Known for its diverse landscape and vivid colours, Šar Mountain is a true jewel of Southern Serbia.
On the north-western side of this 85-kilometre long mountain range lies the ski resort of Brezovica. The good climate and snow cover from November to May means it’s ideal for skiing and makes it one of the most popular ski centres in Serbia.In the summer the fresh air and plentiful sunshine provide ample opportunities for hiking, foraging and mountaineering.
Brezovica is part of the Šar Mountain National Park, the protected habitat of many plant and animal species. Think - centuries-old forests, lush meadows and endless pastures filled with mountain flowers and herbs. In fact many of these plants, such as the Šar Mountain mullein, can only be found here.
In this wonderful exhibition of the natural world you’ll find yourself surrounded by 200 bird species, 45 reptillian and amphibian species, 32 species of mammal and 147 different species of butterfly.
Šar Mountain is also known for the native Šarplaninac dog, a livestock-guarding dog renowned for its courage and strength..
Brezovica is also a favourite spot for hunting and fishing aficionados, as it’s filled with lakes, mountain streams and rivers rich in trout, as well as game, most notably chamois, bear, lynx and western capercaillie.
With ski slopes catering for all different skill levels, Brezovica offers skiing at an altitude of 2500 metres above sea level.
The ski slopes have an average length of 3000 metres – the trickier slopes proving popular with more hard-core skiers.
And when the snow gives way to sunshine, visitors can still embrace the outdoors by enjoying mountain biking down the asphalt and gravel roads, hiking and foraging for herbs and fruit. And for those looking to enjoy a little culture, excursions are organised daily to the many historical monuments in the area.
In addition to the beautiful and diverse nature. Šar Mountain is also treasured as the cradle of Serbian spirituality, statehood and history.
Visitors can enjoy as many as 45 medieval churches and monasteries built between the 12th and 16th centuries. The best known being the Hermitage and Monastery of Saint Peter of Koriša, dating back to the 13th Century, the church of the Holy Virgin Hodegetria from the 14th Century and the monastery of the Holy Trinity build in the 15th Century.
The 14th-Century church of Our Lady of Ljeviš, considered to be the most exquisite example of both Byzantine architecture and fresco painting, is also well worth a visit.
Not far from Brezovica lies the city of Prizren, which retains much of the traditional medieval architecture – cobblestone streets and traditional houses with enclosed wooden balconies. In Prizren you can also visit the remains of the mediaeval city of Emperor Dušan and the Monastery of the Holy Archangels, founded by Serbian Emperor Dušan the Mighty.