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Itinerary

Greet your guide in central Sofia and see Bulgaria’s countryside, forests, and villages on a drive into the Rila Mountains. Here the remarkable UNESCO World Heritage–listed Rila Monastery—one of Bulgaria’s most famous Eastern Orthodox monasteries—sits on pine-coated slopes.

Learn all about the legend-shrouded monastery, whose origins date to 927 AD, and enter (at your own expense) for a guided tour. Marvel at the fresco-covered colonnades, wooden icons, and tomb of Bulgaria’s last monarch, Boris III.

Opt to explore the monastery’s artifact-filled museum (own expense), and then enjoy free time for lunch at a local restaurant before journeying to the medieval Boyana Church, another UNESCO-listed site. Head inside (own expense) and view the well-preserved 10th-century frescoes that adorn the interior. Admire the depictions of angels, apostles, and sinners, and hear the full background on their painting, styles, and significance.

Finally, end your tour with a convenient drop-off in central Sofia.
Locations visited
Rila Monastery
Boyana Church
Boyana Village
See all 4 locations
Overview
Lift your sights beyond Sofia to visit two of Bulgaria’s historical must-sees in one day—quite a feat to achieve independently. See Bulgaria’s countryside on a drive south, and tour the medieval Rila Monastery with a guide to do its history and treasures justice. Then return to Sofia’s outskirts to visit and learn about fresco-filled Boyana Church. Lunch and entrance fees are at your expense, but all transportation is included.
Highlights
  • Visit two of Bulgaria’s must-see sights on an easy day trip from Sofia
  • Travel through bucolic countryside to the UNESCO-listed Rila Monastery
  • Explore the painted monastery and colonnades, and learn their rich history
  • Visit the medieval Boyana Church and admire its remarkable frescoes
  • Hassle-free air-conditioned travel without using public transportation
  • Lunch at Rila and entrance fees to all sights are at your own expense
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All reviewsrila monastery and boyana churchday tripexcellent servicesmall groupbulgarian historygreat guideschedulefrescoessitesmartindriverinternetmountainstransportstylemarinaexplanation
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1 - 5 of 60 reviews
Reviewed yesterday via mobile
Boyana

Hmmm....our trip could more properly be described as a bus ride to and from the two venues. I'm afraid the guide's English was not that great, certainly not strong enough to give a decent guided tour of these two UNESCO sites. In other locations we've...More

Thank Markcl10
Reviewed 4 days ago
An awe-inspiring embrace of nature and culture

An uplifting experience of art, architecture and natural beauty supported by a professional service of highest quality. Thank you Vasko for an unforgettable guided tour, additional info and the most fortunate cuisine recommendations.

Thank Milan P
Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Beautiful & spiritual

Beautiful & spiritual sites Both the church and the monastery are beautiful structures decorated with stunning frescoes, surrounded by serene nature, each a jewel in their own scale and particular style. The tour was well organized with plenty time to enjoy the visit. The information...More

Thank sabina i
Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Fantastic artwork on display

A really interesting site to visit. The artwork and the story behind it is really interesting. Tour guide was very informative.

Thank SherryDlk
Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Holy place and great artworks

Rila Monastery is a magical place. It is not only a holy place, but a monument of great artwork and history, and in my opinion its magnificence is unsurpassed by many cathedrals.

Thank M G
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Questions & Answers
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tsigag
11 June 2018|
Answer
Response from imp-ette | Reviewed this property |
They tell you on the ticket. It's just by La Cattedrale restaurant, behind St Alexander Nevski Cathedral. If you look it up on Google Maps they've actually pinned the location they pick you from. There's usually more than... More
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strombergDubai
23 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Boda T | Reviewed this property |
Yes you can, ask for it; for us it was a coincidence that we were two so it was a private tour but the guy told us they do that as well if u call
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