The main tourist gem of Serbia is Kopaonik. This mountain beauty offers various “winter joys” – skiing, sledding, fresh air, or, as a song of the music band Galija puts sit “Kopaonik, Kopaonik, na sve strane kiseonik” (Kopaonik, oxygen all around you), it has everything, from good food to a great time.
For years, even decades, people have been coming to Kopaonik primarily for skiing (in recent years, snowboarding has become increasingly popular). More and more foreigners come, too, especially from Romania and Bulgaria but also England and France… From ski-opening, Kopaonik simply comes to life!
Get in cable cars and enjoy the ski trails
What sets Kopaonik apart from other mountains, not only in Serbia but also in the surrounding area, are modern cable cars and well-prepared trails maintained every night.
The ski resort of the Kopaonik ski centre features 25 cable cars and two conveyor belts. Overall length of the trails is 62 km, with the dominating number of so called “blue” trails (19) with the overall length of 8.5 kilometers. There are 10 trails of the “red” category with the overall length of 10.5 kilometers and 6 “black” ones (5.2 km in total).
If you want to try yourself on the slopes but have never been on skis or the board, ski instructors are here to help. There are many of them ranging from licensed instructors to trained middle-level skiers so be careful when choosing your ski teacher. What matters most is your will, so don’t give up after the first, second… fall. It happens to everyone, even the most experienced skiers!
There is a dedicated ski school for children, an area with slight slopes. And if your child does not feel like skiing, why don’t you have some fun on the sleds?
On the road with us to Kopaonik
Mountain rescue service – when they are here, winter dangers are not
The mountain rescue service takes care of safety of all skiers and snowboarders. The service is composed of experienced mountain-climbers, speleologists, divers, skiers, doctors… In case of injuries on the trails, or if someone gets lost (Kopaonik may be tough on you), these guys always jump in to help, and without them this Ski Centre would not function.
Luka, doctor by trade, is one of those guys who take care of the safety of skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. He combines, as he says, “the useful and the pleasant”. Luka is fond of skiing but even more – of helping people. After completing the course where he studied the basics of technical rescue, first aid, stay in the mountains and orienteering…he became a member of the mountain rescue service in 2015.
We start our day early before the ski resort opens. We get up one hour earlier, have breakfast and when trails open at 08.30 am we are there and stay until the closure of the resort, sometimes later if the working hours are extended when someone gets injured in the after-hours
Fortunately, there are many more perfect days than other, worse days. It has happened, however, that due to various injuries they stay on tracks all day long, to take care of the injured; then there are also those who get lost because they simply don’t follow instructions.
Here are some of his tips for those coming to the mountain. You have to remember that mountain is not a playground, it can change its mood swiftly.
Everyone who comes to ski should, above all, come prepared for the mountain. Physical fitness is very important for this sport. And another thing is to follow some basic rules on ski slopes – not to ride too fast, to stick to your part of the track and not to endanger either yourself, or other people
There are plenty of trails in Kopaonik, both for beginners and skilled skiers. Luka adds that this year a new trail was opened – on Karaman ridge 7B – and it is quite good for beginners.
It is long and wide, it has a nice slope, so it is ideal for beginners to learn to ski, and last year’s Gvozdac trail, right behind us, has also been extended to trails 19B and 19A with an exceptionally nice slope for advanced skiers and suitable length
We don’t want to invoke bad luck but just in case: The mountain rescue service’s phone number: 064/ 466 466.
Blueberry pie – one-of-a-kind
Many enthusiasts of ski sports like to take a break, to rest and to recover. Kopaonik trails offer many cafes for that.
We have visited the most famous one, “Skituljak”. Undoubtedly, because of the renowned blueberry pie.
It is a fasting pie that everybody likes, rich in blueberries. And we were the first to introduce it in Kopaonik. It is made of real blueberries that grow here, wild blueberries, not the American tree-growing ones, which gives the pie its special taste and flavour. And of course, we have our secret how we make the pie
Aleksandar Čajić, nicknamed “Skituljko”, told us.
For adrenaline junkies – sledding
If you want to take a break from skiing and snowboarding, or if you are not a skier (boarder), you have to check out the snow riding – we highly recommend sledding!
In the centre of Kopaonik, right next to the Bear monument you will find “Jet ski Kop” (telephone: 069/656 300) where experienced guides will take you on an unforgettable adventure.
These guys will take you where skis can’t go and in a one-hour ride they will show you Kopaonik you have not seen before! Don’t forget to bring along your camera or GoPro!
PRICES SKI PASSES (depend on the time of stay):
One-day ski pass: 3,300 dinars for adults and 2,360 dinars for children;
Two-day ski pass: 6,110 dinars for adults and 4,300 dinars for children;
Three-day ski pass: 8,860 dinars for adults and 6,180 dinars for children;
Four-day ski pass: 11,310 dinars for adults and 7,510 dinars for children;
Five-day ski pass: 13,150 dinars for adults and 8,470 dinars for children;
Six-day ski pass: 15,070 dinars for adults and 9,850 dinars for children;
Seven-day ski pass: 16,830 dinars for adults and 10,870 dinars for children.
***For more information on ski passes, please visit the website Skijališta Srbije
SKIING / SNOWBOARDING CLASS 25-30 EUR.
Prices depend on locations but usually one-day rental of complete equipment (skis, boots) is in the region of 13 EUR and slightly less for children – around 8 EUR. Longer-term rental will cost you less.
It is very crowded from the centre to the weekend settlement, the traffic is heavy, especially during school holidays. However, a modern garage was recently opened with 312 parking lot capacity, daily parking fee is 1,900 dinars, every started hour is charged at 150 dinars. A monthly card is available at 45,000 dinars. In other parking lots in the centre of Kopaonik, daily parking will cost you 500 dinars.
This is our Serbia, beautiful, rich in historical heritage and magnificent nature, it seems to tell us that we have something to keep, something to truly enjoy and be proud of.
So travel with us, travel after us, visit Serbia, explore its treasures. And in two weeks we will take you on a new adventure.
Useful tips for your trip
- The weather may change in an hour in Kopaonik, so be sure to bring along winter car gear (chains, shovel...).
- Due to frequent traffic jams and lack of road space, be careful where you park the car since high traffic frequency (including buses and delivery trucks) may turn simple passing into a real nightmare.
- Don’t explore the mountain without an instructor or a guide. You can get lost easily, especially under low visibility conditions.
- If along with a classic camera you can bring a camera for extreme conditions (GoPro or similar), you will have unforgettable winter shots!