With beer still costing around £1 (BGN2.21) for a half litre and a moderate selection of lively venues to choose from, it’s no surprise that Pamporovo is a popular après-ski destination.
Alex’s Pub (tel: +359 894 353 411; www.alexspub.com) is a popular venue at the base of the slopes where lots of people stop off for a beer and a pancake at the end of the day.
If you want something more Bulgarian you’ll find live traditional music plays nightly at the roomy mehana (traditional bar) that’s aptly named Bulgarian Village. This lively bar serves a large range of local dishes and has a roaring log fire.
There are an ever-increasing number of vibrant eateries springing up in Pamporovo, dishing up both local and international offerings.
The White House (tel: +359 30 958 050) has become a resort institution over the last 10 years and offers traditional cuisine and great local atmosphere, often with live music. Menus are available in English and advanced reservation is recommended.
Gloria Mar, one of a chain of half a dozen quality restaurants with that name, including one in capital Sofia (tel: +359 90 555 111; www.gloriamar-bg.com), is one of the best in town.
The large Chevermeto restaurant (tel: +359 426 30331; www.chevermetosz.com) in nearby Stara Zagora specialises in the Rhodope dish of cheverme (barbecued lamb), and also has live traditional music.
But if it’s a cheap, simple snack you’re after, most of the town’s bars serve pizza, burgers, pancakes or other fast food relatively inexpensively.
Beyond the slopes
Night skiing is available from 1730 to 2230 on the Snezhanka 2 run, but there are also enough activities off the slopes to keep most visitors happy.
Among the more exhilarating activities is the chance to take a high-speed ride around the hills on a four-seater snowmobile. Within the resort itself, there is an ice skating rink and there is also the chance to see artisan craftspeople at work – Pamporovo is known as a centre of arts and crafts, in particular for its copper products and woven fabrics.
There are also a number of excursions available to nearby places of interest. Among these is Bachkovo Monastery, the second largest in Bulgaria, which is perched on the banks of the Chepelare River. Trips are also available to the peaceful Smolyan Lakes.
Many families opt for skiing trips in Bulgaria because it is one of the most affordable ski destinations in Europe, and Pamporovo, with its centralised, convenient, family-friendly attitude makes it one of the country’s better choices.
The ski school welcomes children from the age of eight, but the ski kindergarten caters for kids aged four to seven with half- and whole-day packages.
The Hotel Perelik (tel: +359 309 59100; www.perelikhotel.com) has a large swimming pool (open to non-guests) and a hugely popular bowling alley, which are good options for children’s activities. There is also a small kid's play area outside the Hotel Murgavets.
Two small shopping centres provide the resort with most of its retail needs.
The Pamporovo Shopping Centre has a selection of small shops selling snazzy shades, chunky silver jewellery and trendy sports gear.
Opposite is a larger shopping centre (linking the Hotel Perelik and Hotel Murgavets). Its ground floor has plenty of ski shops and souvenir shop selling beauty creams made from local natural rose oil, painted ceramics and the ubiquitous Russian dolls.
For everyday items, there’s a 24-hour supermarket opposite the Hotel Murgavets.
Indulge in a full body massage at the luxury spa in Hotel Extreme (tel: +359 879 933 308; www.hotel-extreme.bg/en/); or for those less concerned with their wellbeing, treat yourself in the cosy Lobby Bar where they serve great cocktails.
There is a range of accommodation to suit all budgets and tastes in the resort, but the majority of accommodation in Pamporovo is in the form of hotels. These range from luxury 5-star options with excellent facilities to basic 1-star offerings. As a purpose-built resort, the majority of accommodation in Pamporovo consists of large modern-looking buildings, with a few in a traditional Alpine style.
A 5-star hotel with 105 spacious and light rooms featuring contemporary décor, Hotel Orlovetz boasts a spa, pool and a health centre. The hotel’s Sky Bar affords wonderful views of the resort.Address: , Smolyan, Pamporovo, 4870
Telephone: +359 30 959 000
All of Hotel Extreme’s rooms come with balconies, mountain views, bath tubs, and free Wi-Fi. Located 300m (984ft) from the ski slopes, there’s also free parking and a swimming pool with spa available to guests.Address: , Smolyan, Pamporovo, 4870
Telephone: +359 879 933 308
This central 3-star hotel houses a spa and restaurant and offers Wi-Fi to guests. The hotel is named after Olympic and European biathlon champion Ekaterina Dafovska and has memorabilia from her glistening career on display.Address: , Smolyan, Pamporovo, 4870
Telephone: +359 3095 9700
Alkoclar Grand Hotel Murgavets
This large 3-star hotel in the centre of the resort has a selection of rooms and apartments. The Alkoclar Grand Hotel Murgavets hotel also offers spa facilities, a restaurant and shops.Address: Smolyan, Pamporovo centre, Pamporovo, 4870
Telephone: +359 30 958 190
Conveniently located with spacious apartments complete with kitchens, Apartments Snezhanka boasts an on-site spa with affordable treatments and a popular Irish-themed bar.Address: , , Pamporovo, 4870
Telephone: +359 887 636 000