Kopaonik Mountain Resort
Kopaonik, the largest mountain range in Serbia, extends from the northwest to the southeast for 80 km, and has a width of around 40 km in the middle. The highest section of Kopaonik is the spacious Ravni Kopaonik plateau around which rise Suvo Rudište and Pančićev Vrh (the highest peak at 2017 m).
Kopaonik has a subalpine climate and and is rightfully known as the Mountain of the Sun for there are almost 200 sunny days during the year. Cold and heavy air is channelled away to the surrounding valleys and basins, meaning that winter temperatures are not too low (the mean annual temperature on Ravni Kopaonik is 3.7°C). Snow falls from the end of November and stays until May, which is on average 159 days a year.
Kopaonik gained its name from the Serbian word kopatiwhich means ‘to dig’ because of the rich ore resources which were mined here for centuries. Volcanic activity and the discharge of hot mineral solutions caused changes in the surrounding rocks, creating the rich Kopaonik mining region from which iron, lead and zinc were excavated.
Due to its valuable ecosystem, Kopaonik became a national park in 1981. Kopaonik National Park covers an area of 11,810 hectares and based on the number of endemic species, it is one of Serbia’s most important biodiversity hotspots for endemic flora. Kopaonik’s important endemic and rare species include the Kopaonik houseleek (Sempervivum kopaonikensis), the Kopaonik violet (Viola kopaonikensis), Pančićeva režuha (Cardamine pancicii), Serbian flax, Pančićev vijuk and eidelweiss. Kopaonik’s rich variety of animal species deserve special attention, of which the Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Tawny Owl, Shore Lark, Common Crossbill, Eagle-Owl, dormouse, wildcat, fallow deer, amongst others, stand out.
Kopaonik mountain is especially beautiful for its distinctive landscape of dense coniferous forests (spruce and fir) at higher elevations and mixed beech and oak forests on its slopes, pastures and meadows and prominent peaks from which views extend to the Šar Mountains and the Komovi and Stara Planina mountains.
Kopaonik lends itself to active relaxation throughout the year and is the largest and best-known Serbian ski centre. The Ravni Kopaonik plateau is centred around tourism, with a wide range of accommodation and a network of ski slopes amongst other facilities. Another tourist hotspot is located near the village of Brzeća, on the eastern slope of Kopaonik. The first class ski slopes lie between 1650 m and 2017 m above sea-level. This tourist resort has a network of 24 ski-lifts connected in one system and 2 children’s lifts, and caters for all types of skiers. The ski-lift system covers the ski slopes total 55 km in length. The system can handle 32,000 skiers an hour. Guests also have the use of a 12km-slope for Nordic skiing, and in Crvene Bare there are marked slopes of 3, 5 and 10 km in length. Ski hire and repair services are also available, as well as snowmobile hire.
Walking excursions (to the Metođa spring and Semeteško Jezero lake), mountain biking and basketball, tennis, riding and English language schools also take place on Kopaonik. A diverse range of children’s programmes, as well as slimming and fitness programmes, are offered here and there are a great many sport grounds, which are ideal for sports team training camps. The jagged landscape of Kopaonik is ideal for paragliding.
The Jošanička, Lukovska and Kuršumlijska (at the foot of Kopaonik) spas are very close to Kopaonik, while the rich thermal springs of the Vrnjačka, Mataruška and Sijarinska spas are just a little further away. Kopaonik, too, has mineral springs: the lightly radioactive Krčmar spring, which is 1700 m above sea-level, and Marine Vode (1950 m).
The historical significance of the Kopaonik region as the seat of the mediaeval Serbian state is illustrated by the remains of fortified towns (Zvečan, Koznik and Maglić) on the peaks of the central massif and the mining areas (Stari Trg and Novo Brdo), as well as the churches and monasteries (Gradac, Pavlica, Studenica, Žiča and Sopoćani), the endowments of Serbian rulers, nestled at the foot of the Kopaonik mountain range.
