Pirin is the second highest mountain in Bulgaria after Rila. It is located in the southwestern part of the country, not far from the border with Greece. Its highest point, Mount Vihren, rises to 2914 meters above sea level in the northern part of the mountain. The peak is easily recognizable even from a long distance, because its shape resembles a pyramid. The wild nature of Pirin is just amazing, and many say it is the most beautiful mountain in Bulgaria.
Its relief forms have been carved mainly under the influence of large glaciers during the last Ice Age.
Breathtaking valleys of varying shape and depth, cirques, moraines and crystal clear glacial lakes with mirrored surface have appeared after the glacier’s withdrawal.
To about 1800-2200 meters above sea level, the mountain is covered with thick and fresh pine forests.
Above this boundary, there are fresh and green Alpine meadows, and in some places, mainly in the northern part of Pirin, you can see one of the most beautiful and rare flowers in Bulgaria – the edelweiss. The mountain is home to a rich fauna.
Here are found some typical European species of animals such as brown bears, foxes, wolves, wild cats, jackals, deer, wild goats, wild boars, badgers, great diversity of large birds of prey (eagle, griffon vulture, falcon, hawk, owl) and many others.
Even if located in one of the warmest parts of Bulgaria, Pirin Mountain is known for its erratic and rapidly deteriorating weather.
Sudden storms with heavy snowfalls are quite common during the winter months, although snowfalls are not excluded even in summer.
At some more shadow and dank places, snow can persist nearly year-round. However, the weather depends mainly on what altitude you are at.
While the low lying southern slopes of Pirin are warm and sunny with a mild Mediterranean climate, the northern parts, especially at higher altitudes, are characterised with long cold winters and short summers with pretty cool temperatures.
Because of its geography, Pirin is considered the most difficult to pass Bulgarian mountain, and the area is very sparsely populated as a whole.
However, here are some towns and villages which are crucial for the development of tourism in Bulgaria.
Among the most important of them are the famous ski resort of Bansko, the popular for its mineral waters tourist town of Sandanski, the amazing architectural treasure Melnik, and many others.
The mountain boasts one of the most incredible national parks in Bulgaria – the beautiful Pirin National Park, which is under the auspices of UNESCO.
Here you will find the famous black fir tree “Baikusheva Mura”, which, with its 1,300 years, proudly ranks among the oldest trees in the world. Be sure to visit the beautiful Samodivski Lakes, Kremenski Lakes, Gorno Polejansko Lake (the highest situated in Bulgaria) and the Yulenski skok Waterfall.