Rila Monastery and Rila Mountains
Discover Rila Mountains’ most beautiful cultural and most visited touristic sight – the Rila Monastery.
The Rila Monastery is one of the most famous UNESCO World Heritage sites in Bulgaria.
Located between the Drushlyavitsa and Rilska rivers it has become a cradle and keeper of the Bulgarian spirit and national identity.
Saint Ivan Rilski was the one who founded the monastery in the first half of the 10th century and since then the place has welcomed pilgrims and tourists from all over the world.
A Day Trip from Borovets
If you are in Borovets and looking for a great day trip experience with transportation and a guide (on spot) included – we have got you covered.
Meet us at Ski & Board Traventuria Shop located at hotel Ela. Depart from Borovets in the morning and relax on the 2 hour drive to Rila Monastery in the Rila Mountains.
Enjoy the natural beauty of Rila while travelling comfortably in a modern air conditioned vehicle with an English-speaking driver.
When you get there – explore the largest and most significant Orthodox cloister in Bulgaria with an English-speaking guide. Admire the arcaded balconies and discover unique frescoes by some of the most famous painters from the Bulgarian National Revival Period.
See gilded iconostasis, enjoy beautiful mountain views and learn not only about Rila Monastery history, but about Bulgarian history as well.
Do not miss the main church of the Monastery – “The Nativity of the Virgin Mary”, see the oldest building in the complex – “The tower of Hrelja” and visit the monastery “Museum” (*ticket to the museum is not included in the trip price, thus entering is optional).
- Visit one of the most famous UNESCO World Heritage sites in Bulgaria
- Explore nature and culture in one day
- Learn new and interesting information about Rila Mountains, Rila Monastery and Bulgaria
- Taste some Bulgarian local food such as mekitsi (doughnuts), yoghurt and grilled trout in the restaurants around Rila Monastery
- Travel in a modern air conditioned vehicle with an English-speaking driver
- Learn all interesting facts and information with an English-speaking guide on spot at the Rila Monastery
- Dress Code: Since Rila Monastery is a functioning Orthodox temple, a strict dress code is in place.
Men and women should be wearing clothes covering their shoulders. Short pants and skirts, as well as sandals or flip flops are not allowed.
The monastery complex is more than 1000 meters above sea level in the mountains.
The weather conditions can change within minutes. We advise you to bring warm clothes even in the summertime.
- Photos: Taking photos in the courtyard and of the frescoes on the outer fresco gallery of the main church of Rila Monastery is allowed.
Taking photos inside the main church, the residential parts and the museum is NOT permitted.
- Food: There are two restaurants near the monastery serving local delicacies (e.g. grilled trout, bean soup, sheep yoghurt with honey). In peak season they can be rather slow on the servings. There are also some fast food options. The most famous is the monastery’s bakery offering made-on-the-spot mekitsi – Bulgarian doughnuts. If you wish to spend more of your free time exploring the monastery and its surroundings than you should consider bringing a lunch pack with you.