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Sandanski Tourist Guide

 

Sandanski and Melnik



 

The town of Sandanski and the smallest town in Bulgaria – Melnik are well known destinations in Bulgaria and abroad. They are famous for their unique climate, mineral water, pure air, rich history and preserved folklore. What is more, the whole region around the administrative center of the municipality – Sandanski has rich tourism potential and offers to its guests the opportunity to experiences unforgettable moments and make new friends.
 

Location

Municipality of Sandanski is located in Southwestern Bulgaria and is the largest in Blagoevgrad district (1002 sq. km.). It consists of 54 settlements – the towns of Sandanski and Melnik and 52 villages. Its total population is 46113 people. It is located at the foothills of the magnificent Pirin Mountains, the bordering with Greece – Slavyanka Mountain, with Macedonia – Ograzhden and Maleshevska Mountains. Its territory covers a big part of the vast Sandanski – Petrich Valley and part of the picturesque valley of the Struma River.
 
The resort of Sandanski (29 149 people) is the main administrative, cultural and economic center of the municipality. It is situated 220-240 m above sea level in the valley and at the two banks of Sandanska Bistritsa River.   
 
Melnik Architectural Reserve is the smallest town in Bulgaria, found 22 km southeast from the town of Sandanski and at the southwestern foothills of the Pirin Mountains. It is situated at the heart of the Melnik Sand Pyramids, 437 m above sea level. The Melnik River, a left feeder of Struma, passes through the small town.  
 

Climate


The climate in the region is transitional continental with Mediterranean influence and summer minimum of rainfall. The average annual rainfall is about 670 mm. The geographic location of Municipality of Sandanski – at the middle of the Kresna and Rupel Gorges is a precondition for its exceptionally favourable climatic characteristics.
 
The town of Sandanski is known as the warmest settlement in the Republic of Bulgaria with an average annual temperature of 13.9ºС, the lowest in the country average annual humidity rate – 66%, the longest duration of sunshine – 2506 hours, the least number of foggy days per year – an average of 5. The air in Sandanski has the lowest percentage of allergens in the whole of Bulgaria. It is not by accident that Sandanski is known as the best European natural clinic for chronical deseases of the lungs and the upper respiratory tract – bronchial asthma, chronic and asthmatic bronchitis, conditions after bronchopneumonia, recovery after lung operations, lung emphysema, chronic rhinitis, pharyngitis, sinusitis, hay fever, respiratory neurosis and others.        
  
For thousands of years Sandanski has been known for its healing mineral water. There are 5 mineral springs in the resort with temperature between 33° and 83°С, used for prevention and treatment of deseases of the musculoskeletal, central and peripheral nervous system.  
It can be rightly said that today Sandanski has become one of a kind “health factory”. The climatology and balneology here have proven its advantages long time ago and have turned the town into a national and international balneological resort. 
 
The climate in the town of Melnik is transitional continental with summer minimum and winter maximum of rainfall. The average annual rainfall is about 670 mm. It is favourable for treatment of lung, kidney and rheumatic desesases. The level of allergens in the air is among the lowest in Bulgaria.     
 

History

The town of Sandanski
The specific natural, geographical and climatic characteristics of the town of Sandanski, as well as the presence of mineral springs, are the reasons for its habitation for thousands of years (II millennium BC). The town of today has been built over a number of antient layers.
 
During the Roman period these lands were inhabited by the Thracian tribe Maedi, which is the tribe of the great warrior Spartacus. With his strength, courage and pursuit of justice he became the leader of the biggest slave rebellion in the Roman Empire.
 
In the same period Sandanski became the most significant early Christian center in the region. Evidence for that is its rich archaeological heritage, preserved by Archaeological Museum of Sandanski. The museum is built “in-situ” over the ruins of Bishop John’s Basilica (IV c.) and is one of the few of its kind. On the territory of the town is located and preserved part of the antient town – Early Christian Complex (IV-VI c.) and the Bishop’s Basilica (IV-VI c.) – the most representative and significant monument of early Christian art in the region. 
Later on, (VI-VII c.) the silverless saints Cosmas and Damian settled in this place and helped the sick with the healing powers of the mineral water, climate and Christian faith. The place of their antient clinic is known today as Miroto spring, and for their home they chose a small monastery, which nowadays bears their names – “St. st. Cosmas and Damian the Silverless”. In their honour the settlement was called “Sveti Vrach” – holy healers. 
The big movement of the European tribes at the end of 6th and the beginning of 7th century put an end to the heyday of antient Sandanski. It wasn’t before the beginning of 20th century that the small village of Sveti Vrach began its economic and cultural progress, which is evident to us today. In 1929 Sveti Vrach was declared a town and in 1947 was renamed Sandanski – in honour of the Bulgarian revolutionary and leader Yane Sandanski. From then on Sandanski continuous the tradition to use the local natural resources and in combination with the modern technologies and new knowledge to help people, suffering from various diseases.    
 

The town of Melnik

Nowadays Melnik is a small town but its history takes us away back into the past. Once, Thracians and Romans lived here, and the Slavs gave it its name after the surrounding sand pyramids – melove.
At the beginning of XIII c. (1215) Melnik became the capital of the independent feudal principality of Despot Alexius Slav. This was the time when the town went through its first big economic and cultural boom. Ruins from the Despot’s fortress, as well as several temples, built or reconstructed during this period, can be seen today on Sveti Nikola hill, just over Melnik.
 
Because of its border location between Bulgaria and Byzantium, the town of Melnik, often changed its sovereignity and was part of the territories of Bulgaria, Byzantium, the Empire of Nicaea and Serbia. The most important monument from this time is the Boyar House – the biggest partly preserved medieval house in Bulgaria.  
 
The town went through its second economic boom in ХVІІІ-ХІХ c. when the development of wine and tobacco production started. The Melnik wine was exported all over Europe, mainly in England and Austria. At that time Melnik was populous, it had more than 70 churches, three all-boys schools and one all-girls school, and four monasteries functioning in its vicinities. Melnik was also famous for its library.   
In the second half of XIX c. the town began to decline. In 1912 it became part of free Bulgaria, although burned down due to the men of Yane Sandanski.
In 1968 Melnik was declared a town-museum and architectural reserve of international importance.  
   
 

Nature

Municipality of Sandanski has a beautiful and well-preserved natural heritage – from the generous valley of the Strouma River to the high peaks of the Pirin Mountains, everything in these lands opens up our soul to the magnificence of Nature. 
31% of the territories of Pirin National Park are located in Municipality of Sandanski. Here you can find the sixth highest mountain in Bulgaria – Slavyanka, including in itself Alibotush Nature Reserve. Pirin National Park and Alibotush are included in the list of biosphere reserves of the Man and the Biosphere Programme of UNESCO as a territory used for preserving the world natural heritage. The Municipality is rich in spring waters. The Bistrets Spring in the village of Petrovo is the biggest karst spring – third of flow rate in the whole of Bulgaria. There are three big waterfalls on the territory of the Municipality – Popina Laka Waterfall (14 m), declated a natural landmark, Skoko (19 m), located near the village of Kashina, close to Melnik, and Byala Reka (10 m) – above the village of Pirin. The unique protected area “Melnik Sand Pyramids” is one of the most visited complexes of high sand formations on the territory of Bulgaria.   
  
 

Language

The official language in Bulgaria is Bulgarian.
 

Religion

The official religion of Municipality of Sandanski is the Orthodox Christianity and on its territory, there is a large concentration of Christian religious temples – churches and monasteries. Among the most significant in the region are: St. John the Baptist (1856) in the village of Sugarevo, St. George the Victorious (1874) in the village of Levunovo, St. Nicholas (1885) in the village of Pirin, St. George (1857) in the village of Zlatolist. In the village of Novo Delchevo there is a Catholic Uniate Church “Assumption of Mary” (1931).
There are four orthodox temples in the town of Sandanski. The biggest of them is St. George Church (1956) - a small version of Alexander Nevski Memorial Temple in Sofia. The oldest temple is St. St. Cosmas and Damian (1861). At the end of the town is the small monastery St. St. Cosmas and Damian, where the holiday of the town of Sandanski (the first Thursday after Easter) is celebrated each year from thousands of years. There is also an Old Calendarists Orthodox Church, as well as an Evangelical Baptist Church.  
The town of Melnik is famous for its big number of orthodox temples – over 70 in ХVІІІ and ХІХ c. A big part of them reflects the development of an Art School, unique not only in Bulgaria (icons, murals, manuscripts) known as Melnik Art Center, which was established in the Middle Ages and lasted until the beginning of XX century. Some of its most brilliant works are kept in the Rozhen Monastery – a monument of culture of national importance and the biggest religious temple in the Pirin region. 
 

Gastronomy

The Pirin cuisine is very diverse and interesting. It is a unique mixture of traditional Bulgarian and Mediterranean dishes, because it has been influenced by the closeness of the Aegean region. It uses different local spices and herbs.
The taverns in Melnik and Rozhen are very attractive with their folk-style furnishing and authentic Revival atmosphere. Here you can taste some of the most interesting local dishes and delicacies, preserved through the ages and you have to try a glass of Melnik wine with the tasty food.
In the villages of Katuntsi, Levunovo and Pirin you will be accepted by skillfull hosts, who will teach you how to prepare tasty Pirin meals by yourself. Among them are: Sarmi, rolled with leaves from Broad Leafed Melnik Vine, Kachamak, Zelnik, Oriznik, Bismemka, Langidi for Lautsi, green and ripe figs jam with walnuts, and others.
 

Folklore and ethnography

The local population of Municipality of Sandanski has kept and preserved the traditional for the region folklore and ethnography, which have become part of the lifestyle of the people here and have been passed down from generation to generation. Evidence for that is the big number of assembles and folk groups, working in the local community centers and organizations.
The folklore and ethnography in this region have their unique characteristics. Typical are the Pirin songs, performed with two voices and the Macedonian horo dance, 8/8 meter (fast horo). Widely used musical instruments are the bagpipe, kemene, tambourine and svorche. Typical are also the zourla, combined with a drum.
The local tradition requires the clothes and fabrics, needed in the everyday life, to be produced in the family. The Bulgarian woman used to weave, sew and embroider the necessary clothes by herself. The koshuli (shirts) were hand-embroidered and the saya (dress) was made of thick homespun, girded with pregach (apron) and was decorated with buckles. The socks were knitted and embroidered. The main colours of the Pirin traditional dress are red and white. 


 

How to arrive?


 

Municipality of Sandanski is located in Southwestern Bulgaria and is the largest in Blagoevgrad district (1002 sq. km.). It consists of 54 settlements – the towns of Sandanski and Melnik and 52 villages. Its total population is 46113 people. It is located at the foothills of the magnificent Pirin Mountains, the bordering with Greece – Slavyanka Mountain, with Macedonia – Ograzhden and Maleshevska Mountains. Its territory covers a big part of the vast Sandanski – Petrich Valley and part of the picturesque valley of the Struma River.
 

Sandanski

The town of Sandanski is located near the Struma High-way or the main international road E-79, section Sofia – Kulata – Thessaloniki. The railway Sofia – Kulata – Athens passes next to it.  
The town is easily accessible to foreign tourists through the international airports in Sofia (150 km) and Thessaloniki (130 km) in the Republic of Greece. The tourists who have arrived at the airport of Thessaloniki have to cross the border checkpoint Promahonas – Kulata. 
 

Melnik and Rozhen

You can reach the town of Melnik by an intersection of the Struma High-way towards Kulata, close after the town of Sandanski. There are road signs on the way for convenience of the travellers.
The village of Rozhen is located 6 km from the town of Melnik, after the village of Karlanovo. The Rozhen monastery is located 1 km from the village of Rozhen and is accessible by car and on foot through an eco-trail.
 

Zlatolist and Pirin

You can reach the Village of  Zlatolist Because of construction work done on a section from Struma High-way, the village of Zlatolist is accessible through an intersection from the main international road E-79, after Sandanski, direction Melnik. On the way to Melnik, next to the village of Vinogradi, you turn off to the village of Harsovo and follow the signs to the village of Katuntsi. After the bridge of Katuntsi you turn left and follow the way to Zlatolist.
You can reach the village of Pirin if you follow the road to Gotse Delchev, after the village of Katuntsi.
 



 

Where to stay?


 

Accommodation in municipality of Sandanski can be found in a luxurious five-star hotel as well as in rooms for rent for the more undemanding. Their total number is over 100 with around 4000 beds.

