When it comes to summer in Bulgaria the beaches and the Black Sea are calling. But one of the true gems and best places to spend the warmer months in Bulgaria is in the small mountain town of Bansko right below the Pirin National Park.
Bansko is an amazing place to visit pretty much all year round but there’s just something special about summer in Bansko!
While Bansko is pretty well-known for its great skiing during the winter season, summer is by far our favourite time of year to visit. So far, we’ve spent two summers here and we’re sure we’ll be back for more.
The long summer days, the awesome hiking in the Pirin Mountains, and all of the friends we’ve made through the coworking space make Bansko a summer paradise for us. In this post, we’ll share with you why…
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Everything you need to know about summer in Bansko
When we’re talking about summer in Bansko it’s not only July-August! June and September may not always be as warm as July and August but they can easily still be some of the best summer months in this mountain town.
Every year it seems like there are more and more things to do in Bansko. Each year new businesses open up offering new experiences and we constantly learn about new, fun hikes to do in the Pirin National Park.
E-bikes and e-scooters are definitely a hot topic in Bansko this year. Especially since there are so many great trails just at the foothills of the Pirin Mountains.
What we love the most about it here are the mountains, the good restaurants, and the all-around feeling we get from spending time in Bansko during the summer.
There really isn’t a place we feel as at ease and relaxed as we do in Bansko. We do come for the digital nomad community and spend a lot of time working but we also do a ton of fun things while we’re here.
Whether you’re coming just for a weekend or a week to enjoy Bansko during summer or if you’re here as a nomad for a few months there’s a good chance you’ll feel exactly what we feel.
There’s a reason why so many people who were planning just to come to visit for a few weeks end up staying for a few months.
Bansko is a little mountain paradise in Bulgaria that’s just waiting to be discovered!
The best summer activities in Bansko
Bansko is famous for its skiing and people flock here during the winter months to drink cheap beer and enjoy some epic skiing in the Pirin Mountains. But what if we told you summer in Bansko is even better than winter?
We truly believe people don’t realize the amount of things you can do in this small mountain town during the summer.
From mountain biking and white water rafting to enjoying a delicious dinner by the dam while watching the sunset, there’s an abundance of things to do in and around Bansko!
For the past few years, we usually spend at least a month here and the days just fly by because we’re always doing so much.
Of course, we’re working too but there are just so many outdoor activities to do that makes Bansko the perfect summer destination. So let’s dive into what they are!
Hiking in Bansko during the summer
One of our favourite summer activities in Bansko is exploring the Pirin Mountains.
We look at Vihren and Todorka every morning when we wake up and every afternoon from the coworking place. It’s like they’re just teasing us all day long until we finally make our way up the mountain and summit another peak.
Late June (once all the snow and storms are gone) is an awesome time to go hiking the Pirins. July and August are arguably the warmest months but also the busiest months of the year for hiking in the Pirins.
If you do hike in those busy months try to go during the weekdays or early to avoid some of the crowds – both on the trails and in the parking lot which has limited spots close to the trailheads.
September-October is also an awesome time to go hiking here if you get lucky with the weather. There are a lot fewer people on the trails. The weather is usually pretty good this time of year as well although sometimes it can be a little unpredictable in the Pirin Mountains.
On a nice fall day with the sun shining when the trees are starting to turn yellow and orange, you can easily have one of the best hiking days of the season.
We have a ton of different hikes to recommend for you as well. You can find a bunch of different hikes to do from Bansko here.
One that stands out for sure has to be Vihren Peak since it’s the second tallest mountain in Bulgaria and the tallest in the Pirin National Park. Every year on July 1st, locals and travellers hike up to the summit of Vihren to catch the sunrise.
This is part of a Bulgarian tradition that started in the 1970s and 1980s by the Black Sea where people would gather to catch the first rays of sun on the first day of July as a symbol of new beginnings and freedom. This tradition has now spread over the country and people will do it in Bansko as well.
St Nikola Waterfall & Church
For an easy hike that starts right in town, the St Nikola Waterfall is the perfect hike to do. You can easily start from your hotel in Bansko and be back in less than 3 hours!
Leave No Trace
When you go out in nature, remember to practice “Leave No Trace”. You can learn and read more about the 7 Principles of Leave no Trace here.
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and Camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impacts
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of others
Bansko outdoor swimming pools
You might be lucky and your accommodation or hotel in Bansko has an outdoor pool which is perfect during the summer. We’ve heard in July-August it can get up to 40 degrees so an outdoor pool is a lifesaver on those days.
