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Shiligarnik ski lift – an opportunity to contemplate the winter beauty of Bansko

Lift Shiligarnik in Pirin mountain

Bansko – a place that doesn’t stop surprising

No matter how much we talk about Bansko, we won’t be able to exhaust the topic of Bansko, because this beautiful mountain town has accumulated in itself a rich reserve of thousands of years of history, culture, and the nature in the region can’t be described with words. In this article we will introduce you to another magnificent place in Bansko, which must be included in the list of sites of every visitor of Banko. 

With its variety of landmarks, cultural, historical and archaeological sites of national importance, great picturesque places created by Mother Nature, Bansko will impress you. If you are going there, don’t miss to get on the Shiligarnika ski lift – one of the many beautiful places that Pirin Mountain has given us. 

You will also be charmed by the hospitality of the local people, as well by the variety of delicious traditional dishes from Bansko which you can try in the taverns and restaurants, the aromatic red wine that first grew on the fertile lands of the region. 

Ski season of the ski lift

Interesting facts about the Shiligarnik ski lift

One of the places that every Bulgarian or foreign tourist should visit is the Shiligarnika lift. If you are a fan of the winter adventures and skiing, this is the right place for you. The Shiligarnika ski lift is located in Pirin Mountain at a distance of 10 kilometers southwest of the capital of the winter sports and about 170 kilometers away from Sofia city.

It is divided into Lower and Upper Shiligarnik and it is one of the oldest ski lifts in Bansko. Its name has historically arisen due to the fact that in the past lambs spent the nights there.  

The town of Bansko is connected with Bunderishka Polyana through the modern cabin lift, as there is a stop at the medium station Chalin Valog. Near the Shiligarnika lift there is an asphalt road. Initially its capacity was 800 people per hour and currently the lift accommodates 2500 people per hour. The route takes about 6 – 10 minutes, compared to the 20 minutes needed in the past, and all safety measures for the tourists are taken.  

The Shiligarnika is the biggest ski resort in Pirin Mountain. It has been functioning since 2003. The lift has six seats, before its renovation it had three seats. It is built in 1985. Unfortunately, there is not yet a regular transport line to it. 

The total distance between the two stops of the Shiligarnik ski lift is 706 m. It serves some of the most beautiful ski runs in the resort, such as Shiligarnik 1, Plato 1 and 2. After them, there are the ski runs Tomba, Balkaniada, Petitzata, Desetkata. The Shiligarnik ski lift has a total length of 2050m, as its displacement is 706 m. 

The height of the first station is 1720 m above sea level, and the final station is at height 2423 m, as there are only 323 meters remaining to the Todorka peak. The lower station of the lift is located in the area Upper Shiligarnik at 1725 m above sea level, it passes through the Plato area at 2196 m.

 The lift to Plato has four seats and is 2050 m long. The upper part of the lift is located in the Echmisha area which is located at a height of 2450 m northern below the rocky foot of Todorka peak which is 2746 m high. 

The length of Shiligarnik ski lift leading to Todorka peak is 2350 m and it has three seats, and its height is 705 m. In fact, Todorka peak is divided into 3 parts. Golyama Todorka is the highest part of the peak, there is also Sredna Todorka which is 2708 m high and Malka Todorka with height of 2693 m.

Thanks to the modernization of the ski-line “Shiligarnika”-“Todorka peak” in 2015, the lines of people waiting for the lift are significantly reduced and the movement of the lift is faster and more comfortable. The new pillars of the lift are placed with the help of helicopters from Switzerland, each one of the pillar weights 10 tons. The lift with 6 seats is designed by the Italian company “Leitner” and its ropeway weights 46 tons. 

Ski run to the ski lift

The Plato ski run is the highest ski run in Bulgaria. It is divided into Plato 1 and Plato 2, as it is of medium difficulty. The beginning of the ski run is from the meadow of the upper lift station, located next to Todorka peak. This station of the ski tow leads the skiers to the Plato – the highest ski run in Bulgaria. It offers excellent conditions for skiing even in May.

Moreover, this ski run provides an opportunity for the skiers to make slopes down with different level of advancement and there are different spurs. The ski run Shilingarnika is spacious and it offers conditions both for advanced skiers and for beginners.

An interesting fact is that the winter World Student Games were held at the ”Balkaniada” ski run in 1984. The Balkaniada ski run is of medium difficulty and it can be reached with the three-seat lift.

Everywhere in the ski resort there are information boards that serve as a guide to help tourists and to orientate them easily to all ski runs, showing the level of their difficulty, as they contain information also about directions to important points, cafes and other. All ski runs in the resort are safe and are maintained very well. They are equipped with machines for artificial snow. 

The resort offers the services of ski and snowboard instructors, as well of professional guides for those tourist who wish to see all routes. 

In the lower part of this chairlift there is a small tourist village which offers many cozy restaurants where the tourists can recharge the energy after a long day of skiing. There are various bars, restaurants, cafes, tea-rooms that offer food and beverages. They are located very close to the ski runs. 

Ski slope in the Pirin mountain

Close to the Shiligarnika ski lift is located the hotel Shiligarnika with capacity of 15 beds, it has a night bar, its own transport and the kitchen offers a variety of the traditional and delicious dishes of Bansko. In the Shiligarnika area you can find also Villa Shiligarnika. It has a tavern that is surrounded by centuries-old Pirin white firs and it is only 100 m away from the ski runs.

Close to the Shiligarnika lift there is an asphalt road. This roads provides an easy and comfortable access to the “Banderitsa” hut which is at a distance of 4 kilometers, and to the Vihren hut – at a distance of 7 kilometers. These huts are the starting points to “Vihren” peak from where we can easily climb to it. Also we can start from there and choose to take a number of marked touristic trails. The huts offer comfortable conditions throughout the year. All tourist can stay in the huts for the night and enjoy the good food, the nature and the mountain beauty of Bansko.