Rila Monastery and Plovdiv tour in one day

Duration: 9 to 10 hours
Destination: Bulgaria, Sofia City Province, Sofia

Check Availability

  • 9 to 10 hours
  • Sofia
  • E-Voucher
  • Lowest Price
  • Cancellable


We are the only company that offers this unique combination of tour to Rila Monastery and Plovdiv in just one day. Visit the two most visited locations in one day from the comfort of a car with this amazing tour. The Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila, better known as the Rila Monastery is the largest and most famous monastery in Bulgaria. It is situated in the Rila Mountains, and is the most visited location in Bulgaria and for a good reason. Plovdiv’s history spans 6,000 years, it’s the second biggest city in Bulgaria, it has traces of a Neolithic settlement dating to roughly 4000 BC.

We won't have time for a restaurant meal, just packed lunch or fast food.

Approximate schedule, it can be plus/minus 30 minutes at those stops depending on the day and the traffic:

09:00 Meet and leave Sofia

11:00 Joining a walking tour of Plovdiv

13:30 Little time for packed or fast food lunch

14:00 We leave Plovdiv

16:45 We explore the Rila Monastery

17:45 We leave for Sofia

19:00 We arrive back in Sofia

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Plovdiv Old Town, Plovdiv 4000 Bulgaria

Visit to Plovdiv

Duration: 3 hours

Stop At: Rila Monastery, Rila 2643 Bulgaria

Visit to the Rila Monastery

Duration: 1 hour

  • Driver/guide
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • WiFi on board
  • Optional free hotel pick-up and drop-off if you are 3 or more

  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Optional hotel pick-up and drop-off if you are 2 or fewer will be 5 euro each
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Infant seats available
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
Departure Point

Sofia's Central Market Hall, bulevard "Knyaginya Maria Luiza" 25, 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia, Bulgaria

Traveler pickup is offered
We also offer a hotel pick-up, but unless you contact us to arrange a pick-up, we will pick you up at the parking of Hali Market, which is between the mosque and the synagogue and is situated on Maria Luzia Boulevard. We can arrange pick-up from Hotels, Hostels, AirBnBs, Airport and so on.

Departure Time

9:00 AM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point

Voucher info

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.


9 to 10 hours

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

User's Reviews

Image - 03 Jul 2019 -

Jessica H

This trip was awesome, perhaps even a must! Both of the places were special and unique and added a lot to our time in Sofia. If you like Monastery's, the Rila UNESCO Monastery is a must! It doesn't seem so easy to get to, either, so we were really glad we did this tour which took us there. The day included a lot of driving, but it is unavoidable if you want to go to both places, and our tour guide, Tony, made the ride interesting and worth the while. Plus, there is a scenic route which is lovely. Tony was a GREAT tour guide! We would definitely recommend him and this tour!! Thank you again Tony!!!

Image - 22 Apr 2019 -

Steven I

Our driver/guide Tony was friendly, spoke great English and explained what he knew of the Monastery really well, before leaving us time for photos and getting us to Plovdiv in time for a walking tour that we really enjoyed. The car was comfortable and modern,which was good as it requires around 4 to 5 hours in the car on some fairly ropey roads.

Would recommend to travellers who don't mind a bit of driving to get lots done in a single day, perhaps not to those looking to take things a bit more slowly.


Image - 03 Jul 2019 -


Rila monastery is just sublime and is a must see on any trip to Sofia. This trip also involved a visit to Plovdiv and attendance at a 'free' walking tour run locally. This was fine and the guide was great, BUT the highlight of Plovdiv is the Roman Theater (its why i went), but this wasn't included, you had to pay extra for this. Loads of very tiring driving, our car driver was very fast, BUT very safe. The timing worked out fantastically well and when we arrived at Rila (after 17.00) it was pretty much empty. If we had arrived much earlier it would have been knee deep in tourists (like us!). We visited in may so had loads of good light to photograph the monastery. Not sure how this would work in Winter when it gets dark earlier. All in a really good visit.

Image - 03 Jul 2019 -

Josep S

I thing that is better that first visited the Rila Monastery and after Plovdiv, because in Rila there're diferents things museum, monastery, rooms, and Plovdiv there're more things but the visit is for the street.

Image - 05 Aug 2019 -

Mark W

From the description "Explore the UNESCO-listed Rila Monastery and historic city of Plovdiv with your guide, benefiting from their undivided attention and cultural insights for a more personalized sightseeing experience."

There's plenty of driving as Plovdiv and Rila are in different directions from Sofia, so we had about 3 hours in Plovdiv and 1 hour at Rila. The Plovdiv tour was disappointing as we ended up joining a "Free Plovdiv Tour" that started with about 50 people (some peeled off as the tour progressed). Although the guide was friendly and knowledgeable, he seemed to be making this a social event. Chatting up lots of people at the start, and then going around the 50 people to tell him what country each of us was from. It was almost 30 minutes before we left our starting point, and it takes a while to herd 50 people from point to point. Instead of summarizing history he'd as some historic question with length pauses as people guessed at answers (as if most non-Bulgarian tourists were up on Bulgarian history). Another long pause to pose for a group picture for their Facebook page. There's far too much to see in Plovdiv in just 3 hours, but we would have seen more of it in a truly small, personalilzed tour. (I had such a tour a couple days earlier in Skopje, covering more sites in less time, leaving us time to revisit some places or see others that tour had skipped, so I'm comparing the Plovdiv tour to that one.)

The Rila part was fine. It's not big, so our stop there provided enough time to take a good look around.

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