Secret Snow: A Ski Guide for Turkey

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Add Date : 14.08.2013 00:26

Secret Snow: A Ski Guide for Turkey

Secret Snow: A Ski Guide for Turkey

When you think of Turkey <> , no doubt skiing and snowboarding are not the first things to pop into your head. For too long has Turkey been side-lined in favour of lavish resorts in the European Alps and across the water in North America. Quietly and with little attention, Turkey’s ski resorts have popped and developed all over the vast country, and now skiers and snowboarders have a wide range of resorts and mountains to choose from. Now it is no secret that Turkey has great snow to offer, so read on to find out more about the winter sports offerings Turkey has.

A Resort for the Glamorous: Uludağ

Uludağ is one of the most popular ski resorts in Turkey, and its proximity to the capital Istanbul means that the city's affluent population flock here in the winter months. While it could be considered the busiest resort in Turkey too, the lift queues cannot be compared to the height of winter at resorts in the Alps. Thanks to its popularity, he advantage Uludağ has over other Turkish ski resorts is that its facilities and lift system are among the best in the country.

The Uludağ Ski Centre <>  has a total of 7 draglifts and 8 chairlifts serving the total of 13 different market and groomed pistes. The lifts can take you to a height of 2322 metres, and for the lower slopes there are snowmaking facilities to keep them topped up. The skiing terrain available here does not really reach higher than an intermediate standard, however the snow can get deep, with 3 metres being the normal during the middle of the winter. The season here starts in mid-December, and carries on right through to the middle of April. There are almost 30 hotels here at present, with many more in the pipeline, and plenty of restaurants and bars to keep you fed and watered.

To the Extreme: Heli-Skiing in the Kaçkar Mountains

For those of you who are looking for something much more extreme, then consider booking a tailored Heli-Skiing trip in the immense Kaçkar Mountains. This mountain range in eastern Turkey, and the highest peak here is Kaçkar Daği, which reaches up a staggering 3,937 metres towards the sky. Many of the mountain plateaus are located at around 3,000 meters, ensuring that much of the mountain range is blanketed in fresh snow all winter long. If you are looking for guaranteed snow in 2014 <> , then a Heli-Skiing trip to the Kaçkar Mountains <,36320/rize---kackar-mountain-national-park.html>  is your best bet! Heli-skiing gives you the opportunity to ski or snowboard is fresh powder snow all to yourself. You can stay high up in the mountains, in exclusive mountain lodges far away from any resorts or ski lifts. Having your own helicopter at your disposal means you can ski a completely new piece of terrain every day, and find terrain that perfectly suits your ability. While it is by no means the cheapest option for skiing in Turkey, it is by far the most fun.

Empty Slopes to the East: Palandoken

Located in the eastern corner of Turkey, close to the city of Ezurum, the Palandoken Ski Centre <>  benefits from being situated in an area that has one of the coldest climates in the country. The Ski Centre itself is located at 2200 metres, and the lifts here can take you up to a height of 3176 metres.

Compared to Uludağ, there is much more in the way of ski terrain for skilled skiers and snowboarders. The 22 pistes on the mountain are a fairly even mix of 40% for beginners, 40% for intermediates, and 20% for advanced. Another advantage it has over its western counterpart is that the slopes are much less crowded, with skiers often have slopes entirely to themselves. The only real downside to the resort is that fact that it does not have an extensive lift system in place, with just 3 chairlifts and one gondola served the entire resort.

That’s Not All

These three options for skiing and snowboarding in Turkey provides something for everyone, whether it is a family skiing holiday or advanced skiers wanting their annual ski fix. However, there are plenty more resorts in the country if you want to keep looking. Check out the skiing on offer at Kartalkaya, Erciyes, and Ilgaz to give yourself even more options before you book.

Julie Bowen