Valandovo (Macedonian: Валандово) is a town located in southeastern North Macedonia. Home to over 4,000 people, it is the seat of a municipality of the same name which covers a further 28 settlements. Valandovo is known for being home to an annual folk fest that has produced many of the Macedonian peoples' greatest songs. The town is also the birthplace of former Macedonian president Gjorge Ivanov.
Valandovo sits east of the Vardar River as it flows toward Greece, in the same valley that extends to Gevgelija. The municipality still maintains an important Turkish minority, making up over one-tenth of the population, but there are perhaps a dozen abandoned or nearly abandoned villages in this area that were once home to Turkish communities that have all but left for Turkey since the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
Valandovo was the site of two major historic events of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization. The first was in 1899 against Ottoman forces which resulted in the arrest and torture of about 100 individuals from the Valandovo area and nearby towns. The second occurred in 1915 against the new Serbian rulers, part of World War I. Serbia accused Bulgaria of orchestrating the rebels, which Bulgaria denied. The local Macedonian and Turkish populations were subject to arrest and torture by Serbian authorities, leading thousands to flee to Bulgaria.
- 1 Isar Kale (Исар Кале). This archaeological site dates from Late Antiquity, located to the northwest of the town on a hilltop above the Anska River. Most of what is left is remains of defense tower, but there fragments of ceramics and coins have also been found here.
- 2 Church of Saint Demetrius (Црква „Св. Димитриј“). The main church of Valandovo was built in 1830. It features a prominent bell tower and contains icons dating from the 14th century. The church's current iconostasis was completed in 1989.
- 3 Church of Saint George (Црква „Св. Ѓорѓи“). In the Middle Ages, an important and impressive church stood on the site today occupied by a 1934-built church that is small and quite average in appearance.
- 4 Isar (Исар), village of Marvinci. The most significant archaeological site in this area dates from the 7th century BC to the 6th century AD. It sits on an elevation providing views of the Valandovo Valley and the Vardar River. The site consists of remains of an acropolis, a Roman city, fortifications, and a necropolis. Most of what can be seen today are building foundations and some pillars and archways, as well as building pieces with inscriptions. The site was first discovered during the First World War, but archaeological excavations remain underway today.
- 5 Kosturnica Memorial (Спомен-костурница), village of Udovo. This memorial chapel is found at the entrance to the village of Udovo. It was built to honor the fallen Serbian soldiers of World War I who died in this area. After Alexander I of Yugoslavia visited the area in 1931, he ordered the construction of the chapel. It was completed in 1936 and houses the remains of around 2,000 soldiers. The chapel is built of stone and capped by a dome. Udovo was a Turkish village a century ago, but is now home to an almost entirely Macedonian population of around 850 people.
- 6 Church of Saint Michael the Archangel (Црква „Св. Архангел Михаил“), village of Grčište. Built in the mid-19th century, this church's frescoes were painted by the Donev brothers from Gari near Debar. The church also features a detached bell tower.
- Valandovo Municipality is home to a couple of waterfalls, one near the village of Prsten and the other near the village of Kočuli.
- Folk Fest Valandovo (Фолк Фест Валандово). One of the most popular folk events in Macedonia, held annually since 1985.
Rooms are available at Central Cafe (corner of Marsala Tito/Goce Delcev)