How to reach Rila Monastery from Sofia
A great idea that will help you escape from the noisy city is a trip to the holy Rila Monastery. It is just an hour and a half away from the capital, and will offer you heaps of peace and calmness that we all need so much.
The holy Rila Monastery is 108 km away from Sofia, at an altitude of 1,400 metres, and there the sky joins the high verdant peaks of the Rila mountain. Surrounded by mountain rivers, amid age old trees and magnificent green glades, the Rila Monastery impresses not just with the beauty of the landscapes around it, but also with its architecture and its ancient history.
Ways of reaching the Rila Monastery from Sofia?
Sofia – Rila Monastery via car
You must follow the A3 motorway from Sofia, in the direction of Blagoevgrad. After the town of Dupnitsa, proceed along the first class road for 27 km, and you will see the sign pointing to the direction of the monastery. Drive for another 17 km along the serpentine road leading directly to the gates of the holy ground.
If you would like to stay for the night, the monastery offers accommodation; besides, in the area there are also small B&Bs where you can stay.
You should rent a car well in advance, via the Internet.
Sofia – Rila Monastery via bus
Buses leave Sofia for Rila Monastery from the Zapad bus station (also called Ovcha Kupel) at 10:20 and 12:10, every day, seven days a week.
If you would like to travel in the reverse direction, from the Rila Monastery to Sofia, the Ovcha Kupel bus station, buses leave at 15:00 and 17:20.
The bus fare in one direction for the end of the year 2016 was 11 BGN.
The routes Sofia – Rila – Rila Monastery and back, Blagoevgrad – Rila and back, are serviced by Rila Express Ltd. Phone them at 0887 648182, or email them at: [email protected]
You can also avail yourself of a one- or two-day individual excursion to the Rila Monastery with your private guide.
Taxi from Sofia to Rila Monastery
If you are comfort lovers, and you are financially not bothered about travelling via taxi, we recommend that you should book a taxi from Sofia to Rila Monastery and back. But the excursion with a private guide is definitely better if you want to learn a lot about the monastery and its history.
Joint trip Sofia – Rila Monastery
With the spread of the Internet, the car sharing option is soaring in popularity; it means you can travel jointly with companions, by car. That means you will find companions via the social networking sites, and you will split the expenses for the trip; another advantage is you will be able to have a fun and enjoyable time.
You can find companions in a Facebook group; or just write in the search box of your browser: shared + the name of the town or place where you would like to reach, for example Rila Monastery.
Hitchhiking from Sofia to Rila Monastery
It is quite easy to travel around Bulgaria via hitchhiking. You can do that individually, or again with companions you have found via Facebook for example. There is a suitable group here; communication there is in English.