Pirin mountain, Bansko Bulgaria – The Pearl in the Heart of the Balkans (hiking, trekking, backpacking)

pirin mountain, bansko bulgaria – the pearl in the heart of the balkans (hiking, trekking, backpacking)

PIRIN mountain is the second highest in Bulgaria after Rila (Musalla, 2925 m) mountain. It is situated in the southwest part of the country in a rather extended shape to the northwest and southeast between the rivers Struma and Mesta. Geologically, Pirin, Rila, Karpati & Rodopi belongs to group of very old mountains.

Extending over an area of 27.400 ha and lying at an altitude of 1,008–2,914 m in the Pirin mountains, in south-west Bulgaria, Pirin National Park has a limestone Balkan landscape, with lakes, waterfalls, caves and pine forests.

Tevno Lake

Pirin mountain, a glorious glacial landscape of peaks and lakes, offers some of the finest hiking and climbing in Europe. Pirin has acquired an Alpine relief – rocky marble or granite peaks and cliffs, deep cirques, well shaped glacier valleys and numerous lakes. However, because of the well-expressed Mediterranean influence through the valleys of the Struma and Mesta rivers, it is the mountain with the greatest number of sunny days throughout the year and annual average temperature in the area of Vihren Hut (1950 m) of -3.7C.

Northern Pirin is the home of the highest peak, Vihren (2914m), of 60 peaks above 2500m – 3 peaks above 2900 m7 peaks above 2800 m and 14 peaks above 2700 m, and of beautifully glacial lakes (140-150 in number, from them more than 100 in central massif).


It is also the place where one can find most of the region’s ski resorts and hiking centers, as well as 13 chalets and 4 huts which are open for mountaineers the year-round. Because of its unique nature, in 1983 UNESCO decided to include the Pirin National Park in the list of the world’s cultural and natural heritage. So, the “Pirin National Park” is included in the UNESCO Convention for the Preservation of World Wildlife Heritage. Therefore Pirin belongs not only to Bulgaria, but also to the world!

Situated in the highest reaches of the Pirin Mountains, Pirin National Park encompasses rugged alpine peaks that rise above 8,202ft (2,500m) and more than 100 glacial lakes spread at their feet. The magnificent landscape is made up of old forests, waterfalls, caves and areas of limestone that are home to the near extinct edelweiss and the Pirin poppy.

Djano Peak

Characteristic to the park is the abundance of rare and endemic species of plants and animals, and the unique environment is listed as a UNESCO World Cultural and National Heritage site, with a wide variety of flora and fauna. Alpine mountaineering and skiing are popular, and together with the cultural heritage of the surrounding mountain settlements and stunning scenery, Pirin National Park is an attractive tourist destination.

Pirin massif

The Pirin range extends about 40 km northwest-southeast, and about 25 km wide, extending over an area of 27.400 ha and lying at an altitude of 1,008–2,914 m.

Beautiful and large massif of Pirin is the home of many high peaks. From all of them, about 50 peaks above 2500 m, from them 3 peaks above 2900 m, 7 peaks above 2800 m and 14 peaks above 2700 m.

Djangal Peak 

Here is the list of the highest one:

~ Vihren (2914 m)
~ Kutelo I (2908 m)
~ Kutelo II (2906 m)
~ Banski Suhodol (2884 m)
~ Polejan (2851 m)
~ Koncheto (2850 m)
~ Kamenitsa (2822 m)
~ Malak Polejan (2822 m)
~ Bayovi Dupki (2820 m)
~ Strazhite (2800 m)
~ Jalovarnika (2763 m)
~ Voivodski Vrh (2761 m)
~ Izvorets (2753 m)
~ Todorin Vrh (2746 m)
~ Banderishki Chukar (2731 m),
~ Samodivski Vrh (2730 m)
~ Momin Dvor (2725 m)
~ Glavnishki Chukar (2720 m)
~ Malka Todorka (2712 m)
~ Krivets (2709 m)
~ Todorina Porta (2702 m)
~ Disilitsa (2700 m)
~ Kamenishka Kukla (2690 m)
~ Kuklite (2686 m)
~ Cerna Mogila (2682 m)
~ Kralev Dvor (2680 m)
~ Malka Kamenitsa (2679 m)
~ Zeleznik (2673 m)
~ Orlovets (2668 m)
~ Graniten (2669 m)
~ Valiavishki Chukar (2664 m)
~ Zboljt (2650 m)
~ Golem Tipits (2645 m)
~ Golemata Strana (2644 m)
~ Hvoinati Vrh (2635 m)
~ Golena (2633 m)
~ Vljzela (2620 m)
~ Vasilashki Chukar (2615 m)
~ Gredaro (2605 m)
~ Prevalski Chukar (2604 m)


Bansko is a small Bulgarian town located in Southwestern Bulgaria, in the district of Blagoevgrad, located at the foot of the Pirin mountain at an altitude of 936 m above sea level, with approximately 10.000 citizens. The town is situated at the crossroads of important routes from Central Bulgaria to Greece. The distance from Sofia to Bansko is 160 km. From the foot of Vihren (2914 m) Bansko is 18 km far.

Situated in the foothills of one of the country’s most beautiful mountains, Bansko is a charming and historic town with the stunning alpine backdrop formed by the Pirin Mountains. A climatic mountain resort, Bansko is known as an alpine skiing, hiking & climbing centre, but it combines its natural beauty and outdoor opportunities with the atmosphere of an ancient Bulgarian town from the 10th century, and boasts a wealth of culture and history, as well as traditional taverna-style cuisine and colourful folklore. The traditional stone and wooden buildings are an integral part of its charm and character and many relics and monuments survive from its past. The alpine character of the Pirin Mountains create excellent skiing conditions for all types of skiers and experts can enjoy some of the country’s best downhill skiing at the nearby resort of Shiligarnika.

Djangal Peak

Routes Overview

VIHREN (2914 m)

1. Southern approach: Vihren Hut – Vihren Southern Pass – Vihren (2914 m) summit: 3h

2. Northern approach: Vihren Hut – Vihren/Kutelo saddle – Vihren (2914 m) summit: 3.30h 

3. Koncheto Shelter approach: Koncheto Shelter (2850 m) – Koncheto ridge (2850 m – 2900 m) – Kutelo (2908 m) summit – Vihren/Kutelo saddle (2600 m) – Vihren (2914 m) summit: 2.5h 

KUTELO (2908 m)

1. Eastern approach: Vihren Hut (1950 m) – Vihren/Kutelo saddle (2600 m) – Kutelo (2908 m) summit: 3h

2. Koncheto Shelter approach: Koncheto Shelter (2850 m) – Koncheto ridge (2850 m – 2900 m) – Banski Suhodol (2884 m) summit – Kutelo (2908 m) summit: 1.30h 

3. Eastern approach via Vihren summit: Vihren Hut (1950 m) – Vihren Southern Pass – Vihren (2914 m) summit – Kutelo/Vihren Saddle (2600 m) – Kutelo II (2906 m) – Kutelo I (2908 m): 5h 


1. Southern (classical) approach: Vihren Hut (1950 m) – Hvoinato Ezero – Ribno Ezero – Banderishki Ezeri – Todorina Porta (2702 m) – Malka Todorka (2712 m) – Todorin Vrh (2746 m): 3.30h 

2. Northern approach: Shiligarnika – Ski Chair Lift Hut (2500 m) – Todorin Vrh (2746 m) – Malka Todorka (2712 m) – Todorina Porta (2702 m): 3.30h 


Tevno Lake

Kremenski lakes

Polejan Peak

Gazey Peak

Polejan Peak

Popovo Lake

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