Our country has three National parks that we are proud of – Rila, Central Balkan and Pirin.
They are all very beautiful and worth visiting, but Pirin National Park fascinates the visitors with the wonderful scenery, centuries-old forests, clear as a teardrop lakes and rivers, rich biodiversity and many landmarks, routes, cozy huts and shelters, and places for walks and picnics.
The park is located (and quite logically) on the territory of Pirin Mountain, and its total area is over 40 000 hectares, which is a actually a significant part of the mountain.
Its history began more than 50 years ago, and more precisely in 1962, when it was decided by the government of the country of that time, in order to be preserved the biodiversity of the alpine parts of the mountain, to be created a National park with the name „Vihren”.
The park was located on an area of over 6 000 hectares, which included the alpine terrains of the mountain within the area between Demiyanitza and Banderitza.
In 1974 the name of the protected area was changed to Pirin Popular Park, as its area gradually started to increase and reached over 26 000 hectares. In the same year, to the park were also included the reserves „Bauvi dupki”, Malka Dzhindzhigiritsa” and „Segmentepe”.
Because of its great biodiversity, in 1983 Pirin Park was included in the list of UNESCO.
Following the democratic changes in the country, the name, as well as the borders of the National park were changed once again. In 1994 to the park was also added the „Yulen” reserve, and in 1999 its name was changed to Pirin National Park, as it is called today.
The National park covers areas of seven municipalities in the Pirin region, including Bansko, Razlog, Sandanski, Gotse Delchev, Simitli, Strumiyani and Kresna.
Perhaps you will find it interesting to know that its lower point is the entrance of the park above Bansko (950 meters), and its highest is peak Vihren (2914 meters). As we have already mentioned, Pirin National Park has a great biodiversity, making it one of the most valuable natural parks in our country.
Within the borders of the park are growing about 200 healing plants, over 1000 higher plants, mosses, algae and others. The fauna of the National park is also very rich and varied, as so far are described a large number of invertebrates, over 200 types of vertebrates and over 160 bird species.
Sections of the Park
The Pirin National Park is conditionally divided into 6 park sections:
„Vihren” is a section of Pirin Park, where the tourist network is the most developed. One of the reasons for the great popularity of the „Vihren” mountain section is that it is located near Bansko, which is not only a popular ski destination, but it also has well-developed summer and winter mountain tourism.
„Vihren” mountain section includes the areas around the rivers Banderitsa, Demianitsa, Circusi, Vasilashki, Tipitski lakes, Dalgoto, Hvoinoto and other lakes. Within the borders of „Vihren” mountain section is located also the highest peak in Pirin Mountain – Vihren peak and the Baikusheva mura, which are very attractive for the tourists who come on a vacation in the Bansko area.
„Bezbog” covers parts of the „Ulen” reserve, Polezhan peak, circuses, Popovoto, Polezhanski, Kremenski, Ribni, Samodivski, Kamenishki lakes. This region is characterized by high, evergreen forests, lush meadows and exceptionally beautiful and clear lakes.
The mountain section „Bezbog” includes parts of Dobrinishte municipality.
If you are in the region of Bansko, you can climb up to Bezbog hut, using the cabin lift from Dobrinishte, as from there you can continue your walk through the Pirin National Park and the mountain section „Bezbog”.
Tri reki/ Three rivers
The territory of mountain section „Tri reki” covers an area of nearly 4000 hectares, and it includes he region where three rivers meet, which explains its name. Mountain section „Tri reki” is one of the most attractive sections of the Pirin National Park. On its territory are growing centuries-old trees such as white fir, maple, white pine, spruce, fir and others, and in the wild forests and meadows one can see a great animal diversity.
Through the park section pass many well-marked tourist routes, and those who want to have a rest after a long day in the mountain can do it in one of the best mountain huts – Pirin hut, which is located in the region of „Tri reki”.
This is the only park area of Pirin National Park, which includes areas of three municipalities. The area of the park section is over 6000 hectares, as 5444,3 hectares is a forest fund dominated by tree species such as maple, white pine, coniferous forests, white fir and others.
On the territory of Sinanitsa are located also the crystal clear mountain lakes Vlahinski, Sinanishki and Georgiiski, circuses Valhinski, Sinanishki and Georgiiski, the peaks Sinanitsa, Muratov, Hvoinati. Here the flora and fauna are very diverse, as the park section attracts many local and foreign tourists. Two tourist routes pass through the section.
