Bulgaria

“Still nice and cheap, but plenty of money has now been spent taking the lift systems out of the stone age”

Throughout Eastern Europe there are loads of amazing snowboard destinations located in high mountain areas. However, the biggest problem in this part of the world is who’s shooting who in order to be president. One minute you have a top resort and the next it’s a battle ground. Still if you decide to try out the east then remember that on the whole, travel can be a nightmare and most places have bugger all services with undeveloped resorts. But the big plus for this part of Europe are the costs, cheap to the extreme is the easiest way to put it, with prices so low it’s worth ducking and diving from the odd stray bullet.

Bulgaria (which is not a war torn part of eastern) is ahead of its neighbours in attracting westerners to sample its winter hospitality with a number of resorts which provide a good and a far cheaper alternative to many of the resorts in the Western Europe. Travelling to Bulgaria should pose no real problems with international flights arriving at the capital of Sofia. Note for entering Bulgaria visitors from EU member countries don’t need a visa Another point, forget about credit cards, although there are not widely accepted, you’re better off with hard cash, US Dollars are the best currency for changing into Lev’s.

On the slopes, piste preparation is not hot and mountain facilities are primitive but prices are very low and the pistes are un-crowded. A number of tour operators offer package tours to Bulgaria with great budget deals available. Freeriders will enjoy the unpredictable and uneven terrain features found in most rideable places but freestylers will be left a little disappointed if big pipes and man made terrain parks are your thing. Such things are almost none existent however lots of natural freestyle terrain is available along with some very big cliff jump areas. Overall, resort’s services are very basic with low key primitive accommodation, restaurants and amenities. Locals in many parts of the east have never seen westerners and on the whole are very friendly and will look after you, especially if you flash a few dollars.

The best way of travelling in Eastern Europe, is to hire a car or bring your own reliable vehicle. Always check with the national embassy to get the latest facts about travel in Bulgaria or any other part of Eastern Europe.