The Development of Ski Sport in TURKEY

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If you ski, you are a traditional person. The history of skiing goes way back. The ski poles help you with your performance. It was first used in the Northern countries as means for hunting, military needs and transportation. First official competition was held in 1932 in Norway. It was accepted into the Olympic Games in 1936. Compared to snowboard, it is easy for beginners but gets more challenging as you master it. Jackets that are light and aerodynamic must be worn.

Price of skiing gears vary between 1000-2000 TL. (
$US300 to US$600 ) Knee injuries are frequent as knees carry the weight. Skiing and falling are two things that go together. You fall sideways. To initiate a turn, you need to bring your weight to the opposite direction.


skiing in turkey turkey skiing turkish ski resorts children skiing turkey



Be patient if you want to ski with them…

If you ski, you want your children to learn to ski as soon as possible. You must know how to begin and how to continue if you want your child to benefit from this sport. As a mother, I asked qualified people questions that other mothers want answers to.

How old to begin?
According to experts, the ideal age to begin skiing is six and that is eight for snowboard.

Private or group lessons?
Group lessons take off the pressure on the child. Seeing other children experiencing the same difficulties, they feel at ease.

Are the skiing schools the best?
All experts agree unanimously that skiing schools are the best.

In a family of skiers, how is the child affected?
According to expert Necmi Kepçetutan, this is an advantage. Kenan Topal, a teacher in Uludağ, cautions parents: ‘’Be patient with children’’.

Minor accidents happen, how to motivate the child again?
Refrain from showing your anxiety which will lower motivation. The key is to show how much you believe in him/her.

Should skiing or snowboard gears purchased?
Don’t hurry to buy gears. Begin by renting. You don’t know if they will want to continue.

Is it expensive to stay on the mountain, what are daily alternatives?
There are daily tours to Kartepe and Kartalkaya. Tours to Uludağ are also available.

What if the child gets sick there?
Pediatrician Özlem Ekiz Yörükalp advises parents to carry lots of vitamin C with them. It is very important to keep children dry. Good sleep is also important.



Çağla Şikel (Famous Turkish model married with 2 children) belongs to the group of sun worshippers. Now, this cold and snow detesting woman began to ski thanks to her children.

When and how did you begin to ski?cagla sikel skiing turkey
Before motherhood if you asked me about skiing, I would have said no thank you. I did not like snow or cold. As you know, motherhood makes you do things you normally dislike. For example, you taste things you don’t eat just to set a good example for your child. This is how I began my experiment with skating. I took my children to Snowpark in Istanbul’s Torium Shopping Mall. While my younger son Uzay and I tried skating, my eldest surprised us by showing how talented he was at his first skiing lesson. His muscles were strong and he had good balance.

You immediately wanted to take him to a skiing resort, right?
How could I deny him this experience? What is more invigorating than real snow, mountain air? In the space of one-two weeks, we had reserved our places. Kuzey was so excited when he saw the long ski slopes and began to take lessons immediately. This is our second year and we are very happy as a family.

Don’t you worry they might catch a cold or become ill?
Of course. At the beginning it was really a challenge making them wear layers of clothes. I began to dress them an hour before we went outdoors. It was stuffing hot inside with all the layers they had and not enough when they went outdoors. Eventually we learned the formula. You had to wear thermal underwear and then skiing pants, a polar and the jacket. The ordeal ended. We carry snow pants, jackets, snow masks, thermal socks. We never forget to take ski helmets to protect our head. We look like full gear cameraman Cevat Kelle with all the luggage we carry.kameran cevat kelle tam techizatlı kameraman cevat kelle sinan bengier

Do you like fashionable ski apparel?
I love it so much that sometimes I have to stretch my budget. I like to wear my high-tech ski clothes that keep me warm, in the city too. Snow boots are my weak point. The brand of the green ones I wear, are Dsquared. Who cares if people find them ugly. I also ordered Altuzzara snow boots with tassels from Net-A-Porter that I look forward to wearing.

