We’ve been coming to “the Park”, the Pirin National Park that is, for over 10 years now. We’ve explored the Alpine meadows and Mountain peaks that make up this beautiful environment.
The Pirin was given National Park status in 1962, when Bulgaria was still under communist rule. The government developed a network of trails, criss crossing the country and a series of huts and shelters along their length.
Today, mountain walking and visitor numbers are buoyant. Although it could be considered as the gateway to the Pirin, with regard to the outdoor enthusiast, Bansko is in no way developed in the same way as say, Keswick in England or Chamonix in France. There is no glut of retailers selling the latest brands, nor the associated clad hoardes.
The Pirin is a place of exploration. The mapping is not as prescribed as the Ordnance survey, so beloved by us Brits. The guide books are limited and there are certainly no lists of peaks to be ticked off.
Going into the mountains is an exillerating experience. Even in summer there can be violent electrical storms. It is no coincidence that the area is named after Perun, the Slav god of thunder.
The trails can require a significant amount of Boulder hopping and some of the summits are only achieveable via a narrow ridge.
In return for your efforts, the views and relative solitude of the area are just reward. Not to mention the flora, fauna and topography. But that’s a whole other story…