The Balsha monastery “St. Theodore Stratilat” lies to the north of Sofia, over a clear height in the southern slopes of the Western Balkan Mountain. It is situated some 1.5 km to the northeast of the village of Balsha and some 10km to the northwest of the town of Novi Iskar.
The Batulia monastery “St. Nikolay the Miracle Worker” is situated in the Golema Planina ridge of the Western Balkan Mountain, at the right-hand bank of the Batulia River. It lies some 14km. to the southeast of the town of Svoge, 4km. to the east of the Rebrovo railway station and 1km. to the northeast of the village of Batulia.
The Bilintsi monastery “St. Archangel Michail” is located some 16km. to the northwest of the town of Breznik, Pernik district. It is situated at the foot of the Tsruncha ridge of the small Zaval Mountain, about a kilometer to the northeast of the village of Bilintsi.
The Bistritsa monastery “St. Petka” is situated in the Kalugerovi Livadi area of the Vitosha mountain. It lies in the southern ooutskirts of the village of Bistritsa, some 15km away from the Sofia city.
The Zelin Monastery “The Nativity of Mother of God”, also known as Botevgrad or Orhanie monastery, is situated in the resort area of Zelin near the town of Botevgrad, some 2.5km to the southeast of the town. The monastery is one of few Bulgarian monasteries that lie in the field and not in the mountains.
The Buhovo monastery “Maria Magdalena” is situated about 3km to the northeast of the town of Buhovo close to Sofia, in the southern slopes of the Murgash mountain (the latter being a part of the Western Balkan mountain).
The Bukorovtsi monastery “St. George the Victorious” rises in the a plain close to the village of Bukorovtsi, some 8,2 km. away from the town of Godech and about 50km to the northwest of Sofia.
The Chekotinski monastery “St Archangel Michael” is located 20km to the northeast of the town of Botevgrad and 10km away from the town of Pravets, on the bank of the Malak iskar river in the skirts of the Balkan mountain.
The Chepintsi monastery’s front door is just a couple of steps away from the northeastern part of Sofia City ring road. The monastery, named St Three Saints (Vasilii the Great, Grigorii the Theologian and John Chrysostom), is one of the few monasteries in Bulgaria that are to be found in the field and not in the mountains. It lies close to the remains of the Thracian “Big Hillock” and about 1,500m away from the former village of Chepintsi, currently a quarter of Sofia.
The Divotino monastery “Holy Trinity” is one of the oldest and best-preserved cloisters in the Sofia region. At present, it functions as a monk brotherhood. The monastery lies in the northern slopes of the Lyulin Mountain, about 10km away from the village of Divotino and 4km to the southwest of the Michailovo quarter of the town of Bankya. The place is exceptionally picturesque and wild, while the monastery is surrounded by wooded hills and two brooks that cross by its walls.
The Dragalevtsi monastery, named “Virgin Mary of Vitosha”, is located about 3 km kilometers south of the village of Dragalevtsi (which became formally a quarter of Sofia a few years ago), up in the lower parts of the Vitosha mountain. One of the most beautiful monasteries, it could be a perfect stop during a weekend trip in the mountain.
The Eleshnitsa monastery “St Virgin May” is situated just above the village of Eleshnitsa (named Yordankino up to 1991), a few kilometers to the east of Sofia. It lies in the valley of the Yakovishtitsa river in the Western part of the Balkan mountain, 4km to the northeast of the village.
The “St Trinity” monastery is situated at the foot of the Black Peak of the Balkan mountains (not to be confused with the more pupular Black Peak of the Vitosha mountain), about 5km east of the town of Etropole. It is built over a lime rock, wherefrom its nickname of ‘Varovitets’ (Lime Monastery) must come. The surrounding area is perfect for an enjoyable holiday in the open air and a good rest.
The German monastery, “St Ivan of Rila”, is situated in a beautiful forestry area of the Lozen mountain close to Sofia. The monastery lies about 5km to the southeast of the village of German, which in turn is just 15km to the southeast of the city of Sofia.
