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Rozhen Monastery
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10 Tours and Activities

As the largest and one of the oldest monasteries in Bulgaria, the Rozhen Monastery sits amongst the Pirin Mountains as a living symbol of the area’s history and spirituality. Archaeological evidence suggests the structure dates as far back as the 13th century, when it was also mentioned in Greek texts. Destroyed by armies and fires throughout the years, the monastery was most recently restored by wealthy citizens in the 18th century.

With its unique six angle shape, the monastery and residential buildings surround a beautiful courtyard and small church. Frescoes and stained glass windows dating back to the 16th century line the walls of the church’s interior. The “Nativity of the Mother of God” also has an impressive display of carved, wooden altars and iconostases. It continues to be stand as a center of Orthodox Christianity and one of the greatest preserved medieval structures of Bulgaria.

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Rila Monastery
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62 Tours and Activities

Rila Monastery, Bulgaria’s largest religious structure, is the most visited site in the country. Its cobblestone courtyard, winding balconies, picturesque mountain views, and brightly colored frescos transport you to a place that is almost otherworldly. The fortress-like complex has been a spiritual center for more than 1,000 years.

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Rila Mountains
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20 Tours and Activities

The Rila Mountains offer outdoor enthusiasts a perfect play land for exploring Bulgaria’s highest mountain. Nestled within the boundaries of National Park Rila, this area is home to the hottest spring in the Balkans, glacial lakes, four nature reserves and endless stretch of scenic landscape. Avid hikers will find easy access to two of Europe’s longest trail routes—the E4 and E8—which pass through some of the Rila Mountains’ 29 peaks. And hikers hoping for a shorter distance can participate in popular one-day excursions, like walks to the Seven Rila Lakes and Mount Musala, which both typically depart from Sofia.

Less intrepid travelers can still enjoy the beauty of this epic mountain range at one of the family-run hotels located in foothill villages like Govedartsi, Mala Tsarkva and Madzhare. Visitors can soak in the medicinal hot mineral waters of Sapareva Banya, a popular public bath, or venture to the Rila Monastery—not only the largest in the country, but also the most-visited site in the nation.

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