Visit 2 of Bulgaria's UNESCO World Heritage sites on a day trip to the Rila Monastery in the Rila Mountains and the Boyana Church on the outskirts of Sofia. Go to the cave where the miracle-worker Saint Ivan Rilski lived, see medieval paintings and more.
What to Expect
Depart Sofia and travel to the Rila Mountains to visit Rila Monastery, the largest and most important Orthodox cloister in Bulgaria. Inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1976, the monastery is set deep in the dense pine forests of the mountains and has been considered the keeper of Bulgaria's national identity since the Middle Ages.
Marvel at the domes and striped colonnades of the monastery complex, and discover some amazing examples of Bulgarian icon paintings and woodcarving in the museum. See the cave where the monastery's founder, Saint Ivan Rilski lived and was buried. Learn how he was considered a miracle worker and why his cave is believed to be sacred.
Then, go to Boyana Church on the outskirts of Sofia, added to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List in 1979. Admire its Byzantine architecture and Greek cross ground-plan with domes. Be mesmerized by the richly decorated facades and interior of the church, where several layers of wall paintings date from the 11th, 13th, 15th, 16th, 17th and 19th centuries.
Look at the frescoes from 1259 and their depictions of life in Bulgaria in the Middle Ages. According to the experts, the style of these paintings is reminiscent of the Renaissance, even though they were created much earlier.
- Pick-up and drop off
- All transfers
- Entrance fee to Boyana Church
- Light lunch
- English-speaking guide
- English-speaking driver
What's Not Included
- Gratuities to the guide and driver