Pirin is the second highest mountain chain (firs is Rila) of the Balkan Peninsula, located in the west - southern part of Bulgaria, south of Rila. Pirin and Riła are separated by Rozłożka hollow and Predeł pass. Generally, in contrast to the Rila, Pirin mountains are more rocky and sharp, but the climate is milder. You can feel here the clear influence of Mediterranean air masses (by the way, if you have a car, from Bansko to Kavala - the Greek port which is situated by the Aegean Sea, is approximately 160 km) - especially in the towns such as Bansko, Sandanski, Melnik. Of course, You must remember that in the high parts of the peak - just like in the mountains - you have to be prepared for all circumstances. The symbol of the Pirin is an edelweiss (being under the protection).

Approach from Poland:

I'll skip the description of getting there, because it is almost the same as already written in case of Rila mountains.

The same like in case of Rila, You have to go to Sofia. From Sofia You can go to any chosen town  (Pirin is more protruding to the south than Rila, so, for example, from Sofia to Rila is 50 km, and to Pirin approximately 150 km). However, I can't advise anything, because I do not know how the direct access from Sofia to Pirin looks like (we were going from the Rilski monastery to Blagoevgrad, and then to Bansko). I checked, that there are buses from main bus station (it is close to the railway station) in Sofia to Bansko. The exact timetable You can find on the official bus station website: . Information for tourists traveling by car - Bulgarian main roads are rather good quality. Local roads - not necessairly... We took a shortcut to Melnik and we came across a road rather for donkeys but not for cars (You can see it in the picture).


This is the town with a population of 10 thousand residents, which is an important tourist centre in Bulgaria. It is divided into two parts: old Bansko with plenty of turists and town residents and tourist complex, which clearly shows overinvestment. Many of the buildings are empty, and they are for sale.
Due to the large number of hotels, finding accommodation is not a problem. However, You have to take into consideration, that hotels 3-4-stars are quite expensive. It is better to look for two-star hostel.

We found an excellent and affordable accommodation (10 lewa per person, means about 5 Eur, double room with bathroom, TV, balcony). To get there, You have to follow main promenade in the direction of Pirin hotel, in front of the hotel turn right, after around 70 meters, You have to look for on the right building with two stars on it - I really recommend.

The old part of Bansko is a charming place for the romantic walks. You'll find here a number of pubs offering Bulgarian cuisine. What is more, the prices are relatively low, for example, beer on the main street costs less than 1 Eur (1,40 lewa), and you can eat a good lunch for about 4 Eur (7 lewa). A characteristic view on the streets are an elderly women sitting on a benches on the street in front of their houses. The town also offers cultural entertainment: Museum of Icons, Museum of Neofit Rilski, Museum of Nikola Wapcarow (Communist poet, with a relatively poor work, one collection of poems called "Motorni Pesni" was issued, but in 1952 He was posthumously awarded the International Prize of Peace ... of course, in Moscow).


Melnik is a unique town, situated near the slops of Pirin, surrounded by sandstone rocks. There is less than 300 permanent inhabitants.

. However, it was not always so. "Until the Balkan wars of the early twentieth century, the town remained in the borders of Turkey and was a big, important center - had a population of about 3,000 houses and 12 thousand inhabitants. Both the Balkan wars, the World War I and the post-war arrangements led the town up to ruin. A lot of vineyards has been destroyed then, later, as a result of international agreements, a significant proportion of the population (Turks and Greeks) have been displaced. As a result of these disasters and transfer the administration to Sandanski Melnik declined."- Bulgaria Guide, R. Sendek, ed. Bezdroża 2009.
Currently, Melnik is a charming tourist town.There is no problem with finding accommodation in private houses in the price 10-30 lewa (5 - 15 Eur). Main attractions of Melnik are: situated 6 km from the town Monastir Rożeński and wine-bars. It should be noted, that Melnik is famous for its red wine of the same name (Melnik), produced from melnik vine.Almost everyone in here is making it, so you can buy a cheap home-made wine.
There are also professional wine bars, which offer wine for tasting and buying (also vintage wine).

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