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Pirin National Park – the mighty Bulgarian forests

Text: Mankica Kranjec Photos: iStock

You can visit an incredible 118 glacial lakes in this Bulgarian national park, which is also home to several small glaciers – the southernmost in Europe. Pirin, which is divided into two reserves, is part of Natura 2000, a Europe-wide network of protected natural areas. It has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is part of UNESCO's intergovernmen¬tal scientific programme Man and Biosphere.

More than half of this beautiful natural park is covered by forest, with many of the trees around 140 years old or more. One very special attraction is Baikushev's Pine, the oldest tree in Bulgaria, be¬lieved to be approximately 1,300 years old and an impressive 26 metres tall.

A country with more than 100 high mountain peaks, many of them above 2,000 metres, is an ideal destination for hiking enthusiasts. Keen skiers will know that it is also the home of the popular Bansko ski resort. No less fascinating are the sandstone pyramids that rise proudly above the little town of Melnik, not far from the national park. From here you can en¬joy a unique view of a marvellous sunset as you sip a glass of delicious Bulgarian wine.


Other beautiful parks in Europe: 


129 km from Skopje Airport

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