideal hotel for those who want to be close to all the amenities but not have the hustle and bustle of being right on top of the resort. The hotel also boasts a fantastic indoor swimming pool with sauna and massage, and even has its own secure ski storage on site for those who are wanting to take their own equipment with them. The hotel even offers a free shuttle bus service to the gondola lift! With only 53 rooms, it is perfect for travellers who prefer a friendly, family feel hotel with all the facilities of a larger hotel at an amazing price.
2. Hotel Pirin

If you're looking for a small hotel with a friendly, inviting atmosphere then the Hotel Pirin is for you! With its envious central location, ample sized indoor pool and fitness room and free wi-fi, you can guarantee that this hotel caters for everyone. Situated approximately 2300 metres from the ski lifts, the hotel also offers a complimentary shuttle bus to the lifts if you don't fancy the stroll through the old town. All 68 rooms at this 4 star hotel are very spacious and all come with satellite TV, minibar, hairdryer and shower/WC ensuring this will feel like your home away from home.



3. Hotel Mura

Amazing value and comfortable accommodation and warm, welcoming staff is what awaits you at the Hotel Mura, only a 15 minute walk to the gondola station this hotel is ideal for the budget concious, there is even a free shuttle bus to take you to the lifts! Inside you will find an impressive lobby with a large on site restaurant, perfect for hungry post-ski and snowboarders, with a variety of dishes available. It also has its own ski storage room, meaning you know your equipment will be kept safe and available to you when you need it. Within the hotel, the 70 rooms are comfortably furnished to a high standard and some even offer balconies overlooking the pristine slopes, perfect for those nights when you just want to relax.
4. Hotel Strazhite

Recently refurbished, the 4 star Hotel Strazhite elegantly combines traditional Bulgarian architecture with the comforts of a modern hotel. Only a few minutes walk to the resort centre and even closer to the ski lifts, it is no wonder why the Hotel Strazhite is one of our most popular hotels. With only a 300 metre stroll away from the ski lifts, you will be able to show off your skills before heading back to this luxurious hotel, where you can relax in the beautiful indoor pool or sauna, or maybe try your hand at the on site bowling lanes before heading back to your immaculate, comfortable and spacious room, waking up fresh and ready for another action packed day!

Because all of these hotels are Balkan Holidays properties, you can be sure that you will receive the best service from start to finish and the hotel you choose will be of the best standard. To find out more or to book any of these hotels and more, please see our ski holidays to Bulgaria.

A Beginners Guide to Sunny Beach

Situated approx 42 km north of Bourgas and 434 km east of Sofia, the resort of Sunny Beach is located along almost the entire length of land between the village of Sveti Vlas to the north and Nessebar to the south making it the biggest and most popular resort along the Black Sea Coast. Its construction began in 1958 during Communist times at a site where two old wells that supplied the nearby town of Nessebar with water in ancient times and again during the Middle Ages had been found and tourists flocked to these natural mineral baths.

Sunny Beach Resort Bulgaria
The stunning resort of Sunny Beach along the Black Sea Coastline

The Mediterranean climate of the area is the key reason for Sunny Beach's popularity with visitors with the resort enjoying more than 1700 hours of sunshine on average from May to October. Although historically popular with Russian and German tourists, Sunny Beach has recently begun to attract the attention of the British holidaymaker as a more affordable alternative to the established Mediterranean resorts.

Beach in Bulgaria Sunny Beach
Sunny Beach has some of the cleanest, golden beach sand around

Over the last few years the resort has been hugely affected by Bulgaria's property boom, with many (especially British) buying villas here, securing themselves a relatively cheap holiday home by the sea. This steep increase of new construction means that what was once a single line of hotels along the waterfront has become dozens of rows making for a lively resort, with plenty of hotels, restaurants, water-sports, bars and clubs to choose from and an increasing number of visitors every summer.

