Pirin Mountains

  • Pirin Mountains - © Filip Stoyanov
  • Pirin Mountains - © Emi Jane
  • Pirin Mountains - © Emi Jane
  • Pirin Mountains - © Emi Jane

Key information: Pirin Mountains

    A relatively compact range in Bulgaria's south-west, with classic glaciated landscape of cirques, sharp peaks, huge cliffs, lakes, deep valleys and moraine fields.

    A remote(ish) area, the range is rich in animal and plant life.

    Some magnificent walking, often on good paths.

    This can be tough walking in high, remote mountains. Come prepared.




Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating85
  • Beauty32
  • Natural interest16
  • Human interest5
  • Charisma32
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating85

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable
  • Maximum Altitude: 2,915m
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
Pirin Mountains - © Emi Jane


Bulgaria's Pirin Mountains are a relatively compact range which lies at the western end of the chain running along the country's southern border-areas, which includes the Rila and the Rodopi. Its core is now a World Heritage Site.

The range is mainly old igneous/metamorphic rock, and with its high peak, Vichren, at 2,915m, it was once high enough to be under ice-age icecaps, which have shaped its classic glaciated landscape of cirques, sharp peaks, huge cliffs, lakes, high pastures and deep valleys and moraine fields. It can be orientated around a main central ridge.

As a remote(ish)  area, and protected since the 1960s, the range is rich in animal and plant life (quite a bit of it endemic): it is famed for its conifer forests in particular, and is home to bears, wolves, deer and chamois, as well as 159 bird species.


The range has some magnificent walking, often on good paths, including:

  • Sections of the E4 international route cross the Rila and Pirin ranges, then run south into Greece. You can make a 60km traverse of the range north to south in around 6-7 days. 
  • While there is a lot of climbing/descent, it is not excessively tough. This can be walked hut to hut ? but plan your route carefully. A guide may be advisable.

Bansko is the main base. Mandrat is also a good base for walking in the Pirin.

There are 8 larger refuges in the park, and some smaller huts.

Have a look at the dreaded TripAdvisor. You should get good, current views on this area.

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Pirin Mountains - © Emi Jane

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Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.


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