Sun-drenched Gevgelija, located only a few kilometers above the Greek border, is not only the crossing point for the E-75 international highway but also an enjoyable destination in its own right. It offers a wide variety of outdoor activities, as well as excellent and fresh cooking, cultural events, nightlife and more.
Spa lovers will enjoy the luxurious Negorci spa, just 4 km (2.4 m) from the town center. This state-of-the-art complex for restorative health features 2 pools, heated from 38-40 degrees Celsius, as well as a center for physical therapy. A similar nearby facility is found 24 km (14.4 m) from Gevgelija, 850 km (528 m) above sea level on stunning Mt. Kozuf. The resort, known as ‘Smrdliva Voda,’ is famous for its sulphur baths and water used for healing gastric and kidney diseases. This spa is fully outfitted with 400 villas, a hotel, sports center and ski slopes.
Gevgelija has its sultry climate to thank for its leading position as a Macedonian agricultural center. The area enjoys 240 days a year without frost, with an average yearly temperature of 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit). Mt. Kozuf provides a natural and very visible border between the Mediterranean climate, marked by arid, rocky hills, and the continental climate, marked by grassy fields and deciduous and pine forests. This biodiversity has made the Gevgelija region one of Macedonia’s ecological rarities. Aside from wild flora and fauna, Gevgelija’s mixed climate and modern farming methods have blessed the area with a cornucopia of different fruits and vegetables: tomatoes, red peppers, cherries, watermelons, sunflowers, grapes, strawberries, peaches, pomegranates, onions and apples- you name it, they grow it.
Although it is known primarily for its agriculture, Gevgelija also has a long history of culture. Theatrical performances were first held in 1908, followed two years later by the establishment of a public reading room. Around the same time, residents began enjoying Sunday orchestra concerts.
Gevgelija’s cultural focus has continued right through to the present. The town’s music school thrives, and a summer art camp and ballet performances are held. The Gevgelija traditional dance troupe, finally, helps keep the traditions of old Macedonia alive today.
Dawn at Gevgelija
The settlement that was to become Gevgelija first sprang up around the confluence of two major Balkan trade routes: the Via Egnatia running east-west and the north-south road that followed the River Vardar.
Since both roads ultimately ended in Thessalonica, only 70 km (42 m) away, Gevgelija’s attention has always turned southwards. The construction of the Skopje-Thessalonica railway in 1873 dramatically increased the importance of Gevgelija, the last Macedonian station before Greece.
Even in ancient times, Gevgelija was an important part of the Macedonian world. Necropolises dating from the 8th-4th centuries B.C.E. have been discovered at the Suva Reka archaeological site near the town, and other excavations carried out nearby have unearthed the ruins of impressive public buildings, an agora, and numerous amphorae, glassware and other objects all bearing the seal of the royal house of Macedon. These finds have attracted worldwide attention and visits from leading American archaeologists.
Today, the Gevgelija Museum contains numerous documents, archaeological rarities and artifacts from Macedonia’s history.