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From Sofia: Rila Monastery and St. Ivan Cave Day Trip36 Reviews
Discover one of Bulgaria’s UNESCO World Heritage gems on this day-trip. Admire rural Bulgaria en route to the Rila Monastery and visit the cave of Saint Ivan Rilski, one of the most sacred places in Bulgaria.
Our Top Experiences and Tours in Bulgaria:If youʻre booking your trip to Bulgaria last minute, we have you covered. Below are some of the top tours and experiences!
- Marvel at one of Bulgaria's most famous UNESCO Sites - Rila Monastery
- Discover the holy cave of St. Ivan Rilski in the woods above the Rila Monastery
- Stop for a bite to eat in the nearby restaurants and try local delicacies
- Travel in comfort through the Bulgarian countryside
- Learn about each location you stop at through the help of an audioguide
DescriptionTravel in comfort as you visit several Bulgarian landmarks like the Rila Monastery and the Cave of Saint Ivan Rilski in the company of a guide. See one of Bulgaria's UNESCO World Heritage Sites, enjoy a delicious bite to eat, and learn about each location through the use of an audio guide. 9:00 AM - Depart from Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Square (back side of the cathedral), and relax on a 3-hour drive to the Rila Monastery in the Rila Mountains. At noon arrive at the Rila Monastery. 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM - Enjoy a guided walk at the Rila Monastery. Admire the arcaded balconies, and discover unique frescoes by one of the most famous painters of the Bulgarian National Revival period. See the gilded iconostasis and enjoy the fabulous mountain views. Hear the story of the monastery from your guide before enjoying some time to explore the monastic complex on your own. Learn more at the museum, or purchase souvenir icons and other items in the nearby shops. 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM - Take some free time to have lunch at one of the restaurants around the monastery, where you could taste local dishes such as mekitsi (a traditional Bulgarian dish of kneaded dough made with yoghurt that is deep-fried) or some grilled trout. 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM - Visit the Cave of Saint Ivan Rilski - one of the most sacred places in Bulgaria. Pass through the tunnel of St. Ivan Rilski. Drink some water from the holy spring which is believed to never freeze. 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM - Head back to Sofia and arrive at Alexander Nevski Cathedral Square around 5:00 PM The local tour operator, Traventuria, was awarded a “Business Which Supports Biodiversity” certification by the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation for its “Tours with a Cause” initiative.
IncludesTransportation by modern, comfortable air-conditioned vehicle English-speaking driver/guide Parking fees All transportation costs Cloud-based audio-guide in different languages. Internet required to download and use A planned visit to the Cave of St. Ivan Rilski
- Kindly note that the tour is offered with an online audioguide as well. It is an online (cloud-based) audio-guide in different languages. Internet is required to download and use
- The monastery is a functioning Orthodox temple. A strict dress code is imposed and should be respected. Men and women should be wearing clothes covering their shoulders. Women should not wear short shorts or skirts
- It is advised that you wear comfortable walking shoes as the inner yard of the Rila Monastery is cobbled. Walking around the monastic complex also requires comfortable walking shoes, especially for walking to the Cave of St. Ivan Rilski