Two UNESCO sites in one day: Boyana church and Rila Monastery

Today, depart Sofia on an epic journey to visit two of the most glorious religious sites in all of Bulgaria.

First, you’ll travel to the outskirts of the city to tour the UNESCO World Heritage Boyana Church, a Bulgarian Orthodox site of worship built in three major sections over an immense time span stretching from the 10th to the mid-19th centuries. The history here runs very deep, as evidenced by the large number of beautifully-rendered frescoes representing prominent Biblical stories and figures. You’ll have the chance to view three separate historical layers of frescoes, all carefully preserved in a climate-controlled setting. View the exceptional paintings from the year 1259, as well as many shining examples of the Tarnovo School of Painting.

Next, drive into the mountains to visit the striking UNESCO World Heritage Rila Monastery, a crucial Eastern Orthodox religious center and centuries-old cache of Bulgarian artistic, literary, and cultural treasures. Founded in the 10th century by Ivan of Rila, a hermit and spiritual leader, the complex was restored and rebuilt during the 19th century. The interior frescoes are exceptionally vivid. A visit of the Monastery Museum is also included.

After your tour, return to Sofia; your guide will show you to your hotel.

Highlights of the tour

What people have said:

We learned so many things during this trip : religion, politics, history, art, beautiful scenery, people, economics, which gave us a comprehensive picture of the two countries. Thanks to your two guides which are able to discuss so many subjects. All these enrich our knowledge and understanding. We took 1940 pictures which speaks for itself. The car in Romania was a Mercedes which allowed us to enjoy longs hours ride through the … read more

Jopie and Elsye Manduapessy (Indonesia)

Your tour company took us to six countries from Bulgaria to Macedonia, Albania, Romania, Republic of Moldova and Serbia. This required lots of planning on your part and it worked out very well. Going through immigration and customs, driving through roads and providing  hotels and guide facilities, all were perfect. Only an experienced tour company could plan so well.  We must have seen countless beautiful churches, museums, Unesco sights, gardens and cities. Indeed these countries are … read more

Jack and Varsha Shah (United States)


We are Vlad and Zoe Trestian – the owners and managers of Balkan Trails. We have been creating memorable travel experiences in Eastern Europe for almost 20 years now.

We understand traveling is personal and individual, and no two travellers are alike. That is why the majority of our tours are based on customised itineraries. Your tour is exactly that: YOURS. Just let us know when you’d like to arrive and depart, what your interests are, the type of hotels you prefer, and we’ll take care of the rest.

Looking forward to showing you our part of the world.

Other Ways to get in touch:

Have a Question? Call Us: 0040 723 578 452

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Frequently asked questions

1 Boyana and Rila

What is included with this tour?

Included services and features:

  • The possibility of having your itinerary customised before the start of the tour, at no extra charge
  • Great flexibility regarding changes to the itinerary even after the start of the tour
  • Pick up and drop off at any location in Sofia
  • A private, licensed English speaking guide/driver, available throughout the duration of the tour
  • All guide’s expenses (meals, etc.)
  • Private transportation in air conditioned car
  • All car expenses, such as gasoline, parking and road tolls
  • Entrance fees and guided tours for the Boyana church, the Rila monastery and the Rila monastery’s museum

Not included:

  • Meals or beverages
  • Photo fees

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