Belasica (Macedonian and Bulgarian: Беласица , also translit. Belasitsa or Belasitza, Ottoman Turkish:[1] بلش Turkish: Beleş), Belles (Greek: Μπέλλες, Bélles) or Kerkini (Greek: Κερκίνη, Kerkíni;), is a mountain range in the region of Macedonia in Southeastern Europe, shared by northeastern Greece (about 45%), southeastern North Macedonia (35%) and southwestern Bulgaria (20%).

Kalabak IMG 4600.jpg
Kalabak (Radomir) – the highest summit in Belasitsa mountain.
Highest point
Elevation2,029 m (6,657 ft)
Native name
Belasiza Balkan topo de.jpg
Location of Belasica (circled in red)
CountriesGreece, North Macedonia and Bulgaria
Range coordinates41°20′N 22°57′E / 41.333°N 22.950°E / 41.333; 22.950Coordinates: 41°20′N 22°57′E / 41.333°N 22.950°E / 41.333; 22.950


The mountain range is fault-block mountain about 60 km (37.28 mi) long and 7 to 9 km (4.35 to 5.59 mi) wide and is situated just northeast of Dojran Lake. The highest point is Radomir (Kalabaka) at 2,031 m, with elevation otherwise ranging between 300 and 1900 m above sea level. The borders of all three countries meet at Tumba Peak. The climate in the area shows strong Mediterranean influence.

The area of Belasica became a euroregion in 2003. Two football teams are named after the mountain range, PFC Belasitsa from the nearby Bulgarian town of Petrich and FC Belasica from Strumica in North Macedonia.


Since ancient times Greeks refer to the range as Ὄρβηλος (Modern Greek: ˈ, Ancient Greek: ˈor.bɛː.los).[2][3] According to the ancient authors it was a mountain range in the border area between Thrace and Macedonia.[4] It is generally equated today with the modern Belasica.[5] The name Órbēlos is probably derived from the ancient Thracian/Paionian toponym of the mountain, which means "shining mountain", from belos – "blazing" or "shining", and or – "mountain".[6] It was known for its Dionysos cult. [7]

The area is also particularly famous for the Battle of Kleidion of 1014, which proved crucial for the fall of the First Bulgarian Empire.


Kongur Glacier on Smith Island, South Shetland Islands is named after the peak and nature reserve of Kongur on Belasitsa Mountain.

Photo galleryEdit

See alsoEdit


  • Belasitsa. Tourist map, Sofia, 2006.
  • Благоевъ, Т. А. Бѣласица. София, 1925.
  • Динчев, Евг., Атанасов, П. Високите планини на Република Македония. Пътеводител, София, 1998, стр. 214–224.
  • "Енциклопедия Пирински край". Том 1, Благоевград, 1995, стр. 78.


  1. ^ Rumeli-i Şahane Haritası, Harvard Map Collection, Ottoman Empire Series, Index Map, 1:210,000 Scale, c. 1901/1902,$17i Retrieved 17.05.2016
  2. ^ The Cambridge Ancient History: The Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and Other States of the Near East, from the Eighth to the Sixth Centuries B.C., Nicholas Geoffrey, Lemprière Hammond, Cambridge University Press, 1995, ISBN 0521227178, p. 594.
  3. ^ [1] Archived 2017-04-24 at the Wayback Machine D. C. Samsaris, Historical Geography of Eastern Macedonia during the Antiquity (in Greek), Thessaloniki 1976 (Society for Macedonian Studies), p. 13. ISBN 960-7265-16-5.
  4. ^ (Hdt. 5,16; Str. 7a,1,36; Arr. Anab. 1,1,5)
  5. ^ Brill Online Reference Works – Orbelus von Bredow, Iris (Bietigheim-Bissingen).
  6. ^ Beiträge zur Namenforschung, C. Winter., 1995, S. 241–242.
  7. ^ T. Spiridonov, Istoričeskata geografija na trakijskite plemena, 1983, 24 f., 118.

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