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Bansko tour to Popovo Lake (Bulgarian: Попово Езера) is a glacier lake located in the Pirin mountain range in south-western Bulgaria. It’s one of the 11 Popovi Lakes. The lake and its environs are among the most popular summer tourist destinations in Pirin National Park. The peaks Sivria (2,591 m), Dzhano (2,668 m), Kralev Dvor (2,680 m), Momin Dvor (2,723 m), and Dzhengal surround it at the bottom of the Popovski cirque (2,730 m).
The lake is located at an elevation of 2,234 meters. Popovo Lake is the largest and deepest lake in Pirin, both in terms of area and volume. It has an uneven pentagon shape and a little islet. The maximum length is 480 meters, while the width is 336 meters. Its surface area is 123,600 m2, ranking it fourth in total area among Bulgaria’s glacial lakes, after Smradlivo Lake, Upper Fish Lake, and Bliznaka, all of which are located in the Rila mountain range. It is the second deepest lake in the country, behind Okoto Lake in Rila, which is 37.7 meters deep.In the summer, the water temperature reaches 14-16 °C at the top and drops to 5-6 °C in the lower depths.
Popovo Lake gets its water from rain, snow, and two little springs that flow into the lake’s southern end. The most water can be seen in late spring as snow melts from surrounding peaks. The lake’s water drains into the river Retizhe, a right tributary of the Mesta. The Retizhe flows to the seven Fish Popovski Lakes and empties the entire Popovski cirque. The landscape around the lake is dotted with meadows and mountain pine (Pinus mugo), some of which are over 100 years old.
The lake’s name translates to “Lake of the Priest” in Bulgarian. There are two legends surrounding its genesis. According to the more widely accepted version, a priest plunged himself into the sea after the Ottoman Turks molested his daughter. His cap appeared and formed the small islet in the middle of the lake. According to another tradition, once Bulgaria was Christianized in the 9th century, a priest resolved to ascend the Pirin mountain to evict the Slavic god Perun. He tracked him down, but Perun was angered by his bravado and flung him into the water. His cap emerged from the sea once more, forming the islet.
On the way back, you can stop by a trout farm and sample fresh fish caught with their own hands, cooked over an open fire in the restaurant adjacent to the au pair.
There are opportunities to harvest blueberries, dirt, and raspberries along the way.
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