 

In Sandanski

Pirin Park Hotel*****
Medite Spa Resort & Villas *****
Interhotel Sandanski ****
Sveti Nikola Spa Hotel ****
Panorama Hotel***
Prim Hotel ***
Edia Hotel ***
Time out Hotel ***
Perun Hotel ***
Sveti Vrach Hotel ***
Evropas Hotel ***
Sandanski Park Hotel ***
Andon Angelov Hotel ***
Adzhev han Family Hotel ***
Avis Family Hotel***
Pautalia Family Hotel***
Ofir Family Hotel ***
Colosseo Family Hotel***
Aneli Hotel **
Astra Hotel **
Sveti Georgi Family Hotel**

Guest houses
Keremidchieva kashta guest house ***
Moni guest house***
Bolyarski pat**
Izgreva villa complex

Guest rooms
Elit ***
Heaven ***
Bistritsa***
Vais***
Jasmine ** 
 

In Melnik

Melnik hotel ***
Elli Greco hotel ***
Bulgari hotel ***
Despot Slav family hotel ***
Lumparova kashta*
Bolyarka family hotel ***
Slavova krepost hotel***
Litova kashta hotel***
Sveti Nilola family hotel **
Zlaten Rozhen***
Rozhena***

 

What to see?


 



Sandanski is a heavenly place, a pearl in the crown of Bulgaria and famous for its beautiful nature and a thousand-year old history. Here you can find interesting sights and places, you will meet nice people and while you are eating tasty food and drinking from the thick Melnik wine you will get to know the unique folklore and traditions.
 

In Sandanski

3200 years old is the history of Sandanski. It started in the late Neolithic and Eneolithic era (VІ-V BC). This is also the land of the Thracian tribe Maedi that gave Spartacus to the world – the legendary leader of the first slave uprising in the Roman Empire. With the settlement of Rome in this lands began the economic progress of the region. In ІІ-ІІІ c. the settlement with the mineral springs received the status of a town with the name Partikopolis, which reached its highest boom in ІV-VІ c. The Slavs, who settled here later on, gave a new name to the town – Sveti Vrach, in honour of the two brothers saints – Cosmas and Damian, who healed the sick without money with the power of Nature and the Christian faith. In 1947 Sveti Vrach was named Sandanski as recognition of the deed of the legendary revolutionary Yane Sandanski, who fought for the freedom of these lands from Ottoman Slavery.
 
  • Sveti Vrach Town Park

The people of Sandanski are proud of the beautiful Sveti Vrach Town Park – one of the biggest in Bulgaria and the only one with sand alleys. It was started by general Georgi Todorov, commander of Second Bulgarian Army, in 1916 – 1919, when together with his soldiers planted the first saplings of white and black pine and the imported from Italy cedar and sofor. On the territory of 344 daa grow around 200 Mediterranean plant species, among which centuries-old plane trees, declared natural landmarks. The soft climate favours the diversity of slender sequoia, magnolia, willoes, ginko biloba, cork oak, yew, pomegranate, and others.
Over the Sandanska Bistritsa River, passing through the town park, are hanging two swinging wooden bridges. Here you can also find wooden gazebos, children’s playgrounds, numerous ponds, as well as a big artificial lake with paddle boats. In the heart of the park is located the Open Theater and the stadium of Sandanski.     
 
  • Archaeological Museum

Archaeological Museum – Sandanski was founded in 1936 and is one of the five archaeological museums in Bulgaria, specialized in the field of ancient archaeology. It is situated over the foundations of St. John’s basilica. Inside, there is a unique collection of Roman marble gravestones (I-III c.) – the biggest in Bulgaria, rarely seen in Europe and typical only for this region. It was gathered for a period of 80 years from all the settlements in the municipality. Real masterpieces of ancient art are the tablets of Julius Maximum, of Asclepius, the endowment tablet of Flaviana Filokratia and others. The collection has also various votive tablets – of Artemis, Aphrodite, Zeus, Tyche, the local deity Teos Selenos and others, as well as statue replicas of Aphrodite and Tyche – the pride of any museum. Archaelogical museum – Sandanski possesses a collection of mosaics from the early Christian Period (ІV-VІ c.) with an area of 350 sq. m. It includes 11 367 museum exhibits. 
 
  • St. John’s Basilica

Archaeological and cultural monument of National Importance, the Basilica is situated “in-sito” in the building of the Archaeological museum. It has magnificent floor mosaics, part of them decorated with fish and birds. In its narthex there is a unique for the country mosaic building inscription (V – VI c.) with important information about the Basilica – that it was built by Bishop John. It was found in 1960 and is partly explored.
 
 
  • Early Christian Complex

Archaeological and cultural monument from Antiquity of National Importance. It includes a basilica, stoa and ancient street from V – VI century, with outdoor exposition. Magnificent floor mosaics, now preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Sandanski, were also found.
 
 
  • Bishop’s Basilica

Archaeological and cultural monument from Antiquity of National Importance. The most representative and monumental building found until now in the ancient city from the period V – VI c. It is a typical classical Hellenistic basilica with shortened axis divided into three naves, the supposed size of the axes are 22/23 m with orientation east-west. It has also atrium (an inside yard), narthex, there is a well preserved pulpit, altar and sintron with three rows of seats in the naos. The complex includes a baptistery which in form and size is the only one in Bulgaria. Magnificent floor mosaics in the styles “opus tesalatum” and “opus sektile” have been found, as well as gorgeous inside architecture with Roman columns in Roman-Corinthian style and a unique marble altar wall with scenes from the Gospel.
 
 
  • Spartacus Monument Complex

The historical legend tells us that somewhere, in the vicinities of today’s Sandanski, lived and grew up the brave Thracian leader Spartacus. Today, this legendary Thracian and his local background are immortalized with Spartacus Memorial Complex, which welcomes and sees off the visitors of Sandanski at the very entrance of the town.
 
 
  • St. George Church

Built in 1952 the Church is a small copy of Alexander Nefski Cathedral in Sofia. Painted in 1964 – 1967 by the painter Nikolay Shelehov, a son of a Russian emigrant father and German mother and the icons from the iconostasis were made by the painter Hristo Apostolov.
The Church is located near the town center and the region around it is used as a place for recreation.
 
 
  • St. St. Cosmas and Damian Monastery

The monastery is located 2 km south from the central part of the town of Sandanski, near the right bank of Sandanska Bistrits River. It is situated in a picturesque place among meadows, orchards and rich greenery. Its story started in XIV c. and later was destroyed by the Turks. It was rebuilt in 1928, and in 90’s in its yard two chapels were built – St. Petka and St. Dimitrius. It is believed that here lived and healed the saint brothers – Cosmas and Damian the Silverless.
 
 
  • The Fountain Under the Plane Tree

The fountain was built in 1854 and moved here from Serres in 1918 by the soldiers of gen. Todorov. It has an interesting marble relief but the symbolism of the images is still not completely unpuzzled. It is believed that it represents the planetary system according to the ancient Bulgarian calendar, drawn up by our ancestors in the third millennium BC. The fountain is a valuable monument of our Revival art. It is located close to the Town Court, under the oldest tree in the town - a plain tree at about 700 years of age.
 
 
  • Sveti Vrach Park – Village Polenitsa

The park is part of Sveti Vrach Hotel Complex – a residence of the former head of state Todor Zhivkov. It is situated on a territory of 430 daa and is open for visitors during the light part of the day. There are 150 plant species growing here. There is also an artificial lake with water fowl, as well as sepperated spots for bunnies and other animals.
 
 

In Melnik

 
  • The Town of Melnik

Melnik is a fairy tale town with unique charm and romance, which has largely preserved its ancient architecture from the Middle Ages and the Bulgarian Revival period. Possessing wonderful archaeological and architectural sights, the town of Melnik was declared a town – museum of internation importance as part of a cultural and historical reserve and is of great significance for the development of tourism on the territory of the municipality.
Information about the places of interst on the territory of the Melnik region can be obtained in Tourist Information Center – Melnik, located in the building of the town hall.
 
  • Museum of Wine

Museum of Wine – Melnik possesses a rich collection, arranged in several halls, which gives its guests the opportunity to follow the history of wine and winemaking throughout the centuries. The collection consists of authentic tools, utensils, facilities and technologies for the making of wine and rakia, old photografies and mosaics.
The museum has a wine tasting hall, where the visitors have the chance to take a sip of the divine drink and find their own wine. In a special wine-cellar, built in an ancient Melnik technology, there is an open exhibition of a unique selection of Melnik wines, produced by the wineries of Middle Strouma Region, which are also for sale. The collection currently numbers around 400 bottles among which there are expensive exhibits.
In February 2014 at the internation tourist fair “Vacation and Spa Expo” in Sofia, the Museum was awarded a Golden Prize for Contribution in the preservation of the cultural and historical heritage and traditions of 2013 by Tourism and Recreation Magazine. 
        
     
  • Kordopulov’s House

It is the biggest Revival building in Bulgaria. It was built in 1754 and belonged to the rich Melnik wine maker and merchant – Kordopulos. The house is a unique combination of inside and outside architecture, with rich wood carvings, colourful stained glass windows, painted walls, winter and summer garden. The basement is a labyrinth of tunnels where the famous Melnik wine matures.
It was renovated in 1973-79.
 
  • St. Barbara Church

The church is located under the Kotdopulov’s house. Saint Barbara lived in III c. Her father was pagan and when he learned that she had converted to Christianity, he subjected her to cruel torture and then beheaded her. Later on, Barbara was proclaimed a saint.
It is believed that the church itself was built in XIII – XIV c., during the boom of the town of Melnik. It was a large three-nave one-apse building. Today, only a vague image of its past grandeur and beauty can be seen at the ruins. The only thing left are parts of walls, the alter and the apse at the alter space. At the alter the local citizens have left an icon with Barbara. Sometimes, a litten candle, coins and food for the saint can be found here.   
 
  • Boyar House

It is a medieval architectural monument of national importance and one of the oldest buildings on the Balkan Peninsula, though partly preserved. The first period of its building was dated back to the first half of ХIII century, when it was the residence of Despot Alexius Slav. In the middle of ХIII c. part of it was burned down and destroyed, and in the next centuries it was reconstructed. At the end of ХVII c. it was ramshackled in some parts, in the beginning of ХVIII it was completely reconstructed – an attick floor and a clock tower, which existed untill the beginning of XX c., were built.  
In the late Middle Ages and the Revival period it was one of the most splendid buildings in Melnik and the region, with an inner yard with marble floor, fountains with marble statues, halls and rooms with mosaic floors, wall-paintings, windows with colourful glasses. The house was part of Slav’s fortress and held the most important strategic position in the first level of defense of the fortress.
 
  • Turkish Konak

According to unofficial data the monumental old public building was constructed in 1821. During the Ottoman era it housed the city and district administration (Konak), and in 1931, when Melnik remained within the borders of Bulgaria, it was turned into a governmental building. Later on, it was used as a school and after the building of the new school near-by, it became a dormitory building.
 
  • Saint Anthony’s Church

Saint Anthony’s Church is situated ten minutes on foot from the center of Melnik. To get there you have to start from the center and head northeast.
The church is a monument of culture of national importance and is part of Melnik cultural and historical reserve. It was built in 1765.
There is a legend saying that the patron of the church – Saint Anthony healed the mentally ill people and as evidence one can see a column with iron chains where the most violent were bound. At the middle of the temple there is a special tablet with the two-headed eagle of the Patriarchate. Such tablets were put only on places where the healing powers were exceptionally strong.
The whole church was painted in flowers, cherubims, seraphims and angels. Extremely valuable are the iconostasis, icons (especially Mater Bozhiya and Saint Mother of God chestneyshuya heruvim from XVIII c.) and the wall-paintings.
 
  • Saint Nicholas the Miracle Worker Church

It is situated in the south-eastern part of Melnik, near the town center, and is a monument of culture of international importance. The church was built in XIII c. In the Middle Ages it was a small one-nave building, but during the ages it was reconstructed and expanded several times. In 1756 it got its look of today, prove of which is an inscription on the alter wall in the eastern part of the church. In 1895 the church was burned down, but in XX century it was reconstructed again by the National Institute of Cultural Monuments. Unique icons of great artistic value, representing unique pieces of art of Melnik art school, are preserved inside of it. Today, the church is one of the few still functioning churches in the town of Melnik.
 
  • Saints Peter and Paul Church

It is situated in the southwestern part of Melnik, 5 minutes from the town center. It is a monument of culture of national importance as part of Melnik cultural and historic reserve. The church was built in XIX century. Of great artistic value are the decorated iconostasis, pulpit, bishop’s throne, wall paintings, icons and others. The bishop’s throne is one of a kind in Bulgaria from XIX century.
At the moment the church is not functioning.
 
