Full-Day Rila Monastery, The Cave Of St.Ivan And Boyana Church Tour From Sofia

Per Person
Book this tour with

Tour Information

Key Details

  • Mobile Voucher Accepted
  • Duration: 8 Hrs
  • Language:
  • Departure Time :
    08:45 AM
  • Departure Details :
    pl. "Sveti Aleksandar Nevski" 4, 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Return Details :
    Tour ends at Alexander Nevsky Square
  • Cancellation Policy :
    This activity is non-refundable Tours booked using discount coupon codes will be non refundable.


Discover the unique culture and nature of two of Bulgaria's most special places on your 8-hour guided tour from Sofia. Rila Monastery and Boyana church,two of the finest and most popular UNESCO World Heritage sites in Bulgaria, are recognized for their religious significance, historical importance and cultural dignities. Sit back and relax in an air-conditioned minivan as your guide leads you through the fascinating pre-Renaissance frescoes of the Boyana church; the small towns and beautiful, sleepy villages all the way to the heart of the Rila Monastery Nature Park on your small-group tour. Admire the unique architecture and learnmany details about the vast history of the largest Bulgarian monastic complex.


Family friendly

Led by a local guide

Small-group tour

Know More about this tour

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Boyana church, Sofia, Sofia Region

Your journey starts from one of the most beautiful and recognizable buildings in Sofia- The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Meet your guide in front of the biggest cathedral in Bulgaria and get onboard your comfortable, air-conditioned minivan. After a short drive through downtown Sofia (you will learn all the details about the interesting buildings that you see on the way), you will be at the Boyana church - the first UNESCO site for the day.
The Boyana Church is one of the most important medieval temples not only in Bulgaria but worldwide. The Church is best known for its unique pre-Renaissance frescoes from the mid-13th century (1259). Admire the beautiful Bible scenes, the angels, apostles, the saints and listen your guide who will explain all the meanings and interesting facts behind them.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Rila Monastery, Rila, Sofia Region

From Boyana you will leave on a two-hour scenic drive through the charming Bulgarian countryside. Enjoy the small towns, the beautiful, sleepy villages and see the simple live of the locals. The road will take you deep in the "Rila Mountain" Natural park, where you will find hidden the largest Bulgarian monastic complex - the Rila Monastery. Embark on a guided tour around the monastery complex. Your guide will help you to explore the unique monastery architecture, the beautiful frescoes of the monastery church Nativity of the Virgin, and the rich monastery museums. Listen the fascinating stories about St. Ivan Rilski - the saint who found the monastery in the 10th century and King Boris- the last and most beloved Bulgarian monarch, whose tomb lies in the monastery church.
After the guided tour, enjoy your free time and take the opportunity to visit some of the nearby restaurants. Taste the local specialties, such as the grilled or fried trout, the fresh salads and the famous Bulgarian yogurt with honey. During your free time you will have the option to join your guide and visit the nearby cave of St Ivan Rilski. This is where the saint has spent most of his life, living a very simple life as a hermit. The cave is a place with a special energy and the legend says that the one who enters the cave will get rid of all his sins!
To reach the cave of the saint you must hike in the woods about 20 minutes, the hike is not very difficult, but there are some steep sections and some stones on the path, that's why it's recommended only for people in good physical shape.
In the late afternoon return to your vehicle and relax on the way back to Sofia.

Duration: 2 hours


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

Entry/Admission - Boyana Church

Additional Info

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 experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If its canceled because the minimum isnt met, youll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund

This tour/activity will have a maximum of 16 travelers

Traveler Reviews

See all reviews
  • 25-Jun-2022

    Quiero agradecer a Filip por hacernos de guía en este lugar tan memorable. Hizo la ruta muy fácil y asequible para todos, adaptando el diálogo a dos idiomas, algo que no resulta fácil. El trato y la atención fue de 10, siendo un claro ejemplo del trato que uno quiere recibir cuando se encuentra fuera de su lugar de origen.

  • 11-Feb-2022

    Me encanto la excursión ,todo estuvo genial,y el guía Vasil hasta no ayudo en el restaurante para comer ,fue un día muy bonito ,repetiría sin dudarlo y sobretodo lo recomiendo,lo cogimos por civitatis

  • 05-Mar-2020

    Vincent was a fantastic guide, enthusiastic, very knowledgeable, very approachable. He took the trouble to find us as we weren't at the prearranged pick-up point due to National celebrations and increased security in the area.He gave us options for the day and was a good driver. He warned us that Boyana church visits were restricted to 10 minutes for all, but managed to cram a huge amount of interesting information into our visit. His knowledge and enthusiasm about Rila Monastery and the frescoes left us looking at other church interiors in a different light!. We wondered if he was a history graduate as he was so good. The cave was a nice short but fairly strenuous climb which was worth doing, and he checked throughout that we were all managing it. It was also interesting to see the countryside as we drove to and from Rila as a contrast from Sofia. I would definitely recommend.

  • 05-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.

  • 04-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 !

  • 03-Mar-2020

    Vincent was an very informative guide with excellent English, full of enthusiasm and great company. Boyana Church visit is short but worth it, every visitor/group only gets 10 minutes. Rila Monastery is an amazing set of buildings in a beautiful setting, we had plenty of time there and then after a short drive did the hike (which is fairly steep and rocky in places) to the cave of St Ivan which was worth it. There was only 4 of us on the trip so the mini bus didn’t feel cramped. The only downside were the nasty toilets at the Rila Monastery.

  • 25-Feb-2020

    Great guide, everything was perfect, we had a wonderful day trip, visiting 2 UNESCO sites. Definitely worth it!

  • 21-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

  • 21-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

  • 19-Jan-2020

    Alex was the perfect tour guide. He had a PhD in history and easily shared his knowledge with the group. The tour was like taking a walking history class but without an exam at the end. Super friendly and flexible to the needs of the group. Highly recommend a tour with Alex. Be sure to dress warm with hiking boots if you visit Rila monastery in the winter. There is snow on the ground and the weather is cold.

See all reviews