Skiing in Albania, one of the most exotic European countries is an amazing multilevel experience.
You will witness pristine nature, virgin mountains, amazing traditions, mix of communist past and a developing economy - combined with hospitable locals, great food and rustique accommodations - and the best of all, great snow conditions of course!
The vicinity of the sea brings serious snow dumps on the long and high mountain ranges, like Korab and the Accursed mountains. So if you are a freeride powder junkie, ski touring or splitboarding enthusiast, dedicated off piste skier, this is one of the places in the Balkans you should definitely check out.
Skiing in Bulgaria
Since long ago Bulgaria has been one of the top destinations for people who wanted to visit and spend some time doing sports on the mountains in the Balkans.
The two biggest and most known mountain ranges Rila and Pirin mountain are the most popular places for this kind of activities. They have both been pronounced for National Parks and the Bulgarian government recognized their potential from a long time ago investing in real infrastructure. There you can find ski resorts and mountain huts almost under every peak of the mountains, which makes the peaks and the other points of interest easy accessible.
The peak of Musala (2925m) on Rila mountain is the highest peak on the Balkans. The mountain has also been known for its rich flora, including species such as Macedonian Pine, and Bulgarian Fir.
A good starting point to reach the peak is the Ski resort of Borovetz, where you can get a cable lift from where you can start your tour.
Bansko is another popular Ski resort situated in the Pirin mountain range. The highest peak on Pirin mountain is the Vihren peak standing at 2914m. Vihren refuge is the most used mountain hut for reaching the peak. Both of the mountains are easy accessible with only 2 hours drive from the main city of Bulgaria, Sofia.
Kosovo is surely one of the most remote and exciting outdoor holiday destinations of the Balkans.
It is nestled between two main mountain ranges, Shar mountain on its south border with Macedonia and Accursed mountain ( Rugova ) with its National park on the west border with Albania and Montenegro.
Rugova mountain is a great hiking location, with lakes, rivers, and the drive to the starting point of the hikes through the canyon is astonishing. The highest point on is the peak of Hajla ( 2403m asl ) and Volujaku almost the same height.
If you are up for a real freeride & backcountry skiing experience then you should head to the Brezovica ski resort located on the North side of Shar mountain. From here you can start your daily ski-touring towards some of the peaks around such as Piribeg and Black Rock peak both higher than 2500m.
Good thing is that you can use the lift which goes up to 2300m and from there are easily accessible steep lines that are just 30-60mins of touring. Piribeg is a peak on the border with Macedonia which allows cross-border skiing towards Macedonia. Other interesting peak for ski-touring and amazing steep line freeride is the peak of Ljuboten ( 2498m asl ), found also on the border with Macedonia.
If your next ski holiday is includes discovering new mountains, skiing or snowboarding untouched and unique places, experience ruralness of the region and great hospitability then Macedonia for sure needs to be your next destination. Fulfilled by mountains, rivers and lakes it’s the perfect destination for people hungry for new adventures in the outdoors. Freeride skiing in the Balkans would not be the same without spending few days skitouring or splitboarding on some of the mountain ranges in Macedonia.
While Montenegro is becoming the next big summer holiday destination, its mountains are the real hidden gem of this country. Long and steep lines, deep forests, amazing national parks are just at the touch of the hand while you can easily access the capital Podgorica. Durmitor national park, Prokletije or the Accursed mountains and Kolashin area are receiving serious amounts of snow, because of their vicinity to the Adriatic sea. So whether you are a passionate ski tourer or splitboarder, or you are a freeride powder searcher, you can find your small bit of heaven right next to the Adriatic sea in Montenegro.