10 best ski resorts in Turkey
Active recreation in winter brings us not only entertainment, but also clear health benefits. So, the main task of the tourist is to find a budget alternative to the European Alps. One option of such a replacement may become a ski resort in Turkey. The nature of the natural terrain of this country on a large territory is mountainous.
The altitude of the Asia Minor Plateau, which occupies almost the entire Asia Minor Peninsula, in some places reaches 2,000 meters. Along the southern coast of the country stretch the beautiful Taurus Mountains, with peaks reaching almost 3000 meters into the sky. In the east of the country are scattered cones of extinct volcanoes.
During the cold months, from November to April, the mountain terrain is covered with a three-meter snow cap. But the ski season, like other winter resorts in Europe, Turkey opens later in December, and closes in March. During this period, the snow cover is more stable and skiing on the mountain slopes becomes safe.
Among the popular winter resorts of Turkey is considered Uludag. Like all the ski slopes, this place is located at a distance from major cities. Having made a flight to Istanbul, tourists must overcome another 180 km overland transport.
Therefore, ordering a transfer to the hotel is the best solution. But you can make this journey on your own. Either choose to fly to Bursa by local airlines, or overcome this distance by bus in 4 hours. From Bursa to the resort itself you will travel 35 km. Here it is easier and cheaper to take a cab.
The name of the mountain Uludag in Turkish sounds like “a huge mountain,” which for the experienced tourist is not quite true. The height of the mountain is about 2300 meters, but there are no steep and steep walls. 17 km of ski tracks are located on a relatively gentle slope of the mountain and are surrounded by coniferous forest. This is an absolute guarantee that tourists get not only sporty, but also aesthetic pleasure from skiing.
Duration of the skiing season is very dependent on the weather conditions, so you should focus on the period from the last decade of December to the end of March. Uludag slopes are suitable for experienced and beginner snowboarders and skiers. Predominant here are “green” (10) and “blue” (8) slopes for beginners, there are 6 “red” slopes for intermediate skiers and only one “black” track, located outside the forest area.
When choosing a hotel for a holiday in Uludag, we should bear in mind that there are virtually no small villas and apartments. Only hotels. And there are no very cheap hotels. Tourists can count on budget accommodation (from $65 per day), mid-priced seats (from $120) and expensive rooms (from $700). Hotels located near the slopes have their own elevators.
They can be used by all guests, since the service is included in the price. If tourists are accommodated at a distance from the ski resort, in which case they have to use the elevators of neighboring hotels, and for an additional fee. The price for renting equipment here ranges from $ 20 to $ 35 per day, and the lesson with an instructor costs $ 40 per hour.
Some tourists in the season prefer to stay for accommodation in Bursa, and only go to the slope for skiing. This option saves a lot of travel budget, but makes you spend more energy to travel to the slopes.
In Palandoken expects tourists not only Turkish hospitality, but also beautiful scenery, modern infrastructure of the resort, well-equipped ski slopes, aimed at athletes with different levels of training.
The youngest of the ski resorts of Turkey is located in the north-east of the country, 4 km from the ancient city of Erzurum. You can get here only by local airlines from Istanbul, Antalya or Ankara. For guests buying a tour package, hotels offer shuttle service from the airport. Independent travelers, as a rule, get to hotels by bus (public transport in Turkey is of a decent level) or by cab.
As in all resorts in Turkey, in Palandoken, the most stable snow holds from mid-December to March, and the thickness of the snow cover during the winter grows to 2 meters. On the slopes of the mountain there are a variety of complexity of trails, the total length of 30 km. Experienced instructors (there are also Russian-speaking) offer step-by-step training for beginners, and lessons are held in specially designated “corridors”, away from the general skiing. An hour of skiing with an instructor costs $ 30.
Extreme outdoorsmen and freeriders will appreciate the black slopes with untouched, untouched slopes. Renting equipment for skiers costs from $15 to $30 and for snowboarders from $25 to $30. The Palandoken resort’s ski slopes are laid out in an elevation corridor from 2,200 m to 3,175 m. The lift to the start is provided by 4 chairlifts and 3 rope tow elevators. The cost of the elevators for hotel guests is already included in the accommodation cost.
