Inside the wild ‘Magaluf of the Slopes’ ski resort swamped with Brits where there are 89p beers & crazy parties
WHILE Europe suffered one its worst ever starts to the winter ski season, one Balkan town was swamped with Brits who love its 89p beers and chaotic nightlife.
Nestled in the foothills of south Bulgaria lies Bansko, a quaint town now overrun with wild parties thanks to its reputation as Europe’s cheapest ski destination.
Once the last ski lift closes at 5pm and the sun disappears behind the Pirin Mountains, neon lights illuminate the strip and the debauchery begins.
Swathes of horny, raucous tourists descend upon Pirin Street, a 500-yard that runs thought the centre of the ski town.
It is where travellers can find a plethora of bars, two litre bottles of beer for 89p and more than ten exotic strip clubs.
At about 2am, Bobby, a young Brit from West London, spilled out of Amigo’s Pub with hundreds of other revellers.
“Stag, stag, stag,” he heard from one direction.
“Shaggy, shaggy,” from another.
“Please mister, come into my club I have a football team of virgin women waiting to meet you,” he heard from a bearded man holding a juicy Bulgarian kebab.
Bobby told The Sun Online: “I’ve been coming here for about ten years.
“This is the first time I haven’t seen snow on the street but f*** it mate, there is plenty of carnage to keep us occupied.”
Bansko is about a two hour drive from the capital, Sofia, and is surrounded by Unesco World Heritage Pirin National Park that offers 30 miles of pistes.
About 230,000 skiers descend upon its slopes every year.
However, the end of 2022 saw record-breaking warm temperatures across Europe, melting away any hope of snow.
But any time not spent on the mountain is made up for in the hedonistic haunts that are woven into its urban fabric.
If Brits find themselves stuck without snow, they are usually found downing £2.60 pints before launching into a routine nightly escapades.
Dylan Kilbride moved to Bulgaria two years ago.
He instantly fell in love with Bansko and its shenanigans.
He told The Sun Online: “Chaos, it’s chaos.
“What I mean by that, is when it comes to bars there really are no rules, they’ll be setting s*** on fire, CO2 cannons blowing napkins and there will always be a giant dildo behind the bar.
“It’s also not unusual to see whipped cream getting licked off peoples’ nipples, sparklers in peoples a**es, stag dos full of drunk Oompa Loompas… and drunk does not do it justice.”
One of the draws for the Brit hotspot is how cheap it is, with one Bulgarian Lev worth 45p.
Dylan said: “If you have western money, the night is all yours.
“You can get two litre bottles of beer for the guts of a euro, if even.
“And in town, the most you’re going to pay for a pint at a bar is six lev (£2.73).”
A software engineer by trade, Dylan capitalised on the opportunity to guide partygoers around town.
Word spread fast, and soon Dylan started the Bansko Bar Crawls.
They run weekly from January to March and usually attract more than 60 people from all over the world.
Dylan said: “In Bansko, you really don’t know what you’re going to get on a crawl.
“One stop might be a rock bar, next might be a live band, maybe a magician, acrobats all the way to sexy dancers… there’s really something for everybody.
“The party area is concentrated into about 500m of road.
“So you have thousands upon thousands of people filling the streets on most nights… it’s just chaos.”
The top partying scenes in Bansko include Jack’s House, Flash Club, The Club Bansko, Oxygen Club, Amigo’s and Queens pub.
While the small Bulgarian town might not compare to Austria’s party capital Ischgl, the little village still packs a punch.
Dylan said: “I don’t know if I would compare it to the recklessness of Magaluf but it is party on snow for sure.
“Everyone has fun here, they ski, they get drunk, and its rinse and repeat for six days.”
Those seeking after-hours attractions are also well catered for.
Dylan said: “Off the top of my head, if you drew a 500m radius around the middle of town you could probably spit at five or six strip clubs if not more.”
Amid the mayhem, partygoers could almost forget the reason Bankso became a resort – the snow.
Across Europe, Bansko consistently offers among the best value for money, according to reviews.
The highest point of the ski centre is 8,398ft and from there 46 miles of powdered runs extend to the village.
In a good season, the longest of its 16 runs stretches about ten miles.
Dylan said: “Bulgaria as a country is epic.
“And Bansko would be its snow town mecca.
“No one knows it exists because it’s in the back a**e of Europe with a quirky reputation.
“But as far as places go for a budget holiday it is epic – you’ll be sure to have a good week if you come here.”