2017 Dates for your Diary
1-7 July 2017 - Summer theatre festival
"To the audience with Love"
15-16 July 2017 - Bansko Beat Music Festival
26-29 July 2017 - Summer Movie Fest under the stars
5-12 August 2017 - Bansko Jazz Festival
24-26 August 2017 - Bansko Opera Fest
2-3 September 2017 - Balkan festival “Bohemi”
6 September 2017 - Unification Day celebrations
22 September 2017 - Independence Day celebrations
With temperatures reaching the low 30s Centigrade at times, in summer Bansko becomes an outdoor community. Café awnings proliferate and the old ladies dressed in traditional style sit along benches gossiping awaiting the cows who, in the evenings, amble their way along the roads to their individual homes.
On Sundays there is a large market and every year there are a variety of festivals including folk and beer festivals as well as the popular international Jazz festival in August.
The gondola is open most of the summer and lots of fun activities are arranged at the top. http://www.banskoski.com/en/attractions
Summer Activities include:
Walking/hiking in the mountains: Many marked paths (some long distance) wind their way through the UNESCO Pirin National Park with one starting from almost outside Mountain Dream. By turning off the Mountain Dream access road just before passing under the gondola one accesses the 'Blue' route and within seconds can be enjoying the mountain forest atmosphere. The Blue route may be followed up a beautiful river rich in wildlife, flora and fauna to a high mountain hut but alternatively, one can branch on to one of many side paths making one’s own circular walk or perhaps just simply enjoy a picnic at one of the many prepared areas.
With over 130 lakes the Pirin mountains offer some of the best walking terrain in Europe. Beautiful high mountain hiking routes connect huts and refuges providing long distant walking opportunities.
The Vihren hut, reached either by car or a very reasonably-priced mini bus (time table available at the Hotel Strazhite), is a start point for high level mountain hiking including the assault on Mount Vihren which at 2914m is the highest peak in the Pirin mountains. A pleasant short walk is from the Banderitsa hut which is on the route to the Vihren Hut (and has more parking) up to the Vihren hut and back (about 30minutes each way). A short distance up and beyond the Vihren hut are some small lakes.
During the peak summer holidays the gondola operates giving access to other marked routes.
Alternatively take the car up the 11 km road above the next village, Dobrinishte, to the chair lift (open during the summer 8 am until 4 pm) which opens up other walking possibilities. Don’t forget to stop at the Trout farm on the way back down to Dobrinishte for either a fish or a drink.
Mountain Biking: There are marked routes for mountain bikes both in the valley and in the National Park. Guides are available to show you the best routes.
Narrow Gauge Railway: This offers a lovely day outing along the valley to Velingrad.
Bear Park: Referred to as the Dancing Bear Park it is actually a well laid out sanctuary for all of the 23 former dancing bears that were once exploited in Bulgaria. The 15 km route up the mountains from Banya is ‘interesting’ as much of the road is in need of re-making but the effort is well rewarded. On entering the park turn right for a further 2.8 km to reach the best parking and viewing areas. The Bear Park is funded by two charities and currently charges no admission fee merely seeking donations. We recommend you to take your own refreshments with you as we found only limited drinks available and no food. There is, however, a pleasant room with tables, chairs and displays. For those without a car, trips can be arranged from Bansko.
Hot Mineral Springs: This natural spa is in Dobrinishte and we are told it is reasonably priced and well worth a visit.
Edelweiss Garden: This garden in Dobrinishte is the only one in Bulgaria.
Razlog: This is the nearest town to Bansko being just six kilometres away. It has a delightful town square, park and lake.
Other Activities: Horse riding, rock climbing, rafting, off-road jeep safaris, paintball.
Rila Monastery, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, is about a two hour drive as is the ancient architectural city of Melnik. The Greek border is about 2 hours away.
Summer in Bansko
Page updated 2.5.17