“We can highly recommend this tour! ! It was perfectly organized, starting with airport pick-up, guided walking tour with very knowledgeable guide, trip to Rila Monastery again with very good guide and finally transport back to airport. ...Anonymous, – See more reviews
What To Expect
Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, has a lot to offer as an impressive mixture of modern architecture, well preserved 19th century buildings, socialist-era monuments, Roman ruins and a lot more. Today, the city has fast beating pulse, a complete contrast with the calm and romantic life of the small villages and towns near the Rila Monastery. The monastery is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage lists and is a true symbol of Bulgarian monasticism.
As a destination for short city breaks Sofia has been underrated for quite a long time. Sofia has a lot to offer - cultural landmarks, vibrant nightlife, charming old quarters and a lot of sights whispering stories of times gone by. During your stay you will be able to explore the capital of Bulgaria as a part of the guided program but also on your own. Another highlight that will be visited is the Rila Monastery, not just the biggest Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria but also its most famous tourist attraction.
A representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel for your overnight.
Sofia is considered to be the second oldest city in Europe, founded some 7000 years ago by the Thracian tribe Serdi. Through the centuries, the city played a role as an important trading center in the Byzantine and later in the Bulgarian empires. Under Ottoman rule, Sofia was the center of Rumelia province. Sofia became the capital of the restored Bulgaria in 1879, with a population of only 20,000. Today many streets, buildings, parks, and even whole neighborhoods preserve the architectural style typical of the past times. The sightseeing tour includes exploration on foot of the main attractions in the city center - The St. Alexander Nevsky Patriarchal Cathedral, the National Library, Sofia University, The Parliament, the National Theater, St. Sofia Church, Sofia's oldest building - St George Rotunda (from the 3rd century), the houses of the Council of Ministers, the presidency and the former communist party headquarters, the ruins of the ancient city of Serdika (dating from the 5th-6th centuries), the National Palace of Culture, the main shopping streets of Sofia, etc.
Today we transfer to Rila Monastery (appr. 2 hrs per way). Looking like a fortress from the outside, behind the 20m high walls the monastery hides a church (with five domes, three altars and two side chapels, painted with enchanting frescoes), a residential part with approximately 300 chambers, a library with valuable old manuscripts and documents, the famous 14th century Hrelyo Tower and a museum collection with the particularly famous Rafail's Cross (wooden cross from a whole piece of wood, carved to precision in order to recreate 104 religious scenes and 650 miniature figures; it took more than 12 years to be finished, but the monk who made it lost his sight as a result). You'll have some free time in the afternoon to be spent in Sofia or if the weather is good it could be spent further up in Rila Mountains just above the monastery.
You will be taken to the airport, where services will end.
Guidance in English
Private transfers to/from your hotel and throughout the daily trips
Transfers to/from Sofia Airport
Accommodation based on bed and breakfast in a hotel with your preferred category
Meals and drinks not included in the description
Tips and gratuities
Children below 2 years old are not recommended on this tour.
All our card payments are protected by thawte to give you peace of mind.