The stressful daily round and the problems of life sometimes make us forget that there are really amazing opportunities outside which only wait for us to get it. The cure against monotonous life is hiding very close to us – in the Nature. So grab your bag, take your hiking shoes and go heal your life.
There are so many options for walking routes in Bulgaria and a large part of them cover the Pirin National Park. At the present moment the park occupies a significant part of the Pirin Mountains with its venerable forests, green glades and great number of rare plants and animals. There is no wonder that the park is under the protection of UNESCO and is defined as world heritage. Two unique reserves take part in the park – Yulen and Bayuvi Dupki-Dzhindzhiritsa.
The Yulen Reserve is created with the aim to preserve rare species from the flora and the fauna, some of which can be found only on its territory. Several small rivers originate from the multitude of lake groups located in the reserve. The Bayuvi Dupki-Dzhindzhiritsa Reserve is established to protect the rare tree species of White Fir (Pinus Peuce) and Black Pine (Pinus Heldreichii). The average age of the forests is over 150 years and in some places they reach the age of over 500 years. The typical representative of the animal world and a symbol of the reserve is the wild goat.
The highest point of Pirin Mountains, which is also a part of the National park, is Vihren Peak (2914 m). It is a favorite destination for the fans of the climbing and hiking. The best time for visiting is between July and September when the weather allows mountain activities in the area. The shortest way to the top begins in Vihren Hut and you can get there by car. It is a good idea to go early so you can have a chance to park in front of the hut and also to start the tour when it is still coldly. The path is marked with white and red colors and the ascending takes around three hours. When you reach the spot where the road is dividing into two, take the left side if you are beginner in climbing. The right side will lead you to a very steep and hard way although it passes through a place where you can see the symbol of Pirin Mountains- the rare flower Edelweiss. The passage is not light but it doesn’t require any special training. At the end of this adventure your reward will be magnificent – one of the outstanding views that you can’t imagine. To the way back you will have the chance to see the oldest black pine tree in Bulgaria, named Baikushev’s pine, named after its founder, Kostadin Baikushev. It is 1300 years old and we can say that the tree is a witness to the foundation of Bulgaria. You can find it between Vihren and Banderitsa huts.
If you are an extreme person you definitely know what The Foal (Koncheto) is namely the most exciting tourist route in Pirin Mountains. You can reach it if you take the right turn to Vihren Peak which I mentioned above. The Foal is a saddle which links the third highest peak in Bulgaria, Kutelo (2901 m) and Banski Suhodol, 2800 m above the sea level. It is narrow edge (only 0.50 m in some sections) and before the securing of the area with wire rope, tourists were passing it, straddling it, like on the horse back. From there is the catchy name – Koncheto. The quickest way to it is from Vihren hut across the Kazana locality.
Have no worries if you love the mountain but you are not prepared for the extreme tours, Pirin Mountains gives opportunities to everyone to delight in its wonderful nature. There is a place which combines light eco paths, superb nature and modern living conditions – Bezbog Hut. It is situated near the lake with the same name and on the foot of a peak with the same name. The journey to it begins in Gotse Delchev hut and continues with a chair lift to the most modern cottage in Pirin Mountains – Bezbog. If you like skiing, grab your pairs because near the hut is situated the longest ski run in the area (almost 5 km). The final of the ski run is in the Gotse Delchev hut so if you want that can be your way back. The walking trail to the Bezbog Peak starts on the west side of the hut and it takes around 3 hours in both directions. For the same time you can reach another sight in the area – Priest lake (Popovo lake). It is the biggest in Pirin Mountains and the second largest in the Balkans. The legend says that long time ago a priest drowned in it and from there is the name.
Author: Lyuben Grancharov
“The World is a book and those who do not travel read only a page” (Augustine of Hippo). I enjoy filling up the page, called “Bulgaria”, both working as a guide and writing about the mountains of Bulgaria on this blog.