Municipality of Sandanski /998,4 km2, 41,167 inhabitants/ is the largest territory in Blagoevgrad, with 54 settlements - the towns of Sandanski and Melnik and 52 villages. The municipality is located among the majestic PirinMountain and the borders with Greece and Macedonia. The municipality occupies a great part of the large Sandanski-Petrich basin with a picturesque valley of the middle current of StrumaRiver. The location of SandanskiMunicipality at the same distances from the economic and transportation centers of Sofia and Thessaloniki (Greece) /160 km/ provides intensive traffic. Through its territory passes the international road E-79 and railway Sofia - Kulata - Athens.
Administrative, economic and cultural center of the municipality is the town of Sandanski, which is situated in the southwest slopes of the PirinMountain, along the banks of the river Sandanska Bistritsa.
Under the modern city lie the ruins of the ancient city. Settlement near the mineral springs was established in II millennium BC. From the Thracian tribe Medi that inhabited its surroundings comes Spartacus - the leader of the largest uprising (74) in the Roman Empire. To VI century it was one of the first Christian bishop centers in Bulgaria. At the end of the VI century, it was destroyed by barbarian tribes. Since that time it carries the name Sveti Vrach (“sveti” means “saint”, “vrach” means “healer”) in memory of the brothers Cosmas and Damian - folk healers. City bore this name until 1947 when it was named Sandanski, in honor of Yane Sandanski.
Sandanski is proud of its unique city park named Sveti Vrach in 1981. On a territory of 344 decares there are over 200 Mediterranean plant species. Interesting site are the plane trees, 2 of which are natural landmarks - plane tree in the city center (550 yrs. old and 23 m. high) and plane tree at summer pool (500 yrs. Old and 26 m. high). The park provides excellent opportunities for recreation and entertainment. Here are the stadium, summer theater, swimming pool, pond.
24 km southeast of Sandanski is Melnik, 6 km further is the Rozhen Monastery. 18 km northeast is situated the resort Popina Laka and the 11-meter waterfall. The resort is a starting point for various hiking routes in the mountains.
22 km southeast of Sandanski in southwestern slopes of Southern Pirin is the smallest town in Bulgaria - Melnik. Melnik is one of the most important medieval and Renaissance cities in Bulgarian lands - large administrative, business and cultural center, with developed viticulture, wine making, crafts (goldsmith and homespun) and trade. Melnik wine is sold not only in neighboring and more distant towns in Bulgaria but also in Budapest, Vienna, Venice.