Measuring more than 80 kilometres in length, Kopaonik is the largest mountain massif in Serbia and one of the most popular tourist destinations, both in the winter season and during the summer months. It owes its name to the plentiful mineral resources that have been excavated here since ancient times. With more than 200 days of annual sunshine, it has also been nicknamed “the sunshine mountain”, while many also affectionately refer to it by its abbreviated name “Kop”. The mountain where, undoubtedly, most Serbs learned to ski is known for its range of ski slopes, suitable for everyone from beginners to experienced skiers and snowboarders. For thrill seekers a unique form of paragliding which combines flying and skiing is also on offer. When spring arrives, and the last snowflakes melt, Kopaonik becomes an oasis of greenery, with a pleasant temperature that is ideal both for relaxation and for engaging in various mountain sports.
What gives Kopaonik mountain its specific appeal is its recognisable landscape with dense coniferous forests. From the high peaks of Kopaonik, you can enjoy the view all the way to Šar Mountain, Komovo and Stara planina, as the fresh mountain air fills your lungs with each deep breath you take.
Due to its outstanding natural value, Kopaonik has been declared a national park. As you walk along its forests, you will pass by as many as 1,600 different plant species, four of which are endangered species in Europe. Here you can also see 90 plant species that are endemic to this region – Kopaonik's houseleek, Kopaonik's violet and Pančić's bittercress. Kopaonik is very popular among mushroom foragers, because this relatively small area is abundant in penny buns, chanterelles, common mushrooms, oyster mushroom and other edible species.
Kopaonik is also home to numerous endangered butterflies and other animal species. Due to the numerous bird species that are native to the area, it has been included in the international network of Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA).
Kopaonik offers ideal conditions for active holidays year-round and is the most popular Serbian ski resort. The Ravni Kopaonik plateau is home to a huge tourism complex, with many beds and an expansive system of ski slopes and gondola lifts. Visitors can choose between as many as 24 gondola lifts and numerous ski lifts and can hone their skiing skills to perfection on category 1 ski slopes. They also have 12 kilometres of Nordic skiing trail.
Kopaonik does not grind to a halt when the winter season ends. During summer months, visitors can choose one of the many available hiking tours through pristine nature. You can take a trip to the Metođe spring or continue to lake Semeteš, while the most persistent hikers can climb the mountain’s highest peak Pančić, which stands at 2,017 metres.
In addition to activities for adults, Kopaonik is also known for its numerous programmes for children, including basketball, tennis and riding. There are also various slimming and workout programmes for adults.
Thanks to its pleasant climate and fully fitted sports courts, it has become the destination of choice for many sport teams when preparing for major competitions.
Kopaonik has been known for its mineral resources since classical antiquity and the Middle Ages, as evidenced by the remains of miners’ settlements in its vicinity, such as Stari trg and Novo brdo. During the Middle Ages, Kopaonik was the central region of the Serbian state, which is why the remains of old fortified cities of Zvečan, Koznik and Maglič are found in the vicinity of this mountain. In the area surrounding Kopaonik, you can also visit some of the most beautiful medieval churches and monasteries, including Gradac, Pavlica, Studenica, Žiča and Sopoćani. Other sacral buildings in the vicinity include the church dedicated to Saint Methodius of Olympus, built by Romans in the 3rd Century, as well as the site of “Seats of Heaven” (Nebeske stolice), dedicated to Saint Procopius, the patron saint of miners.
There are also low radioactive mineral springs Krčmar and Marine vode on the mountain, while the large spa complexes in Jošanička banja, Lukovska banja and Kuršumlijska banja spas at the foot of Kopaonik guarantee excellent conditions for relaxation and enjoyment.