The city of Chepelare is situated in the central Rhodopes mountain range about 30km from Smolyan, 70km from Plovdiv and just 10km from Pamporovo resort. Chepelare is situated high into the Rhodopes mountain and is the second highest Bulgarian city after the city of Dospat. Chepelare is also known as ‘the Green heart of the Rhodopes’. Nowadays Chepelare was founded in XVIII century right after the Liberation (1978). The city developed as a center of local industries, culture and education for the area of the Middle Rhodopes and nowadays is a major spot for winter sports practicing and development.

Chepelare is popular with decades of ski and snowboard equipment production and traditions in the winter sports and is also called ‘The winter Olympics capital of Bulgaria’.  Many popular ski and winter sports stars has started their career here, becoming names in the alpine skiing, ski jumps, biathlon and snowboard. The city is a birthplace of only Bulgarian Olympic gold medalist and biathlon champion Ekaterina Dafovska (Nagano, 1998) and the Men's Parallel Giant Slalom Snowboard champion of 2015 Radoslav Yankov.

Chepelare has the only in Bulgaria Museum of ski (since 1998) and Speleology and Bulgarian Karst Museum.

Ski in Chepelare

Only 1km from the city center, there is a ski sports center, Mechi Chal, 1155m, build right in the foot of the Mechi Chal peak (1873m) where the ski zone slopes start. Ski zone Mechi Chal has over 20km ski trails, different in difficulty and in process of matching the international difficulty rating system. Ski enthusiasts can use a modern 4-chair lift of the French company Pomagalski with 2000 people per hour capacity; the lift crosses an area of 2700m, reaching the Mechi Chal peak for just 9 minutes. The Austrian access system AXESS is reliable and fast, preventing lines and queues during the ski season rush hours.

Long-term projects for the area plan the further development of the ski zone by developing new trails and slopes, support and improvement, overall grooming, marking according to European standards and final zone settlement in order the area to host international competitions and large groups of tourists. The ski area is suitable for biathlon, ski run and snowboard.