  • Saint John the Baptist Church

It is situated in the northwestern part of the town of Melnik, on the right bank of Melnik River. The local population calls it saint Yani.
The church was built in XVIII-XIX c. It is a monument of culture of national importance as part of Melnik cultural and historic reserve. The temple is richly decorated with colourful wall paintings. The columns are decorated with coloured garlands and flowers; it has bouquets on the iconostasis. Over the iconostasis there are a coloured rooster and soaring birds and doves and colourful pea-cocks on the Episcopal throne. The iconostasis and royal gates are of great artistic value. The collection of icons, part of them painted by Lazar Argirov and Yakov Nikolay, are also unique.      
In this temple unlike other churches there are two rows of balconies, one for women and one for girls, while the men and boys used to stay downstairs.
At the moment Saint John the Baptist Church functions as a cemetery church of the town of Melnik.      
 
  • Saint Nicholas Metropolitan Church

It is a monument of culture of national importance. It was built in the beginning of XIII c. as a metropolitan church by Sebastos Vladimir on the foundations of a Thracian temple. Today, only the eastern wall and some elements of the interior are left. On the ruins of the church can still be seen wallpaintings of great artistic value. Some of them are preserved in the Archeological Museum of Sofia.  

   
  • Despot Slav’s Fortress

Despot Slav’s Fortress is a monument of culture of national importance. It is situated close to the town of Melnik, on Saint Nicholas Hill (south of the town). The complex also includes several temples of the same location (St. Zona, St. Nicholas and St. Haralampius).
The Fortress dates back to the beginning of XI c. During the rule of Despot Alexius Slav, governer of the region during the reign of Tsar Kaloyan (1197-1207), it was reconstructed and named after the ruller. This is the period of the greatest upsurge of Melnik, when the town turned into a center of the Melnik Art School, famous not only for its icon painting, but also for its unique Sgraffito Ceramics.     
 
  • Saint Mother of God Spileotissa Monastery (St. Zona)

The monastery is a monument of culture of national importance. It is one of the earliest examples of the town monastery construction in the Bulgarian lands from the beginning of XIII c. It was destroyed three times and rebuilt again (in the middle of XIII c., the second half of XVI c. and the beginning of XVIII c.). It survived until the beginning of XX c. It kept its honorable place in the spiritual and cultural life of Melnik for a long time even as a convent of Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos. Since the end of XII c. until the middle of XIX c. it was named Saint Mother of God of the Holy Belt or Saint Zona. It is the only monastery in Bulgaria which was granted the status of “despot and royal” by Alexius Slav.
On the ruins of its main temple is built the now functioning “St. Zona” chapel.
 
  • Saint Haralampius Monastery

The monastery is a monument of culture of national importance. It is mentioned in the earliest until now in Melnik three transcripts of the Gospel from XI century, kept in the National Library of Greece in Athins. The first of them indicates the supposed date of its building – 1206 and its donor – sebastos Basil Bambulinos. It was constructed as a closed architectural ensemble with semi-open narthex, the St. John Prodromos Church, a bell tower and holy spring.
The yard had a steep slope to the west side where the monastery catholicon was. There were two premises – Saint Archangel and Saint Haralampius with no narthex and under the same roof. They were richly decorated with double-layer wall paintings. Some of the now restored fragments from the beginning of XIII century and the end of XVI century can be seen in the History Museum of Blagoevgrad.
The monastery survived two severe destructions at the end of XVI century and the first half of XVIII century when significant parts of it fell down the precipice, together with the slope on which it was built. Today, only parts of the walls and foundations are preserved.       
 
  • Melnik Rock Pyramids

Melnik Rock Pyramids are beautiful sand formations, completely steep on some places, with grass and deciduous trees on their tops and possessing high aesthetic value. Besides the pyramidal shape they can also look like mushrooms, cones, needles and more.
Their formation started 4-5 million of years ago when in these lands there was a large shallow lake. Clay and sand materials were deposited on its bed. Later on, with the rise of the Pirin Mountains, Belasitsa and Ograzhden, the lake waters drained to the south. Rock materials, brought downwards from rivers and springs, were deposited in the dried valley. On the lake sand sediments was formed around 500-600-meter thick deposit cover of welded redish conglomerates. In these rock masses the temporally flowing waters dug deep ditches and ravines and formed various figures.      
Melnik Rock Pyramids are declared natural landmark in 1960 and cover an area of around 1165,6 ha. They are located 350 to 850 m above sea level while their own height reaches 100 m. Except around Melnik there are impressive pyramids around the villages of Karlanovo, Rozhen and Sushitsa.

  
 

In the region

Rich and diverse is the nature in the region of Sandanski and its history has left its mark on the souls and way of life of people today. From the fruitful valley of the Strouma River to the high peaks of the Pirin Mountains and Slavyanka you can experience the fairytale of lakes, waterfalls, forests and sand pyramids, while getting acquainted with the local folklore, traditions and culture.
  • Pirin National Park

Pirin National Park was established in 1962 and covers an area of 40 000 ha of ancient forests, marble giant peaks, emerald lakes, clean rivers and white edelweiss, which are a natural landscape and habitat for many animals – white goats and cats, fallow deers, bears, wolves and more. Pirin National Park is part of Man and the Biosphere Programme of UNESCO.
31% of the park territory is located in Municipality of Sandanski and is divided into two park regions – Kamenitsa and Trite Reki (the three rivers).
  • Ali Botush Reserve – Slavyanka Mountain

Slavyanka, or as the local call is – Kitka (Flower) Mountain (with its highest peak – Gotsev Vrah – 2212 m), is one of the driest mountains in Bulgaria, but in spring it turns into a flower garden. It is considered a key floristic center on the Balkan Peninsula with its 1400 species of vegetation, 42 of them Balkan and 20 Bulgarian endemits, some of them over 400 years old. Here is also the biggest deposit of black fir on the Balkan Peninsula.
Its fauna includes not only the typical for the country fallow deer, wild boar, fox and others, but also more than 1200 species of insects. The most interesting of them for the scientists are the butterflies among which there are new species.  

The desire to preserve this diversity is the reason for establishing Alibotush Reserve, bearing the old name of the mountain. It was declared as such on 24.11.1951 and at the moment covers most of the territory of the mountain. On 01.03.1977 Alibotush was included in the list of biosphere reserves under Man and the Bioshpere Programme of UNESCO as a territory, serving as a means for preserving the world natural heritage.   
  • Rozhen Monastery

The monastery is the biggest religious temple in the Pirin region and one of the oldest spiritual centers in Bulgaria. It is assumed that it was founded during the reign of Despot Alexius Slav (12-13 c.).
It has the shape of an irregular hexagon with its residential area surrounding a beautiful yard where Nativity of the Mother of God Monastery Church with Sts Cosmas and Damian Chapel is found. Inside there are wall paintings from 1573. The iconostasis is a master work with rich decoration.  
The Rozhen Monastery has its miraculous icon – protector – Virgin Mary. It is an exact copy of the miraculous icon Virgin Mary – Portarnitsa.
In close proximity to the Rozhen Monastery is located Sts Cyril and Methodius Church, build on the initiative of Yane Sandanski whose grave is found in its yard.
  • Saint George Church –Zlatolist Village

Saint George Church in the village of Zlatolist was built in 1857. It is remarkable with its old murals painted in 1876 by painter Teofil Minov from the village of Galachnik, Rekan. Among the murals there are particularly interesting images of: Sts Cyril and Methodius with a footnote explaining that they were Bulgarian educators, born in Thessaloniki; St. Haralampius Defeating the Plague; St. Christopher with a Dog’s Head and more. In the middle of the temple, under the dome, there is a marble stone with a two-headed eagle. There are legends saying that whoever steps on it, gets healed from whatever illness they may suffer. In the church yard there is a 1300-year-old plane tree that is believed to help for different health problems.   

In the 90’s of XX century the temple was renovated and a small monastery complex was constructed around it. In the first half of XX century in the small room of the women’s section lived reverend Stoyna, honoured by the local population for her healing and prophetic powers. She was born on 9 September 1883 in Haznatar, Serres. She got blind when she was 7 years old. Left an orphan, she came to St. George Monastery, in the village of Zlatolist, and stayed there until her death on 22 December 1933. Her life passed in fasting and prayer. She is known for helping people in their deseases.   
  • Popina Laka Waterfall

The waterfall in Popina Laka region is located in South Pirin along the Bashliytsa river, which together with Sarchaliytsa river form the beginning of the passing through the town of Sandanski Sandanska Bistritsa river. The height of the waterfall is 14 meters and its waterflow doesn’t stop. It has two falls of the water between which there is a water space with a rock suitable for diving. On 11 October 1965 Popina Laka Waterfall was declared a natural landmark.

A local legend tells the story of its name. During the Ottoman Rule a young fervent monk, follower of Ivan Rilski, fascinated the local population. He opposed the Ottoman oppression and urged to disobedience and rebellion. Incited by the Greek clergy, the Ottoman kaymakam of the Melnik kaza (district) decided to destroy the rebellious cleric, declaring 5000 gold liras for his head. Gutev’s scouts found out about the attempt on the life of the priest and informed him. In a dark night he loaded his baggage and disappeared in the impenetrable recesses of the mountain. For his bivouac he chose a beautiful spot near the rapid mountain river with water as clean as a teardrop and a huge waterfall whose waters fell with unruled power and echoed the vicinity with an ugly roar. There, the man of God built a small cabin and planted rye and potatoes in the nearby meadow. He didn’t forget his work and often visited his followers who were scattered in the surrounding villages.               

But a night came when the priest tired of wandering about came back to his cabin for a deserved rest. In the morning he was supposed to meet the people from the villages and coordinate the efforts in the fight against tyranny. But a treacherous soul was found and the monk was captured in his first sleep, he was bind and taken to the rocks above the waterfall. There he was beheaded and his body was thrown in the deep waters. In the morning his followers found his kilimyavka.  
  • Tremoshnitsa

Tremoshnitsa region is located 14 km south from the town of Sandanski, at the foothills of the Pirin Mountains. According to legends the protector of Bulgaria st. Ivan Rilski spent part of his life on this place, in a small cave, dug into a rock. The cave can be seen even today and there is a small new-built church near it, bearing the name of the saint.  
  • Byala Reka Waterfall –Pirin Village

Byala Reka Waterfall is located 17 km from Pirin village, direction Nishkov Kamak region. It is named after the river on whose course it is situated. The height of the waterfall is 10 m and it is a preferred place for picnics and relaxation.
  • Zmeyova Dupka Cave

Zmeyova Dupka (Dragon’s Hole) is located 4 km south of Pirin village. It is a real pleasure for climbers, but it is inaccessible for regular tourists. The region around it has an exceptional beauty.
The legend about Zmeyova Dupka tells us that on that place once lived a fearful dragon which flew away to his beloved – Kalya, the most beautiful girl in the village, every night. One day, in order to get rid of him, the girl’s mother boiled a poisonous potion and poured it out on Kalya. The dragon got angry, there were thunders and it started to rain heavily until the river rose high. At that time Kalya was at the river for water and was swept away. The dragon turned into a huge pine tree in the middle of the river. Kalya grabbed it and they disappeared together.
  • Yavorova Dupka Cave

Yavorova Dupka (Yavorov’s Hole) is located 5 km from the Pirin village, close to Zmeyova Dupka. During the Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising Peyo Yavorov found shelter on this place and wrote his cycle Haidouk Songs. It is not by accident that the poet chose the place – it is well hidden and relatively hard to reach.
  • Skoka Waterfall –Kashina Village

Skoka (Jump) Waterfall is located in the region of Melnik, about 1 hour on foot from Kashina village. Its waters flow down from Pirin and pass under the over 100 m high Garvanova Skala (Raven’s Rock). The local population calls it “Our Little Niagara”. It is 19 m high and attracks fans of canyoning (waterfall climbing).
  • Saint Nicholas Church –Pirin Village

Saint Nicholas Church (1885г.) was built without the consent of the Ottoman authorities. After finding out about its existence they sent the army to destroy it and punish the villagers. Its façade with Turkish motifs and its beauty saved it from destruction. During the Ilinden – Preobrazhenie Uprising the local population found shelter in the church and thus was saved. There was no place for the priest Stamat and he remained in his house where he was brutally murder for edification of the insurgent population that dared to fight for its freedom.
Today the temple is sacret to the village and every year on 2nd November on this place is celebrated the temple holiday.  
        
