Day trip

Rila Monastery: Day Trip to Bulgaria's Orthodox Jewel

Rila Monastery: Day Trip to Bulgaria's Orthodox Jewel

From £80.98 per person

Nestled in the imposing Rila Mountains sits Rila Monastery, Bulgaria’s most famous landmark. The Holy Rila Retreat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most visited tourist attraction in the country. Visit the monastery museum and the Tower of Hrelyu.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Mobile ticketing
Use your phone or print your voucher
Duration 10 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
English
Small group
Limited to 8 participants

Experience

Highlights
  • Admire the beautiful murals of the main church, the Nativity of the Virgin
  • Enjoy spectacular views of the Rila Mountains in the background
  • See the wooden cross by the monk Rafail in the monastery’s museum
Full description
Rila Monastery, at an elevation of 1,147 meters, is situated along the Rilska River in the highest mountains of the Balkan Peninsula. Founded in the 10th century by the hermit St. Ivan Rilski, it is today Bulgaria’s most famous site. Known also as the Holy Rila Retreat, it is considered to be the most outstanding monument of the Bulgarian National Revival period, and the ultimate expression of the Bulgarian genius in matters of spirit, culture, architecture, construction, icon painting, and woodcarving. The monastery, as it now stands, was built in the period 1816-1847. The first stop at the monastery is the main church, the Nativity of the Virgin, elaborately decorated with murals both inside and outside. The church houses the holy relics of St. Ivan Rilski as well as the tomb of Boris III, the last Bulgarian king. Next to the main temple is the only structure that remains from the 14th century: the Tower of Hrelyu. This strong fortification was erected by the local feudal lord Hrelyu in 1334. The Transfiguration Chapel on the top floor features precious murals from the 14th century. In the monastery museum you’ll see the impressive wooden cross carved by the monk Rafail. This unique piece of art contains 36 scenes from the Bible and about 600 figures as small as a grain of rice. Before visiting the monastery you have the option of enjoying lunch at a restaurant perched above the Rilska River to try the local speciality; grilled or fried trout.
Includes
  • English-speaking driver/guide
  • Round-trip transfers from your hotel in Plovdiv
  • Parking fees
  • Museum entrance fee (EUR 4.00) – optional visit
  • Tower of Hrelyu entrance fee (EUR 2.50) – optional visit
  • Food
  • Tips
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • You must keep social distance while in vehicles
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask

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Important information

Know before you go

  • Dress code at the monastery: shoulders and knees must be covered. Men can be in shorts above the knees. Sandals and t-shirts are allowed.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

5 /5

based on 2 reviews

Review summary

  • Value for money
    5/5
  • Safety
    5/5
  • Service
    5/5
  • Organization
    5/5

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4 October 2017

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保加利亚珍贵的宝藏,非常值得去看!

12 June 2019

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Product ID: 34028