- beginning April to middle/end June
- beginning September to end of November
Old name of Sandanski is Sveti Vrach (Saint Healer) - the sunniest Bulgarian town with average sun shining 2450 hours per year. It is one of the best places in Europe for healing pulmonary diseases due to the low level of allergenic particles in the air. Climate is influenced by Mediterranean Sea. The small town is located in South-western part of Bulgaria. The hot natural thermal springs in the area make a significant recreational feature. What more is necessary for a perfect active holiday? Oh, yes! Mountains, and mountain forests and peaks, of course! The town itself is located in the southern slopes of the second highest Bulgarian mountain – Pirin, which is nearly 3000m and National park with 2 UNESCO reserves. Just nearby in the valley is Belasitsa Mountain Natural Park and 4 different mountains that vary from 1800m to 2300m. All of them are shining; all of them are made of crystals. They are full of trails for ALL LEVEL Mountain Biking, hiking, running - a real PARADISE. Small isolated villages, local people, local rural life, donkeys, tasty fruits and vegetables, GREAT LOCAL WINE…. are some of the unique features of that amazing area.
There is a lot of history here as well. An ancient land, Sandanski is the native place of SPARTACUS according to all antique historians. IN SITU is well shown a Roman center complex, including bishop's basilica as well as some of the biggest surface of mosaics in Bulgaria. Not far are the ruins of Heraklea Syntica – another big Roman town on the Balkans…
Here you can pick up some (or all ;-)) of my guided itineraries...
Pirin mountain – Sandanski area
Short 10 min transfer. Easy to explore some of the very nearby hills and villages around Sandanski located on the southern slopes of the imposing Pirin mountain. It will be a nice mixture light offroad with pastoral tarmac sections. Transfer back.
1h Transfer. Another day with panoramic rides on the high ridges of this relatively small mountain with panoramas towards the Kresna canyon and Struma river valley. We are passing through small isolated villages and hamlets. Transfer back.
Belasitsa/Ograjden mountain – Waterfalls and “Iron Curtain Trail”
Belasitsa’s ancient name is Orbelus which means shiny mountain. Mixture of forest roads, tarmac section from the “Iron Curtain Trail” international itinerary. Option for visiting of active local monasteries. And probably assist to some of the local celebrations that are quite colorful and marked with warm hospitality. As well a possible short walk to visit some of the numerous forest waterfalls in the area.
Pirin mountain – Melnik area
Short 20 min transfer. Again we are coming back to pay visit of some twice holy places. First as real mystical and very beautiful monasteries such as Rojenski. Secondly the holy ride across “vineyards” land of one of the very famous wine production region by crossing small villages and riding on old off-road connecting these villages. All this is dominated by lovely views of the surrounding mountains and planes.Visit of Melnik – the town of wine. Transfer back.
Sengenska and Slavyanka mountains – Zlatolist
30min transfer. Today we'll be exploring the northern ridges of Sengenska and Slavyanka mountains. Option to make a nice light off-road trip to Zlatolist and to visit St. George church. There lived another high Bulgarian saint – Stoyna. In the yard is an imposing almost 1300 year old tree. Transfer back.
Direct departure from Sandanski. A cocktail of different landscapes ride between the two mountains. Visit of the ruins of Heraklea Syntica, the hot thermal springs of extinguished volcano Kojuh and the nice complex founded by the very famous Bulgarian prophet Vanga who passed away in 1996.