Sar planina – Sara Mountain -Scardus, /Serbian part/ is one of the five National Parks of Serbia, and thanks to more than 1500 vascular plant species, of which about 20% are endemic and rare and relic Balkan species, makes one of the most important biodiversity protected areas in the Central Balkans. Sara Mountain is situated in the south-western corner of the Serbian southern province of Kosovo and Metohija on territories of several municipalities – Kačanik, Štrpce, Suvareka, Prizren and Dragaš. The Sar Mountain forms gigantic natural border with Republic of Macedonia, covering part of Macedonia as well. Sara Mountain is spread on 39000 hectares of steep slopes of northern part of the gorgeous mountain range comprising parts of Metohija, Ošljak, Ostrovica and Kodža Balkan on the territory of Štrpce, Gora, Kačanik, Prizren and Suva Reka Municipalities in Serbia. Sara Mountain streches between the southern part of the Kosovo Basin, the Crnoljeva and Crna Gora Mountains /Skopska Crna Gora and Kumanovo-Presevo Karadrag Mountains/, the Tetovo /Gornji Polog and Donji Polog/, and Metohia-Prizren basins, Korab Mountain /2764 meters/, Koritnik and the Ljuma region in northeast Albania. Šara Mountain marks the beginning of a separate massif of the Dinaric Alps known as the Shar-Pindus mountain system, from Lepenac River in the east up to the Albanian border in the west, from the source of the Vardar River in the south up to Prizrenska Bistrica in the north.
The Nerodimka mountain is just a few km north of the Sar Mountains, only split by the Sirinić Valley. Sirinićka Župa is located in the valley or the upper course of the Lepenac River, northeast of the Shar Mountain, in Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. Nerodimka forms a continuous range with mountains of Sar Planina Mountains and Jezerska Planina. In the Nerodimka mountain originates the Nerodimka river, whose bifurcation represents the only example in Europe, featuring banches flowing into two seas – The Black Sea and the Aegean Sea. Nerodimlje, where there was the palace already existed in the 6th century was the center of the Serbian Medieval Nerodimlje Valley – župa, with Gornje and Donje Nerodimlje villages, and numerous Medieval monuments of culture of great significance, among which are the ruins of the Medieval fortified town of Petric. The four Medieval residences of the Serbian Kingdom – Nerodimlja /or Porodimlja/, Pauni, Svrcin and Stimlja were concentrated in the foot of the Sar Mountain in the 14th century, along the shore and on the island of the lake which once covered the south part of Kosovo. Serbian royal court of Pauni, which was mentioned in the 11th century documents, was located on the lake shore, few kilometers north of Nerodimlja village, about 7 km west of Petric fort. After comprehensive research it is suggested to extend the borders of the unique mountainous Shar Mountain massif and the National Park of the Central Balkan Peninsula to the surface of 70000 hectares covering areas of both Serbia and Macedonia.
The gorgeous Sara Mountain is about 95 km long and marks the border of the Adriatic river basin and the Vardar river basin. The Šara Mountain massif and its 27 stunning glacial lakes below its numerous breathtaking peaks, among which the highest is Peskovi at 2651 meters, is a perfect example of the karst mountain relief. One of the most beatiful among Šara Mountain lakes is Livadicko or Strbacko Lake /name comes from the river which flows out from it flows further through the nearby settlement of Strpce/. Šara National Park features outstanding natural beauties and over 200 species of birds, among which are the bearded vulture, the gray-haired vulture, the gray eagle and grouse. The mountain range of Šara is likewise known for its exceptionally beautiful butterflies of which there are 147 different kinds and the whole area covered with gorgeous violet flower Crocus sativus that is right sign that the space is extremely clean and intact. There are many interesting mammals to be found in Shar Mountain, such as otters, Dinaric field wolves, Balkan wildcats (Lynx lynx balcanicus) and chamois and bears. Sara Mountain is famous for a famous breed dog native to these parts called the Sar-planinac, celebrated for its courage, strength and liability.
Featuring its Alpine nature and colossal and gigantic mountains, centenary forests, beautiful meadows and endless pastures full with mountain flowers, medical herbs, and rare game Šara Mountain exceeds the satisfaction of its visitors. The relatively high level of precipitation and the water-resistant rocks of Šara Mountain result in a dense network of rivers and rich sources and surface waters. The great number of wells, streams and springs with cold, clear water are a special picturesque element of this region of Serbia. The large massif of the Šara Mountain is divided by wild streams into several unique and traditional areas : Siricka and Sredacka Zupa, Opolje and Gora. Šar Mountain valleys of Gora, Opolje, Sredska and Sirinić are of autochthonous Serb Slavic origin and are dotted with numerous archeologically unfortunately insufficiently explored and researched traces of human habitation dating back to Neolithic and antique times and the early Middle Ages.
Thanks to its fantastic ski terrains and Alpine climate the challenging Brezovica Ski Center is similar to famous European Tourist Centers and is considered to have some of the best, longest and highest ski runs in Europe. Brezovica Ski Center je famous tourist resort on the north-western side of Šara Mountain /Štrpce Municipality/ and unique sport-recreation complex at the altitude between 900 and 2.500 meters, where snow remains for 280 days. Brezovica is about 60 km away from Pristina and Skopje /Macedonia/, 303 km from Thessaloniki, 355 from Sofia /via Nis/ and about 400 km away from Belgrade. Large number of springs and streams with cold and clear water provide colorful scenery of Brezovica. Convenient climate conditions make Brezovica premium destination for winter, sport and recreational tourism, visited by guests throughout the year. Vast ski terrains of the Inex Ski Center Brezovica enable system of 5 tracks and 5 ski-lifts that are mutually connects 16 km of ski tracks of the average length of 3000 meters each. About 50000 skiers can ski at the same time on ski terrains of Brezovica on FIS Slalom tracks, and grand Slalom, and “super G”. Structure of snow is so to enable fast skiing but safe skiing. Numerous successfully held competitions of State and International lever rank Brezovica Inex Ski Center amongst internationally recognized competition Centers. Numerous sport teams realize their summer trainings on Brezovica thanks to ideal height conditions since lower parts of mountain features true mild climate with pleasant warmth and fresh nights.
The Šara National Park is rich in diversified cultural heritage that is exceptionally significant for the Serbian history and identity. Besides the Medieval fortifications, settlements and bridges, unique attractions are 34 Medieval Orthodox Monasteries of which there are ascetic cell and St. Peter’s Monastery in Korisa village and Saint Archangels Monastery close to Prizren, having been the former strongholds at the foothill of the “Tzar Mountain”.
Preservation of the cultural and natural heritage of Šara Mountain during the NATO aggression and conflicts in Kosovo Province is the ultimate aim drawing attention of numerous scientists from Serbia and abroad. Prokletije and Šar-planina Mountains are recommended for the Balkans Peace Park Project, which will include the fantastic natural setting with mountain ranges and peaks up to 2693 m high, like Jezerce in Albania, Gjeravica in Kosovo – 2656 m and Karanfil – 2480 m at the Montenegrin border.
‘The day at Sharr mountain was incredible and the girls in national costume were delightful – it was also a bonus to see all the school children in their outfits and smiling so much at us. PS Hope you enjoyed the photos. Regards, Merilyn – Australia’