If you’re not so lucky and don’t have an outdoor pool where you’re staying, don’t worry!
You can access a lot of the hotel pools in Bansko for 5 to 10 leva a day and some of the hot springs in Bansko also have outdoor pools (that aren’t hot) you can use!
Regnum Aquapark is probably our favourite place to spend a warm summer afternoon in Bansko. It’s close to town and you can easily walk there from the center of Bansko which is awesome. The entrance costs around 10 Leva and you can hang out there all day.
If you’re looking to cool down during the hot summer days it’s perfect. Honestly, nothing is more refreshing than going for a nice, cool dip on a warm sunny day.
Tennis in Bansko
One of our favourite activities to do in Bansko during the summer is to play tennis. Over the years we’ve found a few local courts that are free to use which is awesome if you bring your own tennis rackets and balls.
There are also plenty of tennis shops that sell rackets and balls in town. If you want to play without a trainer and without paying for a court, Bansko is perfect.
There are times when the courts are busy and you have to wait a bit but most of the time you can find at least one available free court in town.
If you’re just beginning or don’t have anyone to play with you can also go to the paid courts in Bansko where you can get lessons and play with a coach!
There’s a Facebook Group called Bansko Tennis where you can find any and all information related to tennis in Bansko.
Free tennis courts Bansko
The other one is a hard court which you can find here. The hard court is located right next to a school. Both of these places have two courts to play at.
The last free court in Bansko can be found here. It’s not the best court but if the other ones are occupied and you want to play then it does the trick!
Paid tennis courts Bansko
The paid tennis court in Bansko can be found here. It’s great if you’re looking for somewhere to play with a coach or don’t have your own tennis racket and balls.
Mountain biking in Bansko
Like most mountain towns around the world mountain biking is a popular summer activity to do. Bansko has some great mountain bike trails at the foothills of the mountains where you can cruise around and enjoy the chill trails.
If you’re looking for something a bit more extreme you can get a gondola pass and ride the gondola down on the steeper and more extreme trails.
There is a great community in Bansko called Snowboarding GIRLS Bansko & Friends (run by our friend, Maria) which organizes snowboarding in the winter and mountain biking in the summer.
This is community-based and for females who want to join the outdoors together. It’s a great way to make friends and get out on the trails at the same time!
Another option is to go on one of the guided mountain bike tours in Bansko with experts in the area who know the best trails and where to go. You can either go on an Enduro Mountain Bike Day Trip or on an E-bike Enduro Tour.
There are a few good mountain bike companies in town that offer both tours and bike rentals.
Sport Box Bansko is a great place to rent mountain bikes. You can also go talk to the staff at one of the bike rentals in Bansko when you’re in town and ask how much rentals will cost.
From our experience though, most bike rentals cost around the same and the prices are very reasonable for what you get.
Off-roading in Bansko
From e-scooters to ATVs, Bansko is an off-roading paradise during the summer.
If you’re looking for a bit of an adrenaline rush and want to experience the wild side of the Bansko outdoors then hop in an ATV, try out an E-scooter, or go on a jeep tour.
It’s a great way to get out and see the Pirin Mountains from below while cruising down some of the best trails in the mountains.
Over the years these have become quite popular adventure activities to do in Bansko and you’ll definitely be able to find a few good companies that offer tours such as Off-Road Bansko, Traventuria and Bansko Extreme!
Go on a wine-tasting tour from Bansko
Nothing screams summer like enjoying some nice wine at a local winery! Bansko itself isn’t located in a wine region in Bulgaria but you can very easily get to Melnik which is a town in Southern Bulgaria just an hour and a half away.
The town itself is actually quite beautiful too so it really makes for an awesome weekend or day trip from Bansko. You can go explore Melnik and then stop by Villa Melnik and experience one of the best wineries in Bulgaria.
River rafting near Bansko
Another awesome outdoor adventure to do near Bansko is river rafting! The rafting itself isn’t right in Bansko but you can go on a guided trip to the Struma River where you can experience the Bulgarian rapids!
You’ll make your way through the Kresna Gorge where you’ll cruise through around 13 rapids!
It’s such a cool experience and it also gets you out into Bulgarian nature where you get to see a bit outside of Bansko!
Join a gym in Bansko
Depending on how long you plan to stay in Bansko, joining a gym can be a nice place to hide from the sun when you’re looking for a chill day inside or in the shade.