  • Karst Spring –Petrovo Village

The spring is located near Petrovo village and is third in capacity in Bulgaria. It is formed around massive marble rocks which is a precondition for its physical qualities and chemical content. It is not by accident that the local population gave it the name Bistrets (clear water).
It is reachable through a recreation place – a small shelter with wooden benches and tables, grills and swings for children. 
  • Museum Collection of Yavorov –Goleshovo Village

The museum collection is situated in Goleshovo village, in Hagi Simeon’s barn where on 23rd April 1903 the poet and revolutionary Peyo Yavorov, together with 8 rebels, was surrounded by a numerous Turkish army. Ten men managed to escape miraculously.
Its exposition includes an information board, photos of important for the Bulgarian history personalities and places, facsimiles, as well as a letter from Gotse Delchev to Peyo Yavorov.
  • Holidays and Festivals

The genuine love towards the past and traditions of these lands are the reason for the local population to jealously guard the folklore and customs in their unique splendor and diversity. Don’t be surprised if while visiting Sandanski or the villages around it you find yourself in the middle of some of the traditional festivals, numerous village fairs or holidays. They are an important part of the locals’ life and a remarkable experience for the guests of the destination.     
 
Pirin Folk is an international festival of the Balkan folklore that takes place in September (the first weekend) in the town of Sandanski. It is one of the most prestigious festivals in Bulgaria which each year gathers participants from different countries and is a meeting place for traditions, cultures and languages on behalf of the folklore songs.
 
Youth of the Balkans Balkan Youth Festival takes place in September (second weekend) in Sandanski and is the biggest international youth event in South East Europe. It gives the young people the opportunity to broaden their worldview and contacts in a diverse palette of various interests, skills and posibilities on different stages. 
   
In September (last weekend) we head towards the smallest town in Bulgaria and the Harvest in Melnik Festival. With songs and dances at the square in Melnik wine producers and fans honour and express their gratitude for the divine Dionysus’ drink, while blessing the two great powers – the fertility of the land and human work.
 
Each year in February (second weekend) Golden Grapes Festival in Melnik gathers wine producers and connoisseurs of the Melnik wine on a festive wine tasting, dancing and singing.
 
What is Pirin folklore without the art of Bisserov Sisters from the village of the same name? In June, the soloist of the world famous trio – Lyubimka Besserova presents to the public the authentic local folklore at With the Songs of Bisserov Sisters Festival. Each year guests of the festival are representative folk groups from different countries.
 
The village of Sklave is one of the oldest settlements in Municipality of Sandanski. Each year just before the Christian holiday – Holy Spirit is held a fair with thousands of years of tradition – on this place used to be organized the biggest slave market in Antiquity from where comes the name of the village (the Latin word – sklav meaning a slave). Legend has it that the Thracian Spartacus was sold as a slave on that fair. Nowadays here is organized a reproduction of the ancient Roman market with goods that were traded thousands of years ago, sales of male and female slaves, spectacular gladiator battles.   
The visitors have the opportunity to taste dishes and drinks from the time of Romans and Thracians. Master artists and craftmen show how to make weapons, household utensils and coins.
 


 

What to do?


 



 If you are planning your vacation in Sandanski or you are already here, we have interesting ideas, which we have put in several thematic catalogues, including dozens of suggestions on how to organize your stay and make it worth it. We will challenge your passion and desire for new experiences, we will urge you to acquire new skills and we will find your hidden talents and abilities.
 

Art and Crafts

If you are an artistic person and feel a creative charge inside of you that you were not able to develop because of different trivial reasons, with the suggestions in this catalogue your stay in Sandanski could become a real opportunity for finding and developing your talents and spiritual searches. Here you can work with glass, brush and wood and go back home with a stained-glass, icon, painting or woodcarving created personally by you.
If your heart is captivated by the Bulgarian folklore and you want to get to know the life and customs in the Pirin region, we can offer you interesting ideas for your family and friends throughout the year.  
 

Stained Glass

Make your every-day more colourful…
Rediscover yourself in the delicate world of glass…

Create your own colourful picture of glass!        

The technique that will be used is:
Tiffani Stained Glass – a technology created at the beginning of IXth century and named after its creator - Luis Comfort Tiffany /1848 – 1933/. Each piece of glass (coloured or not) is stuck to another with a copper band and then the elements are welded.
The technique is used for making lamps, wall clocks, jewelry boxes and others.

The courses are organized under the following conditions:
* Minimum duration of the course – 3 days
* The 3-day course includes making of projects and stained glass
* Duration of one lesson - 4 hours
* The course can be lead in Bulgarian, English, Russian, Greek and German
* The participants will learn more about the artistic use coloured glass and the characteristics of the local Melnik Revival House
* The participants can choose starting time for the day
* The request has to be placed 3 days before the course starts in Tourist Information Centre - Sandanski
 

Wood Carving

Set your imagination!
 
 
Create your own woodden piece of art!

The courses are organized under the following conditions:
-           minimal duration – 3 days, manximum – 5 days
-           the three-day course includes the making of ornamental panel,  carved clocks and others
-           the five-day course includes the making of more complex compositions or an orthodox icon
-           duration of one lesson - 3 hours
-           the course can be lead in Bulgarian and English
-           the participants will learn more about the traditions in wood-carving, the different schools, techniques of making different products
-           the participants can choose starting time for the day
-           the request has to be placed one week before the course starts in Tourist Information Centre - Sandanski
 

Painting

Do you want to draw your own painting?
To increase your knowledge of the art of painting?
To know more about the characteristics of still art and landscape?

Be a painter for a week!

 The courses are organized under the following conditions:
- minimum duration of the course - 3 days, maximum - 7 days
- duration of one lesson - 4 hours
- the course can be lead in Bulgarian, English, Russian, Greek and German
- the participants will learn more about painting composition, colours and the characteristics of the different painting techniques
- the course will be lead by professional painters
- the participants can choose starting time for the day
- the request has to be placed one week before the course starts in Tourist Information Centre – Sandanski
 

Icon Painting

Do you want to create your own keepsake from Sandanski?
Do you want to know more about iconography?
Do you want to learn more about the characteristics of middle-age Melnik Iconography School?

Paint your own orthodox icon!

The courses are organized under the following conditions:
- minimum duration of the course - 3 days, maximum - 7 days
- the 3-day course includes painting of one-figure orthodox icon
-  4, 5, 6 and  7-day courses include painting of two-figure orthodox icon
- duration of one lesson - 4 hours
- the course can be lead in Bulgarian, English, Russian, Greek and German
- the participants will learn more about the ideology, iconography, technology of icon-painting and local characteristics of Melnik Iconography School
- the course will be lead by professional painters
- the participants can choose starting time for the day
- the request has to be placed one week before the course starts in Tourist Information Centre – Sandanski
 

Sport

If you like extreme experiences and sport attracts you then Sandanski is the right destination for your vacation and adventure. Away from the city noise and human vanity, nothing will draw your attention away from the greatness of the Pirin Mountains and Slavyanka. Rafting and Kayaking down the Strouma River is something you shouldn’t miss and canyoning will surely take your adrenalin levels up. Take a look at our suggestions on how to make your time in this region worth it and enjoy the spirit of a time past that surely does not speak the language of today.
 

Rafting

120 km from Sofia, on E79 international road Sofia – Kulata is located the Kresna Gorge. This place, where the Strouma River divides the mountain and forms tempting rapids, is perfect for the fans of extreme rafting experience.
The rafting center is found on the bank of the Strouma River. A full equipment is available (Hico company) which is disinfected after each run. Duration – around 2 hours. After the run you will be returned to the rafting center, where there are changing rooms available. The place is also perfect for recreation and rest. The rafting run may be combined with canyoning, paintball tournament, rope garden, trolley, air rifle shooting and target archery.
Minimum participants: weekends – 1, weekdays – 4, miniraft - 2
 

Kayaking

For the people who would like to practice kayaking in the region of Sandanski we offer this opportunity along the Strouma River.
Unlike rafting, the kayak allows fewer people (2) to feel the power of the river from a close distance.
Duration - around 2 hours.
Minimum participants: 6 people
 

Canyoning

Canyoning at Popina Laka Waterfall
20 km from Sandanski, on the bank of Sandanska Bistritsa River, is located the picturesque region of Popina Laka with a waterfall of the same name. Its water falls from a height of 15 m, while the first 10 m fall into a unique stone cup.
Before the start there is an instruction and equipping with the required helmets, neoprene jackets, boots and life jackets.  
Minimum participants: 4 people

Canyoning at Vlahi River
Vlahi River is hidden from the road leading to the village of the same name and for this reason to reach to goal – the six waterfalls you have to walk on foot. After getting to the first waterfall there is no turning back. What follows is downhill trolley descent, rappelling, jumping into the waterfalls, sliding down a natural water slide and thus until the last waterfall.  
Minimum participants: 4 people
 

Mountain Biking


One-day routes Behind the Iron Curtain
See with your own eyes places which were inaccessible for decades…

Tour in Kitka Mountain (Slavyanka)
Difficulty: 1/3
Distance: ~ 18 км 
Route: Petrovo – Goleshovo – Momina Polyana (Maiden’s Glade)
Transfer from Sandanski to the village of Petrovo (500 м asl) situated at the foothills of Slavyanka Mountain. We start our strenuous ride up to the village of Goleshovo (1135 м asl). Then, we continue to Momina Polyana, don’t forget your camaras, we are in the Balkan Green Belt, part of the European Green Belt.     
  
No Man’s Land
Difficulty: 2/3
Distance: ~ 32 км 
Route: Gorno Spanchevo – Beliovo – Hrasna – Kalimantsi – Katuntsi
Transfer from Sandanski to the village of Gorno Spanchevo (340 м asl) - the western part of South Pirin. We are in the Kliona boarder are dividing Bulgaria and Greece – a 10 kilometer-long narrow strip. It is an ecological paradice that in the past separated the worlds of socialism and capitalism. We ride up to the village of Beliovo (700 м asl) and head towards the village of Hrasna (530 м asl). Then we discend to the village of Kalimantsi (200 м asl). The finish and lunch are at the village of Katuntsi.


One-day routes around Melnik

Land of Phenomena
Difficulty: 2/3
Distance: ~ 20 км 
Route: Melnik – Rozhen Monastery – Zlatolist - Katuntsi
Transfer from Sandanski to Melnik (400 м asl). We are surrounded by whimsical rock pyramids and we start our outrageous ascend to the Rozhen Monastery (700 м asl) – the religious center of the Pirin region, lunch. We head towards St. George church - clairvoyant Stoyna’s home (forerunner of clairvoyant Vanga) in the village of Zlatolist (376 м asl). We continue to the village of Katuntsi (160 м asl).

On the way to yourself
Difficulty: 3/4
Distance: ~ 15 км
Route: Rozhen – Lyubovishte – Kashina
Transfer from Sandanski to the vilage of Rozhen – 600 м asl (Rozhen Monastery). We head to the village of Lyubovishte (550 м asl) and go inside a tunel, which is dug into a rock pyramid. We continue to the village of Kashina (600 м asl) and Skoko waterfall (19 м) where we can gain back our strength.  

Back in time
Difficulty: 2/3
Distance: ~ 24 км 
Route: Karlanovo – Sugarevo - Pirin
Transfer from Sandanski to the village of Karlanovo (530 м asl). Here, we are at the beginning of the famous wine road, which in medieval times connected Melnik and Bansko. Don’t forget your camaras – we start at the foothills of three famous rock pyramids - the Little, Middle and Big Breg (coast). We ascend to the village of Sugarevo (750 м asl) and continue to the village of Pirin (680 м asl), where we can have home-made lunch in the house of the famous folk singer - Lyubimka Bisserova.
 
 

Hiking in the Pirin Mountains

 
  • One-day routes:

Holy Father – 3 hours (half an hour of climbing)
Program: We start from Tremoshnitsa region, where the Bulgarian saint – John of Rila lived, before he moved to the Great Rila desert. After half an hour of climbing, we get to the temple, built in his memory. We can step inside the cave where he used to spend his days and nights in prayer. Our trip ends in Vlaovitsa region.

Pirin Spring Wates – 6 hours (1-hour climbing, 5 hours of walking)
Program: We start from Popina Laka region (1230 asl), where the nature landmark Popina Laka waterfall is found. It is 15 m high and is part of Bashliitsa River. We head towards the water intake of the rivers Mozgovitsa and Bashliitsa and enter Pirin National Park. Here you can catch one of the tastiest river fish – trout. Fishing is allowed from the beginning of April, but only during the light part of the day (at weekends and holidays). After a short break we continue to Sarchaliitsa region and the water intake of Sarchaliitsa River. We go back to Popina Laka surrounded by the clean and fresh air and the smell of conifers.

Fishing – 2 hours
Program: Visit of the trout breeding-pool at the foothills of Pirin and fishing. Climbing to Popina Laka and preparing the fish at Goran’s. A walk to the Popina Laka waterfall where adventure seekers practice canyoning and waterfall diving. Meal and break.

