Borovets is located in West Bulgaria, situated 70 km south of Sofia. It holds the North slopes of Rila - the highest mountain in Bulgaria. Its highest peak – Musala 2925 m ASL.
The valleys are deep and narrow with elevation of around 1100-1300 m. The mountain range is orientated west to east and it’s about 60 km long. On the East, it ends at the Rhodope mountains. The takeoffs are situated at the North part of the mountain. The altitude difference varies from 900 m to 1200 m for the different takeoffs. The peaks on the main mountain ridge are around 2400-2700 m. The climate is mainly dry and the best flying season is during spring and summer. The prevailing winds at Musala peak in the winter are SW 10m/s; spring – NW 7m/s; summer – NW and NE 4m/s; autumn – NW and S 9m/s. Flying days are limited in the winter due to strong winds. In summer the average number of flying days per week is 4. The landscape is gorgeous with high snowy peaks until late June and July. There is a big flatland north of the mountain which gives the place an excellent cross-country potential.
Borovets is a famous winter resort, located at the highest mountain in Bulgaria. (http://www.borovets-bg.com/en) It is easily accessible from the Sofia international airport, railways and bus station. Journey by car takes about 1h 20min. Still, only 2 small international competitions were held here. The last one was from 1-4 September 2005. The flying area includes high mountains, which makes flying a bit complicated.
The best flying season is from May till September with strong thermals of average climb more than 4-5 m/s and cloud base at 3000-3500 m ASL. Strong thermal activity causes strong valley winds. Updrafts are usually strong and well formed with Cumulus clouds on top of them. In spring the chances of overdevelopment are high and have to be respected.
The winter season is only flyable when the mountain range is not obscured with clouds and the wind is not too strong. The ski-center provides easy access to all takeoff areas in winter and it’s not rare to have nice thermal conditions even in December and January.
The thermal activity in summer is very good and sometimes with strong climbs of around 7-8m/s. During autumn and winter there is also thermal activity but it depends on the synoptic situation – the climbs are around 3-5m/s when existing.
The average thermal strength in winter is 2m/s; spring – 4m/s; summer – 5m/s; autumn – 3m/s.
Usually, the best hours for takeoff are 11:00-13:00 local time. In winter, thermals work from 13:00 till 16:00. In spring – from 11:00 till 18:00. In summer they work an hour longer. In autumn they are also good and usually work from 12:00 till 18:00.
The longest flight made from here was a 150 km FAI triangle and usual fights there are about 30-40 km.
Some videos from the flying area:
Markudjik – 2450 m ASL 42°13'10.6"N 23°34'25.8"E (42.219619, 23.573844)
The place has got a west exposure and can be used with SW, W and NW winds. It can be reached with a cable car and a 30 min walk / 5 min ride on an unpaved road. The slope is steep (around 45°), covered with bushes and rocks. It is big enough for the simultaneous launch of 2 gliders. Top lading is possible but not recommended.
Yastrebets – 2150 m ASL 42°14'13.9"N 23°35'16.1"E (42.237202, 23.587809)
The place has got a north exposure and can be used with NW, N and NE winds. It can be reached with a cable car and a 30 min walk / 5 min ride on an unpaved road. The slope is steep (around 30°), covered with bushes, grass and rocks. It is big enough for the simultaneous launch of 5 gliders. Top lading is possible but not recommended.
Konyavo – 1450 m ASL (N 42.34529°, E 22.83744°)
The place has got a south exposure and can be used with SW winds. In can be reached by car. The slope is covered with grass and rocks. It is big enough for the simultaneous launch of 10 gliders. Possibility for top landing.
Beli Iskar – 1100 m ASL (42.271065,23.542896)
Grass field. Nearest roads for transportation: asphalt road connecting Beli Iskar village and Borovets resort
Govedartsi – 1200 m ASL (42.254609,23.462783)
Grass field. Nearest roads: asphalt road connecting Govedartsi village with Borovets resort and Samokov
Samokov – 1200 m ASL (42.328022,23.54223)
Grass field. Nearest roads: asphalt road connecting Samokov and Borovets resort
Borovets – 1300 m ASL (42.263447,23.60618)
Grass field. Nearest roads: a ski track at Borovets resort
Gorna Grashtitsa village – 600 m ASL (N 42.31216°, E 22.81728°)