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Influx of skiers to Pamporovo and Chepelare in the backdrop of Covid restrictions

Photo: Facebook /Pamporovo

Workers in the tourist industry describe the ski season in the resort of Pamporovo and in the nearby town of Chepelare as surprisingly good. The galloping spread of Omicron in this country and the anti-epidemic measures have not stopped Bulgarians from going to ski vacations in the mountains. Moreover, the current weather conditions are perfect for winter sports.

75-80% of the hotel beds in Pamporovo are currently occupied, but hotel owners expect the level to reach a record 99% during the upcoming school recess during the first week of February.

At the height of the season, Bulgarian tourists are those who predominate. But there are also foreign guests - from Ireland, Britain and Romania. It seems that those working in the industry are better prepared to deal with the challenges of the Covid pandemic this season. The same goes for their customers, most of whom are vaccinated. For the others there are special points for quick testing so that they can get access to the restaurants, Kostadin Belenozov from the municipality of Chepelare has told us. In key places around the resort the so-called pick-up devices are placed. That is how one can receive their lift pass without contact.

The one-day pass for the ski area in Pamporovo is 75 levs (about 38 EUR). A daily pass in the area of Mechi Chal above Chepelare costs 55 levs (28 EUR) per day. Of course there are discounts for children, as well as for guests of some hotels, etc.

"Mountain biking has been popular for several years," Kostadin Belenozov says. “There are many routes in the area and bikers who practice this sport on snowy slopes come in the winter. Biathlon, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, etc. are also practiced. For children, there are rides with huskies and sleds.”

Chepelare has been declared European City of Sports for 2022. The city is currently hosting the European Ski Orienteering Championships, which is a round of the World Cup. Along with it, the world championships for veterans and youth under 23 also take place here. “About 250 athletes are accommodated in the town. They contribute to the atmosphere of Chepelare, as they warm up, run in large groups on the main streets and people watch them,” Kostadin Belenozov says.

What other experiences does the town offer in addition to winter emotions and the restaurants?

"We have two museums, which are unique. One is dedicated to skiing and tells the story of the establishment of the resort, the first skis in the town and how it all happened here in Chepelare. You can see skis from the past century, as well as contemporary ones, produced in our factory, which is one of the largest in the world. Our guests also visit the Rhodope Karst Museum, where they can see various crystals, minerals, bones of cave animals, etc."

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: Facebook /Pamporovo, Chepelare Municipality
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