Bansko, situated within the borders of the Pirin National Park, possess incredible natural beauty and is acknowledged as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Ringed in by the Rila, Pirin, and Rhodope mountains, the community is already becoming one of the top ski locations of Europe, with many people from across both the EU and US beginning to congregate in the region to relish the facilities and attraction to be had there all the year long.

Once you come to Bansko, your concept of what a summer vacation needs to be fun will be changed forever.

Do you love fine food? In Bansko you can watch the world amble by as you sit at a cafe sitting on the tree-lined strip located immediately off the central main square. There are more mehanas located around and on the city’s cobbled streets, and many have wonderful gardens. You just have to go to “The Hoe”, it has its own stream trickling right from one end to the other of its garden! It’s cheap to drink and eat in Bansko, with a glass of wine or a large beer usually not costing more than two Levs ($1), and as a three-course meal (drinks included) tend to cost only slightly more than $10 per person, you won’t break the bank! Here’s a little tip: the local Shopska Salad is definitely worth a try.

Dobrinishte is about four miles from Bansko, and you can reach it in about ten minutes by car. The place has a giant, free-form open air swimming pool. Dobrinishte is a spa resort; it has seventeen mineral springs and the water temperature is between 30C to 43C. The swimming pool gets its water from the same mineral water, and the water is said to possess Healing Powers. While you’re there, try taking making use of the poolside snack bar and/or swim-up bar. Getting in costs about $4, and that price includes a parasol and sun bed!

A visit to Bansko isn’t complete without riding the Dobrinishte chair lift up the mountain. The ride is 3.7 kilometer, takes about twenty-five minutes, and lifts you up to an altitude of 2020 meters. It’s not an exaggeration to state that the scenery will absolutely take your breath away. This is where a number of the hikes in the area start, and then allow you to find incredible lakes of crystal clear water, Bezbog Lake being merely several steps from the point the lift delivers you. The place is all the rage for a barbeque or picnic. Adults can ride the lift for ten levs, children get a discount, and you can ride it anytime of the year.

The Bansko International Jazz Festival is great for lovers of music, especially fans of jazz; it’s one of the most prominent, and the oldest, music events in all of Bulgaria. The five-day festival is held every year and usually begins during the second week of August. Famous jazz musicians from around the world come together for the festival. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a bar or nightclub, or the huge main stage in the town’s square; jazz appears to fill nearly all areas of the community. A lot of the musicians can be seen carrying on jam sessions in the local mehanas, when not performing on stage. The festival is a free event, which makes it even better!

Bear Park, located at Belitsa, is quite well-liked by families, and it’s only about thirty miles from Bansko. The park has twenty former dancing bears supported by the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, saved from their previous masters and brought to the park to live the remainder of their lives with respect and dignity. There’s no charge to enter the park, but they appreciate any donations.

There are endless opportunities for enjoyment in the mountains. This is just a small taste of what a Bansko summer vacation can offer you.