FOOD, WINE AND EATING OUT
A full range of international and regional cuisine is available in the restaurants of Bansko. Although Bansko prices remain significantly cheaper than in Alpine resorts, the cost of eating out in the surrounding villages is considerably less. The small hotel in Dobarsko has beautiful views of the Pirin mountains from its balcony and is near to our chalets. 1.2km further along a mountain road there is an organic trout farm with restaurant – select your own fish to be netted and cooked fresh, served with their home grown potatoes and vegetables, all for about £5.
In Banya we would recommend the Izgreva Spa and Aquilon Spa restaurants, or the restaurant below Pri Spaska Hotel in the village centre (try chicken kavarma it’s excellent).
Bulgaria is famous for red wines. Nevertheless it also produces fine Chardonnays and the area around Sandanski is renowned for Misket which is often drunk alone or as an aperitif (this is a dry white wine and not to be confused with Muscat). The area around the village of Melnik near Sandanski is particularly notable for wine production. It is well worth a day visit to Melnik, to sample the local varieties, together with a quick tour around the wine museum. Enjoy a meal in one of the many restaurants and the historical architecture.
Just 5 minutes beyond Melnik is the Rozhen Monastery, where the monks produce and sell their own wine to support restoration.
For beer drinkers, Bulgaria produces numerous lagers and also darker brews in winter. The price of a 500ml bottle in a restaurant is usually about £1, or enjoy a drink and snack in one of the parks in Razlog and Bansko.
SECOND CENTRE HOLIDAY
For those who prefer to be on the move, a visit to the Greek coastline around Kavala is enjoyable. The distance is approximately 100 miles or 160 km. A car ferry can be taken to Thassos Island for 11 Euro/car plus 3 Euro/passenger. Either drive yourself, or several companies in Bansko organise 2 - 3 day excursions.