Experience the grand and the hidden

Tour Highlights:
♦ Visit the famous Rila Monastery and let the guide relive its history and enlighten you on its present-day status
♦ Enrich your experience by tasting local delicacies and in this way involving all your senses in this holiday experience
♦ Tour the smallest Bulgarian town, known for its architecture, stunning surroundings and wine production
♦ The Melnik Pyramids are a fantastic phenomenon. Benefit from the recommended photo stops
SPECIAL OFFER
Price
€49 per person
Duration
10 hours
Destination
More than 1
Travellers
16
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Immerse yourself in the Bulgaria's history. Visit two UNESCO sites within one day in a luxury vehicle accompanied by one of the best tour guides in the area.

What's included

Destination
Rila mountain , Vitosha mountain Discover Destinations
Departure Location
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral - "Sveti Aleksandar Nevski", 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia
Return Location
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Tour Start Date & Time
Everyday at 09:00
Price includes
  • English-speaking professional tour guide
  • Medical insurance and emergency insurance*
  • Transportation in comfortable car or 8-seater passenger van
Price does not include
  • Entrance tickets to monuments and museums
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips to guide and driver

Melnik

The smallest town in Bulgaria (208 residents), Melnik, is nested in the south slopes of Pirin, among sand pyramids with queer forms. It is situated in the Sandanski Municipality, Blagoevgrad county, 175 km north from Sofia, and it is only 30 km from the borderline with Greece. The finds from the antiquity discovered upon the archaeological diggings testify for its centuries-old history. The first written pieces of evidence for the Melnik Fortress refer to the beginning of the 11th century. The first settlers on the territory of contemporary Melnik were the Thracians, and more particularly the Thracian tribe Maedi, of which the legendary rebel Spartacus originated. A few centuries later, the Romans lived on this ground. This proves the ancient Roman bridge, which is still preserved in the town of Melnik. The Slavs, who were consequently residing on this territory, had called their settlement Melnik, because of the surrounding sand pyramids. The name comes from the Slavonic word “mel”, which means white clay, crayon. In 1215 Melnik turned into a capital of an independent feudal principality, ruled by Despot Alexius Slav. The ruins of his fortress are preserved to the present days, near the town. In 1395 the Bulgarian lands, as well as Melnik, fell under Ottoman Dominion for 5 centuries. Melnik remained within the borders of the Ottoman Empire until 1912. During the 18th century, in the age of the Bulgarian Revival, the town was raised for a new life. Melnik turned into a blooming, significant in size and population town, with a large market. The local tradespeople were selling their goods in Budapest, Wien, Genoa, Venice. Melnik also became famous in entire Europe for its good wine, with which it is famous even nowadays.

 

For more information please follow this link.

 

 

Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery, or rather the Treasury of Bulgaria, is blooming like an evergreen and magnificent flower in the bosom of Rila Mountain, in the place where the rivers Drushlyavitsa and Rilska join.

Founded in the first half of 10 c. by the heavenly protector of the Bulgarians Saint John of Rila, the monastery is a cradle, a pillar and a repository of the Bulgarian spirit even today.

While the records about the fate of the relics of Saint John from 10 c. to 14 c. are detailed, for the Rila Monastery itself they are scarce. Since 11 c. until today in the monastery book depository MS books have been kept, such as the glagolic transcript of the notable “Exhortation” by Saint Ephrem of Syria, which testifies for perpetual literary activity. In the roya decree (certificate for donation) of king Ivan Shishman (1371 – 1393) it is said the Bulgarian rulers – the kings Ivan Asen II (1218 – 1241) and his successor Kaloman (1241 –1245) confirmed the estates and the rights of the monastery, and they honored it as holy place and place of worship.

For more information please follow this link.

  • Itenerary
Itenerary

Rise and shine

7:00 - The trip starts from the parking behind Alexander Nevski Cathedral. There are options for hotel pick-ups.
9:30 - Arrival in the town of Melnik, followed by the guided tour in the area
12:00 - Departure from Melnik and heading to Rila Monastery
13:30 - Free time for lunch at the restaurants near the Rila Monastery
14:30 - Guided tour of the monastery complex and free time to explore it further on your own
17:30 - Departure from Rila Monastery and heading to Sofia
19:30 - Arrival at the starting point of the tour

SPECIAL OFFER
From €749
SPECIAL OFFER
From €799

OTHER INFORMATION:

  • Hotel pick-up costs an additional 5/10 Euro per reservation, depending on the location of your hotel.
  • You can use your own insurance or we can arrange it for you through our partners.
  • Listed price is for two people / per person.
  • Ask us about our discounts.

Price includes:

  • English or Spanish speaking tour guide (depending on the booked package)
  • All transportation and parking costs

Price do not include:

  • Food and beverages
  • Entrance fees
  • Gratuities (optional)


GOOD THINGS TO KNOW:

Covid19 Update: Restaurants in the area are with limited capacity until further notice, due to the state of emergency in Bulgaria.
It’s recommended that you check with us prior to your trip or go to this link for up to date information. You can also prepare sandwiches or small snacks sold everywhere in Sofia.

Attire: The weather conditions can change very rapidly. We advise you to pack some warm clothing even during the summer months. Comfortable shoes are recommended as the some of the streets are cobbled.

Photos

Rila Monastery and Melnik
Photos are allowed everywhere with the exception of churches and monasteries.

Admissions
The Rila Monastery is free, but there is a small fee of ~ €4 for the museum.

Cash is important
Please have cash with you as not all places accept debit / credit cards and ATMs.

Food:
There are numerous restaurants in the area that offer authentic food. We will have time to stop and enjoy a nice lunch.

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      Rila Monastery & Melnik

      Price
      €49 per person
      Duration
      10 hours
      Destination
      More than 1
      Travellers
      16

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