In just one day admire and enjoy the two top must-see sights in Bulgaria.
Rila Monastery (UNESCO), the biggest and most visited Bulgarian monastery is set in the heart of Rila Nature Park. It attracts pilgrims and tourists with its spirituality, colourful architecture and vivid religious art. The superb views of rugged mountain peaks and the century-old spruce forests surrounding the monastic complex add unforgeable splendour to every visitor’s experience. Most tourists spend an hour or two in the monastery premises learning about the over a 1000 years history of Rila Monastery, marvelling the strikingly beautiful and intricate murals and touring the local museums. Some add a culinary touch to their visit by sampling the delicacies of the monastery’s bakery or taste local dishes in the restaurants nearby.
Plovdiv – the second biggest town in Bulgaria with a history spanning for more than 7 000 years. There is a lot to explore in Plovdiv, but most of the major highlights are clustered in the renowned Old Town, where you can visit them on foot. Plovdiv’s center has a special artistic vibe that is easily felt and highly appreciated by guests and locals alike. Most tourists head to the well-preserved 2nd century Roman Theatre, the partly exposed Ancient Stadium and some of the 19th century pastel-coloured Revival-period mansions. For the more curious there are enough gallerias and museums. After walking on the cobbled streets of the Old Town, a place for a deserved rest is the Kapana neighbourhood. There are a number of chic bars and cafés as well as highly-rate restaurants.
This is а combo tour with a fast-paced itinerary. During the day you will have a friendly English-speaking driver at your disposal to help you with the logistics and provide you with basic information. During the booking process you can rent audio guide for Rila Monastery and Plovdiv. The supported languages are Spanish, English and Italian. Though you will be spending considerable time in the vehicle crossing the Bulgarian countryside there will be sufficient time (if spent wisely) to discover a lot in Rila Monastery complex and Plovdiv. The tour starts from Alexander Nevski Cathedral with about 2-hour transfer to the Rila Monastery complex where you will have 2 full hours for sightseeing. Read more about Rila Monastery and its buidlings or find out The Top Thins to Do at the Rila Monastery – an article in our blog. From there you will continue your journey to Plovdiv. You will have 3 hours to tour the town of Plovdiv and have lunch. You will have enough time to explore the Old Town and check off from you must-see list the Ancient Theater, the local ethnographic museum and Nebet Tepe Fortress. You will also have some time to explore the iconic Kapana neighbourhood and stroll along Plovdiv’s main pedestrian street. Find out our suggestions, and recommendations in our article: One day in Plovdiv – top things to do. From Plovdiv there is a highway to Sofia, where you will arrive around 7 pm.
11-12 hours (approx.)
DAYS OF OPERATION: Saturday
PRICING: 50 euro per adult; 45 euro per child (7-12 years old)
– Audio guides in English, Spanish and Italian – 5 Euro per device
– Hotel pick-ups and drop offs cost + 5/10 euro (depending on location) per reservation (not per person). The pick-ups or drop offs must be reserved during the process of reservation.
– Friendly English-speaking driver throughout the tour
– Transfers with a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle
– Parking fees
– Meals & beverages
– Gratuities (optional)
– Admission ticket costs
– Rila Monastery main museum – 8 lv (approx. 4 euro)
– Roman Theater – 6 lv (approx. 3 euro)
– Plovdiv’s Ethnographic Museum – 5 lv (approx. 2.5 euro)
WHAT TO BRING ON THE TOUR
There is a dress code for entering the monastery. People wearing short skirts and trousers (above knee) are not allowed to enter. Women shoud have their shoulders covered. Rila Monastery is in the mountain and usually it is colder/cooler than in Sofia.
Plovdiv Dress appropriately for the season. The weather in Plovdiv is usually sunnier and warmer than in Sofia, while in Koprivshtitsa is usually cooler. Wear comfortable walking shoes /no high heel!/.Streets are cobbled.
7:00 am (hotel pick-ups are prior this time)
DEPARTURE & RETURN POINT
From from the parking lot in front of “La Cattedrale” restaurant located at the south-east corner of Al. Nevski square (behind Al. Nevski Cathedral).