Sandanski (Bulgarian: Сандански, formerly known as Sveti Vrach, Bulgarian: Свети Врач, until 1947) is a town and a recreation centre in south-western Bulgaria, part of Blagoevgrad Province. Named after revolutionary Yane Sandanski, it is situated in a valley at the foot of Pirin Mountains, along the banks of Sandanska Bistritsa River. Sandanski is about 20 km away from Bulgaria-Greece border and 100 km away from Aegean sea.
The town has a convenient location, a mild to warm climate (with the highest average annual temperature in the country, +13,9°C) and relatively high concentration of thermal water springs, which all make it a popular destination for relaxation and recreation.
Sandanski is located in the Sandanski-Petrich Valley, surrounded by the Pirin, Belasitsa and Ograzhden mountain ranges. The town is about 160 km south from Bulgaria’s capital Sofia along the major European Route E79. Following the same route at almost the same distance is Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city.
Sandanski has developed in an amphitheatrical fashion on the outer south-west flanks of Pirin Mountains along the lower reaches of Sandanska Bistritsa River. The town’s altitude varies between 240 and 300 meters. Its geographical location between Kresna and Rupel Gorges determines town’s mild winter temperatures. Statistically Sandanski has the warmest temperatures in Bulgaria with a total of around 2700 annual sunshine hours.
Within a short drive from Sandanski is Melnik, the smallest town in Bulgaria in terms of population, but an attractive tourist destination for its authentic architecture and wine production. In a close proximity are the village of Rozhen and Rozhen Monastery.