A Walk Among the Sand Pyramids - 2 hours
Program: Visit of the biggest religious temple of south-west Bulgaria – the Rozhen monastery. Then, we head towards the architectural reserve and the smallest town in the country – Melnik. The whole time we are on the territory of Melnik Rock Pyramids nature landmark. We can experience the atmosphere of the town and taste some wine, which has matured in a centuries-old winery.    
  • Two-days routes:

Kuklensko (Doll) Lake – high mountain route
Program: We start from Popina Laka and in about 3 hours we are at Begovitsa hut. Part of our way goes through the all famous Dushevadnika, which once climbed is never forgotten. We can take a walk in the region and then go to bed. We wake up early and after we have breakfast and dring some of the famous Pirin tea, we head towards Kuklensko lake. We are faced with a three-kilometer high-mountain hiking in one direction and as much on our way back to Begovitsa hut. Don’t forget your cameras – the whole way goes through the territory of Pirin National Park. We go back to our starting point – Popina Laka after an hour and a half of walking downwards.    


Spano Pole - high mountain route
Program: We start from Popina Laka and in about 3 hours of climbing we reach Spano Pole region. We spend the night in the bungalows, called Gabkite (the mushrooms) because of their colour and shape. According to the season we can pick up some forest fruits and herbs (blackberries, raspberries, strawberries) on our way to Spano Pole lakes. Then, we go back to our starting point – Popina Laka (around 2:30 hours).
  • Three - days route:

Peace Trial - high mountain route

The route was developed under the aegis of UNESCO – Development in Peace.
 
The Idea: Start from a place, related to a war – a Soldier’s Grave, and go through places, visited by many people thinking about love and friendship.
 
Program: The trail is devided into three rays with a meeting place – Pirin hut. Route of the first ray:
1. Day: Meeting place – Sandanski, at the Monument of the Wars Victims, where we can bow down. Transportation to Popina Laka and hiking to Begovitsa hut. We are in Kamenitsa park region, part of the territory of Pirin National Park. We stay here for the night.
 
2. Day: Start from Begovitsa hut and after passing between Kuklite (dolls) and Zabat (the tooth) peaks, in 6 hours of high mountain hiking, we reach Pirin hut where the three rays meet. We are at the heart of Pirin National Park. We shake hands above the graves of our forerunners and together we build new ways, rather than hatred. Stay for the night. 
 
3. Day: Start from Pirin hut and in 3 hours we arrive in the village of Rozhen. We can light a candle in the Rozhen monastery and go back to our starting point – Sandanski.

Appropriate seasons:
For recreation: April – June
High-mountain:  June – October
Mountain guide – Blagoy Simov
Obligatory equipment for all routes: tourist shoes, jacket, backpack, raincoat
Working languages: Bulgarian, German, English, Russian
The price for transportation to the starting and final point is settled at the moment of the application.   
Application: 3 days in advance for the one-day routes and 10 days – for the two- and three-day routes.
Payment in advance: 50% of the price
For more information - Tourist Information Center - Sandanski
 

Military applied sport

 
A test for your physical and psychological abilities!
Place: the park area of Sveti Vrach hotel, village of Polenitsa (former residence of the communist leader Todor Zhivkov)
 
Program:
1 stage – Military Applied Race (length of track – 400 м): overcoming difficult obstacles: balance beams, ditch, high and triple hurdles, 2-me
2 stage – Summer Biathlon (800 М):  running throught rough terrain and pneumatic gun shooting at five falling targets,  penalty laps for missed targets.
3 stage – Duel Shooting: team or individual competition with pneumatic gun.
 
Appropriate seasons: April - October
Participation rules:
  • Duration – 4 hours 
  • The participants choose the starting time
  • Participation requests are placed three days in advance
 
 

Shooting

 
Test your concetration, good eye and ... Enjoy yourselves!
Lazer Gun Shooting
Intuitive shooting with lazer gun (lazershot system) at suddenly appearing video targets in diferent situations and virtual programs. In the USA the system is used by FBI, the Armed Forces and bodyguard training schools. The training develops your targeting, breathing, grip, and decision making when to open fire. 
Duration: 15 min
Airgun Shooting
Air guns are non-firearm pneumatic rifles or pistols. They are used with ammunitions called projectiles which have different configuration and caliber. They fire by means of compressed air or gas.
Duration: 30 min
Training for Gas or Air gun Shooting
You will learn the safety rules when using gas or air guns and their ammunitions, rules about safe-keeping and maintenance of the gun and its ammunitions and the types of gas and air guns. 
Duration: 30 min

Participation rules:
  • People aged over 18 years can participate (ID needed)
  • People under 18 years can shoot only with air guns
  • No weapon permit is necessary
  • Ammunitions and targets are provided
Working languages: Bulgarian, English, Greek
  1. Additional possibilities:
  • Gun cleaning (training possible)
  • Installation and adjustment of optics
  • Test shooting
  • Technical inspection and repair of weapons
  • shooting ground works with no day off. Booking is possible.
 
 

Wine

Wine is an inseparable part of the history of Melnik’s region, culture, life and spirituality. These lands are successors of ancient civilizations that have left an indelible mark on the present-day. Today, we have inherited from the Thracians the unique Bulgarian vine varieties such as Broad Leaved Vine and Keratsuda. The hilly terrain, relatively poor soil, high annual temperatures and the dry climate of these lands are a perfect precondition for growing local red vine varieties – Old Broad Leaved Melnik Vine, Broad Leaved Melnik Vine, Melnik 55, Melnik 82, Melnik 1300, Ruen, Sandanski Misket and the white vine variety – Keratsuda.
We offer you to travel around and find a wine to your taste in our 6 wine routes. You can also discover a new hobby – grape harvesting, vine growing or making a wine of your own. Be our guests to the wine festivals in September and February in the town of Melnik.
  • Be Vine-Growers
 
If you are fascinated by wine, we come to the next step – “Vine Adoption”. You can adopt vines from the massifs of Villa Melnik winery and choose their number and variety. You will receive a certificate, and the vines – your name. Legally, you will not be their owner, but you will receive them for one growing cycle (1 year) and you will have the opportunity to perform all the necessary activities that precede the making of wine. In your capacity of “adopter” the doors of the wine cellar will be wide open for you throughout the year to visit with your family and friends. You will have wonderful time and change the atmosphere in the office with a meeting with nature and people working in the fields. You will learn new and useful things and will see the wine in your glass in a different way. 
  • I make my own wine
 
In spring (April-May), alone or with friends, you can make your own wine with help from Villa Melnik winery. You will have 260 vines of varieties of your choice, marked with your name for one growing cycle.
Your wine will have a “history” which will be introduced to you by an expert. You will visit “your” vines, where, if you want, you can participate in different practical activities throughout the year – pruning, plucking, thinning and grape harvest. Of course, at the end you will have your own 225 liters barrel, where your wine will “grow old”. During the fermentation, filtration and sedimentation of wine you will follow its maturing together with an oenologist. You can make a blend, take part in its bottling and then leave with 250 bottles of your own wine with your own etiquette.  
  • Grape Harvest
 
In September/October, with shears and a basket in hand, you can take part in the vine harvest of the massifs of Villa Melnik winery. After some tiring work for about 1-2 hours (optional) the traditional local cuisine will bring your strength back. Grape harvest is a good occasion to try wine from the last vintage. After you recover from the hard work of harvesting you will have the opportunity to follow the grapes on their way to the winery, where you will get familiar with the vinification process (the first stages of wine making), carried out under the directions of an oenologist.
 
 
 
 

Balneo, Spa and Wellness


Balneotourism is the main type of tourism for Sandanski resort. The tradition to use the healing qualities of the mineral water in combination with the natural resources of the town originates in the time of the Thracian tribe Maedi that lived in the region. The Thracians were famous for their skilled healers who were aware of the curative characteristics of the mineral springs. This tradition continued during the time of the Roman Empire and the sacred springs of Dezudava (today’s town of Sandanski) became known throughout the Great Empire. Later, on this place, the holy healers Cosmas and Damian, called “The Silverless” because they didn’t take any money for their help, put the foundations of balneology by establishing a healing center next to the Miroto Spring. This was a prerequisite for the development of the contemporary balneology in Sandanski and today in the balneo and spa centers of the hotels here, under the care of highly qualified physicians and physiotherapists, using the available and additional curative resources, the guests of the town can feel new strength and will to live. The big variety of medical and rehabilitation programs is constantly renewed with the inclusion of exotic and distinctive elements, as well as modern therapies which give a response to the present-day demands of the international markets. Thus, the balneo resort continues its development and can offer products for a wider group of consumers – from people, needing medical care and prophylaxis to healthy people, looking for relaxation and a way out of the everyday stress.
 

Balneology in Sandanski

Sandanski is an ideal place for modern climatotherapy, balneotherapy, rehabilitation, primary and secondary prophylaxis and recreation. The town is widely known ever since ancient times and has an abundance of natural resources – mineral water and healing climate. Longstanding scientific researchers have proven the effective healing characteristics of Sandanski and in March, 1981, with an order from the Council of Ministers, the resort is approved as a first-rate climate and balneotherapeutical center of national and international importance.
The climate of the town of Sandanski is unique – transcontinental with Mediterranean influence. It is called “the Bulgarian Climatic South” because of its exclusively favourable bioclimatic constants. Spring here comes early and is followed by a dry, sometimes hot summer; the long and warm autumn passes into a soft winter after mid-December. An inexhaustible natural resource of health, beauty and energy is the mineral water of Sandanski. It is clear, colourless, scentless and with a nice taste: silicious - 70-135 mg metasilicious acid per liter, fluoric – up to 6,5mg fluorine per liter, hyperthermal - 42 - 810 С, low mineralized,hydrocarbonate-sulfate-sodic, with slight alkaline reaction. It is suitable for treatment of deseases of the respiratory system, peripheral nervous system, rheumatic and kidney deseases, rehabilitation after insults and others.
 
Characteristics and chemical composition of the mineral water in Sandanski:
Gases
mmol/l
Fluoride (F)
mmol/l
Metasilicic acid (H2SiO3)
mmol/l
General mineralization (M)
mmol/l
Anions
mmol/l
Cations
mmol/l
Т°
C
Flow
l/s
Alkaline reaction
(pH)
General characteristics of the mineral water
0,006 0,131 0,650 HCO3 – 50 SO4 – 39 Na – 88 42-81°С 20 7,55 hyperthermal, silicic-fluorine, hydrocarbon-sulfate-sodium, slightly alkaline
 
The rugged and diverse terrains in the vicinity are a good prerequisite for terrain therapy. Having the background of the natural resources, unique mild climate and the presence of the mineral springs, excellent opportunities for complex treatment, rehabilitation and prophylaxis are offered.             
  • Climate treatment – aerotherapy, heliothereapy  
  • Kinesitherapy – medical gymnastics – individual and group, underwater gymnastics, healing massage, terrain therapy, yoga gymnastics
  • Aerozolotherapy – individual inhalations with mineral water, herbs and medicines
  • Apparatus physiotherapy – light therapy, electrotherapy, magnetic field treatment, laser therapy
  • Balneotheraepy – mineral water tubs, underwater massage, outside and inside mineral water pools, sauna park
  • Cryotherapy, thermotherapy, paraffin therapy
  • Phytotherapy
 
Sandanski is suitable for climate treatment throughout the year. It is recommended that the treatment is at least 30 days, and for a better healing effect – two times a year. 
 

Balneology in the region

Rupite           
The Rupite area in known for its healing mineral water (75°С) with a high content of sulphur, issuing from the crater of the extinct millions of years ago Kozhuh volcano. The characteristics of these thermal springs have been known since ancient times and their first discoverers were the living in these lands Thracian tribe Sinti, who established on this place their town – Herakleya Sintika. Near Vanga’s park and the St. Petka of Bulgaria church there are three separate premises with mineral water pools – men`s section with two pools, one with algae and one with mineral water only, a women’s one, also with two pools, and a double-sex pool with mineral water. The small pools with curative mud and algae in the area have also been visited for hundreds of years.
The mineral water in Rupite is recommended for treatment of deseases of the cardiovascular and nervous system, musculoskeletal system, Buerger’s desease, prostate, discal hernia, radiculitis, rheumatism, infertility and others.
  • Marikostinovo           
Marikostinovo mud-curing resort complex is situated 17 km away from Sandanski. It is located at 80 m above sea level. The combination of mineral water and curative mud is a valuable natural resource of the region. The characteristics of the thermal spring have been known since ancient times when the Thracian tribe Maedi lived in these lands. In the times of the Ottoman Empire the geyser mineral mud was taken to Tsarigrad (today’s Istanbul) by buffalo carts.
The mineral water issuing from the different springs in Marikostinovo has similar composition and healing characteristics with presence of carbon dioxide (200mg/l) and free sulfide (1.1gm/l).
A considerable amount of the water capacity of the mineral spring (60°С) flows into a lake with curative mud. It has been formed by the precipitation of fine clay substance, carried above by the springing mineral water. The mineral water of Marikostinovo in combination with the curative mud has positive effect on diseases of the musculoskeletal system, the peripheral nervous system and psoriasis.               
  • Prepodobna Stoyna mineral water, Katuntsi village
There are several boreholes with different in content mineral water springs in the region of the village of Katuntsi. The water from borehole HG-236 contains minerals rare for the Balkan Peninsula. While the fluoride is normally contained in all thermal waters along the Struma river valley, here its low presence in the mineral water is notable. Regarding its physicochemical content the water is characterized as thermal, with low mineralization, hydrocarbonated, soldic, with presence of silver ions. The water is used for bottling as natural mineral water with the name “Prepodobna Stoyna”. 
 


