Kopaonik National Park
Kopaonik (known as the Silver mountain, named by Roman, Venetian, and Turkish sources) is the biggest mountain massif in Serbia, spread from northwest to southeast of Serbia along 95 km, and 40 km wide in its central ridge. Part of the Kopaonik Mountain surface is protected zone proclaimed Kopaonik National Park, comprising abundance of intact nature and beautiful landscape, being the biggest and most important ski center in Serbia. The natural advantage of Kopaonik Mountain are 160 days of snow cover which, together with 50 km of ski runs, provide premium condition for winter sports and enable Kopaonik Mountain the status of the most attractive ski center in this part of the Balkans. Kopaonik Mountain features 24 ski-lifts and gondoles, with 70 km of ski slopes for all categories of skiers. Kopaonik’s highest peak is Pancicev vrh /Pancic’s Peak, also called the Suvo Rudiste/ with 2017 meters altitude, where there is the Mausoleum of well-known Serbian naturalist Josif Pancic. Kopaonik Mt abundant nature and beauty had long thrilled the famous botanist. His wish to be buried on this mountain was fulfilled in 1951, when his remains, in a casket made out of Serbian spruce, were transported to the top of Mt. Kopaonik, which has since been known as Pančić’s Peak. The whole mountain massif of Kopaonik is named by huge mineral wealth which was exploited since the Middle ages.
Thanks to developed tourist center with the most modern hotels and ski and related facilities, Kopaonik Mountain is one of the most popular tourist ski destination in Serbia and the South-east Europe. The largest surface on Kopaonik Mountain is Ravni Plateau, around which are Suvo Rudište with Pancic’s peak, and peaks of Karaman (1934 m), Gobelja (1834 m) and southeast from Suvo Rudište are Cardak (1590 m), Satorica (1750 m), Oštro Koplje (sharp spear, 1789 m). Between those peaks there are steep inclinations and canyons. Various escorted hiking tours are organized in Kopaonik Mountain. Hiking routes on Kopaonik Mountain are very suitable for walking, and are divided by their length and the altitude difference, which is high when Semetesko Lake and the Jelovarnik Waterfalls are visited. For longer hikes, from 10 to 24 km, we recommend light mountain shoes, for other hiking routes on Kopaonik Mountain are deep sneakers suitable.
On Kopaonik Mountain there are lot of conifer forests. Kopaonik Mountain is the place where you can find examples of endemic flora such are Pancic’s spruce, Pancic’s watercress, and Kopaonik violet. There are also a lot of animal species like gray falcon, fallow-deer, wild cat, eagle…
Stock-breeding is the dominant industry of Kopaonik Mountain population, yet in the latest period tourism business greatly involve locals. On the plane surface of Kopaonik Mountain the huge mountainous tourist center has been established featuring numerous hotels and diversified accommodation capacities, variety of ski runs, ski-lifts and related ski infrastructure. The new tourist complex near Brzece village, on east slopes of Kopaonik Mountain is in construction, where there are about 1000 beds in hotels and apartments.There are several roads to reach Kopaonik Ski center, of which 3 roads are most used – via Jošanička banja Spa, Brzeće and Rudnica. The roads to top of Kopaonik : Raška-Biljanovac-Jošanicka Banja-Kopaonik (37km) and Raška-Rudnica-Kopaonik (19km) from the Ibar road, Brus-Brzece-Jaram-Kopaonik (30km), Kuršumlija-Mercez-Blaževo-Brzece-Kopaonik (64km), Gracak-Jošanicka Banja (27km) and Mercez-Lukovska Banja-Jelak-Leposavic (41km) from the valleys of Toplica and Rasina rivers. Beauties of Kopaonik Mountain come from its extreme reliefs : Oceanic-blue mountain fields, bushy evergreen forests, mountain peaks from where you can observe distant Sara Mountain and Stara Planina Mountain… Those features stay in indelible memory of everyone who visits this “Mountain Beauty”.