Municipality of SandanskiTown of Sandanski – Best Spa Destination of Bulgaria
Association of Hotel and Restaurant Owners and Tour Operators - SandanskiMember of:BHRA – Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant AssociationBUBSPA – Bulgarian Union of Balneology and Spa TourismESPA – European Spas Association
Municipality ofSandanski in located insouthwest Bulgaria,district of Blagoevgrad.It covers an area of1002 sq. m., it has 54smaller settlements andpopulation of 46 113people.
The territories ofMunicipality of Sandanskiinclude:- Sandanski-Petrich valley- The middle course of theStrouma River- The Pirin Mountains- Slavyanka, Maleshevskaand OgrazhdenMountains.
The international road E-79 passes through themunicipality, as does the railroad Sofia-Kulata-Athens. Thedistance from the town of Sandanski to Sofia is 160 km, toThessaloniki (Greece) is 150 km and it is easily accessible via their airports.
The town of Sandanski (30 175people) is the main administrative andeconomic centre of Municipality of Sandanski. It is situated at thefoothills of the PirinMountains and along the course of the Bistritsa River.
Situated 230 above the sea level, the town of Sandanski isknown as the warmest in Bulgaria, with an average annual temperature of 13.9 º С, low average relative humidity of 66%, duration of sunshine - 2506 hours, and an averagenumber of foggy days – 5. The annual average quantity of precipitation is 513 мм.
The mineral water in Sandanski is famous for its proven healing characteristics. There are several thermalsprings in the resort with temperature between 42-81°С. Their water is effective for treating illnesses of the locomotor, central and peripheral nervous systems, genealogical problems and others.
The combination of Mediterranean climate and healing thermal springs make the town of Sandanskione of the most famous balneo and spa resorts on the Balkan Peninsula and the best natural clinic for bronchial asthma in Europe.
Sandanski is proud of the beautiful town park where you can find more than 200 plant species. Among them are centuries-old plane-trees.Sand paths lead to the open theater, stadium, playgrounds, a bigartificial lake with peddle-boats. Wooden swinging bridges hang over the Bistritsa River.
The town of Sandanski has rich 3200 year-oldhistory, as well as well-preserved archeologicalheritage, displayed in the town museum and the open-air archeological park.
The ancient town lies entirely under modern Sandanski. Archeological researches have proven its existence even before the Trojan War in which they suppose the local Thracian tribe Maedi took part(according to Homer - Iliad).
During the campaigns along the valley of the Strouma River, the Roman soldiers captured the Thracian Spartacus from the tribe Maedi. Later on, he became leader of the biggest slave uprising against the Roman Empire (74-71 B.C.).Now, the ancient warrior has become one of the symbols of Sandanski and proudly welcomes every guest at the town entrance.
The adoption of Christianity as an official religion of the Roman Empire lead to the flourishing of the Christian architecture and art in early Particopolis (Sandanski).Evidence for its role as a religious center in IV-VI c. are the five basilicas found until now.
Cultural monuments from the early Christian period, part ofArcheological Park Sandanski are:- Early Christian Complex with ancient street and stoa;- The Basilica of Bishop John – located “in situ” in the Archeological Museum;- Bishop’s Basilica – an imposing building with a baptistery.
Archeological Museum – Sandanski, established in 1936, is specialised in the field of ancient archaeology. It has a rare collection of Roman funeral plastic arts (I-III c.),ancient statues of Aphrodite and Tyuhe and mosaics from the early Christian period /IV-VI c./, covering an area of over 350 sq. m.
The barbarians put an end to the spiritual and social order establishedin ancient Sandanski. The town was destroyed, but the memory of the miraculous healing waters remained. In the Middle Ages the town was given the name of Sveti Vrach (St.Healer) in memory of the healing brothers Saints Kozma and Damyan. They helped people without taking any money by using the natural recourses and the power of faith. Today, their home is a small monastery and their clinic continues to receive sick people.
With its thousand-year old history Sandanski has proved to be a leading balneological center. In recent years, with thedevelopment of spa tourism, the resort attracts new guests. The town is a favourite relax center for tourists from the Balkan Peninsula and Europe.
