20 Apr Strumica, the Star City
Under the slopes of the mountain Belasica, lays the biggest city in South-East Macedonia, the magnificent city Strumica. In the remote past, it held the names Tiberiopol and Astraion which means the city of stars. Nevertheless, Strumica is a city with outstanding splendour, generous hosts, various history and delicious food. Tzar’s towers raised above the city grant an unforgettable sight to the city’s history. The extensive square along with the vegetation and the monuments altogether gathered in one place form an exceptional vision of this city with a long tradition and culture. If your road leads you to Macedonia, then don’t hesitate to put Strumica on your agenda. Here are the top tourist attractions there.
Tzar’s Tower Fortress
Visible from any point in the city, this fortress raises on a 445 meters height. It is positioned on the south side of the city, on upland on the top of a hill. This location allowed the guards to fully control the three entrances in the city. The fortress itself offers incomparable experience; however, there is a resort next to it, Tzar’s Tower resort or also known as the Kings Tower’s Resort. It has a beautiful restaurant decorated in ethnic Macedonian style along with rooms for overnight stay. The resort also has a mini zoo which mostly excites their youngest visitors. You can comfortably combine your walk around the fortress with one of your meals in the resort’s restaurant. All in all, the atmosphere is totally relaxing and enjoyable. The fortress is about 4 kilometres from the city.
It is one of the highest waterfalls in Macedonia, with a height of 15 m, and a width of about 6 m. According to the outset, it is a tectonic waterfall, created in granite stones. Opposite the Kolesinski waterfall, about a hundred meters away, there are several smaller waterfalls arranged in a row, 2 to 4 meters high, belonging to its central basin. Kolesinski waterfalls are located in the bosom of the Belasica Mountain between maple forests and stone cliffs at an altitude of 610 meters and a water drop of 19 meters which has astonished each and every visitor so far. The distance between the city centre and the waterfalls is around 20km. A couple of kilometres of the waterfalls there is a beautiful restaurant called ‘’Podgorski An’’. This restaurant also cherishes the old Macedonian ethnic style.
In the immediate vicinity of Koleshino and Smolare Waterfall, in the bosom of the Belasica Mountain, hidden from the eyes of the public, are the Gabrovski Waterfalls. They are located right above the village of Gabrovo, after which they take the name. At a distance of one kilometer there are three smaller waterfalls, a height of 4 to 8 meters, and their pure ice cold water flows between thick and branched beech. The water jets of the highest waterfall is broken in the middle one and finally in the smallest one and together they flow past the last house from the village of Gabrovo. Just breaking and falling water from one waterfall to another is making them interesting and different from the two well-known waterfalls in this region. There are rare visitors who have heard of this natural beauty, but the bravest try to climb the narrow and steep goat paths that intertwine the mysterious Belasica Mountain. In this untouched idyll only the bubbles of the water and the song of the birds are heard.
In the municipality of Novo Selo, hidden in a deep forest, fleeing from men’s eye begins the story of the Smolarski waterfall. After a thousand and three hundred steps and 650 meters above sea level you arrive to a perfect place hardly described with words. You will reach there by taking an appropriately built path, with a wooden staircase and a wooden fence that starts from the village of Smolare and leads all the way to the waterfall itself. Along the path you will have the opportunity to enjoy a slightly different view – an unreal beauty. This waterfall is considered to be the largest and the only consistent waterfall in Macedonia that constantly has a water drop of as much as 39.5 meters. Belasica Mountain is believed to hide a few more untouched waterfalls to which it is almost impossible to reach, but you will hear the sound of their buzzing echoes from the sides of the mountain. When being here you could take a rest in the charming restaurant called ‘’Atlantis’’, or in the complex ‘’Lebedovo Ezero’’ which also has rooms in case you choose to stay over in this beautiful rural region.
Churches, Monasteries and Archeological localities
In the south side of the city is the church complex The Holy Fifteen Tiberiopolis Martyrs. Then, 4 kilometres west of Strumica, there is the monastery Saint Leontius located in the village of Vodocha. In the same direction but a lit bit further there is another renowned monastery, Holy Mother of God Eleusa, located in the village of Veljusa. You could use the day to visit Strumin tomb, a medieval tomb located 3 kilometres from Strumica near the village of Banica. Strumin tomb is related to a number of interesting legends which locals would love to tell you about. For the better orientation of the villages on this side here is some help, first comes Banica then Vodocha and finally Veljusa. If you enjoy visiting archaeological localities, then you wouldn’t like to miss the Roman Thermal in the village of Bansko, 12 kilometres east of Strumica. Except for the remaining of the once famous bath, next to it there is a hotel built called Tzar Samouil, with a hot water healing pool inside.
Strumica is known as the city with the best nightlife in Macedonia. Currently, there are three night bars there: Avatar (newly open), Select and Platinum. All of them offer great fun. There are plenty of beautiful coffees and the most frequently visited are Concept, Gold and Que Passa. There also many great restaurants which besides the delicious food also offer cheerful nights with live bands playing all kinds of music. Some of them are Shalom, Bonita, Happiness and Vila Park. A saying goes, there isn’t a single person who visited Strumica and didn’t want to stay there forever.