The Bansko summer season has started, so here’s the calendar of events you need to know about. I think it’s these events that will make this summer in Bansko the one that offers visitors, and residents, more reasons to enjoy Bansko. Those that know, know; and I’m seeing more and more familiar faces return every year.
They realise the summer attraction of Bansko. But, and there really has to be a but that Bansko struggles in the summer to realise anything like the numbers of visitors as the popular Alpine ski resorts manage in summer. For far too many years it seems very little was done by the municipality to encourage summer tourism. In fact, private initiatives often being pushed through red tape, bureaucracy and corruption.
Much more needs to be done in all of Bulgaria with regard to the above and I’ll leave that for another article. But I can say that for 2015 there is good news in the respect that the event calendar is fuller, and better, than ever before.
Outside events, there are three words summarise what keeps me happy in Bansko in the summer.
Hiking. Friends. Sunshine.
Hiking is free and, whilst I am unable to offer free hiking tours like in past years due to work schedule, I can encourage you to either take the gondola lift to Banderishka Poliana or take a bus or drive up to Vihrin hut. UPDATE: trailsystems.org are now offering hiking on some days in the summer.
Be sure to get up as early as you can — not only for parking, if driving, but also to give you plenty of time for you and your family and friends to complete your walk.
So this is my formula… a long mountain hike, or mountain bike ride (join the group in the main square every Sunday at 10:00) — and then later on settle down to enjoy the music.
Just like when skiing, I like the tired legs feeling. I like the energy of the mountains. The scenery takes on a renewed interest without the winter snow cover.
The colour and sounds that represents the flora and fauna of the Pirin mountain range are very accessible.
Reminder to self and to readers is to be sure to take decent clothing, proper walking boots and be realistic about your fitness. The times marked on signposts are for fast walking without breaks.
Add 50% to these times unless you are a seasoned hiker.
The mountain bike race weekend The Road To Nowhere is on 24th and 25th July, I am unable to make this race but you should click here to read and watch about my failed attempt in a previous year.
I have just spoken to the Bansko Beat organisers and this festival, it’s first year, is shaping up to be a big success.
I’m sure nothing to do with arranging James Arthur as the headlining act — but as per my review of the music at this festival, I think the appeal is really wide. Be sure to share this article on Facebook for a chance to win a pair of tickets. Do this by 1st July — two winners — two pairs of tickets!
Bansko events 2015
- Pirin Run: 21st June
- Bansko Bohemi Folk Fest: 27th & 28th June
- Summer Theatre Festival: 1st to 7th July
- Bansko Beat: 10th & 11th July James Arthur headlining act
- Summer Cinema Under The Stars 22nd to 25th July
- The Road To Nowhere (MTB race): 24th to 26th July http://www.bansko-mtb.com
- The Good Beer Show part I: 1st & 2nd August
- The Good Beer Show part II: 8th & 9th August
- Bansko Jazz Festival: 7th to 13th August
- Enduro Bansko: 15th & 16th August https://www.facebook.com/events/1675046122723988/
- Opera Fest: 27th, 28th & 29th August
- Film Festival: 15th to 30th November
All MTB events booking and more info on www.trailsystems.org
Bansko Beat and Bohemi Festival organiser interview
Be sure to subscribe in iTunes to receive the weekly show, out every Friday.
Here’s What to do in Bansko
Take a listen to one of the most popular shows of my Bulgaria Now podcast show, “It’s Summer, It’s Bansko. And Here’s What To Do”
Book activities by dropping me a message.
Hiking, horse riding, 4×4 safari, tours to the Rila Monastery, Sofia, Plovdiv, Melnik (wine tasting) and for car hire. Be sure to book your Bansko transfers here or in Bansko App (iOS and Android). From just €13.95 per person per direction.
Enjoy your stay — now about the third requirement of mine, sunshine. Then be sure to prepare for hot sun. Bulgaria get especially hot in July, August and September and, thankfully, there are much fewer thunderstorms than typically found in the Alps. That said they do happen and you must look at the forecast but also look our for the clouds that start to overdevelop into anvil shapes.
If this happens, then don’t delay in getting off the mountain or at least low down to take shelter.
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