National Park "Kopaonik"


Protection category I – protected area of international, national, that is, exceptional importance


The total area of NP "Kopaonik" is 11.969,04 ha, of which 9.862,6 hа are state-owned, whereas 2.106,98 hа are in private possesion and other forms of possession.


Protection degree I (12,38% of the total area)
Protection degree II (29,94% of the total area)
Protection degree III (57,68% of the total area)


The National park "Kopaonik" is located in the southern part of the Republic of Serbia and covers the most valuable and highest parts of the Kopaonik Mountain: the Samokovska, Gobeljska, Brzećka and Barska Rivers, with a series of peaks higher than 1600 m above sea level and Pančić’s Peak of 2017 m.

The area of National park "Kopaonik" covers the territories of the municipalities of Raška and Brus.


Law on National Parks (Official Gazette of RS, No. 39/1993, 44/1993-correction, 53/1993, 67/1993, 48/1994, 101/2005 and 36/2009)


Law on National Parks (Official Gazette of RS, No. 84/2015 and 95/2018 - another law)


PE "National Park Kopaonik"


National Park "Kopaonik" extends to the highest and most preserved parts of Kopaonik Mountain, which rises in the central part of southern Serbia. This Park was first protected in 1981.
The area of national park begins at an altitude of about 800 m and ends with mountain ridges interconnected by high passes. They are dominated by the highest peak of Kopaonik, Pančić’s peak (2 017 m above sea level). The largest area of the park includes the central and most afforested part of the Kopaonik massif, a spacious and relatively flattened area about 1700 m high. This part of the massif is known as Ravni Kopaonik. It is characterized by extraordinary beauty and variety of landscapes. It is made of mountain peaks, pastures, dense coniferous and mixed deciduous forests, flattened areas with many springs, gorges, overflowing streams and peatlands. Twelve geomorphological, six geological and eight hydrological sites of universal value that area considered a geological heritage contribute in particular to the richness of the landscape.
Kopaonik is characterized by a high degree of biodiversity. It is also characterized by diverse ecosystems consisting of numerous species and their communities. More than 1600 species of plants have been found on this massif. Solely the flora of high mountains includes 825 species, 91 of which are endemic and 82 are subendemic. There are also three local, Kopaonik endemics. These are Sempervivum kopaonikensis, Viola kopaonikensis and Cardamine pancicii. Kopaonik's importance for biodiversity conservation is indicated by the fact that 11.9% of Balkan highland endemics grow on this mountain. In addition, here grow 50 species that have been included in the Red List of Flora of Serbia, four species included in the European Red List and 30 species of plants of this massif that are on the list of natural rarities of Serbia.
Vegetation is characterized by all vegetation belts of the high mountains of the central Balkans. At the foot of the mountain there are thermophyllic oak forests, which are complemented by climatogenic communities of diverse montane beech forests. Above the beech belt, dense spruce forests develop, above which subalpine shrub vegetation spreads towards the peaks. The highest parts of Kopaonik are covered by mountain pastures and turfs. The vegetation richness of the national park is reflected in the presence of 65 plant communities, which indicate that, in addition to the floristic diversity, this area is an important center of vegetation diversity in Serbia and the Balkan Peninsula.
Ecological diversity has also conditioned the richness of the animal world. There are six species of amphibians and six species of reptiles within the national park, eight of which have protected species status in Serbia. Bird fauna includes over 170 species. Nesting birds make up as much as 90% of the bird population. Among others, here can be seen horned lark (Eremophila alpestris), woodlark (Lullula arborea), red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra), the common rock thrush (Monticola saxatilis), rock partridge (Alectoris graeca) and many other species.
The mammalian fauna consists of more than 40 species. Some of the characteristic species are the Alpine shrew (Sorex alpinus), the Eurasian water shrew (Neomys fodiens), the Eurasian harvest mouse (Micromys minutus), the Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), the wild boar (Sus scrofa) and the wolf (Canis lupus).
In addition to scientific, ecological and educational aspect, the national park has also a tourist aspect and significance. Kopaonik is the largest and most beautiful winter tourist center in Serbia.
Kopaonik has a special charm due to the scattered villages, old watermills and bačije (settlements near pastures) that preserve the traditional way of life. There are also 15 immovable cultural assets on this mountain massif. For their age and cultural and historical value here are distinguished the remains of the church of St. Procopius at Nebeske stolice, which had been built on a former sanctuary dating back to the 7th century, the church in Metođe and the church of St. Peter and Paul in Kriva Reka. There are also numerous remains of medieval mines and smelteries and at the top of Nebeske stolice there is a mausoleum that houses the remains of Josif Pančić, Serbia's famous botanist.

National Park "Kopaonik" was designated in order to conserve the following:

➢ Diverse geological structures with rocks of different origin and age (granites, serpentinites, schists, marbles, andesites and limestones)
➢ Vegetation belts of the high mountains of the central part of the Balkans
➢ Forest vegetation, vegetation of subalpine shrubs, pastures, peatland vegetation, etc .
➢ Floristic heterogeneity and endemic mountain flora, as well as endemic, subendemic and stenoendemic species of plants (Sempervivum kopaonikensis, Viola kopaonikensis, Cardamine pancicii, etc.)
➢ Rich fauna, among which are birds (horned lark and others), a large number of reptiles, amphibians and mammals (wolf, otter, roe deer, alpine shrew, hazel dormouse, marble polecat, wild boar and others), fish species (trout), etc .
➢ Geo-heritage sites, waters and landscapes (Pančić’s peak, Kozja stena, Bela stena, Samokovska river canyon, Oštri krš, Jelovarnik waterfall, Sedam devojačkih izvora (springs), Marine vode, Krčmar, etc.)
➢ Cultural and historical values (the remains of the Church of St. Procopius at Nebeske stolice, the church in Metođe and the church of St. Peter and Paul in Kriva Reka) and a number of memorials