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Skiing with Disabilities in Pamporovo, Bulgaria

Pamporovo, Bulgaria

I recently visited the ski resort of Pamporovo in Bulgaria to tag along with a group from Disability Skiing Wales (DSW), who had organised their annual ski trip there for the second year in a row. I was there to represent the charity Ski 2 Freedom who are involved with DSW in promoting the benefits of winter sports for people with disabilities. This was a large group, thirty eight in total. The group consisted of guides, buddy's, family members with a range of disabilities including Down's Syndrome, Autism Spectrum, physical disabilities and learning difficulties. I take my hat off to the organisers of the trip Gordon, Peter and Vic. They managed to get thirty eight people and a Kart Ski on an EasyJet flight and to the resort. It took them months to get EasyJet to agree to take them, no easy task. The transfer to the resort is approximately three and a half hours from Sofia airport. This was my first trip to Bulgaria so I was interested to see the country side during my taxi ride to the resort. A rock slide had closed the main road to the resort so we had to take a detour which added a bit of time to the journey. The group that DSW took to Bulgaria last year was much smaller, just six Down's Syndrome girls and their carers. So this trip was a much bigger challenge for them.


The group stayed in the Hotel Kamelia which has very good facilities. The staff were very friendly and the food was good. Skiing in Bulgaria offers good value for money. The hotel is located a short walk away from the slopes which is ideal for most disabilities. For wheelchair users the hotel offers a lift service. It was great to see the great work that Gordon, Peter and Vic do in helping a very mixed group with varied disabilities enjoy the benefits of a skiing holiday. Not only were they were teaching their group they were teaching their guides as well. Trying to keep everyone happy in such a large group with such a different range of needs is no easy task so again I take my hat off to these guys!

The Ski Area


Pamporovo is a good resort for beginner and intermediate skiers. There are lots of long, gentle blue runs that weave their way through the Pine forest. The ski area is small compared to many resorts in the Alps which are interconnected creating much larger ski areas. You can easily cover the whole area in a day. Pamporovo is growing however and they have plans to extend the ski area. The runs are great for sit skiing. Long, wide and not too steep. It's best to go after the 4/5th March as it is a lot quieter in the resort.


The chairlifts are very beginner friendly. No fast exits or steep run outs, just very slow gentle exits. Perfect for beginner skiers and sit skiers! I would like to thank DSW for letting me tag along on their holiday. It was a great experience. DSW have led the way in showing what Bulgaria has to offer people with disabilities. Before their visit there was not a lot of awareness in Bulgaria about what is possible for people with disabilities. Everyone that I met in the resort, the hotel staff, the ski school and the holiday reps are all very supportive of helping both DSW  and Ski 2 Freedom to do more to help Pamporovo become a more accessible destination. I'm looking forward to visiting Bulgaria again in the future.