Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
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Our most recommended Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Nature & Panorama

From Sofia: Full-Day Tour to Rila Monastery and Boyana

1. From Sofia: Full-Day Tour to Rila Monastery and Boyana

Spend the day exploring 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites located outside of Sofia, Bulgaria's capital city. Begin by meeting at 9:00 behind St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia. Sit back and relax for the next 2 hours as your friendly, English-speaking drivers transport you to Rila. Upon arriving, spend 2 hours exploring the area and visiting the Rila Monastery, the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. Then enjoy lunch at a local restaurant which features a specialty of grilled trout. Get back in the van for another 2-hour journey, eventually arriving at Boyana Church, a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church on the outskirts of Sofia. Check out the elaborate frescoes that have made this site famous, before your tour returns you to your meeting point.

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The Seven Rila Lakes: Full-Day Tour from Sofia

2. The Seven Rila Lakes: Full-Day Tour from Sofia

Enjoy a full-day trek into the Rila Mountains to explore the most picturesque area near Sofia and one of Bulgaria's most beautiful natural sites, the Seven Rila Lakes. This group of glacial lakes lies between 6,900 and 8,200 feet (2,100 and 2,500 meters) above sea level, surrounded by rugged peaks and deep valleys. Leaving from Sofia, you will drive for 90 minutes to reach the Panichishte resort area, where you board the chairlift to the Rila Lakes mountain hut. From here you will continue on foot to explore the landscape and its majestic blue pearls – the Eye, the Tear, the Kidney, the Twins, the Trefoil, the Fish Lake and the Lower Lake. The route is not difficult and can be altered on the spot depending on fitness levels or strength, following either more gentle routes or steeper gradients. Take your chance to explore the Blue Pearls of the Rila Mountains, the Seven Rila Lakes.

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From Sofia: Snowshoe Hike on Vitosha Mountain

3. From Sofia: Snowshoe Hike on Vitosha Mountain

Experience the stunning landscapes of the Vitosha mountain massif from a different perspective on a snowshoe hike with an English-speaking guide. Get closer to the enormous domes and peaks of one of the most popular winter destinations in Bulgaria. Take up the challenge of walking on snow at a mountain that emerged as a result of volcanic activity. Shaped by the slow folding of granite rock layers and gradual uplifts, Vitosha is now one of the most frequently visited destinations from Sofia. Marvel at the towering peak of Cherni Vrah ("Black Peak") at the highest point of the massif and more.

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From Sofia: Belogradchik Rocks Full-Day Tour

4. From Sofia: Belogradchik Rocks Full-Day Tour

Take a day trip to the northwestern corner of Bulgaria to see the Belogradchik rocks, located in the Balkan Mountains. You will drive 2.5 to 3 hours from Sofia until you reach this area. The rocks are grouped in various formations and are made up of primarily sandstone. In 2009, they were nominated as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Many rocks have fantastic shapes and are associated with interesting legends. They are often named for people or objects they are thought to resemble, and on your tour, your guide might share some of these stories while pointing out the specific rocks and their names. The Belogradchik Rocks have also been declared a Natural Landmark by the Bulgarian government and are a major tourist attraction in the region. At the top of a hill near to some of the rocks is also a medieval fortress, known as the Belogradchik Fortress, built when the region was part of the Roman Empire. You will have the opportunity to visit the fortress and behold its well-preserved and menacing facade. Later, you will also be taken to the nearby Veneca cave, an incredibly beautiful cave with modern colorful lights. All entrance fees are included in the price and there will be time to stop for an optional lunch, which is not included.

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Sofia: Spa Nature Tour to the 7 Rila Lakes & Sapareva Bany

5. Sofia: Spa Nature Tour to the 7 Rila Lakes & Sapareva Bany

Your day trip will start early in the morning with a pick-up from your hotel. Your professional guide will take you to the the highest mountain on the peninsula, Rila, just 1.5-hours away from the capital Sofia. Then, with the Panichishte resort cable car, you will head to the Seven Rila Lakes Cirque. The hike will take around 3-hours.  If you wish to make your walk harder or easier, your guide will be able to adjust the group program accordingly. All seven of the lakes have their own name which reflects its typical shape or characteristics. They are situated between 2,100 and 2,500 meters above sea level. The day trip will continue with a visit to the capital of the thermal spa on the peninsula called Sapareva Banya. There, you will have the unique opportunity to dive into the hot thermal waters and enjoy the magnificent panorama at the outskirts of the mountain. You'll also find the hottest geyser in Europe there. Mineral water is highly regarded and used as a cure by Thracians and Romans. Saparevian mineral water is clear and colorless with a smell of hydrogen sulfide, hyper thermal (temperature 103 °C), hydro carbonate, sulphate sodium, fluorine, silicon and sulfate. Hydrogen sulfide is 15.5 milligrams/ liter. It is claimed that the water treats disorders of the musculoskeletal system, nervous system and upper respiratory tract. After the spa, your guide will take you back to your hotel.  