(Joining a gym is also a great way to stay in shape for all the awesome hikes you’ll likely be doing! 😉)
There are quite a few good gyms in town which is really nice, especially for a small mountain town of 12.000 people.
FitBox Club Bansko is a great place to go if you’re looking for a simple gym that has everything you need. It costs 50 leva a month and it actually has one of the best views in the city.
FitBox gym is located on the third floor of a building in the center of town and while it’s not the largest gym it has everything you need. You can also get a personal trainer for 20 to 25 leva per hour there (depending on which trainer you book)!
Another solid option is Pulse Fitness which is located inside the Grand Hotel Bansko (one of the hotels we recommend in Bansko). This gym has everything you need and more…
Pulse Fitness has a steam and sauna room where you’ll even find a cold plunge. So once you’re done with your workout and want to give your muscles a bit of a break this is great.
Even if you’re not in the mood for the gym and want to just enjoy the sauna or steam room on a rainy day, you can do that as well! It’s a nice amenity to have while spending the summer in Bansko!
The best part is you can buy monthly memberships which are fairly cheap or just pay for a daily pass if you aren’t staying for a full month.
Enjoy the hot springs around Bansko
Another great activity to do around Bansko is visiting the hot springs! Bulgaria in general is quite known for its hot springs and Bansko is no exception.
There are a ton of great hot springs in and around Bansko so depending on whether you have a car or not and want to visit one of the neighbouring villages you can do that.
Most of the hot springs have both hot, warm, and cool pools so there’s a pool for whatever temperature you’re in the mood for.
We love to go in the evenings and enjoy the calmness of the hot springs before enjoying a nice local Bulgarian dinner at the restaurants that are connected to the facilities at most of the hot springs.
Join a coworking space Bansko
A fun fact about Bansko is that there are quite few coworking spaces in town and it’s one of the best ways to meet other people in Bansko.
We’ve been coming back to Coworking Bansko for 3 years now and it’s such an awesome way to meet other digital nomads and remote workers.
Of course, if you’re just on holiday and here to enjoy all the fun activities Bansko has to offer then you can just skip this part. But if you’re a remote worker and are looking to connect with other like-minded people, Bansko is the perfect place.
We’ve only ever tried out Coworking Bansko but there are other coworkings in town as well that we’ve heard great things about.
Check out the local restaurants in Bansko
One way to experience a country’s culture is to try out the local, traditional food. Bansko is a touristy mountain town but there are still tons of local restaurants around town that serve delicious Bulgarian dishes.
There are a ton of “Mehanas” around town which are basically taverns that serve delicious local food!
We’ve mentioned some of our favourite restaurants in Bansko in this post. There are definitely a lot more than that but in our post we’ve highlighted the ones we like the most that we visit regularly.
Check out the local Bansko market
Every Sunday here in Bansko there is an amazing farmers market right next to the town square. It’s an awesome place to get your local fruits and vegetables for the week and a fun way to interact with locals as well!!
There is a huge variety of different things you can buy. We absolutely love the homemade peanut butter! It’s just so good and only costs 10 leva.
There are tons of other things you can get as well like eggs, pastries, jams, cheeses, and wines. You name it and you can probably find it there.
To us, the Sunday market is such a cool experience. You have all the locals selling yummy food and the majority of the customers are other local Bulgarians, people spending the weekend in Bansko, and other nomads like us.
The Sunday Market is definitely something you have to check out while you’re in Bansko during the summer.
Bansko Nomad Fest
The Bansko Nomad Fest is one of the highlight events during the summer in Bansko. 2023 was the 4th nomad fest and it plans to continue into 2024.
The fest has grown every single year since the first event in 2020 where there were only 60 participants. In 2024 the plan is to have over 1000 nomads attend the event.
Bansko Nomad Fest is a gathering of people from all around the world who work conventional and unconventional jobs that are all here to celebrate the independent lifestyle.
It is such a fun time to reconnect with old friends and meet a ton of new friends as well through all sorts of different events, networking opportunities, and activities.
It’s a great way to experience Bansko and connect with all the other nomads! We love Bansko Nomad Fest and recommend it to anyone who’s interested in or already is living this lifestyle!
Other fun activities to do in Bansko during the summer
On top of everything we mentioned above, there are still other random and fun outdoor activities you can do here.
You can check out this list of other fun things to do in Bansko to find more inspiration for things to do in Bansko during the summer.
With all this, you should easily be able to fill out your summer here in this awesome mountain town!
