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Day Tour from Sofia to Skopje, North Macedonia

1. Day Tour from Sofia to Skopje, North Macedonia

Discover Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, on this full-day trip from Sofia. During this day tour to Skopje, you will have the chance to explore the city's highlights and hear its rich history and culture from your guide.  Be picked up from your accommodation in Sofia and board an airconditioned vehicle. Relax, and take in the countryside on the transfer to Skopje. Once in Skopje, begin your walking tour of the at Skopje Fortress. Admire sweeping views of the city from the fortress before heading to the Church of the Holy Savior, home to fantastic iconostasis. Continue towards the Sultan Murat Mosque and the Old Bazaar, where you can witness the remnants from Ottoman Period.  Listen as your guide tells you about Skopje's history as one of the main trade centers in the Balkans. Stop a typical Macedonian restaurant where you can purchase a delicious lunch before crossing the Vadar River explore the other side of the city.  Visit the new neo-classical square and continue to the Mother Teresa memorial house. End your walking tour at the newly built triumphal arch Porta Macedonia. Journey back to Sofia and be dropped off at your hotel or accommodation. 

From Sofia: Rila Monastery, Scenic Train Ride & Bansko Town

2. From Sofia: Rila Monastery, Scenic Train Ride & Bansko Town

In the morning - meet your local English-speaking host at the centrally located meeting point. A 2-hour minibus transfer through the Bulgarian countryside takes you to the Rhodope mountains, where you climb aboard the narrow gauge train for a scenic ride through the mountains. Meet local Bulgarian people on the train and learn about the history of the area. Get off the train at Avramovo station for a short transfer to Bansko town at the footsteps of Pirin National Park. Your driver will drop you off at the convenient location, close to the Old Town. Explore at your own speed the ancient streets, visit the main church or take the opportunity to taste traditional local food at one of the traditional restaurants called mehana (lunch is optional and not included). In the afternoon, meet again your host and driver for a minibus transfer to the Rila National Park. You will arrive at the UNESCO listed Rila monastery after the crowds have gone, for a truly intimate experience. Explore on your own the ancient monastic complex. Later in the afternoon, get on the minibus for the final transfer back to Sofia city.

From Sofia: Shuttle Tour to Rila Monastery & Boyana Church

3. From Sofia: Shuttle Tour to Rila Monastery & Boyana Church

The tour departs early in the morning in front of Alexander Nevski. Your first stop will be the great UNESCO Boyana Church located on the outskirts of Sofia consisting of three buildings. The eastern church was built in the 10th-century, then enlarged at the beginning of the 13th by Sebastocrator Kaloyan, who ordered a second two-story building to be erected next to it. After exploring it, head to Rila Monastery, where you will admire the impressive architecture, frescoes and learn about the history of the monastery from your guide. During the guided tour in the inner yard and the monastery museum, discover the most precious pieces that are kept from the past and all the facts and stories about the largest Bulgarian monastery complex. After your monastery tour, enjoy about 2.5 hours of free time for food and shopping.

From Sofia: Plovdiv Guided Day Tour

4. From Sofia: Plovdiv Guided Day Tour

Depart Sofia in the morning for a full-day excursion to Plovdiv, the second-largest city in Bulgaria and one of the oldest towns in the world. Learn about the history of Plovdiv, dating back to Troya and Mycenae. During a 2 hour guided tour in the old town, discover the history and the culture of the 7,000-year-old settlement from its Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman periods to the present day. Admire museums, churches, historic monuments, revival period houses, souvenir shops, and cobblestone streets. See the Ethnographic Museum and the well-preserved ruins of the ancient Roman Theater. After the guided tour, you will have about 2 hours of free time for lunch and shopping. The, relax on the journey back to Sofia.

From Sofia: Plovdiv, Asen's Fortress and Bachkovo Monastery

5. From Sofia: Plovdiv, Asen's Fortress and Bachkovo Monastery

Leave Sofia and enjoy a full-day tour to Plovdiv, Asen's fortress, and Bachkovo Monastery with a licensed guide. See some of the most interesting historic sites in the area, like Nebet Tepe, the Roman theater of Phillippolis, and the Church of the Holy Mother of God on this tour. Leave Sofia and set out for a full-day tour to Plovdiv, Asen's Fortress, and Bachkovo Monastery. Start the day with hotel pickup in Sofia and relax on the 90-minute drive to Plovdiv. Visit the site of Nebet Tepe, an ancient settlement founded around 4000 BC, and see some historical buildings. Travel to the Roman theater of Phillippolis, one of the world's best-preserved ancient theaters. Marvel at the intricate wooden architecture of Hindliyan's house before moving on to the modern Kapana district to explore the shops and wander one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe. Relax on the approximately 30-minute drive from Plovdiv to Asen's Fortress, perched on top of a hill in the beautiful Rhodope Mountains. Learn how the fortress that defended the route from the Aegean Sea to Thrace, and see the ruins of the fort itself and the Church of the Holy Mother of God. Admire some of the fragments of fourteenth-century murals in the church, and see its rectangular tower, believed the be the earliest preserved tower of its kind in the Balkans—Marvel at breathtaking views from the top of the fortress before departing for the next stop. Leave the fortress behind and stop at Bachkovo Monastery, the second-largest monastery in Bulgaria. Explore the main church with one of the oldest iconostasis in Bulgaria and the miraculous Icon of the Virgin Mary, the biggest fresco from the nineteenth century. Wander the Monastery and see the old dining room and original marble table, where monks ate for over three centuries, and gazer at the well-preserved murals in the St. Archangels and St. Nicolas churches. Sit in the courtyard and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and impressive trees. Buy handicrafts, honey, homemade jam, yogurt, herbs, and other gifts on the walk back by the monastery alley before returning back to Sofia on an approximately 2 hour and 20-minute drive.