Sunny Beach holidays provide visitors with an incredible 8 km long and 60m wide beach strip and the resort has been awarded the prestigious International Blue Flag, which guarantees that holidaymakers are granted ecologically clean beaches, water and air. Near the middle of the beach lies a walkway which leads to most of the shops, supermarkets, bars and restaurants, plus facilities like the post office and the bus station.

Promenade in Sunny Beach Bulgaria
The friendly Sunny Beach promenade is perfect for walks along the resort

There are many attractions for holidaymakers to the resort including sunning at the beach, water sports and a trip to the nearby historical site of Nessebar. Sunny Beach is also extremely popular amongst young people for its superb night life. There are two new aqua parks near the resort, the small Aqua-park Kuban (on the grounds of the Hotel Kuban) which has water-slides and pools, and the much larger Action Aqua-park, on the western edge of the resort, perfect for a day out with the family.

Balkan Holidays are pleased to offer a wide range of excursions & activities bookable locally with your representative including boat trips to the mouth of the Ropotamo River at Primorsko or a trip to the northern Black Sea city of Varna, 59 miles away which has plenty of historical sights, from Roman baths to ornate cathedrals. 

Watersports in Sunny Beach
Holidaymakers can enjoy a variety of water-sports when in resort

Although this is tailor-made for tourists, the dinner and folk show at Khan's Tent is a unique night, set at the top of a hill several kilometres north of Sunny Beach. The secluded wooded setting with beautiful views of the coast was supposedly where Khan Krum had a military encampment in the first century. The stunning interior is the venue for superb traditional food, served by costume-clad waiters, with traditional music and a brilliant live show.

Other resorts along the coast which you may like to visit include the more peaceful Sozopol and Ozbor. The waters of Pomorie, 11 miles south have healing qualities, and since Roman times have been attracting visitors for mud therapies and balneological treatments.

Children are well catered for in Sunny Beach where there are 24 hour day care facilities, and where they can build castles on the beach, splash around in the sea, guzzle down ice cream and generally have a great time doing all the things kids love to do on a family holiday.

Hotels in Sunny Beach Bulgaria
Sunny Beach has a range of child friendly hotels & facilities

There are also children's pools, merry go-rounds, pony riding, kid's discos and electronic games for those who cannot leave modern technology at home!

You can take your children to one of the many drawing stands along the promenade to paint a beautiful souvenir for the to take home. They of course will love it and you can browse the shops while you wait for the painting to be completed.

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.

Holiday Resort Sunny Beach Bulgaria
The magnificent view of Sunny Beach from Khan's Tent

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Spoil yourself with a luxury Spa Break this Winter

Not many countries in Europe are able to compete with Bulgaria when it comes to its abundance and diversity of natural springs with Bulgaria proudly boasting the second largest number of natural springs in Europe.

Many clients visiting Bulgaria’s ski resorts during the winter are unaware of the incredible value for money and quality the spa facilities and luxurious accommodation in Bulgaria have to offer, but as the specialist tour operator to the region we have used our personal knowledge and 48 years of experience to put together a selection of sumptuous spa package holidays to our winter resorts of Bansko, Borovets & Pamporovo. Treat yourself to the ultimate gift this winter with a luxurious spa break to one of our hand picked five star winter hotels selected for their excellent service, quality, location and overall satisfaction rating.

For Bansko, we are delighted to offer our holidaymakers the impressive 5* Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena as one of our carefully selected luxury spa break hotels. Presenting guests with the perfect balance of traditional architecture and modern comfort, the renowned Hotel Kempinski enjoys an ideal location at the foot of the ski slopes and is the only member of the “Leading Hotels of the World” in Bulgaria. The hotel boasts an impressive range of on-site facilities and an award winning spa, having picked up both the 2010 & 2011 Spa Finder Readers Choice awards as favourite spa in Bulgaria. The Spa facilities available include an indoor and two outdoor swimming pools, steam baths and saunas, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, float tank, gym, solarium, Hammam and a unique Snow room.


Another of our specially selected Bansko hotels is the newly built 5* Hotel Premier Luxury Mountain Resort. Situated on the foothills of the Pirin Mountains, this member of the “Small Luxury Hotels of the World” offers luxury accommodation, gourmet dining and superior spa and wellness facilities coupled with first class service, all set in a relaxing environment.


