Sofia
Private Experiences

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Our most recommended Sofia Private Experiences

From Sofia: 7 Rila Lakes Hiking & Thermal Spa Day Tour

1. From Sofia: 7 Rila Lakes Hiking & Thermal Spa Day Tour

Explore the Seven Rila Lakes, the jewel of the Rila Mountains National Park and admire breathtaking alpine scenery. Escape the summer heat in Sofia and enjoy the refreshing mountain climate of the highest mountain of the Balkans. Join a pleasant, easy to moderate walk and relax deeply at the end of the day in the thermal pools fed by hot spring waters. All this within a day tour from Sofia. You will be picked up early in the morning from your hotel or address in Sofia for a wonderful journey in the Rila Mountains. Within 1.5-hours, you will arrive at Pionerska Hut (1520 meters), from where the group will take a chairlift to the Rila Lakes Hut situated above the tree line at 2150 meters above sea level in the Rila Mountains National Park. Here, the circular walk will begin passing by Ribnoto (The Fish), Trilistnika (The Trefoil) and Bliznaka (The Twin) Lakes. When the group reaches Bubreka (The Kidney) Lake, situated at 2282 meters above sea level there will be 2 options: the group can choose to take the long route or the short route. For the long rout, continue uphill passing by Okoto (The Eye) Lake, you will reach the Lakes Peak (2550 meters), offering you a great panoramic view of all the Seven Rila Lakes. Then, you will walk back the same way you came to Kidney Lake. For the short route, you will head towards the top station of the chairlift along a scenic route offering a great panoramic view of the Seven Lakes area. At the end of the hike, you will reach the Rila Lakes Hut and via the chairlift, you will descend to Pionerska Hut. The minivan will take you for a short transfer (approximately 20 minutes) to Sapareva Banya Spa Resort, famous for one of hottest thermal springs in Europe (~103°C). Enjoy and take the time to relax deeply after the walk in some the numerous thermal pools with temperatures of varying degrees from 15 to 45 °C. In the late afternoon, the group will head back to Sofia, where you will be dropped back off at your preferred locations.

Sofia: Small Group Walking Tour

2. Sofia: Small Group Walking Tour

Journey through almost 10,000 years of history on a guided walking tour of Sofia, and learn how the city sits on land that has been settled over the centuries by Thracians, Romans, Huns and more. Marvel at its well-preserved monuments and outstanding sights, such as the East Gate of the Serdika ruins from Roman times. Walk through the underpass connecting the Presidential Palace and Ministerial Council to encounter shops selling traditional souvenirs and rosewater. Experience the city's laid-back charm as you explore streets scattered with mosques and impressive onion-domed churches.

Sofia: Rila Monastery, St. Ivan Rilski Cave & Stob Pyramids

3. Sofia: Rila Monastery, St. Ivan Rilski Cave & Stob Pyramids

Spend the morning in the Rila Monastery, one of the country’s most famous UNESCO World Heritage sites, a must-see for anyone visiting Bulgaria. Discover the centuries old forests of the Rila Mountains on a scenic walk to the cave of St. Ivan Rilski (St. John of Rila), where the founder of the monastery lived as an anchorite and explore the amazing rock formations of the natural phenomenon of the Stob Pyramids. Escape the Sofia crowds for a memorable full-day trip led by an expert. You will be picked up in the morning from your hotel or address in Sofia for a wonderful journey through the scenic Rila Mountains. Arrive at the Rila Monastery within 2-hours and head towards the cave of St. Ivan Rilski by foot. A fairy trail will lead you through the centuries old woods of the Rila Monastery Nature Park to the cave where the founder of the monastery spent the last years of his life as a hermit. Visit the cave and walk back to the monastery for a guided tour and free time to explore the hidden corners of the 10th century UNESCO site. After lunch, the journey will continue with a short transfer (approximately 25 minutes) to the village of Stob, where you will have a short walk to the natural phenomenon of the sandstone Stob Pyramids. In the late afternoon, transfer back to Sofia, where you will be transferred back to your place.

Sofia: Seven Rila Lakes Snowshoe Walk & Thermal Spring Pools

4. Sofia: Seven Rila Lakes Snowshoe Walk & Thermal Spring Pools

Dramatic landscapes and breathtaking alpine sceneries, centuries old pine forests and rugged mountain peaks make the Seven Rila Lakes circuit one of the most beautiful areas in the Rila Mountains National Park. Enjoy a gentle snowshoe walk in the picturesque Seven Rila Lakes area followed by relaxation in the thermal water pools of Sapareva Banya Spa Resort, fed by one of the hottest springs in Europe. All this within a day tour from Sofia. Your guide will pick you up early in the morning from your hotel in Sofia for a wonderful journey to the Rila Mountains. You will arrive within 1.5-hours to Pionerska Mountain Hut from where you will take a chairlift to Rila Lakes Hut, situated high above the tree line at 2150 meters above sea level. The walk will begin from the hut in the direction of the Kidney, the third of the Seven Rila Lakes. Along the way, admire breathtaking alpine sceneries of jagged peaks and frozen mountain lakes. After a short break and a cup of warm tea at the lake, you will head toward Rila Lakes Hut and descend via the chairlift to the van and have a short transfer (20 minutes) to Sapareva Banya Spa Resort, where you will be able to relax deeply in the thermal pools fed by hot spring waters.

Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Full-Day Tour

5. 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.

Day Trip to Vitosha, Boyana Church and Dragalevtsi Monastery

6. Day Trip to Vitosha, Boyana Church and Dragalevtsi Monastery

You tour starts at 10:00 AM when your guide will collect you from your hotel. You will travel by car to the Boyana Church, UNESCO historical place, dating back to the 10th century, which has unique and very well preserved frescoes and pictures from the period of 11th-14th century. You will have the chance to learn their history. Next, your trip will continue with a visit to the Dragalevtsi Monastery, also situated in the Vitosha Mountain. This still active monastery is probably the oldest of its kind in Bulgaria. It was built around the year 1345, then abandoned only 40 years later during the time of the Ottoman invasion, just to be brought again to life in the middle of the 15th century. It contains colorful murals and it is revered as one of the hiding places of the great Bulgarian national hero, Vasil Levski. Finally, you will head to some of the high spots in Vitosha from where you can see amazing views of Sofia from above. There are also several hiking paths that start from the viewpoint, so you can also opt for some walking in the mountain if the weather is good. Finally, your guide will take you back to your hotel. The duration of the whole tour is about 4-5 hours.

Sofia: Panoramic Flight Around the Seven Rila Lakes

7. Sofia: Panoramic Flight Around the Seven Rila Lakes

Delight in an unforgettable experience flying over the natural wonders of the Seven Lakes in Rila. Soar for 1 hour in a Cessna 182 and admire the brilliant blue lakes wrapped in jaw-dropping mountain ranges. Make your way to Lesnovo airport for take-off and sit back and relax during your flight. Marvel at close-up views of some of the most stunning summits on the highest mountain range in the Balkans, Rila. As well as the Seven Lakes and Rila mountain range, enjoy spectacular views of the biggest dam in Bulgaria, Iskar, as well as the scenery of the Bulgarian countryside outside Sofia.

Sofia: 2-Hour Communist Jeep Tour

8. Sofia: 2-Hour Communist Jeep Tour

The Sofia Communist Tour will take you back to Bulgaria under totalitarian rule. See most of the remaining Communist sights in the city on-board a classic Eastern Bloc vehicle.  Start with pickup collected from your hotel by your driver. Learn plenty of interesting information about the places you will be visiting as well as intriguing and fun facts about life under the Communist regime.  Cruise through town making short stops en route, where you will be able to step down and take photos of the most impressive sights. Your driver will also stop upon request at other places of interest. 

Prohodna, Saeva Dupka Cave and Glozhene Tour from Sofia

9. Prohodna, Saeva Dupka Cave and Glozhene Tour from Sofia

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel or accommodation in Sofia, and then take a scenic drive through the Balkan Mountains to arrive at the Iskar Gorge near the village of Karlukovo. Go for a 1.5-hour nature hike on arrival to explore the natural phenomenon of the Prohodna cave. Learn why the locals call it the Eyes of God. Journey through the largest cave passage in Bulgaria, and then continue to the Sueva dupka cave, where 5 halls and 400 meters of corridors reveal some of the most beautiful stalagmite formations in Bulgaria. Continue in the afternoon with a visit to the 13th-century Glozhene Monastery, perched like a bird’s nest on the northern slopes of the Stara Planina mountain. Take in the beauty of the natural surroundings before returning to Sofia in the late afternoon. Get dropped off at your hotel or accommodation on arrival.

Sofia: Wine & Cheese Tasting Experience

10. Sofia: Wine & Cheese Tasting Experience

Discover the unknown treasures of Bulgaria including unforgettable unique wine varieties that you have probably never tasted before. Although Bulgaria has been producing wine for 5000 years it is still relatively unknown to the rest of the world. Now a rising new generation of Bulgarian boutique winemakers who are devoted to the craft and bringing new attention to the country. First, arrive at a small boutique wine shop in the heart of Sofia. During your personal tasting experience, be guided through the distinctive world of Bulgarian wines. Taste 5 local wines from regions across Bulgaria. The wines will be paired with Bulgarian craft cheeses and artisanal bread.

Frequently asked questions about Sofia Private Experiences

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What people are saying about Sofia

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 4 reviews

Velko was a perfect guide. He was intelligent, interesting and had a real enthusiasm for his work. The caves were great. The first a huge cavern where we explored the valley and walked to a very old tiny monastery. The second was an awe inspiring cave full of dramatic stalactites and stalagmites. Lunch was an authentic Bulgarian affair - can recommend the beef soup! The monastery was on a remote hill and was very atmospheric. We went at the end of March and we had all the attractions to ourselves. Highly recommend.

It was a great experience and we were very lucky to have the greatest weather! I had a lot of fun with Velko, the guide. It felt like going for a hike with my friends Also loved the thermal baths. Just the perfect combination after a nice hike! ADVICE: it is really important to bring proper clothes and equipment to the mountain!

The trip was exhausting yet very fun! The trek is unexpectedly harder than I thought but Dobs is an excellent guide who consistently motivated the group. The hot spring after the trek was relaxing. We're considering hiking it again in the summer to finally see the lakes!

The wine and cheese was delicious, atmosphere - great, level of knowledge shared was amazing too

What a fantastic experience thanks to Dobrin, a truly exceptional guide.