Bulgaria’s ski resorts open, but Interior Ministry warns against non-essential travel

Bulgaria’s mountain resorts of Pamporovo and Borovets opened their 2023/24 ski season on December 15, with Bansko to follow on December 16, but on the eve of the weekend, the Interior Ministry issued an appeal to motorists to put off non-essential travel.

Bulgaria’s weather forecasters issued weather warnings of some areas of the country for December 16.

The Code Orange warning of hazardous weather has been issued for Saturday for the southern halves of the districts of Yambol, Haskovo, Kurdzhali and Smolyan, because of forecast heavy snowfall, and for the southern half of the Bourgas district, because of forecast heavy rain.

The lesser Code Yellow warning of potentially hazardous weather has been issued for the western half of the Blagoevgrad district, parts of the Pazardzhik district and the southern half of the Plovdiv district, because of forecast snow, while it is in place for the Haskovo district because of forecast snow and strong winds, and for the northern parts of the Yambol and Bourgas districts because of forecast strong winds.

The remainder of Bulgaria is classified Code Green for Saturday, meaning that no weather warning is in place.

The Interior Ministry said that on December 15 that it had taken the necessary steps in connection with the expected difficult winter weather and the risks of snow and ice on the roads.

Measures have been taken to prevent motor vehicles not prepared for winter conditions from entering the mountain passes, the ministry said.

During the next 24 hours, as a result of the precipitation, there will be a significant rise in river levels in the Danube, Black Sea, East Aegean and West Aegean basins, it said.

The ministry said that motorists embarking on journeys should ensure that their cars had enough fuel and were prepared for winter conditions, and should choose only main roads, even if this meant a longer journey. People travelling should put on warm clothes and ensure that their mobile phones were charged.

Pamporovo opened its ski season with a “symbolic” five leva price for a daily lift card on December 15, and with the launch of a new modern six-seater lift, capable of travelling from Malina to Snezhanka peak in just six minutes. It may transport 3000 people per hour, according to the resort.

According to the resort’s official website, on December 15 snow cover amounted to 45cm, five lifts were working and six skin runs were open.

The official website of the Borovets resort said that snow cover was 70cm, with seven lifts working.

The slopes open were Sitnyakovo 1 (partly), Sitnyakovo ski way (partly), Martinovi Baraki 1, Cherveno zname (partly), Rila, Iglika, Rotata and Borosport school area, but not the Yastrebets ski centre, the resort said.

(Archive photo from Pamporov’s website)

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