Take to the Slopes in Turkey

October 24, 2007 by  
Filed under features

Turkey is generally associated with a hot sunny Mediterranean climate, with people holidaying at resorts that offer swimming, sunbathing and water sports. However, snow skiing enthusiasts from all around the world are starting to discover that Turkey is developing into a great snow skiing destination.

A large area of Turkey is mountainous with many regions experiencing cooler climates than the summer resort areas. The Anatolian Peninsula is notable for the North Anatolian Mountains (2587-3932 meters) and Taurus Mountains (3086-4136 meters), as well as the two inactive volcanic mountains of Mount Erciyes (3917 meters) and Mount Agri (5137 meters). Many of these peaks are covered in snow for up to six months of the year and provide interesting snow skiing opportunities.

During normal winter conditions the snow can reach a height of approximately three meters, turning the pine-forested mountain sides into a breath-taking winter wonderland. The sport of snow skiing is gaining popularity with the inhabitants of Turkey, as well as attracting tourists from other parts of the world, and this is resulting in a number of new resorts being developed and upgraded to attract skiers. The best snow conditions are generally from December to April, although good ski conditions are available at some resorts as early as November and lasting into May.

Situated 6 kilometers from Erzurum at an altitude of 2200-3100 meters the lovely resort of Palandoken features some of the most difficult and the longest ski slopes, together with the best snow conditions in Turkey. Chair-lift, accommodation and other top class facilities makes this an ideal venue for international ski competitions.

Uludag ski resort, situated about 36 kilometers from Bursa, is easy to get to along the asphalt road or alternatively, by cable car. The ski area is between 1800-1900 meters with slalom and giant slalom courses as well as beginner’s slopes.

Visitors who want the best of a summer and winter holiday all rolled into one, should consider visiting the Saklikent resort, about 50 kilometers west of Antalya, during the months of March and April. Visitors can have all the fun of snow skiing in the morning, then taking a drive down to the nearby coast and enjoy a swim in the warm Mediterranean. The best skiing conditions can be found at this resort from January to April.

Other ski resorts that offer top class snow skiing include Kartalkaya near Bolu, Erciyes near Kayseri and Elmadag near Ankara. Gear and instructors are available at all the resorts and they all offer exciting snow skiing areas, comfortable accommodation and deliciously exotic Turkish food. Certainly, there are many good reasons to go snow skiing in Turkey.