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Full-Day Rila Monastery, the cave of St.Ivan and Boyana Church Tour from Sofia

star-4.553 Reviews
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Sofia, Bulgaria
Full-Day Rila Monastery, the cave of St.Ivan and Boyana Church Tour from Sofia

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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icon7 to 8 hours  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Overview

The Rila Monastery and Boyana Church are two of Bulgaria’s most impressive UNESCO World Heritage sites and this full-day tour from Sofia visits both in one day. Tour the medieval Boyana Church, famous for its magnificent 13th-century frescoes; admire the natural landscapes of the Rila Mountain Nature Park; then explore the churches and caves of the Rila Monastery complex.
  • Full-day Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Tour from Sofia
  • Visit two of Bulgaria’s UNESCO World Heritage sites in one day
  • Marvel at the 13th-century frescos in Boyana Church
  • Tour the historic Rila Monastery and St Ivan Rilski Cave
  • Small-group tour limited to 15 people ensures a personalized experience
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All transportation and parking costs
Licensed English-speaking guide
VAT and all local taxes
Transport by air-conditioned minivan
Fuel surcharge
Admission fees for Boyana Church (5 Euro) and the Rila Monastery Museum (Optional 4 Euro)
Meals, tips and personal expenses
Hotel pickup and drop-off
pl. "Sveti Aleksandar Nevski" 4 , pl. "Sveti Aleksandar Nevski" 4, 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia, Bulgaria

The main entrance (gate) of the Alexander Nevski cathedral. Departure Time 08:45 AM

8:45 AM
This activity will end right where it started.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Not wheelchair accessible or stroller-friendly
  • Comfortable shoes recommended
  • Ladies must cover their shoulders and knees
  • Infant seats available
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 16 travelers
  • OPERATED BY ExploriA
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.


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Traveler Tips


  • "Fair warning - you only get 10 minutes in the church due to the fragility of the frescoes." See review
  • "Departure at 9am, returned at 3pm, where more than 3 hours is travel time." See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
53 Reviews
2 stars
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1 star
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Reviews by Viator travelers

