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Major departure points for hiking tours

The town of Bansko is the entrance gate to Pirin (the Bulgarian Shamoni). It is connected to the remaining parts of the country by bus and railway transport. It is 160 km south of Sofia. It offers a lot of accommodation and food related opportunities. There is a base of the Mountain Rescue Service, too (tel.: 07443 3075 and 3076). Marked tourist routes start from here for the Banderitsa Chalet (3.30 hours), Vihren Chalet (4 hours) and Damyanitsa Chalet (4 hours), from where one can continue exploring Pirin in various directions and from the first two the Mt. Vihren can be climbed for about 3 hours.

The village of Dobrinishte is situated at the distance of 6 km south of Bansko. It is connected by bus and railway transport, too. Last station of the narrow-gauge railway line Septemvri - Dobrinishte. There are good possibilities for accommodation in family hotels and private lodgings, offering traditional cuisine. A marked tourist track starts from the village to the Gotse Delchev Chalet (3 h, there is also a 11 km of asphalt road in same direction), from where on foot (2 h) or by an open-seat cableway one can get to the Bezbog Chalet beside the beautiful lake of the same name. The well maintained ski-run can be used in winter. One can continue in various directions from there along marked footpaths. The Mocharata Tourist Base is situated at about a 1.30 hours walk west of the Gotse Delchev Chalet. One can get there directly from the village, too (3 to 3.30 h).

The town of Gotse Delchev - 212 km south of Sofia and 22 km north of the border with Greece. There is regular bus transport to it. One can depart from it along a marked hiking path to the Popovi Livadi Chalet (Papazchair) - 4.30 to 5 hours (there is a 16 km road too, but there is no regular transport). One can continue to Mid and Northern Pirin from there or set out in the opposite direction - to Southern Pirin. There are accommodation and food related opportunities in the town of Gotse Delchev.

The town of Sandanski - 165 km south of Sofia and 22 km north of Koulata (on the border with Greece), in the valley of the Strouma River. It is situated on the international road and the international railway line Sofia - Thessaloniki - Athens. There are accommodation and food facilities. The Popina Luka Resort with the Yane Sandanski Chalet is located at the distance of 18 km north-east of it, in Pirin. There is no regular transport to it but one can hire a taxi. Marked tourist routes set out from there for: Kamenitsa Chalet (2 h), Sinanitsa Chalet (5 h), Vihren Chalet (7 h), Tourichka Cherkva Resort (1 h) and others.

The town of Kresna - also on the international railway and highway Sofia - Thessaloniki - Athens, 40 km south of Blagoevgrad. With modest accommodation possibilities but there is no problem as far as food is concerned. A marked tourist track starts out from there to Sinanitsa Shelter (8 to 9 h), from where various directions can be chosen.

Predela Saddle bordering between Rila and Pirin, at 1142 metres above sea level, on the road between Simitli and Razlog. A lot of regular bus lines pass from here. Besides the several holiday homes, there is the Predela Chalet, too, as well as a lot of public catering establishments. One can go from here for about 5 hours along a marked hiking path to the Yavorov Chalet, from where one can continue around the beautiful karst ridge of Northern Pirin.

The town of Razlog - 155 km south of Sofia and 6 km north of Bansko. With very good bus connections and a station at the narrow-gauge railway line Septemvri Dobrinishte as well. There are perfect opportunities for accommodation and food. A marked tourist track starts from it to the Yavorov Chalet (4.30 - 5 h). There is a road, too (16 km), but for more rugged type of motor car vehicles.

Food can be bought in almost all Pirin chalets in summer, cooked warm included.

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