Home Page
 
Feature 08 Dec 17

Skiing Serbia: The Highs and the Lows

Winter in Serbia can be magic. Ski snow-covered forests, trek peaceful mountains and eat great food; but make sure you get the right advice. 

Maja Zivanovic
BIRN
Belgrade

The Kopaonik range is the largest ski resort in the country. Photo: Flickr/Ratko Bozovic

Serbia has its share of winter resorts offering an escape from the everyday rush and traffic of the city. You could buy into what’s being advertised but if you want the low-down, the best tips on winter in Serbia come from those who’ve actually been.

MakicaK, TripAdvisor’s Destination expert for Serbia, lays it out for tourists planning a visit to Serbia in the snow.

“The largest ski resort of Kopaonik is pretty certain to have some snow even as early as December, but it is more oriented towards dedicated skiers than other general winter activities,” he writes.

“Other mountains with tourist capacities are Zlatibor and Tara. Divcibare is a small resort but very close to Belgrade, so you could decide to go there at the last minute if the weather is right at the time.”

Kopaonik

With about 55 kilometres of runs for alpine skiers and 12 kilometres of cross-country skiing, the Kopaonik range is the largest ski resort in the country.

TripAdvisor user Alexio Cubrilo posted last year that Kopaonik gave him a good week of skiing.

“If you’re an intermediate skier, it's perfect. Skiing through a snowy forest is something else,“ he wrote, adding that the great food and cheap beer was probably the best in Europe.

PeevA, another user, says Kopaonik is “a good place for a few days of skiing. The slopes are ok, even though there is a lot of ice on the slopes and it is very crowded, but overall, the prices are ok, much higher than a few years ago though and increasing each year“.

Zlatibor

While Kopaonik may host the biggest resort, Zlatibor, a mountainous region in Serbia’s south-west, offers a bigger variety of things to do off the slopes, as well as on, such as museums, caves, waterfalls and other landmarks.

Tornik Ski Resort is on Zlatibor’s highest peak, with runs rising from 1110 to 1490 metres above sea level. Although some reviewers were disappointed, most TripAdvisor users have been positive.

“Excellent for beginners and intermediate snowboarders. There is a big parking space, a lot of skiing schools for kids and adults, lots of places to rent equipment,” Nica011 wrote on Trip Advisor in February. She was also impressed by the range of other activities, including zip-lining and tubing.

But seasoned skiers beware: user TcresidentTc was unhappy with the level of difficulty of many of the slopes and complained the services were not up to scratch.

“The slopes are not so challenging and the staff is poor, all around, especially the lift operators. Most of the time they are sitting smoking in the service houses just watching people fall and struggle with the t-bars,” they wrote.

Tara

Tara Mountain sits well inside the Dinaric Alps in the far West of Serbia. Its declaration as a National park in 1981 means it has kept its almost 20 hectares of wild beauty intact and is a must for hikers.

“What a place. We went by foot to the highest point in park Tara…what a view and a very calm place....you can take a lot of pictures and you won't be bored...it's an easy walk and you won't be lost....it's a must see in Serbia,” Rachel S from Beirut posted in October.

Theofme found it the ideal place for self-reflection and contemplation, writing in January that after really enjoying her walk on Tara she was able to clear her mind.

But you’ll have to pick your route if it’s solitude you’re looking for.

“The most famous place of Tara is the view of Banjska stena [Banjska Rock], get ready for sharing that place with many other tourists. There are other viewpoints in Tara, like Orlov vis, which are not as easily accessible (there is no road nearby), but which offer equally beautiful views,” one visitor wrote.

Divcibare

But for Belgraders, if you’re looking for a quick weekend escape, only 120km out of town sits Divcibare resort, more than 1100 metres above sea level.

With a long history of spa tourism, Divcibare has many sights and incredible views of Maljen Mountain.

And even this close to the city, you’ll have a chance to ski. On the north side of Black Peak, Divcibare resort has a run almost a kilometre from start to finish.

“It is much smaller than Zlatibor and Kopaonik, but it is compact and quite close to Belgrade - only a 3-hour bus drive. If you are a beginner, it has a short but appropriate ski track near hotel ‘Pepa’ reachable by foot,” one Trip Advisor user wrote in November, noting that there is a longer ski track but it is absolutely not for beginners.

But the top-rated thing to do in Divcibare is to see the Skakalo waterfalls. There are also plenty of great hotels nearby.

TripAdvisor’s MakicaK hinted that although the December weather was pretty rainy and not great for nature-lovers otherwise, the mountains were probably the best place to be in winter.

“Snow is likely (but not guaranteed) to fall, providing a beautiful winter scenery, only in the mountains,” he wrote.

This article was published in BIRN's bi-weekly newspaper Belgrade Insight. Here is where to find a copy.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Premium Selection

leader-of-eu-greens-slams-bulgaria-over-ski-resort-expansion-01-18-2018
19 Jan 18

EU Green Leader Condemns Threat to Bulgarian National Park

The European Greens co-president Ska Keller tells BIRN of her grave concerns for the future of the UNESCO-protected Pirin National Park, after Bulgaria's government approved plans to expand the ski resort there.

vucic-visits-kosovo-to-benefit-politically-experts-say-01-18-2018
19 Jan 18

Vucic Visiting Kosovo to Profit Politically, Experts Say

Saturday's planned visit to Kosovo by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic – following the assassination of Kosovo Serb leader Oliver Ivanovic – is being seen as a point-scoring exercise.

18 Jan 18

Murder Puts Serbia-Kosovo Dialogue in Doubt

17 Jan 18

How Rich Are the Balkans’ Top Politicians?

Latest News from the Balkans

20 Jan 18

Romanians Resume Anti-Corruption Protests

19 Jan 18

Russia Slaps New Ban on Bosnian Apples

19 Jan 18

Duma Slates Moldova's Ban on Russian TV Shows

19 Jan 18

Djukic Trial for Tuzla Massacre Delayed Again