Rila Monastery - Private Day Tour From Plovdiv
OverviewNestled in the imposing Rila Mountains Rila Monastery is the most famous landmark in the country, a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site. "The Holy Rila Retreat" founded in 10-th century is also the largest Bulgarian monastery and most visited tourist site in the country.
Know More about this tour
Rila Monastery is nestled in the highest mountain on the Balkan Peninsula - Rila at 1147 m. a. s. l. along Rilska River. It is the most famous landmark of Bulgaria, founded in 10-th century by the hermit St. Ivan Rilski patron of Bulgaria. This is the largest Bulgarian monastery, a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site and most visited tourist site in Bulgaria by both foreign and local tourists. Known also as the Holy Rila Retreat, its the most outstanding monument of the Bulgarian National Revival period, an ultimate expression of the Bulgarian genius in matters of spirit, culture, architecture, construction, icon painting and woodcarving. The monastery was built as it stands now by Bulgarian master builders between 1816 and 1847.
Before discovering the monastery have lunch in a nice restaurant perched above Rilska River to try the local specialty grilled or fried trout.
In Rila Monastery first visit the main church Nativity of the Virgin (1835 - 1837) decorated with wonderful and very well preserved murals. In all the scenes depicted on the exterior and the interior of the church are more than 1200. In the church we see the holy relics of St. Ivan Rilski as well as the tomb of the last Bulgarian king Boris III. Next to the main temple is the only left building from the 14-th century the Hrelio's tower which represents a strong fortification erected by the local feudal lord Hrelio in 1334 - 1335. The "Transfiguration" chapel on the top floor of the building houses precious mural paintings from the 14-th century. In the monastery museum see some ancient weapons of the monastery guards, church objects, documents, ancient printing machine from Vienna, ornaments, ancient coins and many more. The most impressive exhibit here is the wooden cross carved by monk Rafail. He worked on it for 12 years (between 1790 and 1802) and finally became blind. This unique piece of art contains 36 scenes from the Bible and about 600 figures as small as a rice grain!
After exploring the Holy Rila Retreat optionally at a little extra cost go to the nearby cave of St. Ivan Rilski where he spent many years in hermitage, prayer and meditation. It takes around 45 min walking in a wonderful forest to reach this holy site where actually the monastery was originally founded. Next to the cave stands the Assumption of St. Ivan Rilski church which was built around the rock tomb of the saint. The wish fountain is nearby where visitors and pilgrims write wishes on a paper and put them between the stones.
Trip duration: 9.5-10 hours
Inclusions for Rila Monastery - Private Day Tour From Plovdiv
- Fuel surcharge
- Local taxes
- Live commentary on board
- Local guide
- Professional guide
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- Private tour
Exclusions for Rila Monastery - Private Day Tour From Plovdiv
- Entrance fees: Rila Monastery museum (4 EUR) - optional, Hrelio's tower (2,50 EUR) - optional
- Optional visit of St. Ivan Rilskicave - 5 EURO per group
- Food and drinks
- Gratuities (optional)
- Gratuities (recommended)
Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 3 days of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability
Infant seats are available on request if advised at time of booking
Dress code at the monastery: shoulders and knees must be covered. Men can be in shorts above the knees. Sandals and T-shirts are allowed.
- If you cancel within 3 calendar days (72 hours) of the scheduled departure time, the cancellation charge will be 100% of the undiscounted tour price.
- If you cancel between 4 to 7 Calendar days before scheduled tour departure,the cancellation charge will be 50% of the undiscounted tour price.
- If you cancel at least 8 calendar days in advance of the scheduled departure time, there is no cancellation fee. You will receive Full Refund for the paid amount.
- Please note that in case of No show, the cancellation charge will be 100% of the listed tour fare.
- Please note tours booked using discount coupon codes will be non refundable.