Park section „Kamenitza” covers an area of over 8000 hectares, of which just over 3000 hectares are forest lands of maple, white pine, white fir, fir, beech, spruce and others. On the territory of the section is located the beautiful Tevno lake (the largest and highest lake in Pirin – 2512 meters above the sea level), Kuklensko, Chairski, Bashliiski, and the rivers which pass through it are Kriva, Bashliiska, Spanopolska, Begovishka, Mozgovishka.
In the meadows and forests of the park section is growing a great diversity of mountain poppies, Alchemilla vulgaris, also protected species can be seen such as yellow gentian and others. From the animal species you can see rock eagles, short-toed eagle, nocturnal birds of prey, Balkan chamois, deer, roe deer, bear, wolf and others.
Through „Kamenitza” are passing a few tourist routes, as one of the most popular and loved by the tourists sites are the Tevno lake, „Spano pole”, „Begovitza” hut and others.
The municipality of Sandanski is taking care for the park section, as the town is one of the most popular balneological centers in the country and it has a well-developed tourism.
The area of this section is 4842.1 hectares and its borders include parts of the territories of the municipalities Simitli and Razlog. The park section is located in the northeast parts of the National park and is named after the Biosphere reserve – „Bauvi dupli – Dzhindzhiritsa”.
Located between the circuses Bauvi dupki, dry valley Razlog, several attractive peaks of Pirin such as dry valley Bansko, Dautov peak and Byala river, park section „Bauvi dupki” surprises its visitors with the great diversity of animal and plant species that grow and live on its territory.
Through „Bauvi dupki” passes the popular route Е 4, which starts from the Pyrenees, passes thorugh the Alps, Rila, Pirin and ends on Peloponnese.
Several magnificent wild reserves are located on the territory of the National park
„Bauvi dupki – Dzhindzhiritsa”
The protected area was established in the first half of the XX century, and more precisely in 1934. The borders of the reserve cover the peaks Bansko dry valley and Pirin, and on its territory you can see a great diversity of the plant and animal kingdom.
Due to its great biodiversity, in 1977 the „Bauvi dupki – Dzhindzhiritsa” reserve is included to the list of the biosphere reserves to Unesco.
„Yulen” was established in 1994 to preserve the priceless plant species and animal populations inhabiting its territories. The area where “Yulen” is located covers 3156.2 hectares and on it grow white fir, fir, dwarf pine, spruce and others.
Within the borders of the reserve can be seen more than 700 types of plants, a large number of which are included in the Red book of Bulgaria. The animal species inhabiting the territories of „Yulen” are bears, chamois, wolf and others.
The reserve is located in the area of the town of Kresna and Gorna Breznitsa village. „Tisata” was declated a reserve in 1949 and it had the name „Tisova barchina”. In 1977 the borders of the reserve expanded and its name changed to „Tisata”. In 1991 the reserve and its adjoining buffer zone were declared a special region that ensures the preservation of the juniper tree.
The Central o Pirin National Park is located in the town of Bansko, where the guests of the town can obtain a detailed information about the park sections and reserves on the territory of the park and about the most interesting and popular sights and routes.
In the Information Center the tourists can also see the „Pirin forest” exposition, from which they can learn interesting facts about the Pirin Mountain and its flora and fauna.
The tourists and guests of the town can find the Information center at address: N 4 „Pirin” street.
The working time of the center is every day, as follows:
- In winter – from 09.00 to 17.00 h
- In summer – from 09.00 to 17.30 h
The guests of Lucky Bansko hotel can reach the Information center of Pirin Nartional Park only for 6 minutes by car or for 10 minutes by foot.
If you are also a guest of the hotel, but you don’t want to visit the Information center, the entrance of Pirin National Park is located only 16.3 kilometers out of town, so you will need only thirty minutes to get there.
Don‘t forget that the Baikusheva mura/ Pinus heldreichii/ is located on the territory of „Vihren” park section, so you can start your tour of the National park from there.
The National park is very beautiful and has a great biodiversity, as on its territory can be seen ancient forests, and many plant and animal species. Through its areas pass many tourists routes, there are well-marked eco trails, and also a lot of places where you can relax.