Beautiful location, great ski-school, lively compact resort
Unreliable snow, bottle neck on slopes
Pamps is a great resort in southern Bulgaria, surrounded by the Rudope mountains. Lovely pine forests surround the resort and give it a wonderful atmosphere. The resort itself is purpose built and so is not full of ald world charm, but has some good hotels - by Bulgarian standards that is. Accomadation is improving all the time with many new hotels being built alonngside the older Soviet-era ones so all the accomodation is modern. The food is wholesome and simple - it is perfectly edible but may be an acquired taste - I love it! Out on the mountains many 'mahernas' will serve you grilled food and pizza. Night life is well catered for with 'Daks', and 'BJs' being the big attractions in the main centre. A short walk out of town are some traditional Bulgarian restaruants which have a great atmosphere and are worth a visit.
The ski-school is well organised, and large. English is spoken by all the instructors who take English groups - I have been to Pamps 3 times and my skiing has improved each time.
If you visit Pamps, try and get a flight through to Plovdiv. This will give you a transfer time of less than 2 hours - not the 4 hours from Sofia.
So - now the downside. In a word - SNOW!! Pamps claims to be the sunniest ski resort in Europe and as it so far south (only 30km from Greece!) its winters CAN be a bit mild. In 2005, we had 2m of snow, 2006 about 50cm and last year about 15cm! Now, if you are a beginner, this doesn't pose a problems as the resorts' green & blue runs are usually quite reliably covered. But it does limit the number of runs that skiers and snowboarders can use and so you end up with big bottle necks on the main runs. As an advanced intemediate I lost out in 2009 as we couldn't ski a full red run as they turned to grass and rock half way down!
The snow does get better late Feb and early March, that really is the time to book Pamps. Otherwise, try Bansko - its main ski area is a full 2,000m higher up than Pamps!