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     Chepelare, the sunniest town in Bulgaria with an estimated 270 days of sun per year, is the birthplace of Ekaterina Dafovska, our first and only Olympic Biathlon Champion from Nagano'98.    

     Area and Location

     Chepelare is a town and ski resort in Smolyan Region in Southern Bulgaria. It is situated in the central part of Rhodope Mountain, on the banks of Chepelare River. Chepelare is a popular winter resort with one of the longest ski runs in Southeastern Europe. It is located near Pamporovo, one of the biggest Bulgarian resorts.

    Chepelare, together with Pamporovo, which is only 11 km away, have been renowned winter resorts since 1937. Recently they are developing to be all-year round resorts. 

     Skiing Conditions

     Chepelare has long traditions in skiing. The existing runs have been thoroughly prepared and marked according to European standards. One of the main runs spans over a length 3250 m and is equipped with 47, top of the range snow cannons produced by the French-American company Johnson Controls. They would allow covering the track with artificial snow within 100 hours at -3 degrees C air temperature. Available to winter sports fans is a modern 4 man-chair lift with a capacity of 2000 per hour. It covers the 2700 meter distance from the town of Chepelare to the Mechi Chal peak in just 9 minutes.


     Chepelare can be reached by car or bus. The Bus Station is located on the left bank of Chepelarska River. Regular bus lines connect the town with Sofia, Plovdiv, Smolyan, Pamporovo, Shiroka Laka and a number of smaller settlements in the area.


     There are more than 70 hotels and private houses offering accommodation all year round. 


     Chepelare is not only famous for its 20 km long ski runs at the Mechi Chal ski centre but also for the natural phenomenon  the Wonderful Bridges, and the numerous marked hiking and mountain bike tracks, leading along the Old Roman road which used to connect Tracia with the Aegean Sea in Greece. One can also find here the only Karst museum on the Balkan Peninsula, the National Astronomical Observatory "Rozhen", the largest observatory complex for optical astro-physics in south-eastern Europe.