Razlog is a beautiful small town near Bansko, the most popular ski resort in Bulgaria. Bansko is known for its long ski slopes, traditional cuisine, and typical architecture. But Razlog has its unique charm and as a lover of the less-popular place, it always has been my favourite.
Bansko and Razlog lay fifteen kilometres from each other. Most people coming for skiing, stay in Bansko because it is more popular and close to the ski slopes. But people who like to be out of the buzz and are budget-conscious should consider Razlog. In many aspects, it is a better place as it has preserved its authenticity as they are fewer tourists.
The pictures are from the time when I lived there. A period I remember fondly and with an appreciation for the friends I found there.
1 – Razlog’s Location Is its Biggest Advantage
Razlog is located exactly in between the three most prominent mountains in Bulgaria – Rila, Pirin and Rhodope Mountains. This makes the climate very good for the health, nature interesting and tourism activities varied.
2 – Bulgaria’s Mountain Lifestyle – the Best Traditionally Preserved
Razlog is located in close proximity to a popular resort but has retained its authentic look and atmosphere. There, more than in Bansko, you can see the local lifestyle and get an idea of the local culture.
3 – Traditional New Year’s Carnival
Every year, on January 1st, people from all corners of Razlog gather for the New Years’s carnival. Both young and older start their carnival preparation from the previous year. But be aware! Walking the streets of Razlog on that day, mummers in masks can startle you and infants in their little costumes can make you smile tenderly.
Photo – Jordanka Tonkova
4 – Avoid the Crowds
If you want to avoid the crowds of skiers in Bansko, you can go to the local ski slope of Razlog, its name is “Kulinoto”. Not sure what is the price now but for sure it is several times lesser than the day-cards for the Bansko’s ski slopes. (Some years ago it was 12 levs). If you are a beginner or with young children this ski slope will be ideal for you. It is shorter and easier than the ones in Bansko.
5 – Alfresco Cafes and Restaurants
When I lived in Razlog, my favourite activity on weekend mornings was sipping from my coffee cup while people watching. The town centre is green, summer cafes are inviting places for relaxation and a lot of the surrounding buildings have architectural and historical charm.
6 – Local History
Razlog has an interesting past, which you can learn more about at the Historical Museum “Parapunov’s House” (picture above).
7 – Better Hotel Prices
The hotels in Razlog offer lower prices than those in Bansko and the gated communities in the area. Check some options and availabilities here.
8 – A Large Choice of Day-trips from Razlog
Within a short drive from Razlog, you can reach ski slopes, golf courses, mountains, villages-museums (such as Kovatchevitsa), and the regional capital Blagoevgrad (known for its youthful atmosphere due to the two universities). My personal favourite is the Dancing Bears Park in Belitsa (no, it is not a jail for the bears, it is safe heaven).
9 – Local Food
The mountains of Bulgaria have the best traditional food, maybe because of the natural ingredients and probably because Bulgaria’s culture was best reserved there during the five-centuries Ottoman rule. Some of the specialities you can taste here are Kapama -made of meat, rice and wine. I personally prefer Shoupla, a dish made with cheese, similar to pancakes.
10 – Razlog Is Great to Visit in Every Season!
You can enjoy visiting Razlog in both winter and summer seasons. In winter you can indulge in winter sports. In summer you can walk the mountains, climb peaks, but also sunbathe around the swimming pools of the local hotels. It’s an all-year-round-winner!
Razlog is a picturesque little town in the mountains of Bulgaria. Each season here has its own charm but there is something magical about Razlog covered with freshly-fallen snow. Because snow is one of the things that can make us happier people, isn’t it?
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