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Europe > Balkans > Macedonia (country) > Povardarie > Demir Kapija

Demir Kapija

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The "Iron Gate" of the Demir Kapija Canyon, leading to the town

Demir Kapija is a town located in the Povardarie region of the Republic of Macedonia. Its name is Turkish for "Iron Gate", which refers to the canyon near the town. The area is also known for its wineries, particularly the Popova Kula Winery.

Get in[edit]

There are 8 trains per day, 4 are local, and 4 are international Half are northbound, the other half, southbound. Demir Kapija is on the Skopje-Thessaloniki line, roughly between the two locations. There are also buses and van services from the near-by town of Negotino. Buses infrequently stop in the city. Taxi service is inexpensive in Macedonia and another option to go where you need to quickly. The local car dealership Volkwagon Start may rent cars.

Get around[edit]

Demir Kapija is small enough to walk around on foot and has the hospitality of a village. There are no exchange offices here, however. There is a gas station on the highway that sometimes deals in Euros if you want to exchange small bills. There is an ATM along the main street for withdrawals of local currency.

See[edit]

Map of Demir Kapija

The Demir Kapija Canyon sits just outside of town, with its limestone walls towering above the Vardar River. The canyon is home to 13 caves.

  • Prosek - also known as Stenae, is an ancient settlement located in the Demir Kapija Canyon. This ancient settlement had an excellent strategical and war position. It was discovered in 1948. Some things that have been found here include four towers that remain standing today, many ceramic objects, jewelery, coins, and a few acropoli and neocropoli.
  • 1 Bela Voda cave (Бела Вода). Just a few hundred meters downstream from Demir Kapija, this cave is one of the longest in Macedonia.

Do[edit]

Popova Kula Winery
Wine barrels in a cellar at Popova Kula
  • The House of Culture - offers dramas, guest groups, local folklore dances, and movies on a rare occasion. See the billboard in front of the theater for events and times.
  • Demir Kapija is a haven for outdoors enthusiasts. Alpinists, hikers, splonkers, kyakers, and mountain bikers can all find challenging or moderate game amongst the rocks of the Iron Gate. The Iron Gate is the name of the rock opening formation the river Vardar flows through into the canyon from.
  • If walking is your fancy, an interesting walk is past the city and through the first tunnel on the main highway. There is parking where you can go down to the Iberlija River and hike along the stream like an open-ended cave. The river passes by 3 Turkish village in 10 to 15 km, each 5 km apart. There are trails up to the Crastavic mountain and up to the limbstone rock towers that overlook the river and offer an impressive view of the canyon beyond. Visit the city itself and walk by the old winery. Go through the grape fields and up to the new winery at the top of the hill.

Wineries[edit]

  • The city itself is home to the royal winery and vineyards of the former Yugoslavian King Alexandar Karadjordjevic.
  • 2 Popova Kula (Попова Кула), Bulevar na vinoto no. 1. A newer winery positioned at the top of the hill, Popova Kula, represents a fort tower that was positioned during the Turkish period. Sampling and tours are available from both wineries.

Eat[edit]

There are several sandwich restaurants along the main streets.

  • Lovec and Kuckin Restaurants are available in the center.
  • Vodenica, a great guest and fish restaurant is just past the bridge, turn left onto a dirt lane. Follow it to the end for a beautiful surrounding with traditional food in a good setting.
  • Pizza restaurants and Kafanas are also within the city.
  • Along the highway, 13 km into the canyon is the restaurant 113, marking the 113 km from Skopje.

Drink[edit]

The local drink is a grape brandy called Rakija. Homemade wine is available from most restaurants.

One night club are available. Parsifal is in the center.

Sleep[edit]

The restaurant Lovec in the center offers a few beds and private rooms at 250 MKD a night, which is about €6. The wineries offer hotel services from €30. There is a mountain hut for alpinists who train on the rocks. Beds are 150MKD a night or €3, shared rooms and bathrooms. Please contact the municipality office for the key.

Go next[edit]

  • Klisura village - next train stop after Demir Kapija, 5 km from the town. Visit the St. Nikolas church, monastery and hike to the rocks of Krastavic mountain for a view of the canyon clear to the Macedonian border with Greece.
  • Došnica camp grounds - 3 km west of Demir Kapija. Along the river Došnica with many hiking trails and a fish hatchery.
  • Belo Voda camp grounds - 10 km near the village Kalanjevo on the mountain Serta.
  • Dracevica village - Mountain hut with bedding available. The church Sv. Gjorgi has rare old testament frescoes.
  • Demir Kapija Canyon - Roughly 20 km long, largest in the Balkans. A natural reservation and habitat to many rare birds.
  • Konopište - 15 km south of Demir Kapija on the village road, past the church. Rare geomorphic rocks and hiking to the highest peaks of the Kosuf Mountain--2200m. Gorska Water is headquartered here.
  • Negotino - This town is north of Demir Kapija 18 km. There are wineries, decent night life, and easy transit.
  • Gevgelija - South of Demir Kapija and the border with Greece. West of Gevgelija are Sulfer Water Springs and the Ski Center Kozuf.
  • Stobi - Ancient Roman city and crossroads of the Roman Empire. Train service daily.
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