TYPES OF TOURISM


 



Cultural

As a region with a thousand years old history and heritage, left by ancient civilization, municipality of Sandanski has a lot to offer to its guests, who are interested in history, culture, etnograpgy, religion, architecture and art. On the territory of the whole municipality are scattered unique archeological findings – Byzantine early Christian basilicas, a medieval fortress, an architectural reserve, churches, monasteries, and others.
 

Eco and Mountain

Clean environment, presence of protected areas, mild climate, abundance of healing mineral water, rich agricultural hinterland, providing eco foods and many more favourable factors determine the possibility for eco-tourism in the town of Sandanski and its vicinities.
 

Pirin National Park

 
Pirin National Park covers a considerable part of the beautiful Pirin Mountains, which were referred by the Slavs at the time of their settling here to their god – Perun and whose name is the root for the contemporary name of the mountains. 
Pirin National Park was established in 1962 and has an area of 40 000 ha. Its territory includes two natural reserves – Bayuvi Dupki – Dzhindzhiritsa – one of the oldest in Bulgaria (1934) and Yulen – declared as such in 1994. In 1977 Pirin National Park was declared a biosphere reserve under Man and the Biosphere Programme of UNESCO.

Pirin National Park is characterized by diverse woodlands – black and white pine trees, dwarf pine. The ridge of the mountain is occupied by alpine pastures. Among grass species very characteristical are the edelweiss, Pirin tea, peony, avens, cowslip and others. The animal world is represented by wild goats, wild boars, deers, bears, wolves, among others. From the reptiles there are vipers and some blacksnakes. Specific bird species are the grouse, wallcreeper, alpine crow, snow finch, alpine swift, Balkan lark, wild dove and more. In the lakes and rivers there is Balkan trout.       
There are several landmarks, declared as such, on the territory of the Park – the waterfalls Demenyashki Skok, Yulenski Skok and Banderishki Skok, eight centuries-old trees – Baykusheva White Fir, three black firs, three white firs and a white pine tree. 
 

Walking trails, starting from Municipality of Sandanski:

  • Yane Sandanski hut – Begovitsa hut – Begovitsa (Kuklensko) lake – one-day trail;
  • Yane Sandanski hut – Spano Pole shelter – one-day trail;
  • Begovitsa hut – Kuklite and Zabat peaks – Pirin hut – Village of Rozhen – three-day trail;
  • Yane Sandanski hut – Begovitsa hut – Tevno Ezero shelter;
  • Spano Pole shelter – Winer’s Gate – Tevno Ezero shelter;
  • Spano Pole shelter – Begovitsa hut – Pirin hut;
  • Pirin hut – Malina hut – Papazchair hut.
 

Mountain bike trails:

  • Debrene – Bozhdovo – Dzhigurovo – Debrene;
  • Petrovo – Goleshovo – Momina polyana;
  • Gorno Spanchevo – Beliovo – Hrasna – Kalimantsi – Katuntsi;
  • Melnik – Rozhen monastery – Zlatolist – Katuntsi;
  • Rozhen – Lyubovishte – Kashina;
  • Karlanovo – Sugarevo – Pirin;
  • Zlatolist – Rozhen monastery.
 
 
  • Ali Botush Reserve
 
Ali Botush biosphere reserve is situated in Slavyanka Mountain (known as Ali Botush) with its highest peak Gotsev peak (2212 m)
The uniqueness of the mountain is due to its plant diversity. Despite its karst character and lack of water throughout the year, it is a real flower garden. This is the reason why it is also called the “Flower Mountain”. Ali Botush was declared a reserve in 1977 and is included in the list of biosphere reserves under Man and the Bioshpere Programme of UNESCO. The aim for that was the preservation of the unique relic forests of black fir, black pine tree, Borisov’s fir, rich flora and fauna, with many rare and endangered plant and animal species. The reserve was enlarged several times and at the moments it has a total area of 1628 ha. The biggest habitat of black fir on the Balkan Peninsula is also found here. Because of its unique geology and climate, the region is a contemporary center for formation of new plant commonuties, rich in endemic and rare plants. The fauna is also very interesting and diverse, represented mainly by Mediterranean and sub-Mediterranean species. Slavyanka is one of the most important ornithological places in the country.    

Walking trails:
  • Petrovo – Izvora hut – Livada locality – Gotsev peak – Izvora hut
  • Petrovo – Goleshovo – Slavyanka hut – Paril – Gotse Delchev
 
 
  • Melnik Rock Pyramids
 
Melnik Rock Pyramids are the most visited earth pyramids in Bulgaria. Situated at the southwestern foothills of Pirin, they are beautiful sand formations with specific steep walls, towering majestically over the smallest town in Bulgaria – Melnik. They can reach a hight of around 100 m. 
The pyramids were formed 4-5 millions of years ago in today’s Sandanski-Petrich valley, where there was a vast shallow lake. Clay and sand materials were deposited on its bed. Later on, with the rise of the Pirin Mountains, Belasitsa and Ograzhden, the lake waters drained to the south. Rock materials, brought downwards from rivers and springs, were deposited in the dried valley. On the lake sand sediments was formed around 500-600-meter thick deposit cover of welded redish conglomerates. In these rock masses the temporally flowing waters dug deep ditches and ravines and formed various figures – today’s Melnik Pyramids.
Melnik Rock Pyramids were declared natural landmark in 1960.

Ecotrails:
  • Melnik – Saint Nicholas church – Despot Slav’s fortress – Saint Mother of God Spileotissa church
  • Rozhen – Rozhen monastery – Zlatolist
  • Melnik – Zlatolist
 

Rural tourism
 

The villages in the Municipality of Sandanski have preserved the roots of the Bulgarian spirit and character and the uniqueness of the Bulgarian customs and traditions. Here, the guests have the opportunity to feel and be part of a life-style, which has built bridges between times and cultures. The beautiful nature, preserved folklore, customs and crafts, settlements, which are architectural reserves, traditional cousin and last but not least – the Bulgarian hospitality, all this make the village holiday a preferred choice.  
The Bulgarian village gives the tourist an opportunity to feel as a well-received guest and friend. They can be part of and live with the local population; be included in the farm work, walking tours, horse ridings or a cart drive, crafts such as woodworking, wood-carving, textile work, pottery, weaving, blacksmithing and more, and take home a cloth, clay pot or other object made by their own hands. The guests can be engaged in cooking courses or wine degustation, can study the Bulgarian folklore, observe local family and religious holidays.
 
  • Rozhen Village
The village of Rozhen is situated at a distance of 31 km from the town of Sandanski, 6 km south-east of Melnik and in immediate proximity to the Rozhen Monastery. Nestled at the foothills of the Pirin Mountains it combines in itself the spirit of a unique culture and picturesque nature. The historical houses impress with their authentic architecture and take us into the atmosphere of far-off centuries. The name of the village leads to a logical analogy with the Rozhen Monastiry. In 19th century Rozhen was a small Bulgarian village in the District of Melnik, part of the Ottoman Empire. At the beginning of 20th century the village was under the rule of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Today, the village, which has preserved its historical outlook, offers to its visitors different possibilities for accommodation – from authentic guest houses to luxurious boutique hotels. The main means of living of the villagers is the production of wine from the well-known Broad Leaved Melnik Vine, said to be the oldest in the world and which is grown only here.  
 
  • Zlatolist Village
The village of Zlatolist is located in the Municipality of Sandanski, in the Sandanski-Petrich valley and in the south-western foothills of the Pirin Mountains, at a distance of 27 km from the town of Sandanski and 5 km from Melnik along an eco-path. The village is famous for the Saint George Church, where the clairvoyant Reverend Stoyna lived at the beginning of 19th century. The nun is considered to be a forerunner of Vanga; they both could see in the spiritual world. St. George Church was built in 12th century. It is remarkable for its wall-paintings. In the middle of the temple, under the dome, there is a marble slab with two-headed eagle on it. Legends have it that this plate has healing powers when someone steps on it. The original slab was stolen and a copy was put, but this didn’t stop the curing powers. The miracles do not end here – a 1300-year-old plane tree rises in the yard and it is believed that it helps for different diseases. In the 90s of 20th century the temple was renovated and around it was established a small monastery complex, where you can stay for the night. In the women compartment is still preserved the cell where Reverend Stoyna lived and in the church yard there is a memorial over the prophetess’ grave. Even today the village of Zlatolist and the St. George Church are visited by hundreds of worshippers from all over the country.
 
  • Goleshovo Village
The village of Goleshovo is situated at the foothills of Slavyanka Mountain (Alibotush) on the Greek-Bulgarian border. In immediate proximity to the village is Alibotush Biosphere Reserve. Goleshovo is 46 km away from the town of Sandanski, 21 km from the village of Katuntsi and 14 km from the village of Petrovo. It is famous for its rich history.Archeologists say that in its vicinities there has been life ever since the Neolithic Age (5000 B.C.), and on its recent location – after the last quarter of IVcentury B.C. Important spiritual supports to the local population are the two churches – St. Demetrius, built in 1833 and Dormition of the Virgin Mary, built in 1853.
The village of Goleshovo was the winner in a competition of BNT SAT in 2009 for the most beautiful and little known place of interest in Bulgaria, called “My home land is the best”. The competition was announced by the Tour-guide BG Program of BNT together with State Agency for Tourism and the Bulgarian Construction Chamber.

A historic landmark in the village of Goleshovo is the well-preserved Hadzhi Simeon’s Barn, where in 1903 the poet and revolutionary Peyo Yavorov with a group of rebels fought a continuous battle with the Turkish army. In 1903 Yavorov wrote about Goleshovo in his book “Longings of a Rebel”. In the village there are several impressive old stone bridges over the little village river. In the mountain region there is a cave, called Kape, where in 1903 the Gotse Delchev’s rebels stayed. South-west of Goleshovo, in the Vrisya region, there are remains from a Neolithic village, which existed in antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Ottoman period. In the Krayshte area, south-east of the village, a settlement from the late Bronze Age was found. Next to it, in the Ezerishta area, an ancient necropolis with graves from stone plates was also found. North-west of the village, in the Solishteto and Perinarski Laki areas, a settlement from the late Iron Age was found. Traces from an ancient settlement and necropolis from 3th – 4th century were found in the Mashinik area, south from the village. There are remains from ancient settlements in the Tuchidol, Bazaand Chereshar areas.

Remains from the late Antiquity are found in the Pazlak area – a necropolis and in the Gradishteto area – a fortress. South-west of Goleshovo in the Selishte area remains from the Middle Ages were found, which also existed during the Ottoman period. Over the Goleshovska River there are four stone bridges dated to the end of 18th and the beginning of the 19th century.
 
  • Religious
One of the biggest treasures of municipality of Sandanski are the numerous churches and monasteries – silent witnesses and keepers of thousand years old history. The temples are unique not only with their architecture, icons and wall paintings, but also with the legends and myths, associated with some of them. In these holy cloisters was created part of the Bulgarian literature and art. In the years of Ottoman rule the monasteries preserved Bulgarian spirit, culture and religion and were the heart of the revolutionary preparation.
 
  • Wine
In this southern part of Bulgaria, generously lit by sunlight, grow grapes, which have gathered in themselves the caresses of the morning, the warmth of the day and the love of the evening. Only in this region grow the world-famous ancient vine varieties – Broad Leaved Melnik Vine and Keratsuda. There are many stories about wine, made by the caring hands of its owners – they will be told to you by oenologists in the local wineries and the Museum of Wine in Melnik.
We offer to the admirers of Melnik wines six different possibilities to taste the godly drink in combination with local dishes and delicacies from the Bulgarian and Mediterranean cuisine and different types of cheese – a real triumph of thousand-year-old traditions and culinary opportunities in this southern region.
 

Melnik Wine Route

Melnik is the oldest and most popular wine destination in Bulgaria. The magic of the small town are the old houses with pubs and dug-into-the-ground wine cellars. A walk in this Revival town will take you back in time. After you have enjoyed the atmosphere it’s time to feel the taste of the region and head towards Melnik hotel where you will be welcomed and offered 5 selected Melnik wines in an authentic underground cellar.
 

