Tag: hiking

Let’s go hiking in the Pirin mountains

Let’s go hiking in the Pirin mountains

I left for Bulgaria with a rough idea of what I wanted to do. Spend some time at the seaside, do some sightseeing and travel around the country by train. I wasn’t planning on going hiking this time. So I didn’t take hiking shoes or clothes.

But after more than 10 days into my trip around Bulgaria I changed my plans. I was staying in Plovdiv and it ocurred to me I might go hiking even though I didn’t have hiking gear. I mean the main reason why I had previously wanted to go to Bulgaria was hiking. The mountains. I love being in the mountains so it only made sense to go there. In addition, it had been really hot and humid and I thought I might get away from it all in the mountains.

So I took a train to Bansko, a town situated at the foot of the Pirin mountains. I couldn’t possibly go hiking in the trainers I was wearing so I decided to buy hiking shoes in Bulgaria. I needed new hiking shoes anyway. And I was lucky. I found a pair of reasonably priced hiking shoes and was all set.

In my opinion, the Pirin National park is better suited for multiple day hikes, rather than day hikes, as the heart of the mountains and thus the best trails are found very far from the towns. You can’t see the best of the mountains in one day if you start hiking from one of the towns. But I only wanted to go on a day hike. So I had to think about my options.

A good number of hikes start at the Vihren hut accessible by car. So I thought I would take a taxi. Fortunately, I found out there were shuttle buses leaving Bansko three times a day headed for the Vihren hut. Great.

So on the following day, it was a sunny Sunday, I took a minibus and went to the Vihren hut. This saved me some three hours and tons of energy and so I could see so many more beatiful spots and do a more interesting hike.

The trail: Vihren hut (1.950 m) – Frog lake (2.322 m) – Vazela peak (2.620 m) – Golyam Tipits peak (2.645 m) – Prevalski chukar peak (2.695 m) – Prevalsko lake (2.320 m) – Demyanitsa hut (1.895 m) – Bansko village (925 m)

Length: 25 km

Hiking time: 8,5 hours (incl. 1,5 hour breaks)

The headtrail at the Vihren hut
Mount Vihren
Flowers and mountains

The weather was really good that day. It was sunny all day. The sun was really strong but the air was cool. The wind was also cool, sometimes actually rather cold. And strong. I got sunburnt anyway.

Multiple trails start at the Vihren hut. One of the main trails, the blue one, takes you to the Sinanitsa hut, while, the green one takes you to the Demyanitsa hut. The first 20 minutes or so, it’s the same trail which later splits. I followed the green trail all the way to Frog lake, which was my first stop.

Frog lake is a fairly small lake sitting at the altitude of 2.322 m. I have no idea why it’s called frog lake as I didn’t get to see any frogs there. The scenery, which included the view of Vihren, the highest peak in the Pirin mountains, was stunning. At one point, I was all alone at the lake which I loved. The green trail continues to the Demyanitsa hut, but I decided to continue along the red trail which took me to the ridge and above Tevno Vasilashko lake which I wanted to see from up there.

Ribno lake
Frog lake

I hiked along another gorgeous lake called Dalgoto lake. The trail was not very easy to follow, the paint was old and hardly visible at times and I had to climb over rocks at some stretches of the path. Once I reached the saddle I was presented with a breathtaking view of all the lakes I hiked along and some of the highest peaks in Pirin including the Vihren peak. I continued hiking to the Vazela peak where I was all alone again. The peak offers stunning views of two different valleys and I spent quite some time taking in the beauty.

Dalgoto lake
One of the many neglected guideposts
The first glance from the ridge
The view of one of the valleys from the Vazela peak
The view of Tevno Vasilashko lake from the Vazela peak

I continued hiking along the ridge climbing Golyam Tipik and Prevalski chukar peaks. I saw Tevno Vasilashko lake from different perspectives which I loved. A hiker I met on the way recommended that I go to Tevno Lake which is supposedly very beautiful but I had neither time nor energy to go there. I still had to hike down to Bansko as there was no shuttle bus in this part of the mountains. I hiked to Prevalsko lakes, there are four of them, and I enjoyed some alone time at the largest of these lakes.

Tevno Vasilashko lake
Tevno Vasilashko lake
There were loads of lakes along this trail
Tipits lakes
Prevalsko lakes on the right and Golemo Valyavishko lake on the very left

Then I hiked down to Demyanista hut and all the way down to Bansko, which was really the least enjoyable part of the hike. I just had to get down. Anyway, the main part of the hike from the Vihren hut to Prevalsko lakes was amazing and I’m glad I decided to go to Pirin, because I saw the most beautiful places in Bulgaria. I can’t deny it. Mountains always take my breath away and I’m super happy there.

The largest of the Prevalsko lakes
The Demyanitsa stream valley