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Showing 1-10 of 53 reviews
star-5
Great experience!
Alessandro_Ronca
, Feb 2020
Great guide, everything was perfect, we had a wonderful day trip, visiting 2 UNESCO sites. Definitely worth it!
star-5
Well worth a visit
Marita_P
, Jan 2020
A full day out of Sofia but worth it. Boyana Church is amazing then a ride through the countryside and up the mountain to the monastery and it’s spectacular. It was too icy to get to the cave but it didn’t spoil our trip. After we visited a typical Bulgarian mountain restaurant and sampled some traditional Bulgarian food and wine. Then 1hr 40 mins drive back to Sofia. Thank you
star-5
Very good experience
Ilaria_B
, Dec 2019
This tour was very interesting and well organized. The guide was very knowledgeable and helpful and a very good company.
star-5
An excellent tour guide and a driver as well (2 in 1) - Alex (Sash)
shayut2019
, Nov 2019
I would like to thank to our tour guide - Alex who has a great personality and a wide knowledge about the sites and the places we visited. He is a real proffesional guide and has good explanation, also he is very attentive and tolerant to the needs of the group. Even when I am pregnant he will know how to take care of everything and handle the situation. Well done!
star-5
Rila Monastery, cave of St. Ivan and Boyana church
Amador R
, Oct 2019
Venti, our tour guide gave us a lot of information on the above sites. He was an excellent driver, fun to be with and kept the tour going and on time.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2019
Thank you very much for your nice review, we are very happy to hear that you've enjoyed the day with us! Happy travels !!!
star-3
It's not really a full day, a visit in a rush
Antonio_P
, Jun 2019
Departure at 9am, returned at 3pm, where more than 3 hours is travel time. The guide was in a hurry to return home, driving in high speed all the time, dangerous driving at 150km/h with a van. Only 1 free hour to visit the Rila monastery, not enough to have a normal lunch. Don't recomment with guided tour with Exploria.
star-5
A great tour!
Courtenay_A
, May 2019
We ended up having the tour to ourself with our guide Vincent. Vincent shared many interesting facts about Sofia and Bulgaria with us as we drove out to the Rila Monastery. At the monastery, Vincent showed us all of the important sites and explained the history to us. We were then given free time to explore the monastery on our own. After the monastery, Vincent took us to a local restaurant with good food and great prices. Our last stop was the Boyana church. Fair warning - you only get 10 minutes in the church due to the fragility of the frescoes. However, Vincent was prepared for this and explained the most important frescoes to us during our time there. Overall we had a great day with Vincent and would definitely take another tour with him.
icon Response from Host , May 2019
Thank you so much for the good words! We are trying our best and we are very happy that you are enjoying it. Happy travels!
star-5
Great trip to the Rila monastery and Boyana church
Bram_B
, May 2019
Vincent was our guide. He made our trip a succes because of his knowledge, his eloquency, his socialibility. He was very reliable, safe driver and an exemple for many other guides. If you have a guided tour with Vincent, your day will be a day never to forget.
star-5
This ended up being a private tour...
Aathmika K
, Jun 2018
This ended up being a private tour for a me and a friend because another group had cancelled and we had a fantastic time! Vincent was incredibly knowledgeable and patient! in answering our questions about the sights we were seeing but also about Sofia and Bulgaria more generally and one of the best tour guides we have ever had and we do a lot of tours! The visit to the cave of St Ivan Rilski was unique and not to be missed. The tour ran as scheduled with time for lunch as well. We would highly recommend!
star-5
This tour given by Exploria Tours...
Suzette M
, May 2018
This tour given by Exploria Tours Bulgaria was great. The guide, Vincent was super nice, informative and accommodating. He gave us a tour of Boyana Church and the Rila Monastery and it was great...not to be missed. He also took us to see the cave where St Ivan lived in not included in most other tours which was a great addition to the tour. Afterwards he took us to a local restaurant to have a light lunch. Overall an awesome tour with a great tour guide. Can't say enough about Vincent as a tour guide! Highly recommended.
star-5
It was a private tour with our...
AlvinChanChye_C
, Feb 2018
It was a private tour with our guide, Vincent. He is knowledgeable and fun to chat with. It was a bit rush in Boyana Church due to a group approaching. Rila Monastery is so beautiful and it's worth the long drive up. He brought us to a restaurant and we really enjoyed the fresh grilled trout and tripe soup.
star-5
Guide Vincent was very friendly and...
Gertrud_S
, Feb 2018
Guide Vincent was very friendly and provided me with a lot of information. I came back a lot wiser than before. It became a private tour since I was the only one who booked that day: I'm not a fan, I like to blend in and not draw attention to myself. So I would have liked it more if there were more people. But the price is very low for the transportation and private guide. Tour was shorter than expected. Left around 9 am and back at 2pm. Also, when you are alone, you can make your own decisions better. We arranged how long I wanted to walk around the monastery, which is more difficult when in group. The Rila monastery is a must see when you are in Sofia. It was beautiful. Price-quality, I would recommend this tour.
star-5
Excellent trip. The guide was perfect...
EIRINI_M
, Dec 2017
Excellent trip. The guide was perfect, he gave us useful information about the monastery.
star-5
A complete tour to do in a 1 day...
MARIA VICTORIA C
, Oct 2017
A complete tour to do in a 1 day excursion and get to know some of the most important monasteries of Bulgary. The guide explained both the historical and architectural facts very well, besides being very sympathic.
star-5
I booked with Exploria because it...
Susana C
, Oct 2017
I booked with Exploria because it seemed everyone was one with another company, so I was looking for a tour not so crowded. My experience with them was absolutely perfect. Our guide picked us on time that's something good if you consider in Bulgaria be late is normal :P. He was really nice, friendly and show us the best hidden gems in the Boyana Church, the Rila Monastery and the Cave. During the tour we received detailed explanations about the history of the buildings and, of course, the frescos, that are the most important things in all these temples. The short 15 min walk to the Cave was really pleasent and I cannot forget the marvelous yogurt and the delicious super-sugar mekici like doughnuts but better in the Rila Monastery Bakery. We felt really safe during all the tour including driving experience for the mountains road and we learnt a lot about the history and culture of Bulgaria. Don't miss this tour! Not crowded, nice staff and one of the most amazing experiences you can enjoy if you are spending few days in Sofia!
star-4
Expérience top top top
LUCILE_R
, Mar 2020
Notre guide Vincent a été très agréable et professionnel. Il a été très ponctuel. Nous a emmené dans les points cités et nous a appris vraiment beaucoup de choses. Il était avenant et a bien su nous véhiculer l histoire de la Bulgarie. La neige nous a néanmoins empêché de grimper jusqu à la cave ce qui est dommage.
star-5
Nous recommandons vivement cette expérience !
Tristan_H
, Mar 2020
Merci pour cette expérience ! Nous avons eu la chance de passer une journée exceptionnelle avec un temps magnifique et un guide qui nous a fait découvrir la Bulgarie et son histoire !
star-5
Excelente.
ANTONIO_R
, Aug 2019
Todo perfecto, cumplido objetivo, viaje a Bulgaria. Gracias. El guía muy agradable, preocupado por el grupo familiar. Visita completa.
icon Response from Host , Aug 2019
Мuchas gracias a toda la familia:))
star-4
Très beau monastère... avec un musée malheureusement fermé
Jean_F
, Jul 2019
Très beau monastère situé dans les montagnes; nous sommes conduits là par un sympathique guide qui connaît l’emplacement et son histoire. Malheureusement, un des musées du monastère, celui qui nous intéressait, était fermé, faute de personnel. La grotte présente peu d’intérêt mais permet de s’activer le mollet. La superbe église de Bonaya ne peut être visitée qu’en 10 minutes, le temps à l’intérieur étant compté.

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