Top 9 Pirin mountain walking questions answered

Aug 16, 2013 No Comments by
Pirin, Bansko

Mountain walking in the Pirin

It’s the Pirin, it’s high and you want to walk it? So far this summer it’s been walking paradise here. Our free hiking programme is over. Eight hiking days that were more entertaining, had more laughs and more useful info than last year.

Due to a bad back and shoulder for many months I could not move much and, luckily, things had finally got much better by the time we started the hiking.

By the end of the walking trips I felt much better in every way.

Read on for some Pirin facts and join me in  feeling cooler, re-energised, fitter and happier — by walking in the Pirin.

Picture taken: August 2013 on free hiking tour

How high are the Pirin mountains?

There are 50 peaks above 1,500 metres, 14 peaks above 1,700 metres, 7 peaks above 1,800 metres and three peaks above 1,900. Vihren is 2,914 metres.


Why is the mountain range called Pirin?

The Thracian God of thunder and lightening was called Perun. The Thracian period was around 2,000 years BC – a time known as the middle Bronze Age. Perun was changed to Pirin as the language evolved.


What are the legends of the Pirin?

There are many, here’s one well known one:

Todorka peak. This peak was named after Teodora, a popular name often shortened to Tedi in Bulgaria. As Teodora fought off the Muslims. Rather than be captured, she run up the peak and jumped off it. This is why, legend has it, that the peak is named in her honour.

What are the best walking routes?

Most routes convenient from Bansko town, start at Vihren hut. Bansko Blog  Starting from Bandersihka Poliana, top of the gondola lift is a good place too. Here you can see impressive drops off into the river Banderitsa, avalanche routes, wild strawberries, butterflies and many other insects.

The oldest coniferous tree in the Balkans is the The Baikushev Mura ( Байкушевата мура) and also known as the White Fir. Estimated to be over 1,300 years old. The tree is a Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii), 26 m high, 2.2 m in diameter, 7.8m circumference. The tree was discovered in 1897.


Which lakes can I most easily reach when walking from Vihren hut?

Lake Okoto takes just 20 minutes. In the shape of an eye, this is a popular lake. Lake Moratovo takes around an hour from Vihren. 


What birds live in the National Park? 

There are 160 bird species in the Park which represent 40% of the total found in Bulgaria. The golden eagle, lesser spotted eagle, the xxxxxx. The crested tit, woodpecker, mountain quail, pereguin falcon, hazel grouse, stock dove and twelve species of bat.


What terrestrial animals are the in the Park?

Wild goat, chamois, snow vole and brown bear. There are six species of fish. The trout was an introduced North American trout variety.


What plant life is there to see?

1,300 species of plants including 300 moss species. There are 18 endemic species and sixty preserved species. The Edelweiss plant is found in inaccessible places within the cracks of the rocks.


Can we have a personal guide to suit our needs?

We run more best value mountain walking days on demand. Prices start at just 17 lv per person up to 48 lv. Depending on numbers and length of hikes. Children under sixteen are free. Contact me for info, quote and booking.


You Say (on hiking)

Hi Lance, I’m back in wet UK, sorry did not get  a cycle ride in this time. Once again thanks for a great hike it was great fun. Although we did drink many beers after. Marcus (August 2013)


NOTE: We only use a few personally selected guides that speak perfect English, Bulgarian and Russian. They have been selected to actively make the walks entertaining and informative. The guides are knowledgeable and enthusiastic.  They will tell the Pirin story —  from the legends to the many species of plants and animals that make the Pirin their home. Your contract is with your guide.


If you found this useful, please like us on FB and follow on @bansko. More info in The Essential Guide to Bansko, sign up for your free copy.




About the author

I enjoy tech, apps, entrepreneurship, podcasting and collaboration with others. I love travelling as well as skiing, hiking, MTB, paragliding, cooking and good food.
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