The "Great Mountain"

ferik1Uludağ. The Great Mountain. The Olympos of Bithynia.

No matter what you call it, the great thing about this 2543m-high peak is that it’s mere hours away from central İstanbul and yet boasts some of the finest winter sports conditions in the country. What’s more Uludağ sits on the doorstep of central Bursa which means that you can come here for the skiing, yet still be able to take advantage of the city nightlife and other attractions.

You can drive right up to the Uludağ ski lifts, but those in search of a cheap thrill should hop the Teleferik, the ageing cable-car that sashays its way to the top from mid-town Bursa. This is a serious cable-car which ascends in two doses, the first getting you as far as Kadıyayla (where you’re forced to hang about for 10 minutes), the second carrying you to Sarıalan whence dolmuşes wait to whisk you another eight km to Uludağ proper.

The ski season runs from mid-December through to late March, with the best snow usually in January. During these months you can expect the resort to be heaving with visitors, most of them Turkish but with an increasing throughput of foreigners too.

At weekends queues for the five chair lifts and seven T-lifts lengthen, prices soar, and you’ll be struggling for a seat in the smaller cafes, but the lively atmosphere will more than make up for discovering that, with the exception of the Grand Yazıcı and Ergün, most of the hotels are built of concrete and pay not even lip service to the surrounding national park. Mid-week the hotels should have more rooms available and will drop their prices accordingly.

Nothing in your wardrobe fit for hitting the ski slopes? Never fear - everything you need can be hired or bought at the cluster of ski shops near the hotels.

The resort's westerly position means that it can be very cloudy, so be sure to check the forecasts before setting out (www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Uludag). In high winds the cable-car gets grounded, so you’ll be forced to take a taxi to the top.


The hotels on Uludağ have the obvious advantage of proximity to the ski slopes and of being geared to the needs of skiers. On the other hand staying in them can be costly, and you’ll probably be obliged to take full-board whether you want to or not.

The alternative is to stay down in Bursa and travel up to the slopes during the day, which means that you get to take advantage of all the facilities of one of Turkey’s liveliest cities.

Beceren Hotel. Tel: 0224-285 2111
Ergün Hotel. Tel: 0224-285 2100
Hotel Grand Yazıci.Tel: 0224-285 2050
Kervansaray. Tel: 0224-285 2187
Montebaia Hotel. Tel: 0224-285 2383
Travel info

Daily BUDO fast ferries l(https://budo.burulas.com.tr/) leave Kabataş in İstanbul for Mudanya at 5.30pm daily and arrive around 7.15pm. 

From the ferry terminal take a bus to Organize Sanayı in Bursa and change to the Metro for Şehreküstü, a 10-minute walk or short bus ride from Atatürk Caddesi, Bursa's main drag.

Dolmuşes to the Teleferik leave from an underground terminal behind the Heykel (monument) at the eastern end of Atatürk Caddesi. In summer it operates from 8.30am to 8.20pm.












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