Beyond Bansko

The Pirin Mountains of Bulgaria are, like the Rila Mountains from which they are separated by the Predel saddle, a mighty alpine landscape. These ridges boast the highest peaks in the Balkans, with Musala (2,925m) and Vihren (2,914m) rearing high. The northern part of the Pirin Range is a national park, and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ancient woodlands, pristine glacial lakes and an abundant wildlife have survived wars, communist times and gangster capitalism after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Yet this all may be in grave danger now. As the WWF revealed in December 2017, 400km2 of old-growth forest – two thirds of the national park – has been opened to commercial logging by the government, which claims to…Continue Reading