Kyustendil Province
Off the beaten track

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Our most recommended Kyustendil Province Off the beaten track

Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Full-Day Tour

1. Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Full-Day Tour

After pickup from any accommodation in Sofia, your journey through over 1,000 years of Bulgarian cultural history begins. Make the 2-hour drive to the Rila Monastery via air-conditioned bus into the dense pine forests of Rila Mountain. Upon arriving, explore the monastery, which was founded in 927, at your own pace with 2 hours of free time. Amble the 21-acre complex, taking in the colorful and unique traditional Orthodox architecture. Gaze at the 5-domed church, with its numerous altars, side chapels, and gold-plated mosaics. Take in the beauty of the tranquil mountain environment surrounding the peaceful place of worship. Afterwards, you’ll have lunch, before heading on to your next destination. Only a couple of miles away from the monastery into the forest is St. Ivan Rilski Cave, where St. Ivan of Rila took up residency in the early 10th century. Experience a sacred site of tremendous importance to Bulgarian Orthodox Christians. On the way back to Sofia, you’ll pass through Boyana Church, famed for its elaborate frescoes dating back to the 11th, 13th, 15th-17th, and 19th century. Afterwards, you’ll be transported back back to your accommodation in Sofia.

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

2. 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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Private Hiking Tour to the Stob Pyramids and Rila Monastery

3. Private Hiking Tour to the Stob Pyramids and Rila Monastery

Enjoy one of the best ways of exploring and learning more about Bulgaria with a professional guide while hiking trough the amazing mountains. Starting at Sofia, you will hike in the region of the Stob Piramids. A place well known and excellent for hiking where you will enjoy the magnificent nature. The hiking is of moderate difficulty and is about 2 hours in length.  Next, you will visit the largest monastery in Bulgaria: the Rila monastery. There your professional guide will take you around and share with you the history and the way of life in the monastery. You will spend about 1 to 2 hours in the Rila monastery. Last but not least, you will have the chance to taste one of the best and well known special pastry products in Bulgaria, which will be home-made. After a great day you will return with your guide back to your hotel in Sofia.

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From Sofia: Seven Rila Lakes Shuttle Group Day Trip

4. From Sofia: Seven Rila Lakes Shuttle Group Day Trip

The Seven Rila Lakes are just 1 hour 30 minutes away from the capital Sofia, which makes them a great day trip in the nature. Discover all seven of the lakes  and how they have their own name which reflects its typical shape or characteristics. Gaze at the stunning emerald green of the water as you relax in the peaceful countryside. Relax en route as a comfortable minivan takes you to the Panichishte Resort Cable Car which goes us to the Seven Rila Lakes Cirque. See a different side to Bulgaria as you enjoy the hike around the lakes. 

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Other Sightseeing Options in Kyustendil Province

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What people are saying about Kyustendil Province

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 9 reviews

We had an absolutely wonderful excursion to Rila monestery and Boyana church. It is definitely 'Must see', when you are in Sofia! Not least our amazing guide, Maria, made the day absolutely perfect! She is very knowledgeable and the sweetest person. We had a lot of good talk about Bulgaria, history and culture!

It is really worth it to wisit the Rila Monastery and Boyana Church. Both are very special places, full of history and curiosities, and beautiful surroundings. Our guide was a really amazing person. She said interesting things about the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I really reccomend this trip.

Maria is a very professional, kind, prepared and full of energy guide. the trip to the monastery was very comfortable and she was able to explain or respond to any single question or topic regarding every single stone! it's been certainly a day to remember for us, благодаря Мария!

The best trip to Rila Monastery . Maria is wonderful guide. Really recommend to all who would like to have perfect weekend outside of Sofia

Our tour was perfect ! Maria was our guide and we couldn’t have asked for a better guide.