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.

Tour Length:
6 to 8 hours
Places Visited:
Boyana church | Rila monastery and the monastery museum
Total Distance Traveled:
250 km / 160 mi