Pirin National Park
Pirin National Park was established in 1962 and was originally named Vihren National Park. At that time its area was 6212 ha and covered the highest parts of the Demyanitsa and Vihren sections. Over the years, the territory of the park has increased several times and today the Pirin National Park covers over 40,000 hectares. Since 1983, the national park has been under the protection of UNESCO.
Part of the national park is one of the oldest reserves in Bulgaria - "Bayuvi Dupki - Djindjiritsa". In 1934 it was declared a protected area in order to preserve the natural relict forests of white and black fir and the great variety of plant and animal species. In 1977 it was declared a biosphere reserve under the Man and the Biosphere Program of UNESCO. In 1994 the other reserve in the park was declared - "Yulen".
There are over 182 species of medicinal plants in the park. 1315 species of higher plants are described, which is about 1/3 of the Bulgarian flora. There are about 320 species of mosses and 165 species of algae in the park.
The diverse relief and flora is a prerequisite for a diverse animal world. More than 2,000 species of invertebrates and more than 200 species of vertebrates have been described in the national park. The park is inhabited by the tree frog (Hila arborea) and the Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni), which are on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 159 species of birds are described on the territory of Pirin National Park, which represent 40% of the species on the territory of Bulgaria.
There are several park areas in the park - "Sinanitsa", "Bayuvi Dupki", "Vihren", "Bezbog" and "Kamenitza", part of which is the area "Three Rivers".
There are two marked tourist routes in Sinanitsa. The brown marking indicates the route of the Mandrata area - Sipanitsa hut (for the Pirin hut), and the yellow marking indicates the route from the Mandrata area to the Chernata Voda area (for the Yavorov hut). In the area of Mandrata there is an information center - "Vlahinska river".
The international route E4 passes through the park area "Bayuvi Dupki": Pyrenees - Alps - Rila - Pirin - Peloponnese. In Pirin the route is from Predel hut, through Yavorov hut, Vihren hut, Tevno lake shelter, Pirin hut to Popovi livadi (popovi meadows) area. Another tourist route starts from the town of Razlog in the area of Betolovoto - Yavorov hut - Suhodolski pass - Kresna. In Razlog there is a center office of the park area, which is located in the historical museum of the city.
The Vihren park area is mostly connected with the town of Bansko. Vihren is also the highest peak in Pirin - 2925 m, and the second highest in Bulgaria after Musala peak in Rila. Near the hut "Vihren" is the oldest tree in Bulgaria - Baikusheva fir, whose age is estimated at more than 1300 years. The office of the park area is located in Bansko.
The Bezbog Park District also includes part of the Yulen Reserve with Polezhan Peak and the Polezhan Lakes Circus. The office of the park area is located in Dobrinishte.
35 km of forest roads pass through the Kamenitza park area. Part of it is another area - "Three Rivers". On the territory of "Kamenitza" there are several tourist routes with specially marked markings: international route E-4 (red marking); Yane Sandanski hut - Spano Pole - Vihren hut (yellow marking); Yane Sandanski hut - Begovitsa hut - Demyanitsa hut (blue marking); Sinanitsa hut - Spano Pole - Begovitsa hut - Pirin hut (brown marking). The office of the park area is located in Sandanski.
There are eight huts and four shelters available to tourists in the Pirin National Park.
The Visitor Information Center of the Pirin National Park is located in Bansko. The center has an exhibition "Pirin Forest" - through 22 interactive modules visitors can learn interesting and curious facts about the lords of the mountain - trees, plants and wildlife. The projection hall with 30 seats is equipped with multimedia and a large screen, more than 150 popular science films about animals, plants, specialized films about Pirin National Park and other protected areas in Bulgaria illustrate the lectures prepared by park experts.
Pirin Nature Park is extremely important and special care is taken for its protection. It is inadmissible for visitors to the park to pollute the environment. Hunting, fishing in some rivers, illegal logging and damage to markings are strictly prohibited.