The Gigintsi monastery “St. St. Kozma and Damyan” is situated below the peak of Kitka (1118m.) in the relatively low mountain of Cherna Gora, about 4km to the southeast of the village of Gigintsi and some 16km to the southwest of Breznik. Because of its location, the monastery is also known as Tsarnogorski or Chernogorski (Cherna Gora) monastery.
The Holy Spirit monastery, also known as the Godech monastery, is situated close to the Bulgarian-Serbian border, to the northwest of Sofia. It lies in the western end of the town of Godech, about 100m. away from the road connecting Godech to the town of Dragoman.
The Gorna Banya monastery, also known as the Lyulin monastery (after the Lyulin mountain in which it nests) is named after the St Cyril and St Methodius. It is located 5-6km away from the Gorna Banya quarter of Sofia.
The Gorni Bogrov monastery “St George the Victorious” is situated at the end of the Gorni Bogrov village, on the main road from Sofia to Varna.
The Ilientsi monastery “St Prophet Ilia” is situated in the Sofia quarter of Ilientsi, on 13 Petunia st. “St Prophet Ilia” is one of few Bulgarian monasteries that are built in the field and in close proximity to houses. It consists of a church, a one-storey residential building, a fountain and a wooden belltower next to it.
The Kladnitsa monastery “St Nikolay Mirikliiski the Miracle-Worker” is situated 30km away from Sofia, on the Western slope of the Vitosha mountain. It rises a few kilometers above the village of Kladnitsa, built over a hill between two rivers some 1,200m above sea level. A marvelous view to the entire Pernik field is revealed from the yard of the monastery in western direction.
Besides the more popular Klisura monastery in the Balkan mountain, there is another monastery carrying the same name, called after the nearby village of Klisura. The latter lies in the outskirts of Sofia, just a few km away from the town of Bankya.
The Kokalyane cloister, St Archangel Michael, is also known as the Urvich monastery. It is situated amid a beautiful scenery of the Plana mountain, about 4km away from the village of Kokalyane (in the outskirts of the city of Sofia) and some 6km to the northeast of the village of Zheleznitsa.
The Kremikovtsi monastery, named St George, is located about 3km away from the quarter of Kremikovtsi, up in the lower parts of the Balkan mountain. While travelling on the way to the monastery, the visitor starts to feel sorry for having chosen it as a destination for the ugly places the road passes through – industrial sites and dilapidated corporate hostels for accommodation of blue-collar workers at the nearly steel mill. Yet after getting out of the very quarter of Kremikovtsi, one is taken by the beautiful landscape of the monastery’s surrounding, where no trace of the polluted air or the unpleasant view at the foot of the hills is to be found.
The Lozen monastery, St Spas, can be reached on foot from the eastern end of the Lozen village in the suburbs of Sofia. It takes 20-30 minutes to get there from the village by following the road to the highest peak in the Lozen mountain – Polovrak.
The Obradovtsi monastery named “St Martyr Mina” lies 7.5km to the northeast of Sofia in the former village of Obradovtsi, currently a quarter of Sofia. It is built on the southern bank of the Vladayska river amid flowery meadows.
The Odranitsa monastery “St. St. Apostles Peter and Pavel” is situated some 2-3km away from the village of Odranitsa, which in turn lies in the municipality of Zemen, about 25km. to the north of the town of Zemen. The monastery is located in the Erulska mountain, to the north of the Shevarna neighbourhood of Odranitsa.
The Osenovlak or else called Sedemte Prestola (i.e. the Seven Altars) monastery lies in a charming part of the Balkan mountains at the foot of the Izmerets peak. The monastery, bearing the religious name of Our Lady, was built in the beautiful valley of the medium-sized Gabrovnitsa river, in the skirts of the Northern Balkans. As the distance between the city of Sofia and the monastery is about 86km, Sedemte Prestola is a popular destination for a weekend trip out of the city.
The Pancharevo monastery St Nikolay Letni Miracleworker is situated in the Ihtiman part of the Sredna Gora mountain, about 5km away from the village of Pancharevo on the road to Samokov. It lies on the right-hand bank of the Iskar river in its Pancharevo defile, close to the Urvich fortress.
