Along with South Africa, Israel and India,is one of the last places you might expect to find a ski resort. But Kosovo does indeed have a ski resort. It’s called Brezovica, it has 800m of vertical, gets plenty of powder and has been deemed one of the best mountains in the Balkans.
Brezovica has intermediate skiing on nice long, mainly treeless, runs. Brezovica is not terribly large but this is a pretty and popular winter resort situated within Sara National Park in the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. With skiing covering 2550 hectares of the northern slopes of the lofty Shar Mountain, Brezovica enjoys an excellent vertical range from November until May.
In 1984 it was chosen as an alternative site for the Sarajevo Olympic downhill and the infamous Orlovo Gnezdo is incredibly steep. Brezovica suffered two years of closure during the 98–99 war but is popular again. There are numerous hotels at Brezovica. Three new lifts opened in 2008.
Brezovica remains a superb place to ski, especially if you are able to visit on a weekday, and provides ideal hiking ground in the spring, summer and autumn. Brezovica is 45km east of Prizren and 70km south of Pristina, in the southern Sharr mountains which border Macedonia. Its heyday was the 1980s, when it became the favoured skiing destination for the Yugoslav elite, hosting 120,000 overnight stays a year.
Brezovica is a 70km, 90-minute drive from Pristina and a 45km, 40-minute drive from Prizren, and is signposted from the Prizren-Štrpce road. In winter, snow chains are highly recommended for the steep final 8km. Travel agencies in Pristina and other cities arrange tour buses to the slopes in winter.
Brezovica’s ski centre has no obvious street names or landmarks, but is vaguely centred around the huge Hotel Molika. On foot, follow signs to Pizzeria Tina by a wooden map of Brezovica and you’ll find a clutch of bars, restaurants and the Woodlands Hotel.