Mount ranges

Summer activities

The glacier valleys and lakes provide the beautiful mountains with a glorious summer temperature and woodlands preserved as a National Park, rich with lakes, waterfalls, caves, venerable trees and historical sites, included in the UNESCO list for cultural and natural sightseeing.

There are around 120 cultural and historical monuments in Bansko itself. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Rila monastery, played an important role for the preservation of the national spirit and faith during the Ottoman rule. Day trips are available.

The Pirin mountains offer some of the finest paragliding in Europe in both summer and winter. For the very reasonable sum of 150 Leva, you can be flown from the Todorka peak, back down to the nursery slopes at the top of the gondola. Paragliding video.. (winter view!)

Paragliding can be organised locally for around £35 (52 EUR) as opposed to £350 (520 EUR) in other parts of Europe! Contact

Mountain biking is very popular, with large forest areas and mountain tracks. A popular route is to the Belizmata reservoir 3km South-West of the town found by crossing the bridge near the Bansko Hotel then straight until the first field track. Mountain bikes can be rented by the day for 20 Lev (about £7) from the 'Mountain Tracks' shop on Ulitsa Pirin (0888 788859 / 0888 703184) and most big hotels. In summer, your ski locker doubles as a bike store!

Rock Climbing and mountaineering opportunities for climbing are practically limitless with the mountainous terrain. Most popular areas are Mt Malyovitsa in the Rila Mountains, the karst region to the north of Mt Vihren (in the Pirin range), and the Blue Rocks outside Sliven. You can hire equipment and a personal guide from Odysseia-In in Sofia for approx £12-15 (18-22 EUR) per person per day.

Go rafting with your own personal guide along two of Bulgaria’s most beautiful rivers - the Struma and Mesta Rivers. Instructor, equipment, and lunch included.

Paragliding video.. (winter view!)

Pirin Mount Lakes

International Jazz Festival

Summer also sees the established Bansko International Jazz Festival in August, one of the biggest and most prestigious musical events in Bulgaria. For six nights, the famous resort becomes the capital of jazz. Thousands of people gather at the town square at the open-air festival stage. Jazz musicians also perform at several luxurious night clubs, after-parties, luncheon barbecues and coffees shops. Jam sessions are being held every evening where performers from several countries get together.

The 18 hole Bansko golf course, set at the foot of the Pirin mountains, is one of the best in the country for quality and facilities -designed by Ian Woosnam and buit by IMG. A new sports complex also includes a football pitch, 2 tennis courts, volleyball and baskball courts, horse riding, spa, mineral water swimming pool, sauna, hydro-massage baths and a wide range of alternative therapies, as well as a shopping centre and with restaurants and cafes.

Horse riding provides spectacular countryside views. Local centres can provide a range of trips, from a 1 hour long, to a 3 day trek across the mountains to the Rila monastery or in the Kresna gorge.

Mineral baths are famous in nearby Dobrinishte at the reserve Bayovi dupki- Djindjiritsa. There are 17 mineral springs between 30-43 degrees C. Scientific studies rank Bulgaria among the foremost in Europe for hydrothermal, bioclimatic and mud treatments, sea cures and other health resources.

Bulgaria is great for bird watching and is a nesting ground for most European species in spring (May–June) and on the migratory path of many Asian ones in autumn (Sept to mid-Oct). In total there are around 400 species.

Dancing Bear rehabilitation park, located near the small town of Belitsa, provides a “Four Paws” charitable foundation for the protection of animals, where 18 bears are respectfully cared for in the park.

Other summer activities can include paintballing, shooting and fishing in the local area other places of interest such as vineyards and market towns.

Useful websites: (open a new window)
Bansko Jazz Festival
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