Budget-friendly Borovets is a pretty ski resort, set amidst rolling pine forests...
However, with just 58km of pistes, you're in for a shock if you've already skied or snowboarded in one of the better Alpine or Rocky Mountain resorts. The prices are universally low compared to Western Europe and North America, though, and if money's tight, it's a lot better than not skiing at all.
Resort height: 1300m
Most of the runs in Borovets are of intermediate standard, but there is also a popular area of beginner slopes near the Rila hotel in the centre of the village. These can be crowded in high-season weeks, but are a good place to learn outside the school holidays, and the ski school has a long experience of teaching Brits. Once they've mastered their turns, beginners can then progress to a number of easy runs in both piste sectors.
Provided they don't mind skiing the same runs repeatedly over the course of a week, intermediates can also have fun in Borovets - though it's worth paying for some private tuition (cheap, compared with the Alps) to add interest to the week. Bear in mind that the old-fashioned lift system generates big queues during the school holidays.
More expert skiers and snowboarders should target a bigger, steeper resort in the Alps or the Rockies.
Borovets is in the Rila mountains, which are easily reached from the Bulgarian capital, Sofia...
The transfer from Sofia to the resort takes between an hour and and hour and a half.
Borovets is a great place to try skiing for the first time, while snowboarding beginners will also have enough choice...
However, advanced skiers and boarders - and even those who have achieved an intermediate level - are likely to find the small ski area and lack of steep slopes frustrating.
The main advantage of a ski holiday in Borovets is the cost. But the après-ski scene's not bad either...
Party animals can have a lot of fun in Borovets, fuelled by cheap beer and Bulgarian Raika. The Buzz bar, which opens at 3pm in the afternoon and shuts 13 hours later, is a popular venue. So too is Chilli Peppers Bar and Food, which serves burgers and wraps to hungry Brits who don't like their hotel's food. By general consensus, hotel cooking is not great in Bulgaria, and even if you've booked a half-board package, you may find yourself eating out on several nights at venues such as Mamacita's, where charming waiters and live music add extra spice to the Mexican food, and Katy's Steakhouse, which serves highly-rated hamburgers.
Day trips to Sofia and the monasteries at Rila, Bachkovo, and Preobrazhenie are the main attraction, although you can also visit hotel spas (open to the public during the day), try ice-skating or go ski-mobiling or tobogganing.
Cost of living 10/10
The best bit about Borovets is the price. You can pick up flights, transfers and a half-board accommodation package here for under £300 if you snap up a late-booking discount. Food and drink is cheap too.
Attractiveness of the resort 5/10
After fresh snowfall, the treelined pistes on the lower slopes are charming. The resort itself has a cheerful atmosphere (low prices have that effect on people!), but you couldn't call the big, slab-sided hotels pretty.