How can a village with about 3000 inhabitants compete with the best native spa resorts and find a place among the most visited places? It is not so difficult, but there are several conditions. To have healing mineral springs, its inhabitants to be enterprising, and the local government and private individuals to invest. The Razlog village of Banya has all this, which is fast and sure to become the SPA capital of the Pirin region.
In recent years, the village attracts many tourists and many investors. Last year alone in the municipality of Razlog there was an increase in the volume of transactions with holiday properties of 87%. And most of them are right in Banya. There are months when the number of guests in the holiday village is in the top three in the country. This was the case in July 2021, when with 6,400 tourists the resort was overtaken only by Velingrad and Hissarya. The small SPA capital of Blagoevgrad region continues to develop.
The village of Banya has long been famous for its mineral springs. Razlog Municipality does not stop issuing permits for detailed development plans for new recreation and relaxation complexes to guests from the country and abroad. The main reason for this boom of tourists and investors is the presence of 72 mineral springs with water, which is the second largest after Velingrad. The proximity of the three mountains Rila, Pirin and the Rhodopes to the resort is not to be underestimated. There are over 20 mineral pools, there is also a municipal mineral beach with Olympic size. That is why more and more people come here for baths and beaches all year round. Because the hot mineral water brings guests here all year round. The village is a favorite place for recreation because of the healing mineral springs and beautiful nature. Here are the tourist attractions – restored in their authentic form Roman and Turkish baths. They are proof of the ancient balneological tradition in the area.
Large spa hotels, family hotels, dozens of guest houses have been built here. Currently, more tourist sites are being built to accommodate guests. The conditions for the business are not to build very tall buildings and to provide a lot of greenery around the buildings. Almost always the maximum height is 10 meters and the density – up to 30%. The influx of investors is justified – the Kulinoto ski area and the modern golf complex are nearby, and the Bansko ski center is only 5-6 km away. The aim of the municipality of Razlog is not to allow redevelopment anywhere in the settlements. Each investment intention is carefully assessed. Compliance with all construction parameters is monitored so that there are no deviations from the norms.
For the local government, the development of tourism in Banya is a priority. Necessary work is being done to attract more and more investors and tourists. Many projects for the development of the resort are being implemented, looking for different sources of funding – European, state or municipal. The aim is to continuously improve the infrastructure. A compensatory mineral water tank was built three years ago. This solved the problem of mineral water shortage at peak consumption. Ensure more efficient and balanced use of water, better storage. The loss of life-giving fluid also decreased. This also enabled new users to receive mineral water. With the new tank there are sufficient quantities of mineral water, covering the needs of consumers with issued permits for use, who experienced a shortage at the time of peak consumption, reports “Telegraph”.
“We can apply for the Guinness Book of World Records for the most pools built per capita,” said Banyanli with a smile. Tourism provides a livelihood for the local population. Thanks to the mineral springs, the village is developing and moving forward. Young people do not think about emigrating, but stay in Banya. Proof of this are the kindergartens and schools full of children and students.
The temperature of the water in the mineral springs is between 37 and 57 degrees Celsius. It can be used for spa, balneotherapy and prevention of chronic inflammatory diseases of the musculoskeletal system, helps to recover from injuries – fractures, sprains, bruises. It is useful for relieving pain in rheumatism, back pain, for the treatment of inflammation of the nervous system. That is why Banya is emerging as the best place for spa and balneotherapy in all of Southwestern Bulgaria. Near the old bath there was a village with a sanctuary of the god Apollo, built by the Macedonians in honor of the god of the sun and hot water. This is evidenced by a preserved stone with an inscription in ancient Greek. During the capture of the hot mineral springs, coins with the images of Philip II and Alexander the Great were found in an ancient settlement, which was located here.
This is also a sign for all who live and do business in Banya. Because a village with so much history has no future. And it is more than good because of the boom of investors and tourists. “Our treasure is the healing mineral water. Thanks to it we welcome guests from the country and abroad. With each passing year we report an increase in tourists,” say locals.