Sandanski town in Bulgaria.

Sandanski is a small town of about 31.000 inhabitants found in southwestern Bulgaria, close to the border with Greece. For years it has been a tourist city famous for its natural hot springs that are used in hotels, balneological complexes and public swimming pools in the city. The city takes the name of a famous revolutionary against the Ottoman occupation named Yane Ivanov Sandanski (1872-1915).

Being in the south of the country and at a low altitude (296 meters above sea level) it has quite moderate winters and hot summers. The city has become a major tourist center within Bulgaria, thanks to the mild climate and its thermal water resources.


Sandanski Center in Winter

How to get to Sandanski.

From Sofia International Airport or from the center of the capital, Sandanski can be reached by car in a few minutes. 2 hours and 15 minutes. It goes south, the whole journey is by highway, It is also the one in the best state in the country. However, it is the same highway that connects Sofia with Greece, therefore in summer it is quite busy by travelers who go on vacation to Greece…

Where to stay.

Being a tourist city there is no problem to find accommodation, there are options for all budgets, from small family hotels to large hotel complexes with spas or other luxury hotel options. Of course we recommend staying in one of the hotels that have a thermal water pool.. We personally know the Interhotel Sandanski, which has a large indoor thermal water pool connected to an outdoor one., you can go from one to another by swimming through a corridor that connects them. It also has an outdoor pool with thermal water at a very high temperature, ideal for bathing in the middle of winter. It is a large hotel so there are usually no room availability problems. The advantage of this hotel is that you can walk from it both to the center of Sandanski where there are terraces, restaurants and shops such as the large city park for walks under its huge trees.


Spa in Sandanski

Things to do in Sandanski.

Places of interest.

Inside the city you can take long walks through the large park, It is the favorite activity of the locals, In summer, adults and children stroll through this park under the shade of its large trees and have ice cream at the street stalls. Right at the beginning of the park is the hot spring for public use from which the water gushes at no less than 76º C, if you touch it, it burns you, However, many people come to her to fill bottles to take away, since their medicinal properties are recognized for those who drink them regularly.


City park

In this park there is also a modern Ferris wheel with closed cabins that is open all year, From the top you can see the entire city and have views of the neighboring Pirin mountain.

Right in the square where the thermal water fountain that we have mentioned before is located, the pedestrian street lined with terraces and bars begins and continues until it reaches the commercial street of shops and stores., with better prices than the capital.


Hot spring for public use in the center of Sandanski

Essential is to take a photo next to the great statue of Spartacus, of which it has been written that he is originally from this region and that is why the city pays tribute to him. The statue is at the entrance of the city from the highway.


Spartacus statue in Sandanski (Bulgaria)


Excursions to the Pirin National Park.

Not everything is relaxation tourism in Sandanski, Another great advantage of the city is to be at the foot of the Pirin mountain, which is a huge National Park of which we already gave information in another article. The proximity of these mountains to the city allows excursions to go hiking in the middle of Nature, always green even in the middle of summer.

To enter the Pirin Mountains, from the center of Sandanski you can take the road towards the town of Lilyanovo and continue to the esplanade of “Popina luka”, there, leave the car and continue walking up the mountain. Right on this esplanade there is a large waterfall, of the same name, formed by the Bistritsa river that flows strongly all year round.


Senderismo en Pirin desde Sandanski.


We have already commented that Sandanski is famous for its hot springs and has many tourists who stay at any time of the year in its spa hotels for this reason. Mainly visitors to Sandanski are domestic tourists as foreign tourists are mainly concentrated on the Black Sea Coast during their vacations.. If you want more information about accommodation in Sandanski, book one of our trips and we will offer you different possibilities according to your travel budget..

Public pools.

The inhabitants of the city and also the visitors can enjoy the public swimming pools of the city that also use the thermal mineral water. There is a complex of public outdoor swimming pools that adds slides and diving boards to its facilities right in the center of the large city park.

There is also a smaller outdoor spa, almost hidden in a corner of the same park. This has differentiated access for men and women according to the days of the week, in the traditional style introduced by the Ottomans centuries ago, since it is accessed without clothes. We have tried it and it is a delight, open all year round and if you go in winter you can bathe naked in hot water under the open sky. The same in summer but then it is advisable to protect yourself from the Sun. Dispose of 3 large bathtubs that are filled with thermal mineral water taps that you can regulate yourself to have more or less temperature, in each bathtub they can enter between 3 a 6 people but there are usually no more than 4 oh 5 throughout the enclosure so you can often enjoy your own hot water raft…


The main street of Sandanski has a pedestrian section where a multitude of summer terraces are concentrated, very lively during the summer holidays, although they are open all year. However we recommend a traditional Bulgarian restaurant located on the outskirts of the city towards the Pirin Mountains., it is the hotel restaurant “The outlaws”. It has a terrace and what makes it unforgettable is being able to order a grilled trout, the freshest in the country because they have a small raft in the enclosure where trout swim that they can cook for you instantly.


Hotel-restaurant “The outlaws”

We can include the stay in the city of Sandasnki in any of our circuits in Bulgaria, contact us to design a tailor-made trip around the country, either with a private guide for your group or self-guided with a rental car that we can provide you…

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