The Pasarel monastery “St. St. Apostles Peter and Paul” is situated about 5km to the southeast of the village of Pasarel, down the old road that connected the city of Sofia with the town of Samokov. The monastery lies among the beautiful meanders of the Iskar River. Pasarel in turn is situated about 31km to the southeast of the ring road of Sofia.
The St Theodor Tiron monastery is located about 2-3km away from the town of Pravets, following the road to Etropole. It lies in the Etropole part of the Balkan mountain, and is naturally bounded by the relatively low Bilo mountain to the South and the defile of the Vitomeritsa river to the north.
The Resilovo monastery “The Shroud of God’s Mother” is situated in the northwestern slopes of the Rila Mountain, about 1.5km away from the village of Resilovo. Its imposing buildings can be seen already from the main road between the town of Dupnitsa and the spa resort of Sapareva Banya.
The Rila monastery lies in the very Rila mountain, at 1,147 meters above sea level. It is situated 117km away from Sofia to the south, and is no doubt the most popular tourist site among all monasteries in Bulgaria equally for its size, natural surroundings, architecture, wall paintings and ancient history. The monastery is flanked by the small mountain rivers of Rilska and Drushlyavitsa and is only 4 hours walking distance from the Malyovitsa peak, rising at 2,729 meters above sea level. The highest peak of the Rila mountain, Mousala (2925 meters), which is also the Balkan peninsula’s highest point, is further away at about 8 hours’ walk. The monastery offers a great view to the surrounding peaks of the mountain and represents a developed tourist sight with all the accompanying facilities such as souvenir shops, restaurants and inns.
The Ruen monastery, “St John of Rila”, is situated in a beatiful place close to the town of Boboshevo which lies about 8km away off the main road connection Sofia to the border checkpoint of Kulata. A couple of kilometers further from the town is the village of Skrino, the native place of St. Ivan of Rila, while the moneastery is up in the mountain above the village.
The Samokov-based convent “The Shroud of God’s Mother” is situated in the very town of Samokov, on Tsar Boris 3 street. It is open to visitors every day, while the church’s holiday is marked on the 1st of October, the day of the Shroud of Saint God’s Mother.
The Seslavtsi monastery “St Nikolay Mirikliiski” is situated above the village of Seslavtsi, some 21km to the east of Sofia. The village is easy to reach by following the signs to Kremikovtsi. The monastery, of which the church is the only remaining building, lies in the southern slopes of the Western Balkan mountain.
The Shuma monastery “St Archangel Michail”, also known as the Lopushna monastery, is situated in the adjacent lands of the Shuma village, some 40km to the west of the capital city of Sofia. The monastery lies in the northern skirts of the Chepun mountain, a part of the Western ridge of the Balkan mountain, and in close proximity to Lopushna (Reketo) – one of the neighbourhoods of Shuma. The monastery is about 6km away from the town of Godech and 1km away from the village of Shuma.
The Skravena monastery “St Nikolay” is situated outside the village of Skravena in northern direction, some 1.5km away from the E-79 main road. The village of Skravena in turn is a part of the Botevgrad municipality, Sofia district. The monastery is clearly seen from the E-79 road, as it lies on a hill.
The Trun monastery “St. Archangel Michail” lies about 2km. to the north of the town of Trun. The monastery complex consists of a church and a residential building.
The Vladaya monastery “St Petka” is located above the railway station of the Vladaya quarter of Sofia, opposite Vladaya and across the main road that connects Sofia and the town of Pernik. It lies in the southern slope of the Lyulin Mountain and overlooks the Vladaya defile – the southwestern entrance to the capital city.
The Vrachesh monastery “St Forty Martyrs” is situated some 5km to the west of the village of Vrachesh, which in turn lies another 5km away from the town of Botevgrad.
The Zemen monastery, named St John the Theologian, is situated just outside the town of Zemen, about 15km down off the main road from Sofia to the town of Kyustendil and the border checkpoint of Gyeshevo. It is located in a beautiful area in the skirts of the Konyavska mountain, not far away from the Zemen defile in the valley of the Struma river.