Our country is blessed with beautiful, high mountains, each of which has its own magic and charm. Some of the mountains impress with their plain ridges, others with an ancient mystique, while third ones charm with their high peaks.
We have many mountains but there is one that combines everything – amazing green meadows, rich plant and animal diversity and numerous high peaks.
Yes, every mountain has its own charm, but Pirin… Pirin Mountain impresses with its peaks. There are many peaks rising on its territory, if we have to be more specific – 96 peaks in total. Three of them are rising at an altitude of over 2900 meters, eight at an altitude of over 2800 meters, 14 at an altitude of over 2700 meters, 32 at an altitude of over 2600 meters, and 40 at an altitude of over 2500 meters.
It is impossible for us to tell you about all these mountain peaks, but we will try to introduce you to some of the most popular and most impressive ones.
Vihren is the third highest peak not only on the territory of Bulgaria, but also on the Balkans. Its height reaches 2914 meters, which is only 11 meters lower than the highest peak in Bulgaria and on the Balkans – Musala peak (2925 meters) and only 4 meters lower than the second highest peak in the Balkans – Mount Olympus in Greece (2918 meters).
Despite the honorable third place in height, Vihren is the highest peak in Pirin Mountain. It is situated on the Main Pirin Ridge between two rivers – Vlahinska and Banderitsa, and its slopes connect it with Kutelo peak and Muratov peak. At the foot of this beautiful peak are located two impressive cirques – Small and Big Kazan, and to the northeast from the peak are descending Dzhamdzhievi rocks and the famous Dzhamdzhiev rab.
Of all peaks in Pirin Mountain, Vihren is one of the most impressive, beautiful and attractive peaks for climbing. The hiking trails that you can choose if you decide to climb it are numerous, but some of the most popular ones are:
- The classic route – starts from the town of Bansko towards the Vihren hut, where its starting point is. Climbing to the top takes about 3 hours. „Tzarskata pateka/The Royal path”, as it is also called, is of medium difficulty and that is why it is preferred by hundreds of tourists every day during the summer months.
- From Banderitsa hut – the starting point of this route is Banderitsa hut, it passes through the Premkata saddle and continues along the path to the left of Vihren. This route is a bit more difficult, and it takes about 4 hours.
- Dzhamdzhiev rab – its starting point is the Vihren hut again, reaching the Big and Small Kazan and shortly before the Big Kazan it deviates to the rab. This route is not suitable for unexperienced mountaineers.
Kutelo peak ranks second in height after Vihren peak. It is adjacent to the Vihren peak and it also consists mainly of marble rocks. Its heights is 2908 meters and it is a real challenge for the passionate mountaineers.
The peak is situated on the Main Pirin Ridge and its slopes descend to Banski Suhodol peak (to the north), to Vlahinska River (to southwest) and to the Small and Big Kazan cirques (to the southeast – south).
Although there are some rather steep and even vertical sections, and no marked paths to it, there are also several not as difficult routes that are suitable for tourists with less experience.
Some of the relatively easy routes are with starting points Vihren hut and Banderitsa hut.
- From Vihren hut – if you leave from Vihren hut, initially you will walk on the „Tzarska pateka/Royal path”, then you have to turn right and continue towards the Kutelo peak. The route passes through Kazanite, the Premkata saddle and shortly afterwards you will reach Kutelo peak. The difficulty of the route is above the average and the duration is about 3 hours. There are also dangerous sections and is not recommended for people who do not have enough experience in such passages.
- From Banderitsa hut – if you choose this route, first you have to follow the main path to Vihren peak, then the route divides and continues towards the Kazanite, Premkata saddle and finally reaches the Kutelo peak. The difficulty and duration of the route are identical to those that apply to starting point Vihren hut. In other words, if you are not sure that you will be able to cope with the steep slopes or if you do not have enough experience, do not try to conquer the Kutelo peak.
With its 2884 meters Banski suhodol peak ranks third in height among the Pirin peaks. It is located in the northern parts of the Main Pirin Ridge and south of it is the Koncheto saddle, which connects it with the Kutelo peak. Just like the other two peaks, Banski suhodol is also made mainly of marble, as its northeast slope is the most impressive – it is a 300 meters marble wall descending to the Banski suhodol cirque.
