Kopaonik Review

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Kopaonik Review

Updated on the 18th of February 2023

Rating: ★★★★ 7.1 out of 10

“Kopaonik is the biggest and the best ski resort in Serbia and with Bansko (Bulgaria) one of the best in south-eastern Europe. It is affordable, and snow reliability is good due to snow making equipment. Kopaonik is best suited for beginners and families. Slopes are great for off piste skiing. There are around 55 km of runs. Pistes are not too long. Getting there is tricky, but the situation is improving since Niš airport (2 hours and 15 minutes away by car) has introduced new low-cost carriers (Wizz Air and Ryan Air). Before wars in former Yugoslavia took place many British tourists used to visit Kopaonik. Nowadays, domestic skiers and people from the region dominate. Serbian hospitality is well-known, and food in this area is delicious and inexpensive.“

Pros: Great for families and beginners, affordable ski pass, lots of off piste skiing options, good night life

Cons: Small when compared to western European resorts, lack of expert runs, problems with parking

Kopaonik Ski Map 21/22


Easy 24 km (44%)
Intermediate 19 km (32 %)
Difficult 13 km (24 %)
TOTAL 56 km

The highest point of the resort is situated at 2,017 m above sea level. Slopes are surrounded with wooded areas and covered with snow-making machines. The state-owned company which runs the Kopaonik ski resort is investing in development every season, thus lifts are new and fast. Queues are possible in high season on some lifts (close to the resort centre), around New Year’s Day and in first half of February.

Pistes are great for beginners who have plenty of room for progress. Runs are not too long (the longest one is 3.5 km), and there are only 2 slopes which will challenge expert skiers. Grooming isn’t up to western European standards, but it is OK. Scenery is great because the mountain is surrounded with beautiful pine woods. Resort management has invested in snow making machines, and as a result of that Kopaonik didn’t have problems even if there was lack of natural snow. New lift or piste are added to the list every year. 

Kopaonik winter panorama


One of the best things about Kopaonik is freeriding. The resort has many spots where you can practice it, but there are no guides and schools specialized for off piste excursions. People who visit the mountain are not crazy about going off groomed runs. There is a substantial number of beginners and people struggling even on blue slopes. As a result of that, you will have plenty of fresh powder days after last snowfall just for yourself.

The resort management has designated an area around Gobelja Lift for off piste skiig. Another good spot is the slope between Duboka and Krcmar lifts. If you choose to hit this run you can catch the Krcmar lift, but you must turn right earlier and go to Krcmar piste. If you want to ski to the end of the slope you should go through woods and you will end up on Duboka lift (don’t go without someone who knows the terrain, because you might end up lost in dense woods). This area is protected (wild life conservation) and people had problems with stewards in past seasons.

You should also explore the slope which connects Karaman Greben and red Duboka runs and area around Gvozdac lift.

Kopaonik has small snow park near Malo Jezero lift. It consists of 2 kickers and several fun boxes and rails. They usually don’t build it until February.  

Kopaonik Duboka 2 Lift


Closest airports are in Belgrade and Niš. The Belgrade airport is further away (294 km or around 4 hours by car) but it is better connected to other European cities. Niš airport is closer, 131 km away (2 hours and 15 minutes by car) but it has only 2 companies which use it (low cost companies, flights are cheaper than if you fly to Belgrade with the same carrier). There are no direct public lines from airports. Check out possible solutions online (you will find ads, prices vary according to the number of passengers).

If you like to travel by train just forget it. Serbian railroads are now slower than they were 100 years ago (this is not a joke but official information). Delayed trains are usual. If Serbian railroad managers were the same as ones in Japan, who are known for punctuality and ritual suicides when train gets late into station, after a single day there would be no live railroad workers left in Serbia.

If you are driving from the north, you will use the motorway for a good part of the trip. Then you will have to turn to local road, and the last leg of the journey can get complicated. Occasionally the wind creates big snow banks on the road. Winter maintenance is good, but sometimes you will have to fit snow chains to your tires.  Check with your accommodation if they have a parking spot for your car, because it can pose a problem. You will probably either have to pay for it, won’t find an empty space, or the local people will try to extort money from you claiming that they have shoveled it clear from a pile of snow. Authorities tried to solve the issue with newly built covered car park but it is usually empty due to high price (16 EUR per day, pretty step for local standards). 



There are 3 big areas where you can find your accommodation. The first one is the central area where major hotels are situated. It has the best location on the mountain since everything you might need (ski lifts, shops, restaurants, bars, etc.) is within walking distance (5 minutes). But comfort comes with a price.

Hotel Viceroy is latest addition to premier group of hotels. This 5 star venue has everything you might need: perfect location, beautiful interior, great food, spa area (could have been bigger) etc. Hotel Grand is right next door. It has great rooms, professional and friendly staff, big spa area with sauna, Turkish bath, indoor and outdoor pools. Gorski Hotel & Spa is situated just by Malo Jezero ski lift. The place will fulfill all your hedonistic needs.

A good solution might be the so-called , “Weekend Houses Area”, 5 km away from the central section of the resort, where you can find hotels, pensions, and apartment houses. Prices are lower but you will need to catch a taxi or drive to the base of the first ski lift. There are additional costs because you will have to pay for a Taxi (around 10 EUR per one way ride) or you will need to find parking (see the last sentence in “How to Get to Kopaonik” paragraph).

The last but not least location where you can stay is village called Brzeće. It offers the cheapest accommodation, but you will need to drive around 23 km (35 min) to get to the resort center. Don’t despair, there is great news for people with tight budget. Since the season 20/21 new gondola connects Brzeće to the rest of the resort making it a perfect place where you can spend affordable holiday, away from hustle and bustle of the centre of Kopaonik. 


If you want to have a break during the day you should go to Rtanj (Mali Karaman lift). Try the donuts, barbecue, or some traditional dishes cooked in large earthenware pottery. Skituljko, small ski bar situated on Mali Karaman piste just before Rtanj, has the best blueberry pie you will try. Jaram Bar (bottom of the run number 10) has great atmosphere and parties during a day. Order a shot or two of “rakija”, a domestic moonshine made of fermented fruit in the Balkans.

When it comes to nightlife Kopaonik stands out among other resorts. There is big number of restaurants, bars and clubs you can choose from. In the evening you can eat at Nacionalna Klasa (an ethnic restaurant), visit The Pub & Ko and Mr. Stefan Brown.


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