The town of Bansko is located in the foot of Pirin National Park – one of the most beautiful mountains in Bulgaria. Because of its proximity, there are plenty of easy or more advanced hikes nearby.
Even though winter hiking in Pirin is also a favourite activity of mine, the following routes are best suited for summertime.
At the end of this list you’ll find links to the detailed hiking routes in the Komoot app, as well as a hiking packing list, safety tips, and useful resources for hiking in Bulgaria.
If you’re looking for things to do in Bansko, check out my other article – 23 Things To Do In Bansko, Bulgaria (besides skiing)
⛰ Muratovo Lake
|Starting Point: Vihren hut||Level: Easy||Duration: 2-3 hours|
If you’re looking for a chill afternoon in Pirin Mountains, Muratovo Lake is easily accessible from Bansko and Vihren hut. The walk is nice, with no big elevation so you don’t need previous hiking experience. Kids are welcome to join too.
To start, you need to reach Vihren hut which is 30 minutes from Bansko by car or even a taxi. From Vihren hut, follow the signs for Muratovo Lake (Муратово езеро). It will take around 1 hour to reach the lake. Bring some snacks and enjoy a nice afternoon surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery. But of course, don’t leave any trash.
⛰ Muratov Peak
|Starting Point: Vihren hut||Level: Medium||Duration: 5-6 hours|
If you’ve reached Muratovo Lake and you’re feeling extra strong that day – head over to the overlooking Muratov peak. It’s a good 1-1,3. hours from the lake, depending on your speed. The final part is steep and slow, but it’s worth every sweat drop, I promise.
Muratov peak is 2669m high so you can brag with that to your friends back home. From Muratov peak you can see one of the most beautiful (very subjective!) peaks in Pirin National Park, and the highest one there – Vihren peak.
⛰ Vihren Peak
|Starting Point: Vihren hut||Level: Medium/Hard||Duration: 6-7 hours|
You can’t come to Bansko for hiking and not conquer the highest peak in Pirin – Vihren Peak. It’s an absolute classic and a beautiful hike up. It’s a bit more challenging than the previous two but if you’re ready for it, take as many breaks as you need, you’ll be up top in no time (okay, in maybe 3-4 hours).
The views from Vihren Peak are some of the best. You can even spot the infamous Koncheto ridge – a super steep on both sides ridge that takes you from Kutelo to Koncheto peak. I don’t recommend this one to non-experienced hikers but it’s something to aim for
⛰ Bezbog Lake
|Starting Point: Bezbog hut||Level: Super Easy||Duration: 1 hour|
Bezbog lake is accessible after just a short lift ride up. You start at Gotse Delchev hut, take the lift, and in 40 minutes you’ll reach Bezbog hut and the nearby lake. Gotse Delchev hut is just around 30-40 min ride from Bansko in the nearby town of Dobrinishte. Instead of taking the lift, you can also hike up to Bezbog Hut and it will take around 2 hours. Or you can always choose to take the lift up and hike down.
There are two restaurants working in the summer near Bezbog Hut, so you won’t be left hungry. The first lift starts at 8am, and the last lift down is at 16:00. Spend a nice day around the lake or even sleep in the hut for a great starry night sky.
⛰ Popovo Lake
|Starting Point: Bezbog hut||Level: Easy/Medium||Duration: 3-4 hours|
If you’re up for some walking, Popovo lake is a great choice for a short, half-day hike from Bezbog hut. The only challenging part is the first hill you have to climb, just opposite the Bezbog hut. After that, the trail becomes quite even and not that demanding. It will take around 1,3 to 2 hours to reach the lake.
⛰ Bezbog Peak
|Starting Point: Bezbog hut||Level: Medium||Duration: 4-5 hours|
You can see Bezbog peak once you reach the hut – it’s a nice and more active hike up to 2645m. It will take around 2 hours to hike to the top. The views to the nearby Bezbog hut and surrounding peaks are spectacular.
