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For most first-time visitors, Turkey is simply a sun-and-sand destination.

Page after page of the holiday brochures is devoted to images of Marmaris, Bodrum, Dalyan and the other coastal hotspots. It can come as a surprise, then, to discover that Turkey also boasts a flourishing winter sports industry, albeit primarily a domestic one.

The crown jewel of the ski scene has to be Uludağ, near Bursa. However, for those in search of something a little more adventurous there are plenty of alternatives scattered about the country including Palandöken, way over in the east near Erzurum but with some of the best snow conditions in the country.

Most of these resorts have facilities for snowboarding too.


You may never have heard of it, but 110 km east of İzmir there’s a small ski resort at Bozdağ, near Salihli. Skiing is possible from December through to March, at heights of upto 2157m.

Bozdağ Kaymak Merkezi Oteli. Tel: 0232-544 0909


There’s also a ski resort on Davraz Dağı (2637m), 26 km southwest of Isparta in the Turkish Lake District, Skiing is possible from December through to April although the limited range of slopes means that this a resort more likely to appeal to casual skiers than experts. Equipment can be hired at the site. Be warned that as of 2013 there were no medical facilities on site.

Davraz Kayak Merkezi. Tel: 0246-267 2020

Sirene Davraz Hotel. Tel: 0242-710 0800 erc1New gondolas as part of 270-million-euro redevelopment of Erciyes Dağı ski resort

Erciyes Dağı (Mt Erciyes)

Most people think of Cappadocia as somewhere to go to sightsee or walk amid the extraordinary fairy-chimney rock formations, but Cappadocia is also right in the heart of Turkey which means that it experiences the full force of the Anatolian winter. As a result a ski resort has grown up on the slopes of Erciyes Dağı (Mt Erciyes), 3916m), 25 km south of Kayseri, which is also home to the busiest Cappadocian airport. Skiing is possible from late December right through until May, and facilites are being rapidly upgraded. The snow can be excellent. Equipment can be hired here too. Many more hotels should have opened by the 2015/16 season.

Ace Hotel. Tel: 0352-342 2053

Bülent Hotel. Tel: 0352-342 2012

Dedeman Hotel. Tel: 0352-342 2116

Kayak Evi. Tel: 0352-342 2032


Inside the Ilgaz National Park, 40 km southwest of Kastamonu, the Ilgaz ski resort is much bigger than its low prifile might suggest. Skiing is possible from December through to April, and equipment can be hired at the site.

Ilgaz Mountain Resort. Tel: 0366-239 1040

Ilgaz Dağbaşı Hotel. Tel: 0366-239 1010

Le Chalet Ilgaz. Tel: 0366-239 1004


Not yet as well known as Bursa as a ski destination, Kartepe (1700m) is neverthless even nearer to İstanbul as it lurks in the outskirts of Maşukiye, about 100 km out of town near İzmit. There are 14 slopes here with something to suit everyone from absolute beginners to those who want to ski off-piste amid the surrounding pine forests.

Green Park Resort. Tel: 0262-315 4700


Like Kartepe, Kartalkaya makes a good alternative to Bursa for Istanbullus in search of something different. Kartalkaya is inside the Köroğlu National Park, 54 km southeast of Bolu, and so far development is fairly low-key. Prices, too, are competitive which means that this resort attracts a large number of young people and students. Skiing is possible from late December through to April, and equipment can be hired at the site.

Grand Kartal Hotel. Tel: 0374-234 5050

Kartal Hotel. Tel: 0374-231 1280


For those prepared to venture fruther afield, Palandöken, five km south of Erzurum around Ejder Dağı (Dragon Mt, 3125m), has grown in a fairly short space of time into a sophisticated resort with 28 km of runs. Since Erzurum has one of the coldest climates in Turkey, this is where you’ll find the best snow conditions of all; even in mild years, you should be able to ski here right through until May.

Kardelen Hotel. Tel: 0442-316 6851

Palan Hotel. Tel: 0442-317 0707

Polat Renaissance. Tel: 0442-232 0010

Ski Resort Dedeman. Tel: 0442-316 2414


Tucked away in the hills 50 km northwest of Antalya on the slopes of Bakırlı Dağı (2547m) in the Beydağlar National Park, Saklıkent (not to be confused with the Saklıkent of the gorge near Fethiye) is only just getting into its stride as a ski resort which means that both of the hotels there are fairly small. The big selling point of this resort is that it’s sometimes possible to hit the slopes in the morning and then kick back on the beach in the afternoon, although its southerly location means that the season is comparatively short.

Saklıkent Ski Resort. Tel: 0242-312 2707



The best known and most popular of the ski resorts is on Uludağ (2543m), 36 km south of Bursa in the Karabelen National Park.

The reason for its popularity is obvious: it’s no more than a short hop from İstanbul to fast developing Bursa courtesy of the BUDO seabuses which means that the resort is within easy reach of a sizeable part of Turkey’s urban elite. Consequently it’s here that you will find the finest skiing facilities, with10 slopes to choose from. 

Skiing is possible from December to March, with the best snow earlier in the season. Skis and ski gear can be rented on site. Expect to pay through the nose for full-board arrangements at the resort hotels – or make the trek in and out of Bursa to find something cheaper.

Beceren Otel. Tel: 0224-285 2111

Grand Yazıcı. Tel: 0224-285 2050

Kervansaray. Tel: 0224-285 2187

Montebaia Hotel. Tel: 0224-285 2383

There’s an embryo ski resort at Karacadağ near Nemrut Dağı, the mountain best known for the giant Commagene heads on its summit, and another in the Yalnızcam Dağları near Ardahan in the far northeast. And now that a cable-car has been installed on Tahtalı Dağı near Olympos it can only be time until a full-blown resort a la Uludağ takes off there too.

For more info www.holiday.gen.tr/wintersports.asp

Read more about the ski resort on Erciyes Dağı: http://www.todayszaman.com/columnistDetail_getNewsById.action;jsessionid=4A90A4D481948C7F83D64128B6A09C62?newsId=337286&columnistId=79




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