In addition to the standard resort entertainment vacationers in Palandoken offered excursions to the nearby cities of Erzurum and Trabzon, where history has preserved many sights.
The small town of Kartalkaya is located in the western part of the Black Sea region of Turkey. It can be reached either from Istanbul (6 hours) or Ankara (4 hours) by scheduled buses. The name Kartalkaya includes two ski resorts, Kartal and Doruk. Both offer great slopes for both ski lovers and snowboarders.
The resort is in the lead in terms of the length of the slopes, about 40 km. The scenery of the mountain slopes of Keroglu National Park allowed the organizers to create many intricate routes for ski racing. It is here that, with the participation of Austrian engineers, the only Snowpark and children’s ski center in Turkey has been created so far. All tracks occupy a corridor height of 1800 m to 2300 m and equipped with 11 elevators (6 rope tow lifts, 2 chairlifts and 3 special elevators for children). The total capacity of the elevators is up to 6000 people per hour.
Slopes of the resort are very democratic in their difficulty level. “Black” and “blue” on two, and most “red” (6) and “green” (5). Tourists have the opportunity to rent equipment (from $20 to $ 40 per day), to train with an instructor (cost per hour from $ 80 to $ 120) and buy a ski pass for a day for about $ 20 – $ 30.
Accommodation options at the resort are not too varied. The slope is divided between two major hotels (5 * and 4 *). Of course, they can’t be called budget, but both have an all-inclusive system. Many tourists prefer to stay in Bolu (54 km from the slope), where you can find a room and take the equipment cheaper. In the free time tourists are offered excursions to the nearby town of Bolu, in the neighboring national park Edigoller and a trip to the hot spring Kaplicalari.
For the quality of snow the resort town of Sarikamysh got the name of the Turkish Innsbruck. It is located in the province of Kars, the northeastern region of the country at an altitude of 2700 m. The sunny weather and almost no wind in the region allows the snow cover to hold for about 5 months.
The most convenient way to get to this remote region is by local airlines to Kars from Istanbul or Ankara. Further transfers from Kars to the resort (54 km) are offered by all hotels and are usually included in the tour price. The resort offers tourists to ski from the slopes of Mount Cibiltepe on 9 tracks. Levels of complexity are different.
Declared 3 “black” descents, but in terms of complexity they are clearly inferior to the alpine. Basically there are gentle slopes for those who like gentle skiing and beginners. Snowboarders have a separate 200-meter corridor, and cross-country skiing lovers will enjoy the 50-km “Cross Country”, a cross-country skiing track.
Three elevators will take you to the beginning of the slopes. A ski pass is already included in the accommodation price, but an additional fee is charged for guests.
Sarykamysh occupies a much smaller territory compared to other resorts. The total length of prepared slopes is a little bit more than 16 kilometers. The only place where you can go on an excursion or shopping is Kars. There are few additional attractions. Planning a trip to Sarykamysh, you must determine exactly how many days of rest you can devote only to sports.
Today the tourism business in this country can safely guarantee a high level of recreation, not only on the coast in the summer season, but also in winter, in hotels located in the mountains. Skiing – a relatively new direction for the Turkish tourism business, but it is simply moving forward by leaps and bounds. On the slopes are actively building new modern hotels, rapidly expanding entertainment infrastructure “après-ski”, there are new safe elevators, to improve the quality of ski slopes using modern European equipment.
Turks are actively adopting the experience of their Austrian, French and Italian colleagues. They buy in Europe the ski equipment and equipment for servicing the slopes, and build snow amusement parks, such as a snowboard park in Kartalkaya, according to the European analogues.
To date, the main trump card of winter resorts in Turkey is the quality-price ratio. Service is up to European standards, and the price is attractive and affordable Turkish. Almost all winter hotels pleasant surprise system “all inclusive”, which takes into account not only the food of the guests, but also a subscription to the ski elevators, and sometimes the equipment.
It should be said at once that the Turkish slopes will not attract the attention of professional skiers, because there are very few slopes of high complexity. Most of them are not comparable to the slopes in Austria or France. However, for those who are just beginning their skiing career, or for those who like to try skiing without having to overcome any difficulties, the Turkish slopes are going to be very popular.
These resorts are especially suitable for recreation with children.