If you start early in the morning, you can be back for a delicious lunch in the hut. Keep in mind that the last lift down is at 16:00, so if you don’t plan to sleep in the hut or hike down to the parking lot, you should be wary of the time.
⛰ Golyam Polezhan Peak
|Starting Point: Bezbog hut||Level: Medium/Hard||Duration: 5-6 hours|
This is probably one of my favourite peaks in Pirin – I’ve been there during summer and snwoshoeing in winter and both are equally incredible experiences. I go there a few times a year just to soak in the great scenery from the peak.
I’ve seen the sunset from Golyam Polezhan and it’s a great place for that but keep in mind the hike back is in the dark so you should know the area well. Golyam Polezhan is a bit more challenging than the other hikes in this list but probably the most rewarding one.
I’ve loaded the mentioned hiking routes on Komoot app where you can see the duration, elevation, exact location of the starting and ending point, and a few more details. Click on each route for more information and GPS tracking. You can also download the free Komoot app to help you during the hikes.
1️⃣ Vihren Hut – Muratovo lake
2️⃣ Vihren Hut – Muratov peak
3️⃣ Vihren Hut – Vihren peak
4️⃣ Gotse Delchev Hut – Bezbog Hut
5️⃣ Bezbog Hut – Popovo lake
6️⃣ Bezbog Hut – Bezbog peak
7️⃣ Bezbog Hut – Golyam Polezhan peak
Hiking Packing List
✅ Good hiking boots, hiking poles
✅ Sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
✅ Water (at least 1,5l or 3l for longer hikes) and some food
✅ Charged phone
✅ Wind and waterproof jacket
✅ Personal first aid kit
Hiking Safety Tips
🌦 Check the weather forecast in advance
➡️ Always follow the route markers
🥾 Wear reliable hiking shoes
🙋♀️ Tell people where you plan to go
🤳 Charge your phone
🔥 It’s forbidden to light a fire in Pirin National Park
🏕 Camping on the National Park territory is forbidden unless on specified camping areas (usually near the huts)
- How to book mountain huts in Bulgaria – a great article explaining the process of booking huts in Bulgarian mountains
- Top Guides Bulgaria – their blog has plenty of useful information about hiking and trekking in Bulgaria. You can also find organised hiking trips or mountain guides.
- Vihren hut – information and phone details from the Bulgarian Tourist Union website
- Bezbog hut – room details, prices and phone contacts
- Komoot – mountain routes app
- Pirin National Park website
- Mountain Rescue Bulgaria
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Elias | May 24, 2021
Can’t wait to be back to hike in the Pirin Mountains. See ya!
Maria Stoyanova | Author | May 26, 2021
Yeah, we’ll open the hikng season soon!
Noa | June 5, 2022
Thank you for the insightful post. Exactly what we needed!
Would you knoe to direct us to the hot springs of Eleshnitca? I mean those that are out nature (not spas or hotels) thank you so much
Marina S | July 5, 2021
Thank you very much! It is exactly what I was searching for 🙂
Was it easy to navigate the trails, are there the waymarks?
Pavan | July 10, 2021
Absolutely amazing post, we haven’t been to Bulgaria yet but it’s definitely on our bucket list. We also love those emoji icons throughout your post.
izbulgaria | July 26, 2021
Amazing views and pictures, great adventures.
Don | December 12, 2021
Great post, thank you. When does the Bansko ski lift open for hikers ? May ??
Maria Stoyanova | Author | March 4, 2022
Here’s the schedule from 2021 – I assume it will be similar: https://visit-bansko.bg/en/helpful/gondola-lift-timetable
Adi | May 18, 2022
Hi, are the moderate hikes near Bansko accessible at the beginning of June?
Maria Stoyanova | Author | August 11, 2022
GP | July 5, 2022
Great post! Going to Bansko for a couple of months and excited to explore the mountains.