Where to stay in Bansko
If you’re staying in Bansko short term, there are plenty of good hotels in Bansko to stay at. Sometimes during the summer, you can find some pretty good deals at the hotels for longer stays as well. Some hotels also have pools available which is perfect after a long day in the heat.
Airbnb sometimes has the prices set a lot higher than the local prices but if you contact the owner and tell them you’re staying long-term (+1 month) they will sometimes give you a better deal.
The local rental prices for digital nomads in Bansko range from €130 to €500 a month.
Bansko in general is much more affordable during the summer months than in the winter when everyone is here for the ski season.
We’ve been lucky enough to find places for around 500 leva ($300) per month. When you compare the prices of everything else, Bansko is a very affordable summer destination in Europe.
How to get to Bansko from Sofia
It’s actually relatively easy to get from Sofia to Bansko which is super nice! Depending on how much you’re willing to spend you can either take a private shuttle or go by public transport.
We personally take the bus every time since it’s only 20 leva per person ($10 per person) but it’s definitely easier and faster to take a private shuttle.
The private shuttle (through the Bansko app) is very convenient and they can pick you up directly from the airport which is really nice.
So depending on when your flight arrives, what you’re looking for, and how much you want to pay you can easily get to Bansko in less than 3 hours!
Another option that we never considered which a lot of people do is to rent a car. Especially if you’re here for a few weeks and want to drive around and explore near Bansko then renting a car may be perfect!
Related post: The Best Ways to Get From Sofia to Bansko
Other related questions about summer in Bansko
What is the best month for Bansko?
For summer activities in Bansko like hiking, mountain biking, and anything else outdoors-related, late June and September are the best times to spend some time in Bansko.
July and August are also great months for outdoor adventures. Those months tend to be a bit busier and hotter than June and September but it’s still a great time to visit!
For skiing and other winter sports, March is supposed to be the best time to visit Bansko. January and February can also be great months here for skiing. It is also the time of year when Bansko is the busiest.
What is the weather like in Bansko during Summer?
The summer months in Bansko do get very warm! You’re really not that far from Greece and during the summer months, Bansko feels very Mediterranean with how hot it gets!
You can easily get anywhere between 25-35 degrees Celsius during the summer months here in Bansko (July and August).
June is still shoulder season here with slightly cooler weather and some snow on the peaks. The day temperatures are averaging around 25 degrees Celsius with some rain and thunderstorms in between.
September is also a great time to visit with an average temperature of 23 degrees Celsius during the day with the occasional rainfall.
Why is Bansko so popular?
Bansko is one of the most popular destinations in Bulgaria thanks to Bansko Ski Resort. It’s one of the best places to ski in Bulgaria and a very popular place to spend time during the winter.
Over the years Bansko has also become a popular destination for Digital Nomads as well because of the coworking spaces that have popped up and the community.
Last but not least, because of the amazing hiking during the summer months people have started to flock to the Pirin National Park to hike some of the highest peaks in Bulgaria (Vihren Peak).
Is Bansko a party resort?
Bansko is indeed a party resort. It’s not like the whole town of Bansko becomes a big party resort but there are definitely areas of the city that become quite party-like. This is mostly in the winter though!
The main party areas in Bansko are downtown near the Trinity Church and Pirin 75 and also near the gondola. These places become really popular during the winter months when lots of tourists flock to Bansko to ski and party.
Is the water in Bansko drinkable?
Yes, the tap water in Bansko is drinkable. There are stories from local Bulgarians that say Bansko has some of the best drinking water in the country since it’s coming straight from the Pirin Mountains!
You may also like…
- 5 Beautiful Hikes to Do in the Pirin National Park
- World Nomads vs SafetyWing: Which Travel Insurances Is Best?
- 5 Awesome Hotels to Stay at in Bansko, Bulgaria
- 30 Fun Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in Bansko, Bulgaria
- Living in Bansko as a Digital Nomad
Recap on spending summer in Bansko
Every year it seems like Bansko is getting more and more popular during the summer months and for good reason.
From outdoor adventures in the mountains to adrenaline experiences down below, Bansko has become a little outdoor haven in the past few years.
You mix in some coworking spaces, affordable cost of living, good restaurants, and a whole lot more you have one of the best outdoor summer destinations in Europe!
If you have any questions about Bansko, the best hotels in Bansko, coworking, hiking, or anything else related to this little mountain town, feel free to reach out!
You can DM us on Instagram or leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
Bansko is one of our favourite places and the more time we spend here the better it gets. We hope you make it here one day – and who knows, maybe we’ll even bump into each other!