Early in the morning at 6am I left the small town of Melnik with my Bulgarian buddy and took the bus to the Rila monastery. We had to change the bus several times and ask the older men in the village of Rila to take us to Rila monastery.

The biggest monastery in Bulgaria

The Rila monastery was built in the 10th century and is the most important and biggest monastery in Bulgaria. It belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage. In 1833 a fire destroyed the monastery and it was rebuilt between 1834 and 1862 with the help of wealthy Bulgarians from all over the country,

It is located in the Rila Mountains, south of the capital Sofia in the deep valley of the Rila River at an altitude of almost 1150 m above sea level, within the natural park of the Rila Monastery.

Surround by mountains

In 2008 alone it attracted 900,000 visitors. No wonder, the beautiful architecture with its gorgeous frescos and the amazing mountain panorama are a wonderful combination. If you register, you can even stay overnight here. From here you can also start extensive hikes into the Rila mountains. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time for this and also did not have the necessary clothes with us, as it gets quite cold in the mountains, although it was summer.

Already some hours later we were on the way to Sofia, from where we continued one day later to Veliko Tarnovo.

March 5, 2020, 8:23 p.m.