General information about Chepelare

Chepelare is a town and ski resort in Southern Bulgaria. It is situated in the central part of the Rhodopes, on the banks of Chepelare River. Chepelare is becoming a more and more popular winter resort with one of the longest ski runs in Southeastern Europe. It is located about 11 km away from Pamporovo resort, approximately 70km from Plovdiv and 219km from Sofia.

Chepelare is a favorite holiday destination for many people throughout the year. Summer time tourists can enjoy hiking, horse riding and various other outdoor activities. Winter is famous with the great quantity of snowfall which guarantees great experience for the ski and snowboard fans.

The town is known for the only ski and snowboard factory on the Balkan peninsula. The factory cooperates with “Atomic Ski”, one of the world-famous ski brands. Chepelare is also popular for being the birthplace of biathlete Ekaterina Dafovska, Bulgaria's only Winter Olympics gold medal winner. The local Sports School provides good conditions for young winter athletes.

The annual mid temperature is 7,3C°. January is the coldest month, and August is the hottest month. There are more than 2000 hours of sun shining in a year.

Ski runs in Chepelare

Chepelare started Winter season 2009/ 2010 with a total of 20 km ski- runs. A brand new high speed quad lift was officially presented. Its capacity is 2000 people per hour. The quad lift passes the distance of 2700m from the bottom station to Mechi Chal peak just in 9 minutes. There are some more small drag lifts in Chepelare resort. The skiing infrastructure is a bit basic, but it’s well maintained and quite satisfying for both beginners and intermediates.

There are different types of ski- runs in Chepelare- green, blue, red and even black. For example, Mechi Chal 2 is a combined green and red ski run, which is 5250 m long. Mechi Chal 1 is a really good black run about 3150m long. There is a cross- country track in Chepelare /30km/ and a biathlon track /5km/.

A new and very expensive system for artificial snow can be found in Chepelare. The snow cannons can provide the needed snow cover for just 100 hours of work at a temperature -3?C. The Austrian company “Access” projected the lift approach in such a way that no queue appears, even in the busiest times of the day.

Another quite impressive feature of Chepelare ski runs is the fact, that Wi-Fi connection is available everywhere on the slopes for free.

Chepelare Ski Map
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Places to visit in Chepelare

Chepelare and Pamporovo are only 10km away and everything we have mentioned in "Pamporovo summer vacation" section could be also done if you are staying in Chepelare. Here you are some additional ideas of must- visit places in Chepelare:

The Cave Museum was opened in January 1980, by a local man named Dimitar Raichev and is the only one of its kind on the Balkan peninsula . It was created with help of the local speleological club whose main goal was to create tourist paths in the nearby Yagodinska and Devil’s Throat caves. The museum documents caves and geological cave formations from the dawn of time. The museum contains around 9400 objects and cover such topics as cave geology, mineralogy, cave archaeology and animal life. There is a lecture hall with 60 seats, a laboratory and a library with 730 different science books.

The Ski Museum of Chepelare was opened in May 1998 to honour Ekateria Dafovska’s gold medal win in the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. She became world champion in the sport of biathlon. She was born and Chepelare and was trained there as well. The museum documents the evolution of winter sports and skiing in the area along with the hard work and efforts of those individuals that contributed to its development. The museum contains over 700 different exhibits that display the rich history of winter sports in the region.

The Church of the Virgin Mary was built from 1860 to 1866 during the Bulgarian Revival. It is one of the oldest in the Rhodopi region and contains breathtaking hand painted murals that cover the walls and ceilings. Today it remains an important cultural piece of local history.

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