Festive SandanskiPirin Folk Festival isappreciated by fans of contemporaryMacedonian folklore. It is held in the first week of September in the Open theaterof the town and givesopportunity to young singers, composers and lyrics writers to show their talent.
The Balkan Youth Festival gives an opportunity toyoung gifted people from all spheres of art to perform and meet with each other.
Melnik is located 24 km southeast of the town ofSandanski. It is a small fairy town, declared town-museum and architectural reserve of international cultural significance.
Melnik has a thousand-year-old history. In XIII c. it becamea centre of Despot Alexius Slav’s dominion, whose fortress was built on the hill above the town. Melnik is known for its numerous churches andmonasteries (70) - “St. Zona”, “St. Anthony”, “St. Nicolas”, among others. The Sand Pyramids raising above the town are declared natural landmark.
There is hardly anyone who hasnot heard of Churchill’s favourite drink – the thick Melnik wine.For centuries it has representedBulgarian winery throughout the world and has been present onthe tables of Venetian, Spanish and French noblemen.The variety of the vine – Shiroka Milnishka, grows only in the region of Melnik and the neighbouring villages.
There are two festivals held in the town in honour of the Melnik wine. These are “Grape Harvest in Melnik” and “Golden Grape Bunch”. They celebrate the two mostimportant stages of the life of wine – the gathering of the grapes and its drinkable period.
Melnik offers very good accommodation possibilities. There are 14 hotels and hotel houses built on its territory. The biggest among them are “Melnik”, “Elli Greko”, “Slav’s Fortres”, “Bolyarka”.
Only 6 km away from Melnik is the small pretty villageof Rozhen. On the hill above it is located the biggest religious temple in the Pirin region and one of the oldest spiritual centers in Bulgaria – the Rozhen Monastery (XII c.).
The territories of Municipality of Sandanski include part of Pirin National Park, protected by UNESCO. 18 km from Sandanski, in the Pirin Mountains, is locatedthe mountain area of Popina Laka with the famous Popina Laka Waterfall (11 m) – declared a natural landmark.
Slavyanka Mointain, located on the border betweenBulgaria and Greece, possesses the biggest deposit of European Black Pine on the Balkans. Because of itslocation, Slavyanka has preserved its territories barely touched by humans. They are now protected by the establishment of Alibotush Natural Reserve.
More than 30 modern hotels in the region with 3800 beds, balneo and spa centers welcome tourists and guests of Sandanski. In their conference halls areorganized meetings on business, political or scientific thematics.
Pirin Park-HotelLocated in the town park, next to the Bistritsa River, it has a modern spacenter and offers to its clients balneo procedures with typical Bulgarianherbs, various spa and wellness procedures , physiotherapy, rehabilitation and other therapies.
Interhotel Sandanski Located in the town park, it is one of thebiggest balneo and spa hotels in Bulgaria.Its balneo center offers modern treatment and prophylaxis for upper respiratory disorders, bronchial asthma,locomotor system, post fracture statuses, rheumatism,osteoporosis, peripheral nervous system.
Medite SPA Hotel The hotel has a spectacularpanoramic view over the town of Sandanski. Its spa center offers a variety of relaxing therapies, cosmetic procedures with rehabilitationeffect, spa and balneo programs.
Sveti Nikola SPAHotel The hotel is located in the very center of the town of Sandanski. Amidst the attractive interior and the calming atmosphere in the spa center, 30 types of services and healing procedures are offered - massages, physiotherapy,inhala tion, and others
Tourist Information Center – SandanskiTourist Information Center - Melnik
TIC – Sandanski offers to its visitors the opportunity toenjoy the local life, folklore, art and crafts. The activitiesinclude:- Folk songs and dances from the Pirin region- Pirin and Roman wedding- Crafts – forging, spinning, knitting, weaving- Stained glass, woodcarving, icon painting- Local dishes
Alternative and extreme tourism:- Kayaking- Canyoning- Hiking- Mountain biking- Military-applied sport- Shooting- Horse riding