Although Melnik is the smallest town in Bulgaria, it is so attractive that often the number of tourists exceeds the number of its inhabitants – 230. Melnik is known for its old houses with remarkable architecture, history, stunning scenery, weird rock formations and rich wine.
The town itself is like a landmark with its old white houses nested next to each other, surrounded by the unique sand formations known as the Melnik pyramids. The most famous house is the Kordopulova house, the largest in the Balkans from the Renaissance period. There is an exhibition inside of the house arranged as a cellar in the form of a tunnel dug in the rock with huge vats for storing Melnik wine, which visitors can taste if they want. The historical museum is housed in the Pashova house. The ground floor presents the main occupation of the people in Melnik – wine making. The museum exhibits relate to the everyday life of the town during the Renaissance, as well as drums and other items related to wine making.
Be sure to check out the Boyar House – a real medieval monument. It is the oldest house in Bulgaria and is located in the eastern part of Melnik. The Boyar house was inhabited until the early XX-th century but all that is left today are its impressive ruins.
Besides history and architecture, Melnik is the wine. The sand pyramids that surround the town from all its sides hold the wine cellars where this famous elixir is kept to ripen and mature. This is the only place that uses this kind of technology in wine making.
Also in the area is the St. Mary Spileotissa monastery. It is situated on a small terrace in the eastern hills of St Nicholas hill, southeast of Melnik. It was founded by Despot Alexius Slav in the early XIII-th century. Among other attractions are the ruins of the St. Nicholas monastery (XII-th century), the Slav fortress (XIII-XIV century), the Roman bridge, the old Turkish bath.