The capital of Macedonia’s agricultural heartland, Strumica is a lively town in the southeastern corner of the country. Its long history has been punctuated by major events such as the Byzantine defeat of Bulgar Tsar Samuel in 1014 near Mt. Belasica, which helped restore the south Balkans to Byzantine control. The area abounds with natural treasures like the waterfalls of Smolare and Kolesino, tucked into the wooded hills of Belasica, which stretches in tawny ridges westward and forms the natural border with Greece. Strumica is also the site of a raucous end-of-winter carnival that draws thousands from all over Macedonia each year. Strumica town itself is a fairly representative agricultural town, without many perks though it does feature some good nightlife with numerous cafes and bars packed into a couple streets in the very center, just up from the park. Strumica is located 3 hours from Skopje and buses are frequent.