Kopaonik is the largest ski resort in Serbia with excellently prepared runs, which offers unlimited joy to all categories of skiers, from beginners to highly skilled ones. Kopaonik ski resort comprises of about 55km of runs for alpine skiing and12 km of runs for cross country (nordic) skiing. For those who enjoy skiing at night, we have prepared a lighted run “Malo Jezero” in the very centre of the resort. Apart from that, for the youngest skiers and all those who are taking their first ski steps, we have prepared a secured “ski kindergarten” area with a conveyor belt and a carousel which makes learning basic skiing skills easier.
The artificial snowing system covers 97% of the resort. This system covers the following runs: Karaman A and B, Pancicev Vrh, Duboka 1 and 2, Suncana Dolina, Malo Jezero, Krst, Krcmar, Knezevske Bare, Mali Karaman, Marine Vode, Karaman and the adjoining ski roads, as well as the run in Gobelja. The artificial snowing systems make the skiing season last longer, and the skiers, both the beginners and those more experienced ones, can be sure that they will be able to enjoy the season on excellently prepared runs.
All the runs are well connected with a system of chairlifts and ski lifts, with a capacity of over 32.000 skiers per hour. The system comprises of one six-seater chairlift, with the capacity of 3,000 skiers per hour, 4 detachable high speed four-seaters ( with a total capacity of 10,000 skiers per hour), 3 fixed four-seater chairlifts with a loading conveyor belt (total capacity of about 6,200 skiers per hour, two T-bar ski lifts with a capacity of 2,400 skiers per hour and eight platter type ski lifts with a capacity of 6,500 skiers per hour, as well as three interconnecting ski lifts.
During the entire winter season, but also during the summer, apart from skiers and snowboarders, the four seater chair lift “Pancicev vrh” also takes the visitors to this ski resort who take a sightseeing tour of the mountain and take part in other numerous activities that the ski resort offers.
Apart from the runs for alpine and cross country (nordic) skiing, the ski resort Kopaonik also has a snowboard park, which hosts numerous domestic and international competitions.
Ski resort of Kopaonik 1.770 – 2.017 m (Pančić peak)
- Altitude of the Ski Resort: 1770 m
- The highest peak: 2017m (Pancic peak)
- Total length of ski runs for Alpine and Nordic skiing: 62 km
- Snowboard park featuring 450m slope
- Blue runs (easy): 21
- Red runs (medium): 9
- Black runs (difficult): 6
- Number of chairlifts and ski lifts: 24 with baby ski lift (11 chairlifts, 13 ski lifts)
- Total capacity: 32.000 skiers/hour
- Max. altitude difference: 512m
- The longest ski run: 3,50 km
- Number of ski runs in compliance with the FIS standards: 3
- Night skiing run: Small lake – 450m
- Free-ride run: Gobelja
Kopaonik is very popular among young people for its entertainment and fun. In addition to the sledging and ice-skating, families with kids can enjoy the great variety of games and activities in the snow park. For those who are making their first ski steps, the resort features secured “Ski kindergarten” area with a conveyor belt.
If you’re searching for some great nightlife to compliment your active holiday on the snow, look no further. Kopaonik has a buzzing après ski scene that is developing a reputation to match the excellent skiing. Options vary from venues which cater for the crowd who want to carry on partying late into the night – to more intimate spots which welcome those wishing to swap cozy ski stories in more chilled out surroundings with good food.
Access and distance:
- Belgrade airport–Batocina–Kragujevac-Kraljevo–Kopaonik (290km)
- Belgrade airport–Pojate–Krusevac–Brus–Kopaonik (300 km)
- Nis airport–Kopaonik (118km)
Access and distance from other major cities in the region:
- Bucharest–Vidin–Kula–Zajecar–Krusevac–Brus–Kopaonik (585km)
- Timisoara–Vrsac–Belgrade–Krusevac–Brus–Kopaonik (450km)
- Skoplje (E 75, turn Grdelica)–Prokuplje–Brus-Kopaonik (300km)
- Thessaloniki–Kopaonik (479km)
- Ljubljana-Zagreb–Belgrade–Kopaonik (817km)