ARTICLES 
Bulgaria attracts with its low prices
Article by Sunday Business Post, 31 Oct 2004

Bulgaria has had its fair share of both good and bad press over the past couple of years, but it is still an area which has proven very popular with Irish property investors. The obvious lure here is price,but the Irish have, in recent times, been acknowledged across Europe as property investors with an eye for an asset that will show good appreciation.

In that respect, the interest drawn to ski resorts here is more likely to be related to a vision of potential down the line, rather than purely being a price-based play.

Bulgaria is a burgeoning area for ski tourists. You may have tomake dowith abit less than you would in some of the more established regions, but it is certainly a market to keep an eye on for the future, and as such, has obvious attractions for the property investment community. The one serious advantage the area has over more established destinations is price, but it ispossible tofind plenty of underdeveloped ski resorts if you are prepared to take a look around, and this in itself is an attraction for many ski enthusiasts.
Regular foreign visitors to Bulgaria will probably be well aware of the most popular ski resorts at Borovets, Pamporovo and Bansko. Along withthese, the country is also developing further resorts in its beautiful mountains of Rila, Pirin and Rhodopi.

The most visited resort is probably still Borovets.This is a purpose-built resort which has been a favoured skiing destination for predominantly British skiers and snowboarders over the last 20 years.

Many people prefer Pamporovo, as it is not as urbanised as Borovets, and would certainly be the nature lover's choice. The slopes here are considered easier to ski,with lots of pine forests and beautiful scenery. One of the up and coming areas here is Chepelare, a traditional Bulgarian town with residential areas and two main ski slopes, one of which is the longest ski piste on the Balkan peninsula. The area is alsowell served by chair lifts, so it may well be one to keep an eye on in the future.

There are (as yet unconfirmed) rumours that Ryanair is to start flights to Plovdiv airport, which is 80 kilometres from Pamporovo. Should this come to fruition, it will improve access to the area greatly, as Sofia airport is 230 kilometres fromthe resort. Vitosha is one of the more underrated skiing areas in Bulgaria, having being developed as a ski resort during the communist era.There is one obvious advantage from an accessibility point of view - Sofia airport is just a tenminute drive away.

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