Bulgaria is still an emerging market, having only recently joined the European union.
The Bulgarians are still getting to grips with the free market economy, they will
be the first to admit that things are very different for them. Now that things are
not regulated, there seems to be a wide differential between the prices charged and
the service provided. It is therefore very important to have good recommendations
and avoid any poor services.
In France or Italy the general standard is expected to be of a certain quality, but
in Bulgaria it is different. If you can find the best, then the value for money and
quality of service will far exceed the more established western European ski resorts.
This applies to restaurants, transfers, ski hire and many other aspects of your holiday.
We found a local family man who is enterprising, reliable and honest, with a well
maintained spacious people carrier. He is well recommended in the Bulgarian ski forums
and by locals (and us). His name is Stoyan Petkov (nick named Steve). We have transferred
with Steve several times, he will even stop off for you at the local supermarket
so that you can stock up on essential provisions at no extra cost! Stoyan (Steve)
will contact you by mobile and can confirm flight times and any changes so that you
have a smooth trouble free transfer.
Contact details are as follows:
Transfers from Sofia Airport to Pamporovo - £ 160 for up to 6 passengers
Transfers from Plovdiv Airport to Pamporovo - £ 105 for up to 6 passengers
We usually hire a car in summer, to avoid the risk of driving in the snow and ice.
However, some holiday makers visiting the ski resort do hire a car and the main roads
are generally well cleared. When choosing your location within the ski resorts in
Bulgaria, it is best to choose one with good access from the main roads. During periods
of high snow fall (usually between December and April) smaller side roads can easily
become blocked with snow and if your hotel or apartment is isolated off the main
roads you will find yourself walking the last 1/2 mile to gain access! Not much fun
if the temperature is -3 degrees F and you are carrying a suitcase.
We have hired a car from TS Travel in Sofia, they provided a good serviceable car
and good reliable service. The cost is much lower than a National chain, such as
Hertz or Eurocar. But be careful! Some less reputable Bulgarian car hire companies
will not provide you with adequate insurance, unless you ask the right questions,
they will appear to be super cheap, but you will not be properly covered in the event
of an accident! We did a lot of research before choosing TS Travel and they also
respond promptly to emails with reasonably good English.