Hong Kong has the big city specials like smog, odour, 14 million elbows and an insane love of clatter. But it's also efficient, hushed and peaceful: the transport network is excellent, the shopping centres are sublime, and the temples and quiet corners of parks are contemplative oases. The best thing about being in Hong Kong is getting flummoxed and fired by the confluences ...



Bulgaria Big Boom in Ski Resorts

Since the return of democracy to Bulgaria in 1989, one of the most significant developments has been in the sphere of tourism and, parallel to it, a rapidly growing interest in realizing hitherto unsuspected possibilities for foreign investments in real estate. The length of the Black Sea coastline, well-known in the 1960s and 1970s as the holiday playground of Bulgarians and the citizens of other Soviet bloc countries, has undergone a massive transformation into one of the most attractive talked-about destinations for European tourists. It has been characterized enthusiastically as a second Costa Brava.Many visitors, after their first unforgettable vacation, came back, this time looking to invest in new seaside apartments built off-plan in astoundingly beautiful new property developments at incredibly low prices. Add to this the accession of Bulgaria as a full EU member state in 2007 and you understand immediately that the prospects are unusually attractive.

The renaissance in summer tourism on the Black Sea coast is complimented by the discovery by winter sports lovers of the excellent facilities and almost unexploited possibilities of Bulgarian ski-resorts. Already prominent on the European - and even global! -Ski-lovers list are resorts like Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo. Sofia, the elegant capital of the Bulgarian Republic, is minutes away from the densely forested slopes of Mount Vitosha, the pride and recreation ground of the local inhabitants. In the last 10 years, the national capital has been transformed into an international business centre with a cosmopolitan character.All this in turn has created the hugely increased interest of European and especially British and Irish, investors in a number of highly attractive new, "off-plan" Property developments, particularly in these hitherto unknown Bulgarian resorts, whose potential is just now being truly appreciated.

Bansko, about 160 km south of Sofia and 250km from the Northern Greek metropolis of Thessaloniki, has been called the Gateway to the Pirin Mountains. In fact, the entire region has been designated the Pirin National Park. The pretty and historic market town of Bansko, a notable centre of regional commerce from the 18th and 19th centuries, forms the vibrant heart of this new resort with global ambitions.

Now you can see, side by side, historic monuments and new 5-star hotels, attractive traditional residences and state-of-the-art property developments. The variety of clubs and pubs and places of entertainment for all tastes will impress vacationers. Bansko, furthermore, is a major venue, in the strong Bulgarian bid for the Winter Olympic Games in 2014, together with the capital Sofia and the other two leading Bulgarian ski-resorts, Borovets and Pamporovo. Borovets is the oldest winter resort, founded by Bulgarian Tsar Ferdinand in 1896 and is closer to Sofia, near Samokov, to the north of the Rila mountains. Pamporovo is a modern purpose-built ski-resort in the Western Rhodope mountain range, where they are getting everything ready for a unique sports experience.

Bulgarians are hoping it will impress the world skiing community with the high standards of sports and tourist installations. The conditions for skiing are among the best in the Balkans. 17 ski-tracks with a total length of 65km cater for skiers and snowboarders of every level of skill, from basic beginners to the very advanced. The Gondola ski-lift terminal is opposite the 5-star Kempinski Hotel.

By 2006, to cater for the increasingly high expectations of affluent winter-sports lovers, more than 6000 apartments are being built in new construction meeting the highest international standards. Each of the developments has its own characteristic name, indicative of the way local Bulgarian architectural tradition is married with modern developments, where attention has been given to detail. Beyond any doubt, the special attraction of these properties in Bansko is the low cost, matched by equally high quality.

In addition, Bansko has an excellent 18-hole Golf Course and the route infrastructure in the area has been significantly upgraded to enhance access to the other tourist attractions of the surrounding region. Discussions are underway at Government level for the construction of an airport, capable of accommodating international flights.Pamporovo opens up like an Alpine resort, along the scenic valley route from Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second city, to Smolyan and the newly-opened border point with Northern Greece. In the shadow of Mount Snezhanka (1926 metres), it is Europe's southernmost ski-resort, with sunshine for at least three quarters of the year, but also very agreeable temperatures, guaranteeing ideal skiing conditions for the duration of the season from December to April. Created around three main skiing areas, with 25 designated slopes, Pamporovo is the perfect choice for the winter sports enthusiast, whatever may be his or her degree of proficiency. There are also experienced instructors to guide learners and children.

During the summer season, Pamporovo becomes the ideal base for mountain-walking and environmental tourism. It's a year-round centre for healthy, energetic relaxation. Several brand new 5-star hotels assure top-notch accommodations, quality entertainment and excellent nightlife, but also provide gym, swimming and sauna facilities. In addition, there are a wide variety of well-stocked shops and restaurants, each with their own particular variant of attractive décor and local traditional cuisine, as well as Irish pubs and bars, with their warm, convivial atmosphere.

Pamporovo is uniquely designed to give everyone a chance of experiencing class and quality, at truly affordable prices.

.Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Travel.Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Russell.


By: Michael Russell

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