Location: The town of Sandanski is situated in the south-west part of Bulgaria, at the foot of Pirin mountain, along the banks of river Sandanska Bistritsa, at 157 km south from the capital Sofia. It is famous for its mild climate influenced by the Aegean Sea, with its beautiful scenery and with its thermal springs.

Today this is one of the best thermal resorts in the country, whose microclimate is extremely favourable for the treatment of all lungs and respiratory maladies. Sandanski is the best place for asthma treatment in Europe.

Sandanski is the town where the big national festival Pirin Folk is taking place.

Population: 27 000 inhabitants.

History: According to the legend here was once the kingdom of the mythical king Rhesus, mentioned in Second song of Homer’s Iliad. It is also considered for a birthplace of the famous Roman gladiator Spartacus – leader of the biggest slave revolt in Ancient Rome in 74th-71st BC.

Underneath the modern town there are remnants from an antique settlement, which emerged around the mineral springs during the 2nd century BC. When the Romans came here, they expanded and urbanized the Thracian settlement – they impounded the healing springs and erected a sanctuary in honor of the god of medicine and healing Asclepius. The tradition was continued by the Slav tribes that settled in the region, who called the town St. Vrach. This was the name of the town till 1949, when it was renamed in honor of the Bulgarian revolutionary – Yane Sandansky – a figure in the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization.


  • Sveti Vrach Park: That city park is arranged like botanical gardens and it spreads on the lower slopes of mountain Pirin at the outskirts of Sandanski. There are more than 200 different types of plants in it, many of which are Mediterranean species. Many mineral springs some of them hot, attract many guests who come here for medical treatment.
  • Archaeological Museum: Build-up atop an old basilica from the Early Christianity period. There are remains (mosaics), that bear record for the significance of the Roman town. Special section is dedicated to Spartacus – slave and gladiator in Rome that led one of the biggest revolts against the empire.

  • St. George Church: The only surviving building from the National Revival period (18th-19th century).

  • Likin Art gallery was found in 1989. Rumen Bozhinov, an art expert, is its manager. Works of Bulgarian painters, mainly from the town and the region, are exhibited there. The gallery offers to make by order mosaics, stained glass and copies of Bysantian icons.


  • Melnik is located about 180 km south from Sofia and 23 km away from the town of Sandanski at the foot of Pirin mountain. With population of only 250 inhabitants, Melnik is the smallest town in Bulgaria but it is so attractive that usually the number of tourists per day is several times higher than the number of inhabitants. The town was pronounced for a natural, cultural and historical reserve and also for a museum town because of its old white houses cuddling next to each other, located in the midst of unique sand formations, also known as The Pyramids of Melnik.

  • 6 km north-east from Melnik, on the ridge of a high hill, Rozhen monastery is perched. It was founded in 1217 and it was burned down and pillaged several times after that. The current monastery building is from the 19th century, while the church is from the year 1600 and it was renovated in 1732. The church has preserved unique mural paintings, glass stains and wood carving. The great Bulgarian revolutionary Yane Sandanski, who was buried close to the monastery, spent the last years of his life here.

  • The road to the Rozhen monastery passes through the Sand Pyramids in Melnik – bizarre rock formation, with natural sculptures of different forms and delineations: some of them resemble hay stacks, others – the Egyptian pyramids or gothic hills, towers or enormous mushrooms.