Pirin Mountain is part of the Rila-Rhodope mountain massif, which occupies a large area in south-western Bulgaria. Pirin is the most beautiful mountain in Bulgaria and it has most explicit alpine character. It is the second highest mountain after Rila and its highest peak Musala (2 925 meters and third in the Balkan Peninsula (after the highest peak of Mount Olympus, Greece – peak Mitica, 2917 m). Its highest peak is Vihren (2914 m.). It is elongated in northwest-southeast, surrounded by the rivers Struma and Mesta. Pirin is divided into three parts - north, middle and south, and its well manifest main ridge extends from Predela to the saddle of Parilska northwest to southeast.
Over the centuries the mountain was known under various names: Thracian Orbelus (Orbel), meaning "snow mountain" old Slavic Judenitsa (by Judas - fairies who are thought to have populated the mountains), the newer Slavic name - Perun, connected with God Perun, who according to Slavic mythology lived on Vihren and threw his fire in the form of thunder, Turkish Beride meaning "outspread". According to recent studies, the name Pirin comes from the Hittite word "perunash" - rock and the Thracian Perintus or Pirintos.
Pirin National Park is one of the three national parks in Bulgaria. The protected area officially listed as such since 1962, is named initially Vihren National Park. It covers an area of over 42,000 hectares, which include old-growth forests, amazing marble tops - giants, emerald lakes, crystal clear rivers.
Among this natural landscape grow rare mountain edelweiss and others listed in the Red Book of protected species of plants. Among this beautiful scenery can be seen interesting fauna represents, like wild goats, deer, bears, wildcats and wolves and others. Since 1983 the National Park "Pirin" is included in the list of natural and cultural heritage of UNESCO, which is part of the program "Man and Biosphere" of the organization.
Touristic chalets and lodges within the mountains are a lot. Hut Banderitsa is the newest, and its capacity is 95 seats. It is located on the bank of the left shore of river Bunderitsa at 1810 meters altitude. For the convenience of visitors there is a restaurant, kiosk, TV and several amusing games. Nearby is the old hut, which is used for rent only during the summer. From these two huts in Pirin there’s a way leading to Vihren on about 2, 3 hours distance, and the area has a small lift. On 100 meters from Bunderitsa is built and camping area.
Vihren is half an hour away from Bunderitsa, there are two-kilometer long asphalt road between the two. Vihren is situated on the left bank of the eponymous river, at 1950 m. It’s a complex of two massive duplex buildings and bungalows with a total capacity of 196 seats.
Another frequently visited hut in Pirin is Damyanitsa, which is located on a confluence of rivers Strajishka, Valyavishka and Vassilashka, surrounded by pine trees on 1895 m above the sea level. The building is massive with two floors and attic. It has five rooms with 5, 8 or more beds and 12 rooms with wood or spring base. On the top floor there are 70 seats on the wooden plank. Among the best places to spend the night under the stars are the lodges of Tevno lake, Kazana, Koncheto and others.
On the territory of Pirin Mountain there are two reserves. "Baiuvi holes - Dzhindzhiritsa" was created in 1934, as the area is 2873 hectares. In 1977, the reserve was included in the list of biosphere reserves to the program of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere. The protected area is between the peaks "Pirin" and "Banski Suhodol", including the circuits Dupki, Razlozhki suhodol, Kamenititsa, Okada peak, segments, Tepe Dautov peak, Konyarnika and Byala reka valley. The fauna is incredibly rich - there are about 500 species of vascular plants, 55 endemic species, many species included in the Red Book of Bulgaria and European and world lists.
The Reserve Ulen existed since 1994, as the area is 3156.2 hectares. The aim of the natural object is to preserve without any human intervention samples of forest, subalpine and alpine ecosystems on a silicate bedrock and deposits of rare, endangered and endemic animal and plant species.
"Variola" is the only park area, which is located on the areas of three municipalities – Simitli, Kresna and Strumiani Municipality. The mixed conifer plantations occupy 33, 6% of them and most involved are those dominated by white fir. The average age of the forest is 79 years. Starting west of Vihren, through Kutelo the ridge of Koncheto, to Pirin peak and on south - through tops Hvoynati, Muratov, Georgiitsa, variola, and to Sharalia -this is the territory of the park area "Sinanitsa." Here nature reveals its beauty in different forms - Vlahinski, Georgiyski and Sinanitsa circuits, majestic peaks and ancient trees.