Welcome to the beautiful and hospitable Rhodope Mountains.
Since ancient times they have been a source of legends and stories told for centuries. This is the cradle of the mythical singer Orpheus.
There was born the song “Izlel ye Delyo Haydutin” which, along with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, was included in the Voyager Golden Record.
Magnificent pine forests, green meadows and mountain peaks bathed in sunlight – these are the incredible Rhodope Mountains you will never forget.
Nor will you forget the Rhodope people with their hospitality and traditional cuisine. This mountain people will meet you with open arms, will sing you the songs they learned from their ancestors, and will say Goodbye to you as you were their best friend.
Pamporovo is located on approx. 1650m above sea level in the Perelik range of the Western Rhodope – one of the most beautiful places of the mountain.
It received its name from the convoys of mules of the local man Raicho Belev which followed one another as the wagons of a train carrying goods(from the Turkish word for “train” – pampor). In 1933 Chichovsky, a man from Chepelare, built the first tourist hostel there thus establishing the present resort.
The specific combination of natural conditions makes the resort beautiful all year round – the large spruce forests, picturesque meadows, strange rocky forms (the Orpheus rock and others), beautiful high peaks – Snejanka (1925m), Murgavetz (1858m), Orleto etc. The mountain surrounding the resort is composed of marble draining excess waters. The hills’ hunchbacked forms make the area very airy resulting in always fresh athmosphere.
Due to the influence of the Mediterranean climate the temperatures in the resort have small daily variations with average low temperature -7°C. Just one day on the slopes of Pamporovo is enough to give you a nice golden tan. With its more than 120 sunny days, and average snow layer of 140-150cm Pamporovo pretends to be the sunniest ans the southernmost ski resort in Europe.
The surrounding high peaks keep it from the winds and in winter preserve the snow cover on the Northern slopes of Snejanka and Murgavetz peaks. Typical of the region is that nature does not change its moods abruptly, keeping the risk of avalanches extremely low, and guaranteeing tranquility and safety. The area is abundant in natural slopes where many ski tracks, served by sophisticated technical equipment, have been built.
The ski tracks of Pamporovo come in all levels of difficulty. They are located between 1926 and 1450m above the sea level on the Northern, Eastern and Western slopes of Snejanka peak. All major tracks start from the very peak where the TV transmitting tower is located.
The most difficult track is called “The Wall”. Also, there are three cross-country runs available, as well as off-track skiing and snowboarding.It is a vast mountain so it highly recommended using a local guide when going off-track.
Near the tracks there are more than 10 ski storage an rental outlets where one can find ski outfits and equipment, snow-boards and sleighs. Skiers bringing their own equipment can also use these outlets for safe keeping. The ski-kindergarden is open from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm. There is a Police Station and Tourist Information Office in the resort.
The Mountain Rescue Service and the Emergency Ski Patrol work 24 hours a day. Ambulance and clinic are available, as well as first aid, on all ski slopes. Fully equipped and functioning hospitals are available in Smolyan and Chepelare. Highly qualified dentists and pharmacies are available at the resort.
However, some medical and all dental services must be paid cash to the doctors or clinics. They should provide the necessary bills, receipts and invoices describing the service and the cost, so that visitors can claim back the expense to their insurance company. It’s recommended to call the insurance company and inform them in case of injury, and follow their instructions.
Pamporovo is located 16km from Smolyan, 12 km from Chepelare, 35km from Devin, 83 km from Plovdiv, and 240 km from Sofia (the last two with international airports). There are regular bus lines connecting it to these cities, as well as shuttle and taxi services.
Day trips to Plovdiv or the nearby town of Smolyan might be considered. Sofia and the Bachkovo Monastery are of great interest too. The local people have developed a good selection of places to go. The staff in most places is professional, very helpful and friendly. English and Russian are widely spoken, as well as some other popular languages.
A big number of various shops are available at the resort. A shopping centre is available, too. In the TV and radio transmission tower on Snejanka peak there is a cafe, open for the public, with a panoramic view over the entire resort in clear days. Almost all hotels have restaurants and day bars.
Different types of restaurants and fast food are available in the resort and near the ski tracks. A number of cosy restaurants called Mehana offer traditional local and Bulgarian dishes and drinks. Most of the famous drinks are available. Local or imported alcohols, beers and wines are available at very reasonable prices. Regular “Happy hours” provide drinks on half price to start the night with.
Pamporovo is the starting point for many marked tourist tracks to: Smolyanski ezera Hut (2hrs 15min or 40min taking two lifts), Izgrev Hut (in Chernatitsa – 6hrs), Momchil Yunak Hut (in Prespa – 4hrs 30m), Perelik Hut (under the mountain leader of Golyam Perelik Peak – 4hrs 30m), the village of Progled (1hr 30m), the city of Smolyan (3hrs), The Orpheus Rock (20min from the Peak of Snejanka), the Murgavets Peak (1hr). The Studenets hut is a point of the European route E-8.
Written and contributed by Radyation