Mount Vihren Summit
Start: Vihren Hut
End: Vihren Hut
Time: 3 hours
Surface: Mountain Trails, Bare Rock
The Mount Vihren Summit lies within what is considered by many to be Bulgaria’s most beautiful mountain range, with more than sixty peaks in excess of 8,200 feet (2,500 m), the UNESCO World Heritage Pirin Mountains, with their marble and granite peaks and pristine glacier lakes, lure hikers from across Europe who want to experience exceptional walks without the crowds common to many of Western Europe’s more trampled pathways.
The town of Bansko makes an ideal base for exploring the Pirins, whether it be the karst formations and soaring cliffs around Mount Vihren, or the centuries-old spruce forests in the Yulen Reserve, or a walk up to Vihren hut, from where you can hike the cirque of the Banderishki Lakes. You can take the chairlift to Bezbog hut for a richly rewarding walk to the summit of Polezhan Mountain (9,354 feet/2,851 m) and its jaw-dropping views over seventeen lakes, including glacial Popovo Lake, the Pirin mountain range’s largest and deepest lake. However, no visit to the Pirin Mountains is complete without an ascent of its highest and most famous summit, Mount Vihren Summit (9,560 feet/2,914 ml. There are three approaches you can take-the southwest approach beginning at Vihren hut (6,397 feet/1,950 m) along open terrain, the Koncheto Shelter approach, which provides stunning views of the Pirin massif from the adjacent Koncheto Ridge, and the northern approach along the Golem Kazan (Giant Cauldron), beneath the breathtaking splendor of Mount Vihren Summit’s 1,000-foot-high (305 m) northern face. The southwest approach is the most popular choice for tourists, and it takes about two and a half to three hours to the summit from Vihren hut.