Sofia: Small Group Walking Tour

6. Sofia: Small Group Walking Tour

Journey through almost 10,000 years of history on a guided walking tour of Sofia, and learn how the city sits on land that has been settled over the centuries by Thracians, Romans, Huns and more. Marvel at its well-preserved monuments and outstanding sights, such as the East Gate of the Serdika ruins from Roman times. Walk through the underpass connecting the Presidential Palace and Ministerial Council to encounter shops selling traditional souvenirs and rosewater. Experience the city's laid-back charm as you explore streets scattered with mosques and impressive onion-domed churches.

From Sofia: Seven Rila Lakes Shuttle Day Transfer

7. From Sofia: Seven Rila Lakes Shuttle Day Transfer

The meeting point for the minivan is behind Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, near café La Cathedrale – you should be there at 7:45. The van will have a sign “Rila Lakes & City Tour” on the front. The departure is at 8 am. You will travel on a scenic road for about 1.5 hours to the mountain resort of Panichishte. There you will continue with the lift. The traveling time with the lift is 20 – 30 minutes. And after that, if you have booked the self-guided option, you will start on your own the hike around the lakes, or if you have booked the guide option, the guide will escort you during the hike. Usually, it takes about 2 hours to walk in each direction. You will be given a total of 5.5 hours to go around the lakes so at 15:30 at the latest you should board back the lift and at 16:00 you should be back at the parking where the driver will expect you for the trip back to Sofia. The estimated return in Sofia is at 18:00.

Sofia Airport Shared Transfer with fixed departure to Bansko

8. Sofia Airport Shared Transfer with fixed departure to Bansko

Avoid the hassle of navigating a foreign transportation system and enjoy a stress-free direct transfer to Bansko. It is a shared transfer service with everyday scheduled departures times for both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 of Sofia Airport. You will be picked up from Sofia Airport and you will be left at our ski rental shop "Ski & Board Traventuria" in Bansko.

From Sofia: Seven Rila Lakes Shuttle Group Day Trip

9. From Sofia: Seven Rila Lakes Shuttle Group Day Trip

The departure for the tour is at 8am. If you have booked non- private option, please be at the meeting point at 7:45. The Seven Rila Lakes are just 1 hour 30 minutes away from the capital Sofia, which makes them a great day trip in the nature. Relax en route as a comfortable minivan takes you to the Panichishte Resort Cable Car which goes us to the Seven Rila Lakes Cirque. See a different side to Bulgaria as you enjoy the hike around the lakes.  Discover all seven of the lakes  and how they have their own name which reflects its typical shape or characteristics. Gaze at the stunning emerald green of the water as you relax in the peaceful countryside. The hiking is with medium difficulty and it is about 2 hours walking in each direction. You will also have about 1 hour time for a lunch break next to the lakes. Please bring your own food. In the morning, the van will stop at a gas station where you will be able to buy snacks and sandwheches as well. The expected return in Sofia is between 5:30 and 6:00 pm.

Sofia: Saeva Dupka, Devetashka and Prohodna Cave Day Tour

10. Sofia: Saeva Dupka, Devetashka and Prohodna Cave Day Tour

After pick-up in Sofia around 8:00 AM, head to Saeva Dupka, with 400 meters of corridors and 5 galleries. Explore the Harmana gallery's acoustic, stalactites, stalagmites, sinter lakes, draperies, and the largest stone column found so far in Bulgaria. Move on to Prohodna cave, one of the most famous caves in Bulgaria. See how it is naturally illuminated by two huge openings in the ceiling, inspiring the cave's local name, Eyes of God Cave. Explore the entrances, including a 45-meter entrance, the largest in Bulgaria.  Finally, see Devetaki Cave, northeast of Lovech. A picturesque karst cave, Devetaki stands at 2442 meters long and 60 meters high. It is one of the most beautiful caves in Bulgaria, full of stories from the Cold War to Hollywood productions. The cave is a protected landmark of national and international significance and has been declared a monument of culture. 

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Frequently asked questions about Sofia

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Sofia?

The best day trips and excursions from Sofia are:

Rila Monastery

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What people are saying about Sofia

was a great way to see the landmarks and main sights of Sophia plus our guide Joy(in English) was amazing really informative and good fun she even booked us a table at traditional restaurant and chose our menu for us of traditional foods would definitely recommend this tour and big thanks once again to joy for making our experience so wonderful

Skopje was a positive surprise for me! I didn’t think I would like it that much. The city is beautiful, diverse and different from everything I’ve ever seen in life. But I do wish we had more time in the city. When I took the tour, we only had 3h30 there and had to see everything in a hurry. Anyways, it was very worth it!

fantastic day out. would definitely recommend, our guide in Skopje lena was very informative and we had plenty of free time. the city itself was really interesting and very cheap! our Bulgarian guide Lubo was a fantastic guy and really helped make this such a great day so thank you

This tour is an unique and interesting way to see more of Bulgaria. We loved all the activities and the transport is comfortable. Our host, Bobby, is a wealth of knowledge and brings a fun element to the group. I would highly recommend this tour!

Great day out, Plovdiv is lovely and our guide Plamin was great, very helpful