PAMPOROVO & MECHI CHAL
From 2016/2017 season the new name for Pamporovo will be Pamporovo-Mechi Chal and Chepelare will become part of the ski area covered on the Pamporovo ski pass and not a separate ski centre. The two ski areas will be connected by a shuttle bus, running very 15 minutes, and there are plans in the pipe line to connect with ski lifts and runs, but of course this is Bulgaria so we will wait to see if this ever happens.
Pamporovo is one of the southern most ski resorts in Europe and as such is also one of the sunniest. It is lower than Borovets or Bansko with the resort being situated at 1650 metres (actually higher than Borovets or Bansko) but the ski-ing only goes to 1926 metres. Its 85 km from Plovdiv which is the nearest international airport with cheap Ryan Air flights and 240km from Sofia. The road up and through the mountains to the resort on the other side can be treacherous in bad weather and while many improvements have been done it can be closed due to landslides and vehicle crashes. The transfer is around an hour and half from Plovdiv and a good four hours from Sofia.
The ski-ing in Pamporovo is generally accepted as more gentle than Borovets or Bansko and so is more suitable for beginners. But there are a couple of harder runs for more advanced skiers and the area is spectacularly pretty.
Pamporovo itself is a strange place with no proper central area and is mainly just a hub of hotels and apartment blocks with some bars and restaurants. The main town of Smoylan is 15km north of the resort down the mountain.
Pamporovo has 37km of ski runs (22 pistes) and 28 km of cross-country (probably more than elsewhere in Bulgaria). There are 13 ski lifts and it does have fairly good snow cannon cover. A new chair lift now joins the mount village of Stoykite with the main ski area and recently an older T-bar was replaced with a chair lift.
It is many many years since I have ski’ed at Pamporovo. My first ski holiday on snow (except for Scotland) was to Pamporovo, back in 1989, when it was still under communist rule. I have very found memories of the ski’ing there, even if the food and hotel left a little to be desired.
The ski pass is 55 levs for a day and for 6 days it is 291 levs with a half day pass being 39 levs. The season ski pass is 1080 levs for an adult. A child ski pass is 33 levs and is for children from 7 to 11 years old.
There is night ski-ing and Pamporovo has the only half pipe in the Balkans.
Located only a 10km kilometres from Pamporovo, the town of Chepalare itself lacks any real charm, although the position and scenery are lovely. Just outside the town there is one chair lift with a couple of pistes down from it. It boasts the longest ski run in Bulgaria (around 5 km long) and another of around 3km long. The height at the top lift station is 1873 metres. There has been a small amount of development but it is still a very traditional Bulgarian mountain village. This area is now covered on the Pamporovo ski pass and connected by a shuttle bus.
The main website for the ski area is My Pamporovo
Momchilovci is is 12km from Pamporovo and boasts a snowboard park a few kilometres away from the village at Kartola. I have never been personally but understand it costs around 10 levs a day for an adult lift pass and 7 levs for a child pass or ski pass and board hire is 20 levs for an adult and 10 levs for a child. We did start to drive up last summer  but the road seemed to go on forever and was pretty windy. It is not a road I would want to drive in the snow.
The website for Momchilovci is here.