Kopaonik; is one of the larger mountain ranges of Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

. It is located in the central part of Serbia, while a small portion extendeds to North Kosovo
North Kosovo
North or Northern Kosovo refers to a region in the northern part of Kosovo with an ethnic Serb majority that functions largely autonomously from the remainder of the disputed territory, which has an ethnic Albanian majority. Ibarian Kolashin , a toponym that pre-dates the political partition, is...

. Its highest point, Pančić's Peak
Pancic's Peak
Pančić's Peak is the highest point in the Kopaonik mountain range. The peak is located on the border between Central Serbia and Kosovo. Next to the radio tower at its top is a memorial to Josif Pančić. The peak is 2017 m high, and can be easily reached from the Konaci tourist complex by foot...

, is 2017 m (6,617 ft) above sea level.

Kopaonik is the major ski resort of Serbia, with total of 25 ski lifts with capacity of 32.000 skiers per hourhttp://www.skijanje.hr/skijalista/srbija/clanak/kopaonik?id=22736http://www.tckopaonik.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=62&Itemid=95. A national park
National park
A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or...

 spread over 118.1 km² (45.6 sq mi) of the central part of the Kopaonik plateau was established in 1981..


Kopaonik has a rich historical heritage. The area was an important mining center during medieval times with many Saxons operating in the area as miners. During those days there was an intensive trade with Ragusa (Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea coast, positioned at the terminal end of the Isthmus of Dubrovnik. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic, a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its total population is 42,641...


Besides old churches and monasteries, several early and medieval fortresses can be found on the height, built by Serbian dynasties. The nearest Serbian medieval castle is Maglič
Maglič is a medieval fortress in Ibar gorge 20 km south from Kraljevo in Serbia. It is placed atop a hill around which the Ibar River makes a curve, about 100 m above river level. The fortress protected the only caravan road that connected the Morava Valley and Kosovo polje...

. The Studenica monastery
Studenica monastery
The Studenica monastery is a 12th-century Serbian Orthodox monastery situated 39 km southwest of Kraljevo, in central Serbia. It is one of the largest and richest Serb Orthodox monasteries....

 is also located nearby.


Sports and recreation are key factors to the tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 of Kopaonik. Kopaonik is mainly a destination for skiing
Skiing is a recreational activity using skis as equipment for traveling over snow. Skis are used in conjunction with boots that connect to the ski with use of a binding....

 and snowboarding
Snowboarding is a sport that involves descending a slope that is covered with snow on a snowboard attached to a rider's feet using a special boot set onto mounted binding. The development of snowboarding was inspired by skateboarding, sledding, surfing and skiing. It was developed in the U.S.A...

. There are various other activities as well, such as tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

. Other features which attract tourists are a luxurious hotel, and entertainment. Kopaonik has many cafes, bars and night clubs. It has 24 ski-lifts and Gondola lifts, with 70 km (43 mi) of ski slopes for all categories. It is the largest mountain in Serbia, more than 100 km (62 mi) long. Its highest peak is Suvo Rudiste (also called Panćić's Peak) at 2017 m (6,617 ft) above sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

. The duration and quality of snowfall and ideal skiing grounds have been attracting a rapidly increasing the number of guests.

Kopaonik's flora
Flora is the plant life occurring in a particular region or time, generally the naturally occurring or indigenous—native plant life. The corresponding term for animals is fauna.-Etymology:...

 is characterized by a large number of autochthonous
Indigenous (ecology)
In biogeography, a species is defined as native to a given region or ecosystem if its presence in that region is the result of only natural processes, with no human intervention. Every natural organism has its own natural range of distribution in which it is regarded as native...

 plant species (the Balkan beech, fir
Firs are a genus of 48–55 species of evergreen conifers in the family Pinaceae. They are found through much of North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, occurring in mountains over most of the range...

, spruce
A spruce is a tree of the genus Picea , a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the Family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal regions of the earth. Spruces are large trees, from tall when mature, and can be distinguished by their whorled branches and conical...

, yew
Taxus is a genus of yews, small coniferous trees or shrubs in the yew family Taxaceae. They are relatively slow-growing and can be very long-lived, and reach heights of 1-40 m, with trunk diameters of up to 4 m...

, several kinds of maple
Acer is a genus of trees or shrubs commonly known as maple.Maples are variously classified in a family of their own, the Aceraceae, or together with the Hippocastanaceae included in the family Sapindaceae. Modern classifications, including the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system, favour inclusion in...

, pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

 and oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

). The fauna
Fauna or faunæ is all of the animal life of any particular region or time. The corresponding term for plants is flora.Zoologists and paleontologists use fauna to refer to a typical collection of animals found in a specific time or place, e.g. the "Sonoran Desert fauna" or the "Burgess shale fauna"...

 is also diverse but its concentration varies, depending on the quality of the habitat.

