The Pirin National Park is within the boundaries of Pirin Mountain. There are two reserves located in its territory – Bayuvi Dupki- Dzindzhiritsa and Yulen. The first one was established in 1934 and was included in the list of biosphere reserves under the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme. Yulen Reserve provides protection for rare, endangered and endemic animals and plants. A large number of tourist routes allow visitors to explore the sights of the Park. Experienced mountaineers may enjoy the beauty of Pirin with a two-day trek to Polezhan Peak (2,851 m). Accommodation can be found at some of the mountain hostels. Ski shoes are mandatory, as well as the presence of an experienced guide. The terrain is steep and difficult even during the summer, but the astonishing beauty of the mountain makes every experience there worth the effort.
Bansko is a winter resort in Pirin and is one of the most popular destinations in the country. It is located in southwest Bulgaria, 160 km from Sofia and 57 km away from Blagoevgrad. Besides offering modern conditions for sporting activities, Bansko is a beautiful town, which has preserved its authentic charm and historic heritage. In Bansko there is snow cover from December to April and most trails are equipped with snow-making facilities. The best challenge of ski center Bansko is the Tomba Trail – the most attractive and difficult trail of the resort. It was tested by its namesake – the legend Alberto Tomba, and also by other winter sport stars, among whom Franz Klammer, Rosi Mittermaier and Marc Girardelli. There is also a fabulous 7-km ski trail equipped with snow-making machines and lightning, which connects the high parts of the resort with the town of Bansko. The fact that races of the Alpine Ski World Cup circuit are held there proves the high quality of the trails. Bansko hosted the event in 2009. The World Cup brought some top skiers in Bulgaria such as Lindsey Vonn, Anja Pärson and Tina Maze.
Furthermore, Bansko ski runs offer fabulous conditions for snowboarding. The first snowboard fun park in Eastern Europe, suitable for freestyle boarding, was opened here. Bansko often hosts national and international snowboarding competitions. The resort offers great conditions and facilities for paraskiing – a tandem flight with an experienced paraglider. There is also an option for skiers to be towed by a kite instead of a paraglider. Such extreme adventures are organized upon an advanced request. You can also practice heliskiing, reaching by helicopter some of the most beautiful and inaccessible peaks of Pirin. Other activities include snowmobiling, trekking with snowshoes or reelaxing at one of the many spa centers of the resort.
The central part of Bansko has preserved its authentic architecture from the time of the Bulgarian Revival. You will be enchanted by the beautiful old houses, churches and museums. You will also enjoy the taverns offering local delicacies from the region of Pirin such as ‘kapama’, ‘shashlik’, ‘chomlek’, appetizers such as ‘katino meze’ and ‘banski starets’. Most of the hotels offer beauty and rehabilitation programs, which make Bansko an excellent spa destination.
Altitude of the Trails: from 2,240 to 1,412 m
Total Length: 4,7 km
Maximum Vertical Drop: 828 m
Ski Tows: 3
Ski Complex Dobrinishre is located 6 km away from Bansko and 156 km away from Sofia. There is one ski trail with a length of 5 km and vertical drop of 826 m. It has a double-dhair lift and ski tows. Dobrinishte is at an altitude of 850 m. In the town of Dobrinishte there is a hotel by its name and two hostels that offer accomodation. During the summer Dobrinishte is a spa destination and has pools with mineral water known for their healing effect and positive effect on the skin.