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Where to go in Berkovitsa for a winter’s weekend?

Photo: library

Instead of going to the packed ski resorts Borovets, Bansko and Pamporovo, more than a few chose to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2022 in Berkovitsa, a small town nestled at the foot of peak Kom in the Balkan Mountains.

Hotels, guest houses and restaurants were swarming with tourists and worked at full throttle during the festive period.

Reservations for the Kom mountain lodges were made as early as August, says Dimitrinka Tsvetkova from the Tourist Center in Berkovitsa.

The mountain town, she claims, has gained popularity as a winter resort with its beautiful Kom summit with its breathtaking views and the ski zone at the foot of the peak.

"There is a functioning ski run in the Kom area. The run is a short one – just 800 metres – but it is to be extended. There is an excellent ski tow and ski rentals, as well as a cosy teahouse at the base of the track. There are three mountain huts in this area /2,016 meters altitude/where one can spend the night, have a delicious meal and get warm with a complimentary cup of hot brew of mountain tea,” says Dimitrinka Tsvetkova, adding that the place is a paradise for skiers, snowboarders, as well as for the kids who go sledding.

In addition, one can afford a ski vacation without burning a hole in one’s pocket. The night's stay in the mountain lodges barely reaches 20 leva/10 euro. The price is the same for the tow pass for the day. For children the price is even lower – 15 leva. And you don’t have to wait in line for the ski tow, because there just aren’t so many people. “You can ski as much as you like and enjoy the beautiful view,”Dimitrinka says.

What to do in Berkovitsa when the snow is sparse?

Lack of snow does not discourage the visitors because the town of Berkovitsa and the surrounding area are a veritable paradise for tourism. The region’s striking beauty inspired Bulgarian author Ivan Vazov (often referred to as "the Patriarch of Bulgarian literature") to write some of his most exquisite works during the time he was briefly appointed judgein the town. There is a museum-house of Ivan Vazov in Berkovitsa and a bas-relief portrait of the writer on mount Kom.

The museum-house of Ivan Vazov

The so called New Lodge at the foot of the summit is just a 30-minute car ride away from Berkovitsa. It is an hour and a half to two hours’ hike to the peak even in the snow, Dimitrinka explains. The town’s Ethnography Museum and Fine Arts Gallery are a must to visit. In the restaurants and taverns one can relish the local cuisine in atmospheric traditional setting.

What dishes to choose?

“The tourists have a wide choice of traditional Bulgarian dishes, as well as recipes that are typical for the region,such as hors d'oeuvre salad Berkovska topenitsa and Berkovitsa hotch-potch. Most local restaurants serve traditional cuisine,” Dimitrinka Tsvetkova says. She recommends a hot bowl of tripe soup or chicken soup for the skiers. “A warm welcome by a very friendly staff is perhaps another reason for the rising popularity of Berkovitsa as a weekend tourist destination,” says Dimitrinka Tsvetkova from the Tourist Information Center in Berkovitsa.

Translated from Bulgarian by Elizabeth Radkova

Photos: zaberkovitsa.eu, Tourist Center in Berkovitsa
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