Bansko (Банско) — a beautiful old town in the Pirin mountains with refurbished homes, stone wall, and cobblestone streets, but increasingly being overtaken by resort hotels, as this is a major ski destination in Southeast Europe. Not far away from Bansko, there are hot-water mineral springs, located at the villages of Banya (Баня) and Ognianovo (Огняново).
Blagoevgrad (Благоевград) — the largest city of Southwest Bulgaria, Blagoevgrad is located about 90km (50 miles) south from the capital Sofia, in the northeast part of the historical geographic area of Macedonia. Blagoevgrad is known for the beautiful nature that surrounds it, the many local cultural sights and festivals. This is a busy and fast growing city. One may enjoy here many aspects of Bulgarian national culture - the traditions live on here. The town is famous for it's nightlife , supported by a great number of pubs, called here krychmi (кръчми) or mehani (механи). Across the river from the city centre, there is the Varosha area, which is essentially the old town, and features the beautiful church Sveta Bogorodiza (built 1844), with a distinctly Bulgarian appearance.
Dupnica — A large town at the foot of the Rila mountain, located 65km (40 miles) south from Sofia and 35 km (21 miles)north from Blagoevgrad. This is a quiet town with a beautiful nature and a great view to the biggest mountain in Bulgaria - Rila. The town is famous as the "Little Italy", due to the great number of people who have gone to work in in many cities there. Another reason for this nickname are the many used car lots, in which most of the cars are brought in from Italy.
Melnik (Мелник) — sample wonderful red wines from the region, see the sand pyramids, and take the long hike to Rozhen Monastery
Semkovo (Семково) — a mountain resort 17 km to the north of the town of Belitsa, situated south of the main ridges of the Rila Mountains, nestling in a wide field among pine forests
Smolyan (Смолян) — a great destination for holiday makers and nature lovers, this municipality town is famous for its planetarium center, drama theater, historical museum. Several kilometers away is the ski resort of Pamporovo.
Velingrad (Велинград) — a city is surrounded by the Rhodope Mountains, with more than 70 mineral springs nearby, making it the city with the most mineral springs in a country rich with these vital waters
The people in the Southwest region are very friendly and will gladly be your host. They are very caring and they for sure treat their guests with respect.
Rila Monastery (Рилски манастир) — a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most popular and beautiful places in all of Bulgaria — one of the centers of both the religious and cultural spirit of the Bulgarian nation. Founded in the 10th century, it is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. It is situated in the northwestern Rila Mountains, 117 km (73 mi) south of the capital Sofia. It is traditionally thought that the monastery was founded by the hermit St.John of Rila (Ivan Rilski), whose name it bears, during the rule of Tsar Peter I (927-968).
The monastery has a spectacular architecture which is well combined with the picturesque nature of the Rila Mountain. Inside the complex, the main church stands in the center of the inner ring. The entire church is decorated with amazing wood-carving, and it's famous for the gold-plated iconostasis. Outside the Rila Monastery, you can find a variety of little pubs and restaurants, where one can experience the fine Bulgarian cuisine. There are a lot of gift shops for the tourists with reasonable prices.