Summer Holidays in Bansko, Bulgaria

By: Mal Keenan
Yes, Bansko is known for the its skiing. People flock to the area from all over Europe to enjoy the new facilities and the ideal ski conditions. But what about the summer? Well, summer holidaying in Bansko is also fun. There are plenty of things to do in the mountains and in the town itself to make it a worthwhile holiday destination.

Bansko is crowded in the winter. The taverns are filled with people and the slopes are crowded. Parking can be a problem. But, in the summer, the peace of the mountains and the beauty of the village make it an ideal location for your summer holiday.

The Taverns (Mehani)If you've been to Bansko in the winter, you know that the mehani are filled with people. Finding a table is difficult. Parking your car is difficult. When all you want to do is relax after a day on the slopes, this can be frustrating.

Not so in the summer. The mehani are significantly less crowded. This means that you will be able to enjoy spending time with the people you are traveling with and can enjoy a few drinks without worrying about the noise or without waiting for a place to sit.

The MountainsBansko is an ideal place if you want to spend your vacation enjoying the surrounding mountains.

Hiking is a popular activity, and so is picnicking. The surrounding Pirin Mountains, for example, are a popular destination and there are trails and picnic sites located by streams and in meadows. If you are interested in doing either of these activities, ask a local for advice or ask at your hotel.

The picnic sites are well used because it is a popular activity for the locals. They feature stone slabs that are designed for cooking and roasting. The locals prepare dishes such as pork chops and stuffed green peppers. If you do decide to cook using the stone slabs, smear it with bacon grease to prevent food from sticking.

A great hike to try is to climb Vihren, which is 2914 meters high. Vihren is a the highest mountain in the Pirin Mountain range. Since it is the highest peak, climbing it is quite an accomplishment. But, be careful. Vihren means "the gale" and the locals refer to it is "the peak of storms".

Mountains tend to have their own weather patterns, especially when they are tall. The day could start off beautifully but halfway through your climb a storm could roll in. Just be careful and practice good judgment. Don't be afraid to turn around. The mountain will always be there and you can try again some other time.

Other things to doThere are plenty of other things to do. You can watch the sunset near the micro dam, take a train ride, or soak in the mineral springs in Banya, a nearby town. The springs offer a great way to relax and rejuvenate after a stressful week, or even after a physical day climbing Pirin Mountain. There is also a golf course in Bansko.

Although the ski slopes are closed in the summer, it is still a great vacation destination, especially if you enjoy the outdoors. Stay in one of Bansko's hotels or rent a vacation home or apartment. Once you get there you can enjoy activities such as golfing, hiking, soaking in the mineral springs, or picnicking.

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