I believe I’ve been bragging about the Rila Monastery and our roadtrip since my first post written about Sofia. And finally: here it is! The Rila Monastery is one of the most photographed places near Sofia and we didn’t want to miss it for the world. Because we had some other day trips planned, we decided to rent a car for two days. This way we couldn’t only see the Rila Monastery but also the amazing countryside in between, which took us to the most photogenic junk yard e-ver!
Rent a car Sofia
You can reach the Rila Monastery in several ways departing from Sofia. There are normal busses, but you can also rent a mini-van or go with an organised tour. We decided to book our own car so we could enjoy the road in between.
Want to rent a car during your stay in Sofia? It might be a good plan to do this at the airport. It might be a little bit more expensive but it feels reliable (all big renting companies are present) and the hours are more flexible so you can pick up or bring your car back on a Sunday or in the evening.
Vintage junk yard
One of the reasons to travel to the Rila Monastery by car, is so you can visit this amazing junk yard half way in between. To be honest, that term doesn’t do it justice… You’ll find all sorts of vintage items, not only cars and motorcycles but also post-war clothes and propaganda, vintage televisions and radios.
This is truly a place you could spend hours, whenever you turn a corner there is more, and more, it just doesn’t stop! Everything you see is the private collection of owner Billy. He has been collecting for years and is still actively doing so. Across the terrain you’ll see a lot of his ongoing projects, for example cars that he is still working on.
Entrance is free but a donation is appreciated. You’ll find the junk yard driving from Sofia to Rila, at the end of the village Kocherinovo, is a big red gate, there you’re allowed to enter vintage heaven.
The Rila Monastery is one of those day trips really worth your time when you’re visiting Sofia. With its striped buildings, high mountains and particular location, it’s one of the most photogenic monasteries you’ll ever see, that I can promise you.
If you decide to visit the Rila Monastery, think about making a combination with the Seven Rila Lakes. These seven lakes are located high in the mountains and are reachable via a lift and a small walking route.