Melnik tourist info and hotels
Situated on 186 kilometers from Sofia and set among countless pyramid-shaped sandstone formations that create a jagged mountainous backcloth, Melnik is a historical reserve but is atypical of the other Bulgarian National Revival-era museum-towns. With its mixed Mediterranean and mountainous climate, Melnik turned out to be perfect winemaking territory, famous for its dusky and robust flavors of the unique Bulgarian red grape variety of Melnik Broad Vine, the soft sandstone in the area allows burrowing cool cave-cellars for these great wines to be stored.
In Melnik about half of the homes are transformed into places to stay, eat and of course sample the superb local wines. Although it is a famous tourist destination, Melnik is not en route to any other major attractions, which helps the town to remain a beautiful and an unspoiled destination in southern Pirin.
Melnik is not connected by railways, and if one travels by public bus he will have to change in Sandanski. It would be much more convenient (especially for foreign visitors) to rent a car and come to this beautiful small town in the Pirin Mountain driving yourself, so you are able to explore the surrounding at your own pace.
It is simply ironic, how often the Rozhen monastery has been pillaged since it was established by Alexius Slav in the distant 1220. However, just like Rila monastery, it attracts pilgrims from around the globe. Although Rozhen is one of the smallest monasteries in Bulgaria, it is in relatively good condition, pretty popular and with well-tended gardens and orchards. Visitors should know that it is strictly forbidden to take photos of the monks or the inside the church.