Palandöken ski resort, 7
km (4.5 miles) south of the center
of Erzurum in eastern
Turkey (map), is
among Turkey's most dramatic and challenging
Because of its high altitude,
cold temperatures and dry atmosphere,
Mitch Weisburgh (to whom I owe thanks
for most of this information) has described
snow as resembling "Colorado
other words, light, fine and wonderful
Three chair lifts 3-km
(2-mi) gondola and
one T-bar serve
the 18 trails on the bald, treeless
890-hectare (2200-acre) resort expanse
around the 3185-meter (10,450-foot)
summit. The trails are useful, but
in fact you can go off-piste as much
as you like—no forests to
get in the way of your travel or the
view. Also, the ski season is an impressive
150 days per year,
City bus G6 trundles the route from Erzurum to the ski center every 30
The two prominent luxury hotels,
Polat Erzurum Hotel and
the 54-room Dedeman
Ski Lodge Otel,
each has its own lifts to the slopes,
and there is a gondola as
well. The lifts are relatively slow
However, as there is no snowmaking capability
yet, the slopes depend on natural snow
for cover, and very little trail grooming.
In a dry period, there's no skiing.
The gondola and Dedeman lifts provide
access to the main mountain. On days
of high wind (which may be frequent),
the gondola and upper Dedeman
Some of the trails and terrain can
be rocky and dotted
with hazards, particularly
if the snow base is not deep. Most
of the trails would be classified as
lower intermediate in
Colorado, but the mountain
scenery is beautiful. Usually,
there are no lines/queues to use the
just take your seat.
Equipment rentals are
available through the hotels, and the
staff are friendly and accommodating,
but you may have to pay in cash.
Here are tips for skiing Palandöken:
1. Determine ski and snow
conditions in advance, if possible. Make sure
2. Make airplane and hotel
reservations in advance. The flights and hotels
are often fully booked.
3. Prepare for the cold. The
mountain is high, the winds can be
strong, the wind-chill dangerous.
4. Expect a different skiing
unlike what you're used to at home.
The hotels are good, the people are
friendly, but the skiing facilities
are in the early stages of development.
Also consider the newer Konaklı
Kayak Merkezi (Konaklı
Ski Center) 18 km southwest of Erzurum,
on the other side of the mountain. More...
For reservations, contact one of TTP's
recommended travel agencies.
Palandöken Ski Center
Skiing in Turkey