An advanced snowboarder and a beginner skier – our winter sports team are quite diverse (having in mind we are talking about two people and ice-skating is something we can do in our hometown – Sofia). As we get more and more experienced and thrilled about winter adventures, all the Bulgarian ski resorts we usually go to start to get… insufficient for us. So we explore our beautiful neighbor country Serbia and the nearby resort named Babin Zub (literally means “Grandma’s tooth”).
We want to share some of the amazing views you will be able to absorb there, even if you are out just for a walk or a hike. As this is the second consecutive year we visit the resort, we started noticing some trends. And also gained some experience and insight we want to share about this not-so-popular-at-the-moment resort. Therefore we present you the list of all practical stuff you need to know before you visit the place and some amazing photos to inspire you to go there.
How to get there?
Here is a Google Maps link to the exact location of the only kafana at the Jabučko ravnište gondola station. Right next to it you will find the parking lot where you will most probably park your car or be dropped off. Weather and infrastructure permitting, there is another way to approach the red and black tracks and this is the Konjarnik station. There is just a parking there, you can use it for free.
Self-driving is the best way to get to Babin Zub. The last 30km in the mountain, if you’re coming from the town of Pirot, it could get quite bumpy and roads might not be in perfect condition. Make sure your vehicle has proper winter tires and you are well equipped for the cold weather.
So road infrastructure may not be the best, but parking nearby the two possible lift stations is free and usually not overcrowded.
The 4-star spa hotel Stara planina is situated 100 metres from the gondola station. Positive aspects of staying at the hotel (which comes with a hefty price) include the proximity to the slopes (literally a 3-minute walk away), the ski and snowboard wardrobe, the three meals per day (including free wine and beer), the spa center.
The nearby village of Crni Vrh is less than 10km away from the resort. It offers villas, guest houses, chalets, cabins, hotel.
There is a wide choice in terms of price and value but it’s very hard to book accommodation there if you don’t speak Serbian, Bulgarian, or any of the languages of former Yugoslavia. The most popular will pop out in the search engines, and if you need some more, get in touch with us to send you contact numbers for the “offline” accommodations in Crni Vrh.
Further away, there are other villages which will require more than a 30-minute drive to the slopes.
Update from 2018:
Accommodation around Babin Zub is obviously entering the future so we discovered a lot of options on booking.com. Check below to see if you’ll find something that fits your needs.
Food and drinks
Since you are in Serbia – you have good chances for a proper fuel. And how can you slide if you are not fueled properly?
You can always cook at your guest house/villa/chalet, or you may even have the friendly host to start the BBQ for you. Our first host in Crni Vrh got us the essentials – rakia, home-made sir (cheese), flat sausage, and bread.
The village itself offers few local restaurants – kafanas where you can eat and drink at a reasonable price.
The only slope-kafana is right at the lower gondola station and can always treat you with a soup, tea, or pleskavitsa.
It is important to note that a beer costs as much as the hot chocolate, so don’t hesitate! 😃 🍺
The hotel offers a lobby bar serving more sophisticated and delicious options for not-so-bad price, in case you want to treat yourself.
The nearest grocery store we found was 30km away – in Kalna village.
Skiing – prices and infrastructure
Check the current snow cover and the overall winter mood on Stara planina’s web camera page 😃
Ski pass price tends to go up, but it’s still half the price of the Bulgarian big resorts.
In 2016, we spend about 26 euro for a 3-day pass, whereas in 2017 we spent 50 euro for a 4-day pass.
There are five lifts in total, serving tracks with levels of difficulty from blue to black. Blue tracks are great for beginners while the black slope is for adventurous masters of ski and snowboard. Check out the map below.
Call to action: Visit Babin Zub before it transforms into another expensive crowded winter resort! It may not have a great variety of slopes, but there aren’t many people as well. It is comparatively newly built resort so its infrastructure looks good and works fine. Be ready to have tons of fun and good views sliding the slopes of Babin Zub!
If you’ve reached this place, that means you’re probably interested in winter, winter sports, snow. Move on to these articles, so you can stay cold!
- A winter guide to Livigno, Italy
- Staying and working in an igloo in Pamporovo
- Our favorite spa places in Bulgaria