There, up in the height of the Pirin mountain, where there is an abundance of natural attractions and routes, there are more than 170 lakes. Which largely give rich and priceless views in the heart of the nature park. But today we will talk about a particular lake that is enjoyed by everyone who visits it in every season of the year. It is called Lake Muratovo and in this year’s edition of one place – two seasons, this is exactly my tourist destination!
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Muratovo Lake is part of a group of lakes bearing the same name. They are four in total and are located in the northern part of Pirin, located in a secondary cirque northeast of Muratov peak, which rises to 2669 m. Three of the lakes are small and insignificant and dry up every summer. The largest lake is Golyamo Muratovo, also known as Juniper Lake or Ovinato Lake. It is located at 2230 meters above sea level on a well-defined terrace.
Its shape resembles a kidney and it covers an area of 12.3 decares. Its depth reaches up to 3.2 m in places, making it a water volume of 22,700 m3. The lake flows into a stream that descends along the channel between Muratov and Hvoynati vrah and forms a beautiful estuary, as well as two interesting peninsulas. And as an end to the beautiful view above the Muratovo Lake itself, the majestic Todorka Peak 2746 m rises.
Considering its location, the lake is extremely favorable for even the most untrained climbers – the route is extremely scenic and at the same time relatively easy. Muratovo lake is located near the town of Bansko and can be done as a one-day trip, with the starting point being Vihren hut.
The road to the hut is well maintained and can be reached safely (with exceptions in winter depending on the amount of snow and the danger of avalanches when it melts). It is important to note that due to the car restrictions in place, you will most likely have to drive to Bunderishka Polyana and then continue to Vihren Hut on foot, which takes about 30 minutes.
The distance from the Vihren hut to Muratovo Lake is about 2 kilometers with a difference in elevation of just over 260 meters. This distance is covered in about 1:00 -1:30 hours, depending on your walking pace. It starts from the parking lot of the lodge, where all the signs for the routes are posted. Here you turn left (south) and the route runs parallel to the Banderitsa River. After about 500 meters, the route is splitted by a wooden bridge that crosses the river. From here, turn right, that is, do not cross the bridge. The route marking is blue. Initially, it runs close to the Bunderitsa River, before turning in a south-westerly direction and with a relatively steep but short climb, it comes out to the shore of the lake.
Bonus: Baikusheva mura
On the way to the Vihren hut, one can come across a true natural treasure of Bulgaria – the Baikusheva mura, one of the oldest trees in the entire country.
This tree is a specimen of the black mulberry species and is named after the forester Konstantin Baikushev, who discovered and described this specimen in 1897. It is located at 1930 meters above sea level and is located near the Banderitsa hut, next to the road from Bansko to the Vihren hut.
The tree is estimated to be more than 1,300 years old, making it the oldest conifer in the state and one of the oldest trees in the world. Its approximate dimensions are: height 26 meters, diameter 2.48 meters and circumference 7.80 meters.
Muratovo Lake is a favorite destination for the summer season, that is, an influx of people can be expected on weekends;
The route does not have many shady sections, that is, you need to wear sunscreen and, if possible, a hat;
The last fountain from which you can pour yourself water is in front of Vihren hut;
For the winter season, more suitable gear is a must to help make the route more risk-free;
To emphasize on shoes for the summer and especially the winter season.
Pirin is a majestic mountain that holds impressive views and sights for the people who are ready to love it. Treat yourself to wonderful moments with your visit here and don’t forget – always protect the Bulgarian nature, because it is only one and beautiful.
And I’ll end with my favorite stargazing moment from our midnight trek with Trips with Rosie, who easily manages to turn every shot into true magic, and I can only model in that case.