Strumica is located in the south-east corner of Macedonia. With its population approaching 100.000, Strumica is the major cultural and economic center of south-eastern Macedonia. The clear star-covered night skies have lended the name to this southern Macedonian town. Namely, because the star-filled night sky covering the Strumica valley, this town was known in the antiquity as Astraion (The Town of Stars), and the local people called themselves Astrai. The city is famous for its fortress Carski Kuli (Tzar's towers). The fortress was erected on a hill southwest of Strumica. Intertestingly, the oldest findings speak of life in this area before the Roman Empire. Strumica is the center of the spacious rich Strumica valley. Here are grown poppy (mak), cotton, tobacco, sesame, peanuts and anason, a rare culture which is used to produce the famous Macedonian whiskey - Mastika. All this enables, to develop the textile and food industry in Strumica. The Church of St. Leontius from the 11th century is the most famous historical monument around Strumica. The locals also call it Vodocha, which means poking eyes (vadi-ochi). The legend states that it was here where the 14.000 soldiers were blinded by the Byzantine Emperor Basil II. According to a Hylendar act, this monastery is considered a bishop's residency in the Strumica region. Today, this monastery is only for monks, while the monastery of the Holy Mother of Eleisa nearby is the nun's monastery. The frescoes in St. Leontius' church are well preserved, which is quite fortunate, given that they greatly resemble the ones found in St. Sophia's church in Ohrid.
Strumica is also known for the traditional Strumica carnival, which has its roots in the pagan tradition. The carnival takes place every year during the Christian Feast Trimeri, the first three days after the Day of Forgiveness, is also known as the three most strict days of the Great Easter fasting. Strumica is a member of FECC, the Federation of European Carnival Cities.
15 km away from Strumica is the Spa Banjsko, with its mineral streams considered to be the hotest in Macedonia (75C degrees). The remainings of the old Roman and Turkish baths are well preserved here.