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1-Day Kayak Tour at Iskar Lake

6. 1-Day Kayak Tour at Iskar Lake

Iskar Dam is the largest water reservoirs in Bulgaria, located 50 to 80 kilometers away from the capital city. It was built in the 1960s to supply the capital with water from the nearby mountain of Rila (its name means 'a lot of water'). It's south shore is located along the scenic road to Samokov and Borovets ski resort. Its northern shore has wonderful green fields, forests, beaches and an animal reserve where wild animals and birds roam free. People have very limited access to this area except by boat.  The North shore is about 80 kilometers away from Sofia, and the trip takes slightly over an hour. Upon arrival at the lake you will prepare the kayak for the trip along the shore, observing nothing but wild nature and animals. Depending on the season, you can have one of the best fish soups you're likely to have tried in a nearby restaurant. In the afternoon you will reach the shore across from your arrival point, and enjoy a beautiful sandy beach. You'll then paddle back to the minibus and prepare for your journey back to Sofia.

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Paragliding Sofia from Above

7. Paragliding Sofia from Above

A splendid view to the Bulgarian capital, Sofia,  is revealed from the top of the Vitosha Mountains. But the view is even more spectacular from the air. Goli Peak is the place where you'll start to fly in tandem with your pilot-instructor. It will take 40-50 minutes drive to get there, followed by a 15 minute walk. Landing is at the meadows around Dragalevtsi. The flight itself lasts about 10–30 minutes, depending on the weather conditions.  Paragliding is the recreational and competitive adventure sport of flying paragliders: lightweight, free-flying, foot-launched glider aircraft with no rigid primary structure. The pilot sits in a harness suspended below a fabric wing comprising a large number of interconnected baffled cells. Wing shape is maintained by the suspension lines, the pressure of air entering vents in the front of the wing, and the aerodynamic forces of the air flowing over the outside. Despite not using an engine, a paraglider's flight can last many hours and cover many hundreds of kilometers, over flights of 1-2 hours,  covering some tens of kilometers. The pilot can skilfully gain height, often climbing to altitudes of a few thousand meters.  

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Koprivshtitsa Full-Day Tour - Back to the 19th Century

8. Koprivshtitsa Full-Day Tour - Back to the 19th Century

Discover the historic town of Koprivshtitsa (Копривщица) on a full-day sightseeing tour from Sofia. Lying on the Topolnitsa River in the Sredna Gora mountains, the unique town was one of the centers of the April Uprising in 1876 and is known for its authentic Bulgarian architecture and folk music festivals. Still preserving the atmosphere of the 19th-century Bulgarian National Revival period, the town is huddled in the mountain folds, 67 miles (111 kilometers) east of Sofia. As you stroll along the cobblestone streets, you will visit 6 of the 383 unique houses and monuments from the period, most restored to their original appearance. You can also opt to take part in the "Meet the Locals" program, and ride a cart into the forest for a barbecue lunch or dinner, prepared by the clerks from the local church. Taste outstanding homemade food, such as cow and sheep’s milk and yogurt, shopska salad, broiled lamb and many more authentic Bulgarian rustic dishes. Then wash it all down with a glass of local rakia (brаndy).

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Half-Day Private Tour: Sofia, Boyana Church & History Museum

9. Half-Day Private Tour: Sofia, Boyana Church & History Museum

The tour starts at 9:00 AM when you will be picked up by a private guide from your accommodation in Sofia. By car you will head to the outskirts of Sofia and Vitosha Mountain. The first stop is the National History Museum, the biggest museum in Bulgaria and one of the biggest in the Balkans. It has rich collections from antiquity to nowadays. The next stop is the remarkable Boyana Church, recognized by UNESCO because of its amazingly well-preserved frescoes from the 13th century. After exploring Boyana Church, head to the center of Sofia for a two-hour sightseeing tour. You will go around the most interesting buildings and places and learn their history from your guide. See sights such as Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Saint Sofia Basilica, Saint George Rotunda, the Parliament, the Presidency, the Roman Remains and others. The tour will finish at around 14:00 PM near the beginning of Vitosha street – the main street in Sofia.

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Sofia: Bike Tour

10. Sofia: Bike Tour

Begin your tour from your hotel. From there, you will be transferred to collect your bike and begin your exploration of the capital of Bulgaria. See the main sights in the center of Sofia, such as the Administration of the President, the National Archeological museum, the 16th century Banya Bashi Mosque, St. Nedelya, the National Theatre and the former Royal Palace (now housing the National Revival Art Gallery and the Ethnographic Museum). As well as the Russian Church St. Nikolay, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, The National Assembly Square and the impressive Tsar Osvoboditel monument, The Holy Synod, Saint Sofia Church, The Bulgarian National Gallery for Foreign Art and the Alexander Nevski Cathedral – the biggest one in Bulgaria and according to many – the most spectacular building in Sofia. You will pass also though the main parks of Sofia. After 4 hours cycling, return to the bike center. The guide will take you to the restaurant to relax and have lunch. You will finish your tour in this restaurant in the center of Sofia.

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What people are saying about Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 553 reviews

Rila and Boyana are a must see in Bulgaria. The tour was great, and Lubo, our guide, made it fantastic. He's very knowledgeable and passionate, and explains not only the history of the sites, but also the history and culture of the country itself. Would definitely do it again!

Very enjoyable day. the Monadteto is an oasis of peace and the Boyana Church a small treasure. We thank our excellent guide, Georgi

Wonderful experience, incredible places, a day between nature and art. The guide was very good, I am very happy.

The guide Todor was so nice. And the 7 lakes were very beautiful !

Guide superb! Wonderful experience! Reasonable price!