While Turkey is known as a summer destination with beautiful beaches, all-inclusive resorts, and a haven of popular coastal towns such as Çeşme, Antalya, and Bodrum, it is also possible to visit the country in the winter and have a great holiday and the best way to do so is to get yourself a place in the snowy mountains of the country. So, if you want to have fun on the slopes in Turkey, continue reading.
Turkey has many mountains on its east side, and some make it ideal for a skiing center. Facilities and terrain are different from the great ski centers of Europe, the southwestern USA, or western Canada, but skiing can be an enjoyable part of a winter vacation here.
Turkey has several popular ski resorts that are worth visiting.
Uludağ is one of the most popular mountains in Turkey, located in Bursa, a popular city among Ottoman history lovers with a rich history and many preserved buildings and museums. The ski center is reachable by cable car or road from Bursa. Moreover, it is only one and a half hours south of Istanbul by ferry and bus.
Uludag Ski Center (Uludağ Kayak Merkezi) is up the Uludağ Mountain, standing at 2453 meters (8000 feet), with nearly twenty hotels and lodges. Very popular. Efendi Travel runs one-day, overnight, and multi-day ski tours right from Istanbul.
Erciyes Ski Resort is one of the most well-developed ski centers in Turkey. There are all kinds of facilities to enjoy throughout your time in the center, and the scenery is beautiful.
Kartape is another popular option when it comes to getting a ski holiday after visiting the amazing metropolis of Istanbul. Kartepe Ski Center (Kartepe Kayak Merkezi) is located near Izmit and overlooks the Sapanca Lake, 131 km (81 miles) east of Sultanahmet, Istanbul (map).
Sarıkamış Ski Center (Sarıkamış Kayak Merkezi) has one of the longest ski runs in Turkey. Another important attraction to the center is that the snow type, called crystal snow, can only be found in the Alps and Sarıkamış.
Going further away from Istanbul, we have the Kartal Kaya Ski Center (Kartal Kaya Kayak Merkezi), 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Bolu off the Istanbul-Ankara expressway.
While the slopes at 2221 meters (7300 feet) altitude are popular with sporty skiers who crowd in on weekends, the ski center is further away from the most popular cities in Turkey but can be chosen if the other choices are unavailable.
Ilgaz Ski Center (Ilgaz Kayak Merkezi) is located 210 km (130 miles) north of Ankara in Kastamonu province. The ski center is at 2000 meters (6600 feet), and there is little to do and the slopes are small compared to other ski centers in Turkey.
While Antalya is known as a beach and sun destination, enjoying the city in the winter is possible. Saklıkent (2400 m.), just 50 km away from the city center, offers limited skiing experience. However, Saklıkent Ski Center is a great option for those looking to combine their winter holiday with sightseeing in the beautiful city of Antalya.
Ergan Ski Resort (Erzincan)
Ergan Ski Resort is another option to consider when visiting Turkey for snowboarding. While it is not as big or well-developed as other ski resorts in Turkey, visiting this ski center in winter is enjoyable.
Davraz Ski Center is another ski resort option for those looking to enjoy a winter holiday. It is located in Isparta near Antalya, Turkey's most popular beach destination. It is only 150 kilometers away from Antalya and 2,394 meters tall. It is suitable for both beginners and intermediate skiers.
Thanks to Elina Belija for the tip on this small, simple ski and snowboard area 114 km (71 miles) east of İzmir, 24 km (15 miles) south of Salihli. Bozdağ has the potential to be a more interesting downhill area, and it already has the advantage of being relatively close to Izmir.
However, while Bozdağ used to operate as a ski center before, now it is closed due to renovations taking place in the area. It is unknown when it will be open to the public again.