This peak is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful peaks with a „dangerous charm”, but it is also one of the most difficult to climb, especially if you are not an experienced mountaineer and you do not have the necessary equipment. That is why we do not recommend you to try to climb it if you are not familiar with the mountain and its whims.
But if you have enough experience and you want to climb the peak, the most popular route leading there starts from the Banderitsa hut. The path to the top starts north from the hut and the green marking leads to Kazanite area. Then there is a climb to the Big Kazan, a very difficult climb to Premkata saddle and shortly before the Kutelo peak the route turns right in the direction of Banski suhodol.
Then there is another extreme experience – overcoming Koncheto and then you can reach your final destination – Banski suhodol peak. The difficulty of this route is high, and you will need about 4 hours and a half (if you have good physical training).
Todorka is one of the most impressive peaks in Pirin Mountain. It is located on Todorino’s ridge, as its height is 2746 meters, and unlike the previous peaks that are made of marble, this one is made of granite.
The peak is not among the highest in Pirin Mountain (it is 11th in height), but it is really very beautiful and is one of the preferred peaks for climbing that are located near the town of Bansko.
The interesting thing about Todorka peak is that it has a very short ridge, oon which are situated three peaks – Small, Big and Medium Todorka. Big Todorka descends to the north to Bansko and if observed from the town, the peak has an amazing pyramid shape. Just there, on Big Todorka, are located one of the most popular ski runs, as well as many places for relaxation, which the local people from Bansko visit regularly.
Between Small and Medium Todorka are located the Todorini eyes Lakes, which are associated with some of the legends for Todorka peak. One of these legends tells that Todorka was the beloved of the shepherd Vasil. They were in love, but Todorka was unfortunately abducted by Murat bay. Vasil was very miserable because of his girl and he cried a lot. His tears formed two lakes that nowadays we call Todorini eyes.
There are a lot of routes to Todorka peak, as some of them are difficult, but there are also routes of medium or low difficulty, and they are really pleasant to overcome.
One of the routes that is the most preferred starts from the path to Demyanitsa hut. The route leads to Premkata saddle where it divides into two. One of the trails continues to the hut, as the other one leads to Todorks. During the transition, there are some steep sections but they are not so scary and with little more attention you can overcome them easily.
This route is slightly longer (about 4 hours), because before you reach the peak, first you have to pass through other two peaks, but the displacement is not so big so the route is even pleasant.
The easiest access to Todorka peak is through Todorina gate (on the south side of Todorino ridge), as it is possible to reach the peak also from the Shilingarnika, and the most experienced mountaineers can reach Todorka peak from Vihren peak.
Bezbog peak is located in the alpine part of Pirin Mountain. It rises at a height of 2645 meters, conveniently situated on one of the branches of the Polezhan ridge. Bezbog peak, just like Todorka peak, is made of granite and its slopes are steep and covered with dwarf pine.
To the north and west its slopes reach the Desilishki cirque, to the southwest they descend to Polezhan Side Ridge, to the east – to the Bezbog cirque, and to the south – to the Popovo Lake cirque.
According to one of the legends, the peak is named after the god Bess, who found his death there. The legend tells that god Perun had a very beautiful daughter and god Bess fell in love with her. Since he knew that Perun will not approve the wedding, he took her. However, Dzhengal, the brother of the girl, followed them.
After a long chase, Dzhangal caught up and killed god Bess and burried his body with stones. If you believe in the legend, when you climb up to Bezbog peak, take a look and you will see big pile of stones right on the top… under it (they say) lies the body of god Bess.
Bezbog is one of the most accessible peaks in Pirin Mountain. There are many routes leading there but the easiest one (and preferred by many tourists) starts from the Bezbog peak. The route starts from the hut, passes through beautiful forests and areas, and after about 1.30 – 2.00 hours you will reach the peak.
We introduced you to a very small part of the beautiful peaks in Pirin Mountain, but we think that it is enough to make you want to get to know better the beauty of Pirin Mountain.