Pamporovo, Winter 2022
So, this was my first winter workshop in Pamporovo and I’ll immediately announce that it, most certainly, won’t be the last! Our mountain getaway was absolutely magical in many ways and I’m pretty sure that the participants won’t forget this week at the heart of the Rhodopes. Whether it’s the perfect snow coverage, the welcoming Bulgarians, the food, the ski resort itself or the hotel…
Bulgaria remains an unknown destination for many tourists and what seems to hit people immediately is the beautiful natural surroundings. The country still boasts 4 well-established seasons so, when winter arrives – real winter, that is – it’s enchanting. I already spent last summer in Pamporovo, with another group (more about that here) and we had the opportunity to admire the majestic mountain massive but when winter hits in all its glory, with snow galore, it becomes truly magical.
Apart from the natural beauty, the quality and quantity of snow went well beyond our expectations. Some of our participants are seasoned skiers who are well acquainted with the French, Italian and Austrian ski slopes, and in their words, they hadn’t seen this much snow in decades. Contrary to other countries, Bulgaria is not very well known as a tourist destination and, hence, there are a lot fewer people on the slopes and no waiting for the lifts!
Pamporovo sports slopes that are adapted to all levels, whether for absolute beginners or die-hards, and as well as for snowboarding and skiing. Asen Rashev, one of the core members of Once Upon A Time, was the trainer for the Bulgarian national snowboarding team, so a few of us actually tried snowboarding! The results were choppy… some clearly are more skilful at it than others… 😉
Then there’s the other asset of Bulgaria… the Bulgarians themselves.They can be rather direct but, our participants all agree that they are most welcoming, generous and kind people. And what to say about their traditional cuisine? Even as a vegan I guarantee that the food is an explosion for your tastebuds! I can highly recommend the fabulous “The Lodge” restaurant, situated at the base of the Snezhanka tower. Don’t hesitate to ask Marina for recommendations, say hello from us and do try the lentil soup and chocolate cake.
After hours on the slopes and a few culinary stops (occasionally with a little alcohol mixed in), our evenings were equally fabulous! Aside from the daily yoga classes, the spa, and the pool (semi-Olympic size) at the hotel, there is also massage that help the body recover and mind calm down before a good night’s sleep…
In short, it was an out-of-this-world break that nobody will forget… As Marco, one of our participants declared: “It was not just a winter break, it was truly an unforgettable experience.” Above all, I want to thank all the participants for making our week-long stay in Bulgaria fantastic!
If you’re tempted to join me, more workshops will be organised in 2022 and 2023 and you can already sign up (just send me a message). If you’re more into hiking, there will be workshops in the summer too, most likely in August but, this time in Borovets. The program consists of hikes, some around the 7 Rila Lakes (more info here), yoga classes and gastronomical experiences like no other!
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