Visit opportunities

  • Kordopulov’s House was built in 1754 for storage and trade of wine. It has a ground floor with wine cellar labyrinths, where 300 tones of wine can be preserved. Today, it represents Revival architecture and design.
  • The Fortress of Despot Slav, built in 13th century at the top of the holy hill rising over Melnik by Despot Alexius Slav – son of tsar Kaloyan’s sister. There you can see the remains of the monasteries St. Zona Monastery and St. Nikola as well as remains of small chapels.
 
 
  • Villa Melnik Wine Route
 
Villa Melnik Wine cellar is located in the village of Harsovo on a picturesque hill among vines, 7 km from the town of Melnik. It is a family cellar with 300 dc of personal vineyard of local and classical varieties. The wine cellar is constructed to receive guests who can observe the process of vine growing, wine making and tasting. Winemaker of the cellar is Didie Maie. It is accessible for disabled people.  
Wines offered for tasting are: series „Aplauz”, series „Bergule”, series „Villa Melnik”, series „MELENIK”.

Visit opportunities      
  • In the village of Katuntsi you can roll a Macedonian banitsa and while it is baked you can dance a Pirin horo (round dance) and sing local folklore songs.
  • In the village of Zlatolist you can visit St. George church (1857), home of Reverend Stoyna – considered to be a predecessor of the famous Vanga.
  • Melnik
 
  • Rozhen Wine Route
 
The village of Rozhen is a successor of centuries-old culture and traditions in wine making passed from generation to generation.
In the cellar of Dinchov’s House you can taste 5 Melnik wines, own production, tapped right from the barrel. Here, the thousand-year-old tradition has turned homemade wine from a drink into a cure for every pain – of the body or soul.
The offered wines are made of Broad Leaved Melnik vine. 
        
You can also:
  • Visit the Rozhen Monastery (12th c.) – the biggest religious temple in the Pirin region.
  • Walk the eco trail from the monastery to Melnik or to the village of Zlatolist and St. George church, home of reverend Stoyna.
 
  • Golden Rozhen Wine Route
 
Golden Rozhen Wine Cellar is a family cellar that disposes of 14 hectares vineyard (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Melnik 55, Melnik Rubin and Broad Leaved Melnik) in the village of Kapatovo, in close proximity to Melnik. The wine cellar is constructed to receive guests who can observe the process of wine making. Wine maker of the cellar is Dimitar Petkov.
Wines offered for tasting are: Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, Sirah, Melnik blend, Melnik 55 and Robin, Rose, Sandanski Misket, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlo.
 
You can also: 
  • Visit the tasting hall of Golden Rozhen boutique hotel where you can taste game delicacies from Bulgarian Hunting Company.
  • Go hunting (in a group or individually), the hunting can be organized by Bulgarian Hunting Company in Lopovo hunting area.
 
  • Sintika Wine Route
 
Sintika wine cellar is a modern complex with hotel part and a garden with exotic plant species and underground cellar for wine maturing. The cellar disposes of 32 hectares vineyard, located on the territory of the ancient town of Herakleya Sintika (III c. BC), in close proximity to Rupite area. Wine maker of the cellar is Valeriya Stoeva.
 
You can also visit:
  • Archeological park Sandanski
  • Sveti Vrach town park
 
 

Conference

Sandanski is a perfect place when organizing business meetings, seminars, trainings, corporate events. Teams of well-prepared specialists are available at all time to answer the clients’ needs of planning, organization and carrying out of conferences, seminars and other events. Considering the budget of the event a full spectrum of services is available - conference halls with professional equipment, coffee breaks, cocktails, work and official lunches, dinners in a large selection of hotels. Specialists will take care for even the little free time left, offering different entertaining programs and destinations in the region.  
 

Hunting

Hunting is one of the oldest human activities. In distant historical periods it was a source of food, clothing and a guarantee for the development and survival of human kind. Today, trophy hunting has turned into a sport and hobby.
In Bulgaria hunting and fishing have become an organized movement and were regulated by law in 19th century. For the good care of the game, its population is under surveillance, the hunting seasons are regulated, forestry and hunting enterprises were established, as well as forestry and state game breeding stations for big and small game.
 
  • Bulgarian Hunting Company
In the Lopovo area of State Game Raising Range, municipality of Sandanski, you can have the opportunity to participate in organized group or individual hunting and fishing. Lopovo game raising range has an approximate area of 1000 ha located above the cultural-and-historical settlements Melnik town and Rozhen village, and reaching up to the Pirin National Park to the north. 
Bulgarian Hunting Company has a team of professionals in the field of hunting organization activities that takes care of the game throughout the whole year by creating favourable conditions for the formation, development, and maintenance of healthy and vital available game species: wild boar and roe. The efforts of the Company are focused on achieving optimum density, age structure, monitoring, and selection. Turning the selective shooting into a main method of using the big game is with the aim of meeting the criteria of contemporary hunting business science and environmental protection.
 

Wedding

People in love, who want to say the covenant “yes” at the foothills of Pirin – Sandanski or Melnik, have the opportunity to choose between traditional wedding ritual and two additional types – Roman, that highlights the ancient importance of the region, and Pirin, relying on Bulgarian traditions. Although the two specific ceremonies are very different; they are an alternative to the traditional weddings and can certainly satisfy the most pretentious of tastes.
  • Your Wedding in Sandanski
One of the happiest moments in a person’s life is the wedding day! It has to be unique, fabulous, and unforgettable… Every detail is important on that day – from the wedding glasses, from which you sip the bitter wine, to the first family dance. A memorable and thrilling dance that will continue for a whole life! After the official part of every wedding there is music and dances with the closest people.
Choose Sandanski for your wedding and we promise you that it will be perfect.
 
Civil Marriage
The ritual of signing can be organized in the Bishop’s basilica, dated IV century, situated near the unique town park of 344 daa. Another possibility is the hall of the chosen restaurant or the garden of the respective hotel complex.
 
Religious Marriage
Wedding in the orthodox temple of Sandanski – Saint George, which is a small version of Alexander Nevski cathedral in Sofia or in the Sts. Cosmas and Daniam church, known as the Monastery.  
 
Organizing the wedding ceremony
Wedding in the orthodox temple of Sandanski – Saint George, which is a small version of Alexander Nevski cathedral in Sofia or in the Sts. Cosmas and Daniam church, known as the Monastery.
  • Organizing the honey moon for the newlyweds and a holiday for their family in the spa destination of Bulgaria – Sandanski or the romantic town of Melnik;
  • Catering – in case you decide to invite your guests in the open, we can provide uniquely decorated foods and drinks to a place, determined by you;
  • Unique thematic gifts for the guests of your wedding day;
  • Wedding cake;
  • Photographer (artistic photo shoots, video operator) 
  • DJ, singers and dancers;
  • Handmade wedding invitations and greeting cards for the guests;
  • Wedding package “Beautiful in the Wedding Day” – cosmetic and hairdressing services, manicure, pedicure, professional make-up (optional spa therapies);
  • Bridesmade dresses;
  • Fireworks and pyrotechnics.
 
Reproductions of wedding rituals
Wedding attractions that will make your wedding day more interesting and memorable for your guests and you – you can choose to wed according to the old Bulgarian folk traditions with the songs of Lyubimka Bisserova or as the Romans with an ancient ritual, lead by Pontifex Maximus Num Pompilius.
 
Wedding theme decoration
In Roman or traditional Bulgarian folk style and decoration of the ritual and the celebration.
  • Your Wedding in Melnik
A beautiful wedding ceremony in Melnik – a romantic town which has always attracted people in love. Come in Melnik to swear faithfulness to your loved one. Here, your guests and you will find yourself in a time capsule – the small town will captivate you with its old Revival houses and streets, with its sunny summer, early spring, heavy fruitful autumn, with a scent of ripe grapes, and mild winter. Surrounded by beautiful nature, whimsical rock pyramids, ancient Bulgarian customs and enchanted by the thick Melnik wine and your love, the memory of your wedding day will warm your hearts in the years of your happy life. Melnik is the ideal place for your unique wedding with a lot of music and dances.
 
Civil Marriage
The ritual of signing can be organized in the Kordopulov’s house – in the open or in its guest room, the open alter space of St. Barbara church, the unique panoramic view to Melnik, which can be seen above the Boyar house.
 
Religious Marriage
Wedding in the eight-century St. Nicholas the Miracle Worker church, which was a Bishop’s church in the Middle Ages, or in St. Anthony church in Melnik.  
 
Organizing the wedding ceremony
In a restaurant of your choice and with the help of a consultant for choosing the menu for your guests.
  • Organizing the honey moon for the newlyweds and a holiday for their family in the spa destination of Bulgaria – Sandanski or the romantic town of Melnik;
  • Catering – in case you decide to invite your guests in the open, we can provide uniquely decorated foods and drinks to a place, determined by you;
  • Unique thematic gifts for the guests of your wedding day;
  • Wedding cake;
  • Photographer (artistic photo shoots, video operator) 
  • DJ, singers and dancers;
  • Bridesmade dresses;
  • Handmade wedding invitations and greeting cards for the guests;
  • Fireworks and pyrotechnics.
  • Wedding package “Beautiful in the Wedding Day” – cosmetic and hairdressing services, manicure, pedicure, professional make-up (optional spa therapies);
 
Reproductions of wedding rituals
Wedding attractions that will make your wedding day more interesting and memorable for your guests and you – you can choose to wed according to the old Bulgarian folk traditions with the songs of Lyubimka Bisserova or as the Romans with an ancient ritual, lead by Pontifex Maximus Num Pompilius.
 
Wedding theme decoration
In Roman or traditional Bulgarian folk style and decoration of the ritual and the celebration.
  • Bulgarian Traditional Wedding
Wedding is an old, family Bulgarian custom, which regulates the relationships between the two spouses and their families. Characteristical for the wedding is the festive atmosphere with many ritual songs and dances. The Bulgarian traditional wedding is vital and full of ritual activities, aiming at family happiness, children and the property status of the young family. A big number of entertaining elements are included in the wedding ritual that make it unique. In the thematic Pirin wedding there are rituals typical only for the Pirin region, which are joyful, include music and dances, and are accompanied by appropriate requisites.
Duration of the custom: 30 minutes
The newlyweds, their parents and the best men can take part in the reproduction.
The ritual is not legally binding.     
  • Roman Wedding
Do you want an ancient wedding and ritual that you will remember for your whole life? You can experience a romantic wedding ceremony in Sandanski. The ceremony is also suitable for already legally married spouses on a honeymoon or who are married for a long time and want to experience their wedding day once again or to celebrate an anniversary.
Pontifex Maximus Num Pompilius will host your wedding ceremony – an ancient Roman ritual, in which the newlyweds enter into a civil marriage under the laws of the Roman Empire. The ritual is accompanied by the appropriate requisites. The newlyweds, their parents and sponsors can take part in the reproduction (optional). The bride’s parents have a special place in the performance. After the Roman marriage contract is stamped by the bridegroom, the bride’s father and the sponsors (it can be done with specially made ring-stamps with their initials), there will be a greeting to the newlyweds – an oriental dance, which will be performed by the sponsor’s favourite slave. The guests will have the opportunity to greet the young family and after that will offer gifts to Vesta – the goddess of home and keeper of the family happiness. They will be witnesses of a circle prayer dance for the long, happy and rich life of the newlyweds, performed by 6 Vestals according to the ancient Roman ritual – dedication of a virgin to service of the goddess Vesta.      
Duration: 20 minutes
Duration of Vesta spectacle (the second part of the Roman wedding): 20 minutes
The ritual is not legally binding.     


 

Why Sandanski?


 



The sunniest and warmest town in Bulgaria

Sandanski is the sunniest town in Bulgaria – nowhere else does the sun shine longer and more affectionate. Its southern charm is due to its geographical location. Nestled in the center of Sandanski-Petrich valley and surrounded by six mountains, Sandanski is protected by cold currents and winds throughout the year, and the warm currents from the Aegean keep the temperatures around 5 degrees higher than other places in Bulgaria.   
Healing air without allergens
The unique combination of a number of climatic factors in Sandanski – average annual temperature of 14°С, duration of sunshine – over 2540 hours, the lowest content of allergens in the air, low relative humidity – 66% and last but not least the fresh mountain breeze, coming from the Pirin mountains, makes the town the best natural clinic for bronchial asthma in Europe. The favourable climate has extremely good influence for treating other non-specific and allergic disorders of the respiratory system, such as: atypical bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic pneumonia, allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis, conditions after pneumonia and chronic obstructive lung disease.  
 