Instructors, quite tolerably speaking in Russian, will hold full-fledged skiing lessons not only for children but also adults who have decided to hone their skills.
In addition to basic services of the winter resort – ski rentals, equipment and lessons with instructors – hotel guests are offered a lot of additional “pleasures”. They can choose from a large variety: swimming pools, baths and saunas, fitness and fitness centers, swimming in thermal springs, evening entertainment shows and discos.
Active recreation in Turkey. Ski resorts
The 6 best ski resorts in Turkey. Description of slopes, skipass prices, altitude differences. How to get to the resorts. Prices for airfare, hotels and trips to ski resorts.
Ski resorts in Turkey
With the onset of cold weather, the tourist season does not end. Fans of winter holidays are waiting for skiing, snowboarding and sunbathing in the middle of snow-covered peaks. Do not be surprised if a tour operator will offer you ski tours not to European resorts, but to Turkey, which usually has a Russian association with the beach, the sea, and the hot sun.
With skiing – to a southern resort!
Ski resorts in Turkey are actively raising their positions in the European rankings. Just a few years ago, Turkish “skiing” mainly attracted beginners and families with children. Today even skilled skiers and snowboarders choose snowy slopes of southern latitudes. And there are reasons for that:
- Mountainous landscape with comfortable slopes created by nature itself.
- Continental climate, thanks to which the slopes from November to April are covered with a three-meter layer of snow.
- Affordable prices, especially when compared to the resorts of Austria, France, Switzerland.
- Ski Turkey, year after year, improving the infrastructure, opening up new slopes, building hotels, diversifying leisure activities.
- Recreation on a “All inclusive” with a full package of services is available at winter resorts.
- It offers Russian-speaking instructors, equipment rentals, ski schools for adults and children.
- Besides sports tourists can improve their health in thermal springs, have a rest in a sauna, go sightseeing in historical places, have fun in night bars and discos.
Many resorts are united by a single system of ski elevators, and their cost is often included in the price of hotel accommodation. Availability of such services should be clarified by a tour operator or hotel administration, if you are traveling alone.
The fact is that the ski elevator is not a cheap pleasure. After studying the reviews of tourists, guests prefer not to spend money on a ticket before each lift, and purchase a ski pass – an electronic pass for ski elevator. The ski pass card contains information about the owner, region and expiration date.
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Turkey’s largest ski center is Uludag, i.e. Big Mountain. The resort is located in a national park, among mountains that reach a height of 2,543 meters. The slopes are covered with dense forest, and above 2000 meters spread alpine meadows.
For the information of vacationers:
- The total length of the trail – 20 km;
- Height difference – 532 m;
- The price of skipass – 15 euros and above.
Tours to Uludag are good for families with children, beginners and tourists who want to save money. This is evidenced by the numerous reviews. We are pleased with the democratic prices, which rise only on New Year’s Eve. Local hotels are all inclusive.
The tracks, a total length of 20 km, are located at an altitude of 1700-2500m. Among them:
- 10 “green” tracks for children and beginners;
- 8 “blue” for adults, confident on skis;
- 6 “red” for more experienced skiers;
- 1 “black” – the most difficult, for fans of extreme.
To help guests make their choice, they are given a map of ski trails. Snow lies from December to March, the thickness of drifts reaching three meters.
Getting to Uludag is not difficult:
- By plane from Moscow to Istanbul;
- by bus or cab to Bursa (150 km);
- One more bus or cable car ride and you’re there.
Walks on mountain slopes perfectly combined with health-improving procedures. Local springs of mineral water blow. Saunas and fitness centers are waiting for the guests.
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Despite the fact that Palandoken is the youngest ski resort, it is one of the most popular places for winter holidays in Turkey. National team athletes train here, and in 2011 the Universiade was held.
Conditions for outdoor activities are ideal:
- Length of trails – 30 km;
- Height difference – 976 m;
- the start price for skipasses is from 25 euros.
The abundant snowfalls from December to mid March guarantee a 1.5 meter thick snow cover. In November and April precipitation is less, but the snow cannons solve the problem. Fogs are extremely rare here.
There are 22 routes on the track map: 8 blue and red routes, 2 black routes for professionals and 4 wild slopes. The most difficult of them start from the upper Dedeman station, where from a height of 3176 meters you can see aggressive black and red slopes. For thrill seekers there are helicopter flights to the mountain slopes followed by a dizzying descent.
