The Longest Rivers in Macedonia

The Vardar River flows through the Skopje city center.  Editorial credit: hdesislava /
The Vardar River flows through the Skopje city center. Editorial credit: hdesislava /

Macedonia, officially the Republic of Macedonia, is a country located in the southeastern region of Europe, within the Balkan Peninsula. The country has an area of approximately 9,928 square miles and is home to numerous rivers. Most rivers in Macedonia drain into one of three drainage basins:  the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea, or the Adriatic Sea. The Aegean Sea drainage basin is the largest, with an area of about 8,617 square miles, while the Adriatic and the Black Seas have drainage basins that are about 1,293 and 17 square miles in area, respectively. Additionally, the Aegean Sea is the drainage basin for the highest number of rivers in Macedonia, while the Black Sea drains the fewest rivers. The longest river in Macedonia is the Vardar, with a length of about 388 kilometers. The Bregalnica is the second longest, with a length of about 211.5 kilometers, while the Crna River ranks third, with a length of about 207 kilometers. These rivers are highlighted in further detail below.

The Three Longest Rivers in Macedonia


Also known as the Axios River, the Vardar is the longest river in Macedonia, as well as a major river in Greece. The river drains an area of approximately 9,653 square miles and has a maximum depth of about 13 feet. The source of the river located at Vrutok, Macedonia, while its mouth is at the Aegean Sea, near Thessaloniki, Greece. The Vardar is the principal river that drains into the Aegean Sea.


The Bregalnica is the second longest river in Macedonia and drains an area of about 1,663 square miles. The river originates close to Berovo, Macedonia and flows through cities like Makedonska Kamenica and Štip before merging with the Vardar. The mouth of the Bregalnica is located where the river joins with the Vardar. The Bregalnica has a number of tributaries, including the Kamenicka and Zletovica.

Crna River

The Crna River, like the Bregalnica, is also a tributary of the Vardar, which means that its mouth is located at the point where the river joins the Vardar. The Crna River, which translates to the "Black River," starts at Zeleznec and flows through most of Macedonia’s southern and western regions. The river also flows through a number of villages such as Sopotnica and Brod.

Major Rivers That Drain into the Black and Adriatic Seas

The Black Drin is the major that drains into the Adriatic Sea, while Binačka Morava is the largest river that drains into the Black Sea. The Black Drin is the larger of these two rivers, originating at Lake Ohrid and draining into the Drin, which then drains into the Adriatic Sea. The Black Drin converges with the White Drin to from the larger Drin. The Binačka Morava begins in Macedonia near the Skopska Crna Gora mountain range and has a length of about 30 miles.

The Longest Rivers in Macedonia

RankRiverLength (km)
3Crna River207
9Black Drin56

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