In Borovets, guests will feel like royalty at the 5* Hotel Winter Palace with its own unique style, architecture and fine interior furnishings giving it a luxurious presence in the resort. The Hotel Winter Palace has an outstanding Spa centre with an extensive range of treatments on offer for total relaxation of body, mind and soul.

Our final hand picked luxury spa break hotel is the magnificent 5* Hotel Orlovetz in Pamporovo. This attractively designed hotel has an excellent location at the heart of the resort and offers its guests a wide choice of benefits and services perfectly complimenting its exquisite Spa centre ensuring you have a comfortable, satisfying stay.


To find out more about or to book one of our luxury winter spa holidays or for further details of which spa treatments are available at these selected hotels and more, contact our friendly call centre on 0207 543 5555 or visit www.balkanholidays.co.uk

Bulgaria Golf Spotlight - Lighthouse Golf & Spa Hotel

Bulgaria has quickly grown into a popular European golf destination, and as the number one tour operator to Bulgaria, Balkan Holidays have a wide choice of golf holidays available from all major UK airports.

Lighthouse Golf resort

The Lighthouse Golf Resort & Spa Hotel is beautifully located on the Black Sea Coast, and is part of a golf resort designed by the famous player Ian Woosnam. The hotel overlooks one of the most beautiful sceneries in the region with magnificent sea views. The hotel is close to the club house, the golf academy and the road nearby leads to the sandy beaches. The Lighthouse Hotel offers luxurious rooms and suites, as well as apartments and villas within the resort.

Some of the greens are in the proximity of the hotel, making it possible for hotel guests to watch the game with panoramic views from the hotel at the golf course. The resort offers a full range of possibilities: you can combine your business meetings with a golf course or join the game and unwind in the spa afterwards.

Sports and leisure facilities on site for all guests. There are three restaurants, a whiskey and cigar lounge, and a beach bar on your disposal to enjoy the best food and drink. The use of the spa facilities, indoor and outdoor pools and shuttle to the beach are all available free of charge for the hotel guests.

Book your golf holiday to Lighthouse Golf & Spa Hotel today with Balkan Holidays and enjoy the affordable luxury at the Black Sea coast!

Lighthouse Golf courseLighthouse Golf course

The Clubhouse

Lighthouse room

Lighthouse room

Indoor Pool

SPA

Villas

The beach

The beach

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Ski Season Opens In Bulgaria

All around the Balkan Holidays office you can hear cheers of "THE SKI SEASON IS HERE!"  as the 13th December 2014 saw Bulgaria transform from summer's must visit beach destination to this winter's coolest place to ski. It is now officially ski season in the Balkans and what a week it has been! With snow already falling across all three resorts, there was definitely a reason to celebrate!


 All the stops were pulled out this season in Bansko on opening day with ski legends such as Marc Girardelli, Stephan Eberharter and Petar Popangelov providing the metaphorical "ribbon cutting ceremony" while guests enjoyed superb live entertainment all day and night long which included famous musicians as well as the aprés-ski club "Happy End" which provided guests with an enviable reason to boogie way in to the night.
Not to be out done, Borovets provided its visitors with half price lift passes as well as free night skiing during their opening day celebrations.


Pamporovo has also officially opened its doors to the masses and hundreds of guests have already begun to enjoy all the excitement that Pamporovo has to offer which includes the resort's brand new “libraries” with over 200 books of various genres and in various languages, distributed among the busiest places in the resort.


Local media reports said that prices in the three resorts were largely similar to those of last year. Blagovesta Tomova, head of the union of owners in Borovets, said that the resort had not raised their prices this winter, even though their costs such as electricity had increased. Bansko also has 335 snow cannons ready to produce artificial snow, reports from the resort said. In Bansko, the price of a daily ski pass is the same as at the end of 2013.


Looks like things are only just beginning to heat up in Bulgaria this winter!