If you are coming to Serbia and are thinking of visiting Zlatibor or Kopaonik, this post will help you decide between these two popular resorts. The answer to whether it is better to see Zlatibor or Kopaonik depends primarily on your interests, time of year, and with who you are traveling. Each of these two mountains has its specifics, which we will explain in more detail here to make your decision easier.
Kopaonik Mountain is in the south of Serbia on the administrative border between Kosovo and central Serbia. The highest peak of Kopanik is Pančićev Vrh. It is at an altitude of 2017 meters. The most significant part of the tourist center of Kopaonik is at an altitude of about 1800 meters.
If you visit Kopaonik in the summer, you will feel a significant difference in temperature compared to cities in Serbia. It is a few hundred meters higher than Zlatibor, so here you can expect a much harsher and longer winter and more snow.
For transport from Belgrade to Kopaonik by car, you will need about three and a half hours of driving for about 260 kilometers of road.
Zlatibor is a mountain in the west of Serbia. You can cross the distance of 220 kilometers to Zlatibor from Belgrade by car in about 3 hours. Zlatibor is at a significantly lower altitude than Kopaonik. The highest peak is Tornik, 1496 m above sea level, while the tourist center of Zlatibor is at an altitude of about 1000 meters above sea level. But because of the large area, gentle and easily passable nature, and above all because of the tourist construction and content, Zlatibor is an incomparably more popular tourist destination than the much higher mountains in Serbia.
Which of these two mountains to choose for a weekend or vacation in Serbia?
In the following text, we will analyze all the things that may interest you during your stay on Zlatibor or Kopaonik and in which we will compare these two tourist destinations.
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At the moment, you will only get to Zlatibor a little faster. But at the end of 2021, the construction company will extend the highway leading in the direction of Zlatibor, so it will reach about an hour more quickly than Kopaonik, even if there is not a big difference in distance from Belgrade.
The ascent from the foothills of Kopaonik is a winding mountain road often covered with snow, unlike the main highway that leads from Belgrade to Montenegro via Zlatibor.
It is easier to get to Zlatibor.
If you like nightlife and going out, you will not be bored at either of these two tourist centers. But we give a slight advantage to Zlatibor. The center of the resort itself is more developed, so there is a more extensive selection of cafes and nightclubs, while on Kopaonik, the fun takes place in clubs within the hotel.
Food in Serbia is generally excellent and varied. Many parts of Serbia have specifics in their cuisine. For Kopaonik, the most common specialty is brown trout. The main threat is Kopaonik blueberry pie. However, Zlatibor also wins here. Trout is also excellent in the Zlatibor area, but still, Zlatibor is famous for its superb prshuta and the favorite Užice’s complete lepinja. And the village of Mačkat near Zlatibor is known for its fantastic roast lamb, which is hard to find in other parts of Serbia.
Finally, a convincing victory for Kopaonik. Considering the significantly higher altitude and the amount of snowfall, there are many more days suitable for skiing on Kopaonik.
Seven kilometers of ski slopes and three ski lifts on Zlatibor seem like nothing compared to 55 kilometers of ski slopes and 24 ski lifts on Kopaonik.
That does not mean that Zlatibor is bad for skiing. The slopes are excellent for skiing and attractive. But, if skiing is the primary goal of your winter vacation, Kopaonik is a much better choice.
Walking is a great way to enjoy nature and an active vacation on these two mountains. But which one will you enjoy walking or hiking more? It depends on the weather and your affinities. Due to heavy snowfalls, Kopaonik is inhospitable for walks in nature in winter. In winter, hiking on Zlatibor can be due to snow. When it is not winter, there are certainly more beautiful days on Zlatibor. On Kopaonik, even in summer, it can be windy and cold. On the other hand, on Zlatibor, it may be too hot for a walk in the warmest months, and the forest shade is much less than on Kopaonik.
Aside from the weather, the landscapes are quite different.
Kopaonik seems like an impressive high mountain, with many rocks, high peaks, and incredible viewpoints. And it's a lot more wooded.
Zlatibor seems more like a large hilly area than a mountain range. Zlatibor is mainly covered with low grass, and there is less wood than on Kopaonik, so it is much more passable for walking. You don't even have to follow the hiking trails. You can walk with ease through grassy fields. The ascent to the mountain peaks and views on Zlatibor is physically and technically much less demanding than the ascent to the summits of Kopaonik.
Whether Kopaonik or Zlatibor is better for hiking and mountaineering depends on you. If you are in good shape or a mountaineer who wants beautiful views from high peaks, then Kopaonik is better. If you like a leisurely walk through the beautiful nature, Zlatibor is a better choice.
In both mountain centers, you have several excellent 4-star hotels. The SPA centers within them are perfect. There is also one luxury 5-star hotel available on each mountain. On Zlatibor it is Grand & Sky Hotel Tornik and on Kopaonik Hotel Viceroy. However, thanks to the Milmari Resort Hotel, which boasts outdoor swimming pools with perhaps the most beautiful view in Serbia, our voice goes to Kopaonik.
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Zlatibor district can offer tourists more exciting places and tourist attractions in the area than Kopaonik can.
Near Zlatibor, there are attractive locations such as Stopića Cave, Gostilje Waterfall, Open-Air Museum Ethno Village Sirogojno. You will easily reach the canyon of the river Uvac, Mokra Gora, and the tourist train Sargan Eight.
Near Kopaonik, there are several medieval monasteries, Jelovarnik Waterfall in Brzeće and Semeteš Lake.
As far as the supply of the tourist place is concerned, you will not miss anything on Kopaonik during your vacation. You can't expect clothes stores, so don't forget to bring everything you need to dress warmly. A much wider choice for shopping is on Zlatibor. You have a great selection of everything from shops with essential groceries, clothes, and local homemade products. Zaltibor is more supplied than many smaller cities in Serbia.
The prices in both tourist resorts are higher than in the cities. It is better to buy and bring as many things as you need before coming on vacation to Kopaonik or Zlatibor. If you travel by bus, you will not be able to carry a lot of things. But if you rent a car with a driver for your intercity transfer, you will have the entire trunk at your disposal for your supplies.
More extended holidays out of the ski season on Kopaonik and Zlatibor would be boring if many activities were not available. Both mountain resorts offer engaging activities for several days of active vacation for the whole family. Motorbike rentals, quads, bicycles, horseback riding, bobsleigh rails, adventure parks, zip lines, scenic cable car rides are just some of the possibilities on both mountains.
We hope that our post helped you make an easier decision whether to visit Kopaonik or Zlatibor.
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