Plovdiv - Sofia - Rila monastery
The Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila, better known as the Rila Monastery is founded in the 10th century. The Rila Monastery is regarded as one of Bulgaria's most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments and it is one of the symbols of Bulgaria. The monastery offers a great view to the surrounding peaks of the mountain and represents a developed tourist sight with all the accompanying facilities such as souvenir shops, restaurants and inns. The Rila Monastery is one of the most beautiful Unesco sites in Bulgaria.
06:00 AM Departure from Sunny Beach Hotels. 10:45 AM Arrival in Plovdiv. Sightseeing tour through the cobblestone streets of the Old Town. Bring comfortable shoes. The surviving ruins show a city with numerous public buildings, shrines, baths, and theatres, though only a small part of the ancient city has been excavated. The city had a water system. It was defended with a double wall. Visit to St. Constantine and Helena church. Lunch. Free time. 15:00 PM Arrival in Sofia - capital of Bulgaria. Walking tour of the capital’s main landmarks (St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the National Assembly building, St. Nicholas Russian Church, the Royal Palace, the Presidency, the Council of Ministers, St. Petka Church, St. George Rotunda and St. Nedelya Church) Free time. Dinner and overnight in Sofia.
07:30 AM Breakfast. Departure to the Rila Monastery. The Rila monastery is the most popular tourist site among all monasteries in Bulgaria equally for its size, natural surroundings, wall paintings and ancient history. It is an excellent example of the Bulgarian Revival arts and architecture. Located in a very beautiful mountain area, surrounded by large trees. Monastery sightseeing tour. Enjoy the special vibe of the place! Lunch. Free time. Stop at Borovets. Departure to Sunny Beach.
Includes: A/c transportation, full board (4 meals), 3 star hotel in Sofia, museum-entrance fees, medical insurance, tour quide
NB: Double room occupancy. Additional single room: 30 leva
History of Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Archaeologists have discovered objects of everyday life from the Neolithic Age. The settlement was originally Thracian and named Eumolpias. Plovdiv was conquered by Philip II of Makedonia, the father of Alexander the Great, who renamed it Philippopolis. In 72 BC, Plovdiv was seized by the Roman general Terentius Varo Luculus. The city was incorporated into the Roman Impire and called Trimontium (City of Three Hills). Thrimontium was an important crossroad for the Roman Empire. Roman writer said "This is the biggest and loveliest of all towns. Its beauty shines from faraway..."
The Church of St Constantine and Helena is one of the oldest Chritian churches in Plovdiv. It was built in 337 at the sight of the death of Saint Severin, Saint Memnos and their 38 comrades, who were beheaded for professing their Christian faith. During the years, the ancient temple was demolished and rebuilt several times. Its current edifice was constructed in 1832 with the help of local patriots. The first row of the iconostasis icons were painted by the famous Bulgarian painter, Zahari Zograph.