Greet your guide in central Sofia and see Bulgaria’s countryside, forests, and villages on a drive into the Rila Mountains. Here the remarkable UNESCO World Heritage–listed Rila Monastery—one of Bulgaria’s most famous Eastern Orthodox monasteries—sits on pine-coated slopes.
Learn all about the legend-shrouded monastery, whose origins date to 927 AD, and enter (at your own expense) for a guided tour. Marvel at the fresco-covered colonnades, wooden icons, and tomb of Bulgaria’s last monarch, Boris III.
Opt to explore the monastery’s artifact-filled museum (own expense), and then enjoy free time for lunch at a local restaurant before journeying to the medieval Boyana Church, another UNESCO-listed site. Head inside (own expense) and view the well-preserved 10th-century frescoes that adorn the interior. Admire the depictions of angels, apostles, and sinners, and hear the full background on their painting, styles, and significance.
Finally, end your tour with a convenient drop-off in central Sofia.