The resort is built at an altitude of 1700m. It is located near the border with Armenia, near the town of Erzurum. The nearest airport and train station is 9 km away, but it is possible to get to Erzurum from Moscow only via Istanbul, Ankara or Antalya. From there is a transfer for tourists who bought tours, or independent travel by bus or car.
Developed infrastructure offers 4-5-star hotels, ski schools for adults and children, restaurants and bars, indoor pools and saunas. Significantly reduce the price will help early booking. You can just buy a tour and leave your vacation to the care of professionals.
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Erciyes Mountain (3916 m) is located 25 km northeast of Kayseri in Cappadocia. The mountain resort of the same name is situated on the Takir Plateau. Long extinct volcano not so long ago attracted only experienced climbers. Now here are settled fans of snowboarding and alpine skiing. Local slopes for most of the year are covered with a 2-meter layer of delightful snow “powder. At the top of the mountain all year round the glacier does not thaw, thanks to which the ski season lasts from November to May.
The official website is constantly updated with information about the infrastructure. The resort is actively developing, new slopes are opened, elevators are improved (there are even heated seats). Five ski escalators have been built for children.
The resort has:
- 34 ski slopes with a total length of 102 km;
- Height difference – 900 meters;
- A single ski pass, valid for all slopes – 15 euros per day.
Hotels in the resort are a 40-minute drive from the local airport in Kayseri. You can only fly in from Istanbul or Ankara. Guests are transported to the lower elevator stations by bus. When buying a tour, many tourists prefer to stay in a hotel near the elevator. For example, in Amelia boutique hotel, where the ski pass is included in the price. The prices are great because here are not yet mastered the rich Europeans, and you can relax for a small money.
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The city of Sarykamysh still remembers the days of Russian rule. There was once a village here with an Orthodox church and the hunting lodge of Nicholas II.
Now Sarykamysh is young and developing mountain ski resort on the height of 2100 m. Information for guests:
- The total length of the trails – 34 km;
- Height difference – 530 m;
- The price for a ski pass – from 8 euros.
The mountain air, pine forest, gentle slopes are ideal for family holidays. But book a room in advance, as there are few hotels, and free rooms in the high season is not to be found.
Sports opportunities of the resort are reflected in the map that is available to guests. These are “blue”, “red” and “black” slopes, a snowboard park, 2 tracks for cross-country skiing and a snowy lake in the middle of the mountains.
To get there from the neighboring cities of Kars (53 km) and Erzurum (150 km), but will have to connect by flight through Istanbul, or even get out of Istanbul or Ankara.
Saklıkent means a hidden city, translated from Turkish. It is hidden in a picturesque gorge. The main local attraction is the national park, on whose territory was built ski resort. In summer tourists come here to go down into the canyon, in winter – to ski.
Two ski elevators and just 6 km of tracks are unlikely to tempt advanced skiers. But for the guests of Antalya trip to the mountains – a great opportunity to diversify the leisure time. Only an hour drive and you get from a sweltering summer to a snowy fairy tale.
Snowdrifts 50-100 cm thick lie from December till April. The slopes are located at an altitude of 2,000 and 2,400 meters. A one-day skipass costs 70 liras. It is better to book a hotel or resort in advance.
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Kartalkaya is another new ski resort 54 km away from the province of Balu. Not only skiers come here, but also fans of biathlon, snowboarding and slalom. Trails of varying complexity are suitable for both beginners and professionals. For tourists’ information:
- Length of trails – 30 km;
- Height difference – 420 m;
- The cost of ski passes – 9 -18 euros, depending on the season.
Vacationers leave excellent reviews noting the excellent service and extensive infrastructure: comfortable hotels, ski schools, restaurants, saunas, children’s clubs.
However, the main attraction is the Seven Lakes National Park with its beech and pine forests inhabited by rare animals.
You can get there by bus or by transfer from Istanbul (6 hours drive) or Ankara (4 hours).
The ski season is not far off. Ahead of the New Year, the snowy slopes, dizzying slopes and cozy get-togethers with a glass of hot mulled wine. Turkey is waiting for visitors!