The sand pyramids of Melnik form one of the most peculiar landscapes in Bulgaria. In fact, they have been declared a natural monument since 1960. Do you need more reasons to encourage you to discover them? We give you all the information about this beautiful place, and also about the city where they are located, which will be a real discovery for you.
The impressive sand pyramids of Melnik
These are natural sand pyramids that have acquired various forms (of mushrooms, cones, needles…). But they are in a constant process of transformation. Its external appearance has been changing, and will continue to do so over time. The reason? The constant erosion of clay soils.
This unique natural phenomenon it extends along 17 kilometers. The Melnik sand pyramids cover an area of 50 km², and some of them reach 100 meters in height.
Deciduous trees and grasses can grow on the peaks. Meanwhile, the sand slopes are, in some cases, completely vertical.
These curious formations can be seen practically from any point of Melnik. And it is that this tiny city is located in a valley surrounded by these pyramids of sand. Another possibility is to climb any of the nearby paths to be able to observe the landscape from above.
As a curiosity, are the pyramids that give name to the city of Melnik. In Old Slavonic “mel” meant “white clay”.
What else to see in Melnik
Although Melnik is the smallest city in Bulgaria, it hides many charms. One of them is the House of the Boyars. This is one of the oldest dwellings on the Balkan Peninsula, it served as the residence of Despot Alexii Slav and is declared an architectural monument.
Here you will also see the house of Kordopulov. It is the largest Renaissance building in all of Bulgaria and dates back to 1754. Another interesting building is Pashov’s house, built in 1815 and which can only be seen from the outside. It also belongs to the time of the Bulgarian Revival.
The remains of the Metropolitan Church of San Nicola stand out, in the central part of Mount San Nicola. But the number of temples in the city is huge. One can also mention the Basilica of St. Anthonii, which is part of the cultural and historical reserve of Melnik.
Another visit is to the monastery of Santa Virgen Spileotisa, of great cultural and historical value. And besides him it is worth mentioning the remains of the church of Santa Varvara; the Metropolitan Church of St. Nicolay Chudotvorets, from the 13th century; the church of San Pedro and San Pablo, an architectural and artistic monument; and the church of San Juan.
What else to do in Melnik
In addition to tourism, in Melnik you can’t miss out on tasting their wine, of a magnificent quality. In fact, the region is full of wineries and houses that offer tastings or where to buy a bottle.
If you want to know more about its production process, you can visit the Wine Museum. It is in the center of Melnik, and the visit is most interesting.
Wine is perfect to accompany delicious Bulgarian cuisine. It includes dishes as varied as the kebapche, an elongated piece of grilled minced meat; the shopska, a salad with tomato, cucumber, onion, pepper, grated cheese and parsley; or the famous moussaka, present in other places in the Balkans.
It can also be used to get to know the magnificent surroundings of the city. Include in your itinerary the Pirin National Park, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It has an extension of no less than 275 km² and will allow you to have a great day in nature.
As you may have verified, Melnik offers endless tourist possibilities and attractions, starting with the natural pyramids, a real wonder that draws the attention of hundreds of tourists every year. What are you waiting for to see all this first hand? Of course, you won’t regret it.