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“Awesome Trip to Rila Monastery”

Traventuria - Day Tours
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Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia
Ranked #2 of 32 Outdoor Activities in Sofia
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Traventuria Ltd is a fully bonded Bulgarian tour operator, possessing a management with experience of over 10 years in the field of the incoming tourism in Bulgaria and the Balkans. The company offers cultural and active holidays, private transfers, ski and snow board packages. Flexibility, local knowledge and perfection in all our services are our distinctive feature!
Denver, Colorado, United States
Level Contributor
32 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Awesome Trip to Rila Monastery”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2013

My husband and I used Traventuria's shuttle bus service to the Rila Monastery and Boyana Church outside of Sofia. The shuttle bus provided us with a driver, not a guide; however our driver Orlin was amazing and offered up a ton of great information about Bulgaria, the Monastery, dining options, etc. The shuttle departure was prompt and clean. The monastery is truly beautiful and not to be missed. Our driver Orlin also took us on a great hike into the incredibly lush mountains a few kilometers from the Monastery that we would have never found ourselves and later to a local restaurant that served tasty fresh trout. If you find yourself in Sofia and are looking for a day trip out of the city, we would definitely recommend you go to the Rila Monastery with Traventuria.

Visited May 2013
3 Thank Adena M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TraventuriaAdmin, Manager at Traventuria - Day Tours, responded to this review, May 30, 2013
Dear Adena,
Thank you for the review and the good words. We are always trying to improve our services. Soon there will be also an audioguide for the Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Shuttle, which I hope will just compliment our driver-guides. We also have a new video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbsN-fDHyhc , which I hope can be used by travelers who are reading your review.
I hope we will see you back in Bulgaria.
All the best with your journeys,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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404 reviews from our community

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English first
Pensacola, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Overall satisfied”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 15, 2013

Overall satisfied and I would give Traventuria five-stars had the firm not quoted me a price for the tour and then changed my itinerary from 4 days to 3 days without a price adjustment after my tour began. But due to the last minute nature of the tour, I decided to make the best of it. MAKE SURE YOU GET A DETAILED ITINERARY AND INVOICE, if I had done this there wouldn't have been a problem.

As for the tour itself, I contacted Svet at Traventuria on a Friday afternoon for a last minute tour to begin on Monday from Sofia. He responded very quickly and was able to put together a tour tailored to my list of places I wanted to see. He also arranged hotel rooms, all of which were very clean and comfortable.

On day 1, I was with 4 other people for a day trip form Sofia to Rila Monastary and Boyana Church. Both are must sees! The tour guide was prompt, knowledgeable and polite.

On day 2, I began my private tour. I visited Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa. I recommend a full day tour devoted to Plovdiv alone. On the way to Koprivshtitsa we stopped for lunch at the Starosel Winery/Vineyard. TAKE THE WINE TOUR THERE! I'm glad I asked my guide if we could skip the Thracian Tomb and do this instead, because beneath the winery you can sample wine in a replica tomb! Next was Koprivshtitsa and it was beautiful, nestled in the Balkans and the drive to get there was spectacular. I recommend going there for a full day too, perhaps renting a bike so you can cruise around the village or take a walk onto the mountain paths (both of which I wish I had time for)

On day 3, we drove through Kazanlak and the Valley of the Roses. It was early in the morning so we saw the rose farmers picking petals. ASK YOUR GUIDE TO PULL OVER SO YOU CAN SEE THEM PICK THE ROSES! We were rushing to get to the Rose Museum (which was pretty lame) and in hindsight I would have rather watched the farmers pick them in person than see photos of them doing so in a museum. The Bulgarian people, especially in the mountain villages, were so sweet and willing to show me their lifestyle (i.e. sheep herders, farmers, artisans, etc. all let me look over their shoulder, so don't be afraid to ask them) Next we saw a Russian Church and a Thracian Tomb, time was spent briefly at both but worth the visit. We passed through the Shipka Pass on a winding mountain road. Then briefly visited Arbanassi and ended the day in Veliko Tarnovo. I recommend doing a full day in Veliko Tarnovo because its a gorgeous quaint town that has many modern shops and restaurants. A nice balance of old and new.

Again, overall satisfied but if you're doing a private tour I recommend asking Traventuria to set you up with a driver/translator, not a tour guide, who will take you to all of the hot spots. The reason is, although my private guide was very knowledgable, you could find a great majority of the his information on your own by A) reading the placards at the museums and sites, most are in English or B) by doing a Google search of each place you're visiting and reading up on general Bulgarian history prior to the tour. This option is less expensive and you can explore a little more independently without a guide attached to your hip. If you're more of an independet traveler, I recommend this option. HAPPY TRAVELS!

Visited May 2013
3 Thank Corrinne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TraventuriaAdmin, Manager at Traventuria - Day Tours, responded to this review, May 30, 2013
Dear Corrinne,
Than you very much for the review. I believe it will be useful to a lot of other travelers. I strongly believe that self-guided tourists like yourself can greatly benefit from hiring an English-speaking driver with a general information about the sites and Bulgaria, rather then hiring a professional guide. I definately disagree, however, with the statement that I have shortened your tour and have not given you a discount. Your tour could not be shorted due to the fact that you had to catch a plane. I have not been detailed in my offer due to the work overload and your last minute request. I appologise for my mistake and the inconvinience caused. I hope however you remain with excellant impressions of Bulgaria.
I wish you memmorable journeys and good luck with everything you do.
Be well!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melfa, Virginia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Rila Monastery and Boyana Church shuttle”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 1, 2013 via mobile

I did the shuttle with my boyfriend and due to it being the off season there were only two other people with us. Our driver was great to talk to and even told us a few things about the places though I hadn't expected any guiding. Rila Monastery is very much worth a trip from Sofia and Traventuria made it fun and easy!

Visited April 2013
3 Thank rjpatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pattaya, Thailand
Level Contributor
18 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Two day tours with Traventuria Ltd Day Tours”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2013

We took two day trips with the tour company to the Rila Monastry and to Plovdiv.Both the days we had a wonderful experience. The vehicle came at the exact stated time.The guide and driver were very courteous and made our visits very comfortable. I would like to specially mention our guide Mr Velislav whose knowledge was excellent and he really made our trip a memorable one

Visited April 2013
3 Thank Tippy_Brar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new jersey
Level Contributor
92 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Excellent reasonably well priced and fun tours!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2013

We are seasoned travelers who generally avoid group tours if we can help it. But, as we cannot read Cyrillic, and had limited time in sofia, thought it better to book a few day trips with a tour group. Found traventuria when googling day trips from sofia, and booked 2 separate trips to rila and to Plovdiv and we were very satisfied! Instead of being with a large group, and perhaps because it is mid April and thus ahead of the more crowded summer tourist season, we were with just two other Americans for the rila/Boylan church shuttle and it ended up being more than just a shuttle. Our guide, Velko (whom we renamed Velcro!) was great, a very capable driver, excellent English and great to learn from. Our trip to Plovdiv and the bachkovo monastery was with just one other american and a new guide orlinn, again meeting, even exceeding all expectations, svetoslav, manager of the company took a lot of time ahead of our trip to email me answers to my many questions and when the website wouldn't work so that I could book the tours, Albana very kindly sent me a link, for an invoice she had set up, which made it very easy to pay.
Advice I would give is to visit bulgaria before June, visit the monasteries on weekDAYS to avoid local crowds, and definitely use traventuria!

Visited April 2013
1 Thank peripateticprincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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