Founded in 3-2 century BC, today Melnik is the smallest town in Bulgaria with a population of only 208 people. It is located not far from the Greek border in the southwestern part of the country and is situated about 400 meters above sea level. Nestled at the foot of the Pirin Mountain, in a shallow ravine resembling a dry riverbed, Melnik is a really beautiful historic place that brings a sense of original Bulgarian medieval culture. With its outstanding antique architecture, it has become a cultural and historical reserve.
Because of its small territory, you can see all the sights of Melnik in just a few hours without hurrying.
Famous for its numerous churches and mineral springs, Melnik and its surroundings are very attractive tourist destination for Bulgarian and foreign tourists interested in history, culture and architecture.
The best way to become more familiar with the city is by visiting its museums – the Pashova House and the Kordopulova House.
Besides being known as a city-museum under the open sky and one of the hundred greatest sights in Bulgaria, Melnik is famous for something else – the magnificent Melnik’s pyramids.
These impressive formations of limestone rock stand against the centuries-old houses made of stone and wood. Not far from the town is located the famous Rozhen Monastery.
Built in the 13th century, today it is among the best preserved in the country and fascinates its visitors with its traditional architecture, lush vegetation and an incredible sense of peace and tranquility.
Other major attractions in the vicinity of Melnik are the remains of the imposing Slavova Fortress dating from the 11th century as well as the church “St. Nikola” built in the 13th century, which is today unfortunately almost completely destroyed.
If you are a fan of wine, you should know that Melnik is famous for its world class red wines with deep color and strong flavour.
Caressed by the rays of the warm Mediterranean sun and nourished by the rich soil, the vineyards of Melnik bear only the highest quality grapes.
One of the most famous lovers of the amazing local wine is Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War.
Located between the temperate and subtropical climate zone, Melnik enjoys a very pleasant and mild climate. It is believed that the climatic conditions are ideal for the treatment of pulmonary diseases.
For this reason, the city has turned into an important center for the practicing of health tourism. Melnik enjoys plenty of sunshine and pleasant temperatures throughout the year. Summers are typically Mediterranean, hot and dry, with temperatures of around or over 30°C.
The warm weather season lasts from early May to late September or early October. During this period the average daytime temperature is between 24 and 32°C. Spring and autumn are short seasons with mild and pleasant weather.
April and October bring temperatures of around 20°C, while March and November are cooler with temperatures of around 13 – 14°C. Winters in Melnik are relatively mild with daytime temperatures between 5 and 10°C.
High mountains protect the small town of northern and northeastern winds during the winter season.
When to visit Melnik? May, June and September offer the most pleasant temperatures to visit Melnik. In July and August is too hot, though afternoons are very nice.
How to get to Melnik? The easiest way to get to Melnik is by car. If you do not have this option, however, you can travel by bus from Sofia or from the nearby town of Sandanski.
As Melnik is a small town, buses usually travel just once a day.