There is a lesser known part of Kopaonik, outside of all tourist offers and ski slopes. One of those parts of the mountain is the canyon of the river Samokovka, which members of the “Eco Club Zeljin” from Aleksandrovac recently passed through.
“We heard about our hidden part and the jewel of NP Kopaonik from the canyon of Samokovka, so we decided to set aside one day to explore all those beauties.
We started from Đorovo most, as that part is called by the locals. We downloaded the track with the route from the net, but Sekula, the gatekeeper of the western gate of Kopaonik, gave us some information on how to safely cross the entire track, which was about 17 km long on the track.
From Đorovo’s bridge we walked along the river itself, and a couple of times we crossed from one side of the river to the other. There was a wooden bridge at each crossing. The road took us further away from the river in one part, because the canyon is much steeper there. In the end, we met again with Samokovka at Kadijevac. There, the path separates to the west, ie. goes up to the top of Kukavica. There was a fence in one part of the trail, which Sekula also warned us about. That fence is part of a 9km fenced area for deer. Next to that fence, we went directly to the ridge that leads to Kukavica (1726 m above sea level).
From Kukavica, the trail descends down to Kozje stene, which offers an excellent view of the Samokovka canyon, and then the trail enters the forest. The path through the forest is not marked, so we descended to the starting point using a GPS track.
In the end, the GPS device showed us 16 km with over 1100 meters of ascent. But every meter of ascent was worth that beauty.
Samokovka, as well as the Jošanička banja itself, is a symbol of the beauty of nature, but unfortunately also a symbol of the degradation of mountain rivers. The Samokovka canyon is one of the most beautiful landscapes we have walked, but the lower part of the river has been devastated by the construction of as many as three mini hydro power plants (Samokovka 1, Velež and Velež 1). From 20 km of the river, today it is 9.28 km in pipes. One SHPP of modern design is located at the entrance to the Kopaonik National Park.
I hope that we will soon walk through the canyon of Samokovka again, a river of extraordinary beauty. ” said Zoran Đukić Sipac from the Eco Club Željin Aleksandrovac.
See photos of the tour through the Samokovka canyon – Kozje stene HERE