If there was a scale to measure passion for a season and a favourite form of recreation, skiers would rank first, no contest. The love for that first hint of winter, the first snowflakes and the euphoria of the first skiing trip is something only true fans of winter sports can understand. If you have tried skiing, even just once in your life, you know what I’m talking about and you know I’m right.
Winter holidays are the most important time of year for skiers – the time of year they schedule all their obligations around. The criteria for choosing the place to spend your winter holidays revolve completely around the ski trails – how far the accommodation is from the trail, whether the trail is steep, is it sufficiently rugged but also sufficiently ordered at the same time, what the ski lift is like, are there nice places to take a break next to the trail – perfectly located to greet you right after your downhill run, when the adrenalin is just starting to wear off, so that you can sit down to a cup of tea and let that moment of true enjoyment that comes from gazing out onto a magnificent mountain side wash over you. “Ski Avenija” (The Ski Avenue) is just such a place, it can equally fulfil the strictest skiing criteria and the most sophisticated requirements of the true hedonists. Whether you are coming down from your first downhill of the year, from the downhill of your life or just from a relaxed slow hike down from Pančićev Vrh (the highest peak of Kopaonik, trans. note), Avenija is the epicentre of all that is happening on Kopaonik. Avenija is where those most passionate of skiers come to exchange experiences and reconnect with friends they met last holidays, hiking aficionados come to take a coffee break and hedonists come to enjoy the best view of Kopaonik over mulled wine and IQOS.
Even though the famous tea from Kopaonik and the view have made Avenija the favourite pit stop of all skiers, Avenija adds new elements to its offer every year, which is why it remains the favourite meeting place of all skiers, hikers, tourists – but also locals. Often skiers would complain that there was something missing from their moment of indulgence, so now, everyone stopping by at Avenija – who had found it hard to give up the pleasure of enjoying a cup of hot tea and some tobacco, no longer have to suffer such deprivation. True fans of skiing, winter and Kopaonik are always trying to reconcile the practical and the sensual, which is exactly what the new IQOS corner in Avenija is all about. The interior is inspiring already, since it is the textbook image of a typical mountain-side, warm, comfortable nook perfect for a longer or a shorter break from the wealth of winter activities. IQOS corner, as a new type of indulgence for tobacco lovers, opens completely new possibilities, as this is now becoming a sort of a trend revolution of the Philip Morris brand. It is smoke-free, so instead of smoke-filled rooms, which can sometimes result from the presence of only a few smokers, all it emits is a mild aroma, like to that of tea. IQOS technology provides an almost identical pleasure, even to the most passionate of smokers, but without the expected adverse effects, such as “harassing” others. IQOS leaves no scent on the hands, body, hair and it provides a complete pleasure. Avenija is situated right next to the trail, so immediately after your break, you can continue your downhill run; and yet, it is peaceful enough that you can indulge in a true hedonistic ritual. The variety of beverages is quite wide, from classic hot winter beverages to rare international brands. The rich bar suits every taste, as does the gastronomic menu. It comprises specialties of the national and numerous international cuisines, suitable for any time of day and suited to everyone’s taste. This makes Avenija the perfect spot for a quick bite to eat, as well as for a lovely dinner for two.
Nature was very generous to Kopaonik, when it made it the largest and most beautiful mountain in the country. Still, Kopaonik is not a favourite just because of its stunning landscapes, but also because it features places where memories are made – first snowballs constructed, first steps in ski shoes taken, first falls and first successful downhills, friendships that start at the top of the trail and continue over hot Kopaonik tea and views of the mountain side – and last for many a winter holiday to come, with traditional meetings at everyone’s favourite spot – “Ski Avenija”.
Photo: Bojan Milović