1 day
Tour type
Starting point

Rila monastery and Boyana church are two of the UNESCO sites in Bulgaria. Join our one day UNESCO tour and let us explore them. You will learn about our religion and you will see how we pray. We Bulgarians are Orthodox Christians since the 9th c.

Boyana church in Sofia

We begin our tour with a visit to the Boyana church in Sofia. This is a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church, famous with its frescoes. The church was built in different stages in the late 10th c, 13th and 19th c. Among the frescoes you can see the miracles of St Nicolaus the Miracle-maker. He is patron of fishermen and traders. We celebrate his day on the 6th of December and we eat fish.

Furthermore, in the yard of the Boyana church we will see the grave of one of the last Bulgarian queens: Eleonora. She saved the church from destruction in the 19th c. Her will was to be buried at the yard of Boyana church. And next to her grave there is a one hundred old tree brought from North America. Her husband, the Bulgarian king Ferdinand was keen on botany and he planted two such trees in the yard of the church.

Rila monastery

Next we continue towards the the Rila monastery, which is in the Rila Mountains. This is the highest mountain in Bulgaria and on the Balkans. It takes about 2 hour drive from Sofia to reach it. Many Bulgarians visit the monastery all year long because Rila monastery is the holiest place in Bulgaria. It has kept the Bulgarian spirit through the ages of foreign domination. St Ivan of Rila founded the Rila monastery in the 10th c. He was a hermet who lived in a cave about 5 km away from the monastery.

Rila monastery church

The monastery church is among the most beautiful churches in Bulgaria. It has wall paintings both outside and inside. Today the grave of the last Bulgarian king Boris III is in the monastery church. Also the relics of St Ivan of Rila are here. One of the special icons is the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary. It gives support to the people who visit the monastery and pray for good health.

Duration: 1 day / 250 km
Destination: Sofia and Rila monastery, Bulgaria
Departure location Pick up from your accommodation in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Departure Time 09:00
Arrival Time 17:00 (Drop off at your accommodation)
Transport and parking costs Licensed English speaking tour guide
Visit to Rila monastery and the church Photos from the tour
Mineral water
Not included
lunch (we go to a restaurant next to the monastery to try trout) entrance fee for the History museum of Rila monastery: BGN 8 per person
entrance fee for the Hrelyo tower in Rila monastery: BGN 5 per person entrance for Boyana church: BGN 10 per person
When to visit: all year long
Group size: from 1 up to 4 people
Extra information We can customize the tour to the Rila monastery with a visit to Boyana church, the Stob pyramids, Retro museum or a wine tasting.
The Hrelyo defense tower in Rila monastery is open from 01.06. until 30.09.



9.00 AM

Pick up from your accommodation

9.30 AM

Visit to Boyana church, located at the foot of Vitosha mountain.

10.30 AM

Departure to Rila monastery (approx. 120km)

12.30 PM

Visit to Rila monastery and the church Virgin Mary. Free time for photos.

2.00 PM

Lunch (optional)

3.00 PM

Departure back to Sofia. (approx. 2 hour drive)

We need this information from you:

Rila Monastery
Rila Monastery
Rila Monastery
Rila Monastery
Rila monastery
Stob pyramids
Stob pyramids
Stob pyramids
Stob pyramids
Stob pyramids
antique place

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