Turkey doesn’t always have to be associated with beautiful, sandy beaches and 40°C temperatures in the shade because you can also find skiers there, too! Turkey has a total of 36 ski areas with great snow conditions and modern lifts. If those aren’t enough reasons, we have a few more as to why skiing in Turkey is worthwhile for everyone.
Skiing fun and après ski on a volcano
The largest and one of the most popular ski areas in Turkey is called Erciyes-Kayseri. It is located in central Anatolia and includes 55 kilometres of pistes and 14 modern lifts that take guests up to an altitude of 3,360 metres. It is located on the dormant Erciyes volcano in Cappadocia, not far from the metropolis of Kayseri. It is reminiscent of a ski area we know from Ischgl or Zillertal, the small difference being that instead of serving “Jagertee” and mulled wine for après ski, Turkish coffee or “sahlep” is served, which is a Turkish hot drink consisting of orange blossom water, orchid roots, sugar and cinnamon.
The second largest ski area in Turkey is called Palandöken and is located in Eastern Anatolia. Since 2016, the ski area has been part of the new Ejder 3200 World Ski Center, a merger of the local ski areas of Palandöken and Konakli. It reaches an altitude of up to 3,176 m and is well equipped with 43 kilometres of pistes and 13 lifts. Its gigantic height and fine snow make it one of the most spectacular ski areas in Turkey. In addition, the longest downhill run in Turkey can be found here with a length of 12 kilometres and a difference in altitude of 1,000 metres. The steepest run, the Ejder piste, can be found on the northern slope of Mt. Palandoken. However, the ski area is not only reserved for experts – beginners can also enjoy the winter fun here.
Modern lifts and hotels
The Uludag ski resort is located on the Uludag massif, about 30 km from the city of Bursa in western Turkey, which is its fourth largest city with 1.5 million inhabitants. The lift facilities have been vigorously expanded and modernised in recent years: there are currently 15 chair and tow lifts as well as a gondola lift of Austrian origin. This gives Uludag an almost homey, alpine feeling, if it weren’t for a few peculiarities that are uncommon in alpine tourism: although there are 30 pistes available, they can only be used with three different lift passes, as the lifts are owned by the largest hotels in the area and are primarily available to their own guests.
Skiing with a view of the sea
Skiing in the morning, swimming in the still somewhat chilly sea in the afternoon and then going for a walk on the beach: it may sound like a fairy tale, but it’s actually possible in Sakliken! The ski area of Sakliken is only 50 km away from the well-known seaside resort of Antalya, which is less than an hour’s drive. Not only that, but if the sea is still a bit too cold, there are other great things to do: white water rafting, boat and river tours, a visit to a bazaar or the beautiful old town and harbour.
Best of all, when visibility is good, you have a fascinating view from the piste overlooking Antalya and the sparkling sea.
Ideal snow conditions
The ski season in Turkey is shorter than the Alpine season and runs from mid-December to the end of March, although at higher altitudes, it is sometimes possible to ski until May. Due to the many 3,000-metre mountains, you can count on excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions here. This also applies to friends of off-piste skiing, who can ski towards the valley in fantastic deep snow under normal weather conditions.