Healing mineral springs

 
From the land of Sandanski and its surroundings gush numerous hot mineral water springs with temperature between 42-81°С, with low mineralization and rich chemical composition, treating many diseases and suitable for outdoor bathing throughout the year.
The presence of healing water and the advantages of the unique climate make Sandanski a natural clinic for treating a wide range of illnesses, not only of the respiratory system, but also of the musculoskeletal and peripheral nervous system (neuralgia, neuritis, plexitis, rehabilitation after strokes), kidneys and others.
 

Rich archeological heritage

The cultural and historical heritage of municipality of Sandanski is diverse and includes almost all periods of the development of human kind. The specific natural, geographical and climatic characteristics of the municipality, as well as the presence of mineral springs, is the reason for its inhabitation for millennia (II cen. AC). Traces of prehistoric, Thracian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Turkish and Revival presence are scattered throughout its whole territory. There are more than 5000 monuments of culture.
The most impressive and well-preserved building from ІV-VІ century – the Bishop’s basilica, as well as the Archeological Museum – Sandanski are included in the 100 tourist sites of Bulgaria.
 

Spartacus’ birth place

In the ‘70s of the last century the German professor in ancient history Ziegler proved that the brave Thracian leader Spartacus belonged to the Thracian tribe Maedi that inhabited the lands around today’s town of Sandanski. The historical legend has it that he was captured during the Roman campaigns in these lands and was sold as a slave at the market in the village of Sklave (sklav - slave).
 

Melnik – architectural reserve from the Bulgarian Revival

Melnik is a fairytale town with unique charm and romance, which has kept in itself a considerable part of its old architecture from the Middle Ages and the period of the Bulgarian Revival. With its specific archeological, architectural and artistic places of intrest, the town of Melnik was declared a town-museum as part of a cultural and historical reserve of international importance and is essential for the development of tourism on the territory of Municipality of Sandanski.
 

Rozhen monastery – the biggest spiritual center of the Pirin region

Rozhen monastery is the biggest spiritual temple in the Pirin region and is one of the oldest spiritual centers in Bulgaria. It was founded in the times of Despot Alexi Slav (12-13 c.) and has preserved to a great degree its original architecture and wall-painting.
It is included in the list of the 100 tourist sites of Bulgaria.
 

Melnik rock pyramids

Melnik Rock Pyramids were declared natural landmark in 1960 and cover an area of around 1165, 5 ha. They are beautiful sand formations, with specific vertical walls with grass and deciduous trees on their tops. They can reach a height of around 100 m., and besides their pyramidal shape they can also look like mushrooms, cones, needles and more. The Pyramids are one of the most visited rock pyramids on the territory of Bulgaria.
 

Pirin national park

Pirin National Park was established in 1962 and covers an area of 40 000 ha of ancient forests, marble giant peaks, emerald lakes, clean rivers and white edelweiss, which are a natural landscape and habitat for many animals – white goats and cats, fallow deers, bears, wolves and more. Pirin National Park is part of Man and the Biosphere Programme of UNESCO.
31% of the park territory is located in Municipality of Sandanski and is divided into two park regions – Kamenitsa and Trite Reki (the Three Rivers).
 

Rich folklore, preserved traditions and art

The authentic folklore of municipality of Sandanski has remained part of the life of the local population and the tradition to be passed on to the next generations continuous. A proof for that are the numerous formations and folk groups, gathering in the local community centers and organizations. The typical for the region Pirin songs, performed with two voices, and the Macedonian horo dance in 8/8 (fast horo) are well known to young and old. There can still be seen hand woven, sewn and embroidered Pirin dresses in black and white colour.
Center of the artistic life in the municipality is Likin art studio, situated on the main street in the town of Sandanski. United by the idea to keep the flame of the beautiful and valuable art from the Pirin region, the creative team has diverse artistic activities – icon-painting, wall-painting, restoration, painting, stained glass, wood-carving, etc. 

 

Useful Information


 

 

Accessibility

People with special needs can rely on the services, offered in two of the hotels in Sandanski – Pirin Park hotel***** and Interhotel Sandanski****.
The towns of Sandanski and Melnik offer opportunities for visit of the following accessible tourist sites:
1. Archeological park Sandanski, including Archeological museum, Early-Christian complex and Bishop’s basilica with baptisterium and martirium.
2. Sveti Vrach town park with sandy paths, partial asphalt and pavement.
3. Villa Melnik Winery – a tour of the winery and getting familiar with the stages of wine production and tasting. 
4. Open theater and town square – for all festivals and concerts.
5.  Melnik architectural reserve – accessible main street, partly covered with paving stones at the beginning and continues with hard sandy road. There are several accessible taverns and guest houses along the town.
6. Rozhen monastery – from the parking you continue on a hard sandy road (200 m) that leads to the monastery. When entering the temple, there is a small hindrance (wooden gate threshold) and the pavement in the yard is of paving stones and slab stones. For entering the monastery church, you have to climb 3 steps.
 

Visa information

 
Republic of Bulgaria applies the Common visa policy of the European Union under the terms of the Treaty of Accession from 1st January 2007.
A foreign citizen can enter the Republic of Bulgaria on presentation of a valid regular identification document for across-border travelling, as well as a visa for entry, transitting or stay in the country, when applicable.
Visas are not obtained at the checkpoint when entering the country.
Visas are not required for citizens of the following countries, and they are permitted a stay of 30 days: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Japan, Israel, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Republic of Korea, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zeeland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Tunisia, USA and Vatican.

Customs regulations

Across the border passengers may import and export commodities which by their nature, type and quantities are not of commercial nature. These do not include items the passenger carries for personal use and consumption.
 

Banks and currency information

The monetary unit in the Republic of Bulgaria is the lev (BGN), which is equal to 100 stotinki (st.). Since 1997, the country has been governed by a currency board and the value of the lev has been pegged to the Euro, at a fixed rate of 1 EUR – 1.95583 BGN.
You can find current currency information on the site of the Bulgarian National Bank: www.bnb.bg.
Currency can be exchanged in banks or in any of the country’s many currency exchange offices. Some of these exchange offices also work on holidays. Euro-cheques can be exchanged in banks.
Credit cards: Most Bulgarian hotels and stores now accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Diners Club credit cards.
Banks with branches in the town of Sandanski:

 

Medical services

 
Citizens of the European Union
Citizens of the European Union who are visiting or residing in Bulgaria have the right to avail themselves of their health insurance. When obtaining medical care, they need only to visit a medical facility or diagnostic laboratories that have concluded a contract with the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), or any of the state or municipal medical institutions (see the file entitled Healthcare Establishments Register) that are supported by the Ministry of Health. Tourists in Bulgaria can inquire with staff at hotels to gain information about medical care and treatment, and it is the obligation of hotels to provide a list of the addresses of medical facilities and doctors who have contracted with the NHIF. (Please note that he healthcare specialists working at hotels often do NOT work with the NHIF, and their services are generally expensive.)
By relying on their own insurance plans, European Union visitors and residents do not have to pay insurance installments to the Bulgarian National Health Insurance Fund. Instead, they need only to present their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Under exceptional circumstances, this right can also be proven by providing a Certificate for Temporary Replacement of the EHIC issued by the same institution that issued the individual’s health insurance card, along with valid identification. It is also necessary to provide the medical practitioner with copies of these two documents. Likewise, by presenting the required documents non-Bulgarians only pay the consumer fee required of Bulgarian insured citizens for the following medical and dental care:
  • Examination and diagnosis;
  • Issuance of a recommendation for consultation or for medical tests after the examination;
  • Determination of medical treatment, including prescriptions, after the examination;
  • Rehabilitation procedures;
  • Medical tests;
  • Treatment;
  • Prophylaxis.
 
Non-Bulgarian patients are also required to sign a declaration (Annex 2), by which they certify that they are not in Bulgaria solely for medical treatment.
 
Medical assistance for citizens of other countries
Citizens of a country other than member states of the EU, EEA, and Switzerland who require medical care in Bulgaria must pay for those services in full. If a patient possesses health insurance, the insurer is responsible to reimburse the costs, whether in their entirety or in part, according to the terms of the insurance agreement. In the case of an emergency, regardless of citizenship, place of residence, or health insurance status, every Bulgarian medical facility is required to offer the necessary diagnosis and treatment. If you are in an emergency situation, medical or otherwise, call the free telephone number 112. The operators also speak languages other than Bulgarian. There are different conditions stipulated for the residents of the states with which the Republic of Bulgaria has agreements and contracts for medical insurance. The right to free access to medical assistance for diplomatic representatives is established by some of those agreements, while others have the right to emergency medical care, and still others provide a wide range of social security and health insurance issues based on the existing bilateral agreements. Such agreements are now in force between Bulgaria and Armenia, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Cambodia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, the Russian Federation, Slovakia, Ukraine, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Slovenia.
 
Multiprofile Hospital for Active Treatment Sveti Vrach Ltd. - Sandanski
Address: Sandanski, Park Area
Phone: +359 746 34361; +359 746 34390
E-mail: mbal_st_vrach@abv.bg; sveti_vrach@mbalsandanski.com
Site: http://mbalsandanski.com 
 

Drinking water

Drinking tap water in municipality of Sandanski is derived from surface waters, running down from the Pirin Mountains to the Sandanska Bistritsa River and its feeders. It has high drinking qualities and is ozonized after its water treatment.  
 

Electricity

In Bulgaria, as a member state of the European Union, is used only alternating current with a frequency of 50 hertz and voltage of 220-240 volts. The appliances are used with two-pin plugs. Adaptors can be bought in airports and tourist resorts.   
 

Speed

To be able to travel freely on the roads of the Republic of Bulgaria, drivers of all types of motor vehicles are required to purchase and stick a valid vignette sticker for paid vignette fee in the right bottom corner of the windscreen and to remove it after the expiry of its validity.
The cars must be equipped with reflective vest, safety triangle, first aid kit and fire extinguisher.
Speed limits in Bulgaria:
Location                     Outside cities and villages     Expressways       Motorways
Category A                             80                                 80                        100
Category B                             90                                 120                       140
 

Pets

Hotels in municipality of Sandanski, allowing pets inside are: Adzhev Han, Aneli, Edia, Ofir and Keremedchieva Kashta.
The closest specialized hotel for dogs near Sandanski and Melnik destination is located in Blagoevgrad.
 

Rent-a-car

If you want to rent a car in Sandanski, you can turn to: Eros Motel (phone: +359 885 293333) or MS Realty (+359 877 100123, +359 884 144042).
 

Public transportation

There is one bus line in the town of Sandanski which connects the train station, located outside the town, and the New Sanatorium. The line runs along the entrance Svoboda boulevard and passes by Macedonia square and the main pedestrian street.
 

Taxi

If you need a taxi, you can turn to the staff at the reception of your hotel. If it is not possible you can go to one of the official taxi-stands in the town – near the Town hall, the Polyclinic, behind the Town general shop.  
 

Useful phone numbers

112 – European emergency telephone number
150 - Emergency
166 – Police station
160 – Fire station
165 – Traffic police
146 – Emergency road service
 
Local authorities:
Municipal administration Sandanski – +359 746 89099, +359 882 811999
Town of Melnik – +359 746 98776, +359 887797527, +359 885 118184
 
Transportation:
Train station Sandanski – +359 746 32235, +359 895433364
Bus station Sandanski – +359 746 22130, +359 746 35294
Taxi: Favorite taxi – +359 476 33030, +359 899 300 500, +359 888 66 55 88, +359 879 69 00 99
 
Hospitals, clinics:
Sveti Vrach HospitalLtd. - Sandanski - +359 746 34361; +359 746 34390
Saint Luke medical center – +359 746 22563
Specialized Hospital for Rehabilitation (Sanatorium) – +359 746 30834
Sts. Cosmas and Damian medical center – +359 746 31217
Diagnostic and Consultation center 1 – +359 746 22128
 
Veterinary services:
Vet help veterinary center – +359 889 501424, +359 885 757879
Dr. Tolev veterinary ambulatory – +359 898 246240, +359 885 866000
Four Paws veterinary clinic – +359 896 829577
Dr. Sirakov veterinary ambulatory – +359 889 467480, +359 886 849480
 
Judicial authorities:
Regional court Sandanski – +359 746 32162
 
Tourist sites and organizations:

Archeological museum Sandanski – +359 746 90887, +359 896713202
Pirin National Park – +359 898 866420
Edelweiss Tourist Society Sandanski – +359 746 30385, +359 896 766173, +359 882 966465
Wine Museum Melnik – +359 888 302313
Kordopulov’s House Melnik – +359 7437 2265, +359 889 557783, +359 888 547845
Rozhen Monastery – +359 7437 222


 

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