The Pirin Mountain

Pirin Mountain rises between the deep valleys of the Struma and Mesta rivers. It is the second highest mountain in Bulgaria with the highest peak Vihren (2916 m). The mountain is 40 km wide and 80 km long and comprises the southwestern part of the mountain.
The Thracians used to call it Orbelus (the snowy mountain), later the slaves called it Pirin after the Perun God.
Numerous songs and legends of the remarkable local folklore were inspired by the Pirin Mountain.
More than 70 hot mineral springs start at the foot of the mountain.

The National Park Pirin
“National Park Pirin” is situated in the South- West part of Bulgaria between the valleys of the rivers Mesta and Struma. This is the most beautiful, glorious and most visited part of the mountain. The park has been enlarged several times and presently it is spread on a territory of 40 356 hectares.
The landscape on the territory of the park is mostly with alpine character and has been sculptured by the nature for millions of years. More than 80 mountains have latitude higher than 2500 meters. In the granite sector of the mountain there are more than 180 alpine lakes.
The flora and fauna of the park are actually its wealth. More than 1300 species of higher plants are being preserved on its territory and 15 of these can be seen just here and nowhere else in the world. The invertebrate species are around 2019 and 216 of these are endemics i. e. they can be seen only in Pirin. Amongst the vertebrates, there are two species of birds and 40 species of mammals that are very rare and precious, and need special care. One of the oldest nature reserves in Bulgaria “Bajovi Dupki- Djindjiritsa” is situated in the territory of the National Park. In 1977, UNESCO’s Bureau of the International Committee of the “Human and the Biosphere” Program, endorsed it as a biosphere reserve. “Yulen” natural reserve takes a territory of 3200 hectares and was established in 1994.

The Eyes of Pirin
More than 180 alpine lakes with a total area of about 180 000 decares are situated on the bottoms and terraces of the circus slopes. At Papazgiol circus, the waters of Popovo Lake appear blue. It is the biggest lake in Pirin, like a small sea inside the mountain, with an area of 123 hectares. Even higher, hidden amongst rocks and silence are the secluded Samodivski lakes. Situated to the east is the circus of the charming Kremenski Lakes and the one which is in the middle is the second biggest in Pirin with an area of 98 decares and a depth of 25 m.

Popular resorts in the Pirin Mountain:

- Bansko - Bulgaria's # 1 ski resort, having the best and most modern ski centre of all Bulgarian ski resorts.
- Dobrinishte - synonym of alpine nature, mineral waters and a typical atmosphere of a Bulgarian village.
- Razlog - situated in the Razlojka valley in the bosoms of three mountains- Rila to the north, Pirin to the south and west and Rodope to the east.
- Kulinoto – situated in the northern part of the Pirin mountain in the valley of the Kulina River, 1400 meters above the sea level, huddled amidst venerable beech forest.
- Banya – situated in the central part of the Razlog valley at the foot of the Pirin Mountain, also offering more than 70 hot mineral springs and numerous historical monuments.
- Ognyanovo – beautiful mountain village, offering perfect conditions for relax and recreation with its hot mineral springs, swimming pools and baths.
- Melnik - the smallest town in Bulgaria but it so attractive that the number of the visitors per day often exceeds the number of the native people. The town is also famous for the unique wine produced in the region and the numerous ould style houses and mehanas.
- Rozhen Monastery - The “Virgin Mary’s Nativity” monastery is one of the few monasteries that have left preserved since it was built in the middle ages. It is situated in the lower south western part of Pirin 6 km away from Melnik.
- Sandanski - The resort has healthy climate and has attracted settlers since Antiquity. The mineral springs of Sandanski have temperatures ranging from 33 to 83 degrees Centigrade, which makes them appropriate for baths and even drinking. Numerous luxurious hotels offer great opportunities for relaxing spa vacations in the resort.
- Simitli – small and picturesque mountain town in the beautiful Pirin mountain.



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