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Tours to Rila Monastery from Sofia

The Rila Monastery is the biggest and most famous Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. It's considered the most important Bulgarian cultural, historical and architectural monument and one of the most important tourist attraction in south-east Europe. In 1983. it got on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Read other interesting facts about tours to Rila Monastery in our short guide.


10h
From:
80.00 €
(Per group)
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Tour to Rila Monastery & Boyana Church with Lunch from Sofia

5 star rating:Very Good

Do not miss this unique opportunity to visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites. Explore the.... Read more

8h
From:
80.00 €
(Per group)
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Rila Monastery with Lunch: Full Day Tour from Sofia

5 star rating:Very Good

Visit the Rila Monastery, recognized as part of UNESCO world heritage site. This place is.... Read more

8h
From:
30.00 €
(Per person)
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Visiting Rila Monastery and Boyana Church from Sofia

If you join us on this tour, you will have a great opportunity to visit not one, but two .... Read more


1d
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108.00 €
(Per person)
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Day Trip to Rila Monastery and Boyana Church from Sofia

Don`t miss the opportnity to visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites in one day Join a full.... Read more

Flexible
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107.00 €
(Per person)
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Guided Tour to Rila Monastery from Sofia

Don't miss this great opportunity to discover Rila Monastery - one of the most famous sym.... Read more

8h
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40.00 €
(Per person)
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Boyana Church and Rila Monastery Shuttle Group Tour from Sofia

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Have a great time when you join us on this tour. You will visit two fascinating arhitectu.... Read more


9h
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138.00 €
(Per group)
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Boyana Church and Rila Monastery Full Day Private Tour from Sofia

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Join us and visit Rila Monastery and Boyana church, UNESCO World Heritage sites. Relive h.... Read more

8h
From:
140.00 €
(Per group)
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Private Trip to Rila Monastery and Boyana Church with Lunch from Sofia

Use the great opportunity and visit Rila Monastery and Boyana church. On this trip you wi.... Read more

8h
From:
78.00 €
(Per person)
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Day Tour to Rila Monastery from Sofia

Join us and visit UNESCO's sight, marvelous Rila Monastery. Our guide will tell you more .... Read more


12h
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66.00 €
(Per person)
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Rila Monastery and the Seven Rila Lakes One Day Tour from Sofia

Explore two amazing sights of the Rila Mountains in a single day - the most beautiful nat.... Read more


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Guide for visiting the Rila Monastery from Sofia

Guide for visiting the Rila Monastery from Sofia
The Rila Monastery is the most visited tourist attraction in Bulgaria with over one million visitors each year. The Monastery is situated about 120 kilometers from Sofia on the north-west part of the Rila Mountain. It's located in the deep valley of the Rila river on an altitude reaching 1.100 meters. It takes about 2 hours driving to reach it from Sofia.

The long history of the Rila Monastery began in the 10th century. It was started by Saint John of Rila, a priest who after he accepted the life of a monk, came to this place to live in solitude, poverty and prayer. He lived in a nearby cave and many legends started surround him such as that wild animals came to him without fear and that birds landed on his hands. He spend the rest of his life here. During his lifetime, he stated to gain many followers that stated camping in front of his cave and wanting to get his blessing and knowledge. His fame even reach the current ruler of the Bulgarian Empire, the tsar Peter I, which came to visit him in his cave - but John not wanting to succumb to the temptation of vanity and pride of receiving such an important visit, he refused to meet him so they only bowed to each other from a distance. The monastery was built by his followers in the vicinity of his cave.

The Rila Monastery was an important part of the Bulgarian culture, but due to the turbulent history of Bulgaria, it was destroyed, pillaged and set on fire several times mostly by the Turks during their occupation. But every time it was rebuilt and additional parts of the monastery where constructed, the last being the belfry that was build in 1844.

The monastery was even visited by Pope John Paul II​ in 2002., giving it an additional approval of its cultural importance.

Regarding the tours that take you to the Rila Monastery from Sofia, most of the tours include a stop to Boyana Church, an important medieval Orthodox church which is located on the outskirts of Sofia. It's a bit far from other sights in Sofia so it's a nice additional stop when visiting Rila. Another popular question about these tours: "is it possible to visit the Seven Rila Lakes on the same tour" - unfortunately no. Even thou the lakes and the Monastery are situated on the same mountain they are quite far from each other and there is not enough time to enjoy both destinations. There are several options available such as tours with lunch included, or if you prefer, you can visit the Rila Monastery with a private tour.
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Our guests personal experiences on tours to Rila Monastery from Sofia

Tours to Rila Monastery from Sofia

5 star rating:Very Good (5.0/5 based on 12 reviews)
Five star

THE guide was amazing, the trip organized and the lunch was great. I would always book with them

Hiba O., Lebanon

On excursion: Tour to Rila Monastery & Boyana Church with Lunch from Sofia
Five star

A must see in Bulgaria. We really enjoyed the short hike to St John’s cave and the monastery’s architecture. Our guide Mariya was excellent and went the extra mile to accomodate our group. Thank you!

Marie-Luce d., Canada

On excursion: Tour to Rila Monastery & Boyana Church with Lunch from Sofia
Five star

It was the best day of our trip to Sofia. Our guide, Maria, was fantastic, she picked us up at our apartment on time and was a great source of information. We had the tour to the Rila Monastery and Maria also took us to see the cave above the Monastery and the beautiful mountains. After a delicious lunch we then visited Boyana Church which was fascinating. Maria was fantastic and we hope to come back to Sofia in the future and do some more trips with her. Thank you - it was a perfect start to the New Year and I would highly recommend this tour!

Angela L., Italy

On excursion: Tour to Rila Monastery & Boyana Church with Lunch from Sofia
Five star

Our guide, Maria Maneva, is a really nice, helpful, educated and talkative person. We spent the day together and it was easy and pleasant. We talked about many subjects, and she helped us to understand the Bulgarian current situation. Actually, she is the best guide that I've ever had. If you have the opportunity, ask for her as a guide. Rila and Boyana are beautiful. I'm glad that I've visited both monuments. Rila landscape is really really stunning <3

María L., Spain

On excursion: Tour to Rila Monastery & Boyana Church with Lunch from Sofia