Sofia to Rila Monastery & Boyana Church Tour

Attractions & Museums
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    This tour is provided by

    Excedo Travel

    Excedo was born out of an idea and its founder’s desire to help world travelers discover and explore the diverse range of experiences Bulgaria has to offer. There is so much more to Bulgaria that goes beyond the ordinary and we want to help guests experience as much as possible. We strive to make you see our home country with different eyes.

    • 9 Hours
    • 2-6 People
    • Vitosha Mountain, Sofia

    Why Visit Rila Monastery and Boyana Church

    Rila Monastery and Boyana Church are probably the two best known and most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bulgaria. They are a must-see when visiting the hidden jewel of the Balkans. If you want to make your next visit to Bulgaria truly special, then this day trip from Sofia is unmissable, but you may also like to take a look at our Private Bulgaria Day trips. Or, if you’re looking for something a little more extensive, check out our Tailor-made Bulgaria Tour Packages.

    Located on the outskirts of Sofia, at the northern slopes of the Vitosha Mountain, Boyana Church is one of the few well-preserved mediaeval structures in the area. Perhaps unspectacular at first glance, the church stands as a testament to the significant contribution of Bulgarian art to European culture in the Middle Ages.

    Its 13th century frescoes are not only a masterpiece of Christian Orthodox Art but a first step towards the magnificence of what would later become the norm for Renaissance masters.

    Rila Monastery Tour

    Just like the Boyana Church, the Rila Monastery is a symbol of Bulgaria and is regarded as one of the country’s most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments. The centuries-old cloister has always been considered a spiritual, literary and cultural center. Hidden in the recesses of mighty Rila’s pine forests, this exceptionally fine artistic complex impresses with its rich history, cobblestone courtyard, winding balconies, picturesque mountain views and brightly colored intricate frescos.

    We invite you to immerse yourself in the beauty of Bulgarian’s most famous UNESCO landmarks, while discovering the natural splendor of rural Bulgaria along the way. If it’s the rural part and the natural views that interest you most of all, however, check out our 7 Rila Lakes Hiking Trip.

    When

    All year round

    Time and Location

    We depart at 9:00 AM from a location of your choosing in Sofia

    Price Includes

    • Transportation in air-conditioned vehicle
    • Licensed tour guide
    • 0.5l water bottle
    • All Entrance fees
    • Small Present

    Price Excludes

    • Meals not specifically mentioned as included
    • Drinks
    • Gratuities to guide/driver and tips
    • Personal expenses
    • Maps

    We leave at 9:00 AM and our first stop is the Boyana Church on the outskirts of Sofia.

    As a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Boyana Church is subject to entrance restrictions, aimed to preserve its priceless 13th century frescoes in the best possible condition. Only small groups of up to 15 people are allowed one at a time and we are given about 10-15 min inside, so we might have to wait a bit before we can go in.

    After we finish with our guided tour at the church, we will head south towards the Rila Monastery. The drive is about 1.5h and we arrive around noon.

    While exploring the monastery grounds, we will learn of its 11-centuries old history and visit the local museum, where its most prized possessions are put on display. We will also dedicate some time to marvelling at the intricate and rich frescoes decorating the main church’s exterior, and guests will learn about Christian Orthodoxy and its peculiarities while exploring the enchanting interior.

    Of course, you will also have some time to roam the grounds on your own, take photos and/or sit down for lunch or a snack in a near-by restaurant.

    We then drive back to Sofia, where this tour ends, at around 6:00 PM.

    Please Note

    • The tour operates for min. 2 participants
    • Booking needs to be done at least 48 hours prior to departure & is subject to confirmation
    • For larger group arrangements, please contact us at least 3 full days in advance
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