Rila Monastery and Boyana Church
Two UNESCO sites in just one day!
Rila Monastery had been established in the 10th century by the most famous Bulgarian saint Ivan Rilski. The monastery complex is the biggest in Bulgaria and is situated in the hearth of Rila Mountains at an elevation of 1150 meters asl. Its arcaded balconies, colonnades and the unique frescoes – a work of one of the most famous Bulgarian Revival Period painters, the gilded iconostasis, valuable historical artifacts, the fabulous mountain views… and the unique combination of them all makes the visit to the monastery extraordinary and memorable one. No wonder why Rila Monastery is the most visited UNESCO site and turned out to be our best-selling tour.
The Boyana Church is another highly admired tourist site, which is included in our itinerary. It is located at the outskirts of Sofia. Responsible for its fame are the 1259 century frescoes, which bring epochal change in the mural painting of the middle ages and are considered predecessors of the European Renaissance. The majority of the more than 240 figures depicted there have individuality, vitality and psychological dept.
Summer tour schedule (April-October):
9:00 am is when the tour starts. The meeting point is behind "Alexandar Nevski" Cathedral and just in front of "La Cattedrale" Restaurant. Be there 10 minutes in advance. After completing the booking you will receive a map with further details.
11:00 am is the expected time of arrival at Rila Monastery. The guided tour is about 1 hour and will introduce you to the interesting history of the complex, share interesting stories and acquaint you with the most famous exhibits, frescoes and architectural elements. You will have time to further explore the area, taste the local mekitsi (Bulgarian donnuts) and try other local delicacies in the nearby restaurants.
2:00-2:30 pm: Transfer from Rila Monastery to Boyana Church.
4:00-4:30 pm: This is the expected time of arrival at the Boyana Church. You will have a 30 minutes guided tour of this UNESCO site.
5:00-5:30 pm you will be back at Alexandar Nevski Cathedral (the initial starting point of the tour).
Winter schedule (November-March):
This schedule follows the itinerary of the summer schedule, but includes pick-up and drop off from your accommodation. Please indicate your accommodation during the booking process.