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This article was developed within the program Venture an Idea funded by the USAID.

 

The Balkan peninsula is home to many mountains that can give you quite a ride, ski-speaking. Thanks to their pitch-perfect winter weather and fascinating scenery, the Serbian mountains fit the bill for first-timers and slope vets alike.

But which one to choose? Or rather, which trail on which mountain at which part of the day? Well, here’s our informed pick.

Kopaonik

There’s no underhand here; Kopaonik was, has been, and is the most popular ski resort in Serbia. And for a good reason. The mountain boasts over 55km of top-shelf ski trails and snow throughout the year, with the infrastructure to match the impecable conditions.

Moreover, Kopaonik is packed with trails for all levels of ski skill. Complete beginners should hit the Karaman Greben first - with its height difference of only 165m across 1225 meters in length. Kneževske Bare is another easy-goer - best visited during afternoon hours.

Check out Sunčana Dolina (Sun Valley) for a slow burner solution. It’s a vast, uncrowded, laid-back, 8-or-so-minute trail. If you want to chest up, Bela Reka 2 (White River), Ledenica, and Gvozdac are as tough as they come. These are serious trails that require every bit of skill you bring on.

Any cons to Kopaonik? It can get crowded at times.
Zlatibor – Tornik

Zlatibor is the most versatile mountain in Serbia. It’s got everything from mesmerizing nature (waterfalls and stuff), picturesque landscapes, tall pines, and one of the most well-groomed ski resorts in the country.

Most ski activity on Zlatibor takes place on its main peak – Tornik. There, you’ll find ski trails of ranging difficulties; Zmajevac (Dragon) being the toughest and Ribnica (fish) the easiest to master. Zlatibor is particularly well-suited for traveling with children, having the most prestigious ski school in all of Serbia.

Getting to Tornik is a blast, too, as Zlatibor has recently put in place an impressive cable car.

Cons here? Although it packs some excellent trails, Zlatibor is not primarily a skiing destination. Also, being slightly on the lower side, the ice melts quicker, making it more reliant on artificial snow.

Stara Planina

If you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten-path ski solution, we can heartily recommend Stara Planina. Kopaonik is probably the most glitzy, Zlatibor the best all-rounder, but Stara Planina (Elder Mountain) has something neither of those two does – peace and quiet.

Located on the Serbia-Bulgarian border, Stara Planina is the furthest ski resort from Belgrade (a 4-hour drive, give or take). But it’s also the coziest, most intact ski resort you’ll likely find in the Balkans.

With 13km of exquisite ski slopes, too, that offer quite a distinct experience to the hustle and bustle of the previous two. Babin Zub (Granny’s tooth) is the walk-in-the-park trail, while Sunčana

This article is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this program are the responsibility of Nova Iskra and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

 

This article was developed within the program Venture an Idea funded by the USAID.

 

The Balkan peninsula is home to many mountains that can give you quite a ride, ski-speaking. Thanks to their pitch-perfect winter weather and fascinating scenery, the Serbian mountains fit the bill for first-timers and slope vets alike.

 

But which one to choose? Or rather, which trail on which mountain at which part of the day? Well, here’s our informed pick.

 

Kopaonik

 

There’s no underhand here; Kopaonik was, has been, and is the most popular ski resort in Serbia. And for a good reason. The mountain boasts over 55km of top-shelf ski trails and snow throughout the year, with the infrastructure to match the impecable conditions.   

 

Moreover, Kopaonik is packed with trails for all levels of ski skill. Complete beginners should hit the Karaman Greben first - with its height difference of only 165m across 1225 meters in length. Kneževske Bare is another easy-goer - best visited during afternoon hours. 

 

Check out Sunčana Dolina (Sun Valley) for a slow burner solution. It’s a vast, uncrowded, laid-back, 8-or-so-minute trail. If you want to chest up, Bela Reka 2 (White River), Ledenica, and Gvozdac are as tough as they come. These are serious trails that require every bit of skill you bring on.

 

Any cons to Kopaonik? It can get crowded at times.

 

Zlatibor – Tornik

 

Zlatibor is the most versatile mountain in Serbia. It’s got everything from mesmerizing nature (waterfalls and stuff), picturesque landscapes, tall pines, and one of the most well-groomed ski resorts in the country.

 

Most ski activity on Zlatibor takes place on its main peak – Tornik. There, you’ll find ski trails of ranging difficulties; Zmajevac (Dragon) being the toughest and Ribnica (fish) the easiest to master. Zlatibor is particularly well-suited for traveling with children, having the most prestigious ski school in all of Serbia. 

 

Getting to Tornik is a blast, too, as Zlatibor has recently put in place an impressive cable car.

 

Cons here? Although it packs some excellent trails, Zlatibor is not primarily a skiing destination. Also, being slightly on the lower side, the ice melts quicker, making it more reliant on artificial snow.

 

Stara Planina

 

If you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten-path ski solution, we can heartily recommend Stara Planina. Kopaonik is probably the most glitzy, Zlatibor the best all-rounder, but Stara Planina (Elder Mountain) has something neither of those two does – peace and quiet.

 

Located on the Serbia-Bulgarian border, Stara Planina is the furthest ski resort from Belgrade (a 4-hour drive, give or take). But it’s also the coziest, most intact ski resort you’ll likely find in the Balkans.

 

With 13km of exquisite ski slopes, too, that offer quite a distinct experience to the hustle and bustle of the previous two. Babin Zub (Granny’s tooth) is the walk-in-the-park trail, while Sunčana Dolina and Konjarnk are Super-G certified for fast downhill slaloms. There’s also a free-roam trail on Stara Planina if you feel up for it.

 

Cons? There are very few side activities. Also, it’s geared more toward slope savvy.

 

Bonus Trail - Košutnjak

 

Yup, Belgrade, too, has its own ski trail. It’s short but no less impressive than its mountain counterparts. The trail is nested inside Košutnjak Forest, boasting a lovely view of Belgrade. It’s far from a world-beater, but It’ll do just fine for a quick ski fix.

 

Before we wrap up, a word of advice. No matter if you decide on a city solution or hit one of the mounts, consider having an instructor on board. If you’re a beginner, then it’s a no-brainer. But even if you’re a pro, having someone who knows the terrain tagging along is always a good idea. 

 

This article is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this program are the responsibility of Nova Iskra and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

 

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