This mountain has enormous resources for the development of tourism. The entire park is characterized by its extraordinary natural beauty: vast expanses of grassland, picturesque forests composed of a wide variety of tree species, beauty spots, deep river gorges
Gorges, the plural of the French word for "throat", usually refers to a canyon.Gorges is the name or part of the name of several communes in France:* Gorges, in the Loire-Atlantique département* Gorges, in the Manche département...

. The snow blanket lasts a long time on this mountain and in view of its good relief, there are excellent conditions for the further expansion of winter tourism there.
The tourist resort on the Kopaonik includes hotels, rest houses, chairlift
An elevated passenger ropeway, or chairlift, is a type of aerial lift, which consists of a continuously circulating steel cable loop strung between two end terminals and usually over intermediate towers, carrying a series of chairs...

s, excellent ski slopes and many other tourist facilities.

Kopaonik is a meeting place for the Serbian and European elite. Many diplomats and presidents of the foreign countries spent their holidays here.

The Kopaonik is well-connected with the main transport routes in Serbia. The central part of Kopaonik with the tourist center and ski slopes are linked with the Ibar highway
Ibar highway
The Ibar highway is a regional road in Serbia that connects Belgrade with western Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. Part of the highway goes parallel to the Ibar river, hence the name. Major cities on the highway are Ljig, Gornji Milanovac, Čačak, Kraljevo, Užice, Čajetina and Novi Pazar...

, and the nearest international airport
Niš Constantine the Great Airport
Niš Constantine the Great Airport , is a Serbian airport that serves southern Serbia and the city of Niš. The airport, which is named for Constantine the Great, is located from the Niš city centre and is Serbia's second international airport.- History :...

 is in Niš
Niš is the largest city of southern Serbia and third-largest city in Serbia . According to the data from 2011, the city of Niš has a population of 177,972 inhabitants, while the city municipality has a population of 257,867. The city covers an area of about 597 km2, including the urban area,...


National park

Kopaonik's national park was established in 1981. Deciduous
Deciduous means "falling off at maturity" or "tending to fall off", and is typically used in reference to trees or shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally, and to the shedding of other plant structures such as petals after flowering or fruit when ripe...

 forests and native coniferous woodland make up most of the forested land in the park. Kopaonik has many species of birds, such rock partridge
Rock Partridge
The Rock Partridge, Alectoris graeca, is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds.This partridge has its main range in southwestern Asia and southeastern Europe, and is closely related and very similar to its eastern equivalent, the Chukar...

, scops owl
Scops owl
Scops owls are Strigidae belong to the genus Otus. Approximately 45 living species are known, but new ones are frequently recognized and unknown ones are still being discovered every few years or so, especially in Indonesia...

, red-backed shrike
Red-backed Shrike
The Red-backed Shrike is a carnivorous passerine bird and member of the shrike family Laniidae.English common names include 'Wariangle' and 'worrier'.-Description:...

, and the wood lark. Soil
Soil is a natural body consisting of layers of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics...

 erosion poses no threat as there is no logging
Logging is the cutting, skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or logs onto trucks.In forestry, the term logging is sometimes used in a narrow sense concerning the logistics of moving wood from the stump to somewhere outside the forest, usually a sawmill or a lumber yard...

 and deforestation
Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a nonforest use. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use....

 in the park.

The national park is situated on a relatively flat region, at an altitude of about 1700 m (5,577 ft). This central Kopaonik plateau
In geology and earth science, a plateau , also called a high plain or tableland, is an area of highland, usually consisting of relatively flat terrain. A highly eroded plateau is called a dissected plateau...

 is called Suvo Rudište. It is surrounded by mountain peaks. To the north and northwest of this plateau stretches Banjski Kopaonik, which is the location of Jošanička Banja
Jošanicka Banja
Jošanička Banja is a spa town in Serbia. It is situated in the Raška municipality, in the Raška District. Jošanička Banja in Serbian means Jošanička Spa. The population of the town is 1,154 people ....

Destination spa
A destination spa is a short term residential/lodging facility with the primary purpose of providing individual services for spa-goers to develop healthy habits. Historically many such spas were developed at the location of natural hot springs or sources of mineral waters...

, whose strong springs' waters reach the temperature of 88 °C (190.4 °F). Directly below the Suvo Rudište plateau starts the attractive and picturesque valley of the Samokovska River, characterized by its steep run, numerous rapids, falls and gorges
Gorges, the plural of the French word for "throat", usually refers to a canyon.Gorges is the name or part of the name of several communes in France:* Gorges, in the Loire-Atlantique département* Gorges, in the Manche département...


External links

A British promotional video on Kopaonik.
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