Borovets is one of the most popular and most preferable places for winter sports enthusiasts in Bulgaria. During high season, the resort is brimming with tourists and is full of life. Ski and snowboard lovers certainly won’t get bored here, but what is there to do for non-skiers? Or in the summer?
Located 70 km away from the capital city of Sofia, Borovets is the perfect destination for a day trip to the mountainside or why not even a full weekend surrounded by nature.
I got to visit Borovets in the summer of 2020 and spent a lovely day here, exploring the different tourism activities and enjoying a delicious breakfast and lunch at Hotel Rila – the biggest and most centrally located hotel here, only a few steps away from the ski lift.
In this article we will go through the various activities and the best things to do in Borovets, especially if you are not a skier. Trust me, Borovets has plenty to offer.
Top Things to do in Borovets:
1. Go hiking in the Rila mountains
The local tourism organization Borosport offers its visitors an array of half-day and full-day hiking tours in Rila mountain.
You could select the best route for yourself depending on the difficulty and intensity – low, moderate and high. Among the harder ones are the traditional routes to Musala peak, The Seven Rila Lakes, Malyovitsa peak and more.
In the low intensity category you will be able to choose between walking tours to Tsari Mali Grad, Sitnyakovska Rock, The Black Rock and others.
For more information about all tours make sure to check out this link.
2. Climb the highest peak on the Balkan peninsula – “Musala”
Climbing to the top of Bulgaria’s highest peak – Musala, is a great accomplishment which can actually be achieved by most people without too much effort.
The tour from Borovets to Musala can definitely be conquered by everyone within a single day.
The easiest way to the top is by using Yastrebets lift to its highest station. Then, you will continue onward on foot.
The route passes by the picturesque Musala lakes and reaches the highest peak on the Balkan peninsula Musala at 2925 m, where a magnificent view awaits.
You could also opt for an organized tour with a guide from Borosport. For more information, just click here.
3. Borovets Mountain Bike Park – for the adrenaline junkies
The tracks near Borovets undoubtedly have a lot to offer for the mountain bike enthusiast.
The park can entertain the beginners and could also test the capabilities of experienced bikers as there are 6 mountain bike tracks, covering various levels of difficulty.
The tracks have been given names with clever film references – the easy ones are called “Tom and Jerry” and “Harry Potter”, while the harder ones have been named “Need for Speed” and “Rocky”, to name a few.
If you are visiting with children, don’t worry. There is a separate area with biking routes specifically designed with families in mind.
The main area of the bike park could be reached via the Sitnyakovo express – a chairlift, equipped with special hooks for the bikes. You could rent a bike and biking gear for any riding style, so if you don’t have your own, don’t despair.
Guides and instructors will also be at your disposal if you need them.
The mountain bike area also offers enduro and cross-country routes.
4. Conquer the rope town of “Borolandia” – for kids and adults
After having an abundant lunch in Hotel Rila’s restaurant, we decided to get moving again and to challenge ourselves in the adventure park called Borolandia located in close proximity to the hotel.
The adventure park offers 4 different routes with different levels of difficulty. We would recommend trying out an easier one at first so you could learn the technique of going through the obstacles.
However, if you feel confident in your skills and fitness level, you could always go straight for one of the harder ones just like we did.
We decided to take on route #3, which was regarded as moderately difficult.
For most of the obstacles we really needed instructions from the people working at the adventure park. At times you may also feel that you are about to let go and fall. After all, you are walking over wooden boards tied to ropes, stretched between the trees. Scary!
You will be kept safe with the help of ropes, climbing harnesses and carabiners, which made me feel a tad more calm, while going through all the obstacles.
All of us managed to successfully complete the course, albeit very carefully. Indeed, all of us managed to feel the adrenaline surge that keeps you energized for a long time!
The best part awaits at the end of the course where you need to jump off a towering platform and to roll down a zip line. The most frightening thing is overcoming your intrinsic fear of jumping off a tree. The rest is just an amazing experience.
If you’re visiting Borovets, make sure to visit the Borolandia adventure park. It sure gets two thumbs up from me!
The price for each course is just 5 BGN (~ 2.50 EUR) per person.
5. Try archery and shooting with an air rifle
Right next to the adventure park you’ll find an area dedicated to archery and air rifle shooting.
The instructors are always here to explain the technique of shooting with a pinch of humor, or at least that was the case with our first try. I would definitely give this another go!
6. Climbing and alpinism
Another direction the resort is striving to develop in is to be a climbing and mountaineering destination. The resort offers many courses and various tourist programs, via ferrata routes and so forth.
There are two spots for mountain climbing in the area, which I do not even recommend trying to pronounce, as they are complicated even for Bulgarians – “Vodohvashtaneto” and “Skalata na imanyara”.
No matter if you are a beginner or you are experienced, the local guides will help you discover your inner Adam Ondra.
Moreover, Borovets offers 1-day mountaineering climbs in the most beautiful areas of Rila mountain – the ones where the peaks of Musala and Malyovitsa reside. The mountaineering programs include hiking to the climbing route and the focus falls on the climbing itself.
You can learn more about this here.
7. Borolandia playground – for the youngest visitors
To the convenience of parents, Borovets ensures that even the youngest visitors get their fair share of fun.
The children’s section in Borolandia is an outdoor playground surrounded by nature and crisp air, where the kids could be left to play until exhaustion. They will be looked after by dedicated kids entertainers, which adds a sense of ease to any parent.
Other things to do in Borovets:
8. Horse riding
9. Full day kayaking in Iskar dam
11. Tandem paragliding
12. Trampoline jumping
Where to stay in Borovets?
Now recognized as a symbol of Borovets, Hotel Rila not only provides convenience and coziness, but also exceptional service and SPA procedures.
Hotel Rila is conveniently located at the very foot of the ski slopes, which makes it the ideal starting point for any adventure in the resort.
Some of the amenities include a very well equipped SPA center with an abundance of procedures, indoors pool, several restaurants, lobby bar, panorama bar, night club, kindergarten, advanced conference center among others.
Information center in Borovets:
Next to the entrance of the hotel you will find the information center where the consultants will be able to provide more information or answer any questions related to any of the activities in the resort.
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