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“EXCELLENT TOURS, EXCELLENT GUIDES”

Traventuria - Day Tours
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$78.17*
and up
The Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery
Ranked #3 of 46 Outdoor Activities in Sofia
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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!
Reviewed June 20, 2013

I took 2 tours with Traventuria while I was in Sofia and they were both perfect. The 7 Rila Lakes hike was absolutely great with my guide Orlin Koychev being really exceptional, very friendly and helpful, he made the tour very enjoyable! The second tour to the Rila monastery and Boyana church was also amazing with our guide Kristian being perfect, very informative and friendly!

1  Thank George E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"rila monastery"
in 163 reviews
"self guided"
in 15 reviews
"small group"
in 17 reviews
"full day tour"
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"pirin mountains"
in 11 reviews
"audio guide"
in 7 reviews
"group tour"
in 5 reviews
"private tour"
in 14 reviews
"great trip"
in 10 reviews
"beautiful country"
in 7 reviews
"bulgarian history"
in 19 reviews
"veliko tarnovo"
in 6 reviews
"recommend this trip"
in 5 reviews
"own pace"
in 5 reviews
"sofia airport"
in 6 reviews
"always on time"
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"excellent english"
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Reviewed June 2, 2013

We visited Rila Monastery and Boyana Church - only one other couple so it was far more than a "shuttle bus" as the driver was not only sociable but provided us with great information. Our next trip was to Plovdiv - that was an experience I would not have missed! Velko, our guide, tailored the trip to fit our interests - we were so lucky! How many people get to experience Bachevo Monastery on Good Friday? Then at Plovdiv, the information he shared added so much to the walk-around. At the little craft shop, we took time to watch and visit with the weaver. Then Velko worked in a visit to a winery for a tasting followed by a delicious shopsa for lunch. It was a full day but so much learned, unique experiences and such great company.

1  Thank Yvonne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

I've taken three tours with Traventuria: Rila Monastery, Plovdiv and Veilko Tarnovo. All three have been fantastic experiences due to the fact that the tour guides would tailor the trips to our needs. For example, during the last tour I was a bit tired of churches. Velko, an excellent tour guide, modified the tour and took me to a great place where the crafts people still made crafts the old-fashioned way. It was educational, fun and a great experience. His attention and flexible nature made the trip very special.

2  Thank J D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

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 reviewResponded 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,
Svet

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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!

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 reviewResponded 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!
Svet

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