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A modern ski resort in the heart of the Rhodope Mountains at an altitude of 5,413ft (1,650m), Pamporovo is a popular holiday destination with its sunny climate and powdery snow. The town provides a variety of excellent ski runs for all degrees of difficulty, most of them starting from the Snejanka peak above the resort, and the ski school centre is one of the best in Europe with highly qualified instructors and an international reputation.
The unique Mediterranean climate is extremely healthy and provides excellent conditions for climatic therapy and health tourism all year round, including a Balneotherapy Centre that operates from within the resort. Off the slopes there are numerous opportunities for entertainment and interesting tourist attractions; the Rhodope Mountains have long been the source of legends and stories, including the mythical singer Orpheus, and the region is full of rich folk traditions and culture.
Ski season in Pamporovo comes hand in hand with a full programme of events and activities for holiday visitors to enjoy, ranging from bum-boarding to a raucous ski-instructor's show. Bowling is offered at hotels, ice-skating, skidooing and tobogganing are popular pastimes, and excursions to nearby places of interest and Sofia are on offer.
Bulgarian is the official language, which uses the Cyrillic alphabet, but English, German and French is spoken in resorts, hotels and restaurants.
The official currency is the Lev (BGN), which is divided into 100 stotinki. The Lev is tied to the Euro at a fixed rate of EUR1 = 1.955 lev. Bulgaria has strict currency regulations. If you enter Bulgaria with cash of any currency amounting to the equivalent of 8,000 leva or more, you must declare it to customs officials. Foreign currency may be exchanged in banks, hotels or at one of the numerous bureaux de change, however due to a common practice of misleading rates of exchange it is better to go to banks or hotels to change money.
A receipt called a bordereauxis issued when exchanging currency, indicating the amount that will be given, and it must be kept until departure. Not all banks accept travellers cheques and those that do usually charge a 5% commission. Major international credit cards are increasingly becoming accepted by tourist hotels, upmarket shops and restaurants, travel agents and car rental agents, but Bulgaria is still largely a cash economy. There are ATMs in the main cities and at Black Sea resorts.
The barking of stray dogs can become a nuisance to holidaymakers, especially at night. There are not many slopes suited to experienced skiers.
The nightlife in Pamporovo is lively with plenty of options to choose from, whether you're the kind of holidaymaker who prefers sipping wine in a cosy piano bar, or partying the night away in a club. Most popular choices are BJ's in the lobby of the hotel Perelik, Daks Bar in the hotel Snejanka, Night Flight, the resort's largest disco, in the Hotel Rojen, or the White Hart pub.
Pamporovo restaurants serve a wide variety of cuisine, but most holidaymakers favour the local folk taverns like the Chevermeto, where whole sheep are roasted over open fires and dancers in traditional costumes provide colourful entertainment. For an eclectic, filling selection the favourite eatery is The White Hart, which offers home-made pub grub, mouth-watering steaks, a selection of pizza and pasta and even caters well for vegetarians. More upmarket dining, along with fine Bulgarian wines, is offered in style at The White House.
The main shopping centre in Pamporovo, containing mostly boutiques, souvenir shops and sports gear outlets, is attached to the Hotel Perelik and holidaymakers will not be disappointed. There is also a shopping centre at Murgavets Hotel. Many stores sell traditional Bulgarian souvenirs, and there is a variety of shops that stock ski equipment.
Local time is GMT +2 (GMT +3 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October).