What are your favorite hotels?
I liked Sway Hotel in Palandöken with its good slopes, experienced teachers, good food and good indoor activates.



Your plane lands, you grab your luggage, drive for 15 minutes, make a quick check-in and begin skiing. It is almost impossible in another part of the world to do this. Yes, you can do this in Erzurum, very close to Palandöken, which offers a long winter season, powdered snow and night skiing.

Palandöken, the ski resort, became famous after the 2011 Winter University Games. With numerous major investments of over 600 million TL, many new facilities like ski jumping ramps and shooting ramps for the biathlon were constructed. Currently, Erzurum is where ski lovers want to be.

As our National Skiing team practices in Palandöken, so you can meet their coaches while skiing. I was in Erzurum last week-end. We saw 628 skiers compete during those two short days. Erzurum’s nearness to the mountain is the main reason for its popularity. One does not have to go long distances to ski. In case of an accident, the hospital is 2 kms away. This year, Erzurum opened its winter season in December. Turkey’s best snow is in Sarıkamış but Erzurum’s dry air provides excellent powdered snow that does not cling to the skis. Skiing resorts in the West have short periods of daylight, making skiing impossible after 4 p.m. With its illuminated night slopes, Palandöken is the only ski resort one can enjoy till 8 p.m.



Unfortunately everything does not function well in Erzurum. For example, for us Erzurum means ‘’Ejder’’ (Dragon), the summit of the Palandöken mountain. When you are up there you feel as though you are hanging in the clouds. The scenery takes your breath away. From an altitude of 3.140 meters, you not only see the city but enjoy looking at Allahuekber Mountains that stretch all the way to Kars. Unfortunately in the last two years, climbing Ejder became impossible due to broken mechanic facilities. Relegation of Palandöken management from the Special Provincial Administration to Erzurum’s Metropolitan Municipality is stalling. Struggle between authorities are still going on, despite promises made last year that changes will be made.



Single ski lift & total T-bar 1400m
2 registered slopes
Night skiing


3 lifts total 2000 m
Night skiing
Synthetic snow


3 lifts, T-bar, gondolas total 6886 m


A,B,C,D,F,G lifts total 7485 m
1. Erzurum has the greatest number of sunny days compared to the rest of the ski resorts in Turkey .
2. Youngsters in Erzurum practice in Kandilli’s ski running facility.
3. The ski slopes of Palandöken and Konaklı will be united with mechanical systems.

There are five hotels in Palandöken. Xanadu Snow White Hotel, which opened four years ago, changed its name to Sway Hotel. It is the best hotel in the region. It is the first one that opens the season by offering synthetic snow. This year, the opening date was December 6. It has 181 rooms. The length of the illuminated slopes have increased with an additional 2 kms. Its Apreski Bar is the meeting place of ski lovers.

Dedeman has two hotels in Palandöken. Dedeman Palandöken Ski Resort, which opened in 1992, has 188 rooms. The other, Dedeman Ski Lodge, with 66 rooms, is the first boutique hotel in Palandöken.

Renaissance Polat Erzurum Hotel has changed its name to Polat Erzurum Resort Hotel. It has 224 rooms. Polat has illuminated its slopes this year.

Palan Hotel has 258 rooms. Last year, snow motor vehicles that could accommodate 9 people were purchased to take beginners to easier slopes.

Palandöken, Konaklı, Kandilli and Kiremitlik Hill are Erzurum’s four different regions that have ski resorts. The distance from Konaklı to Palandöken is more than 20 kms, and only 9 kms with bird flying (ski flying). If the two resorts are interconnected with mechanical systems, the length of the slopes will exceed 200kms, just like their European counterparts. Implementation of one ticket system will help Erzurum attain the popularity it deserves. The project is ready and has a name ’’Grand Erzurum’’. The only thing is, to effectuate…

Ejder, Palandöken’s summit, has an elevation of 3180 m. The ski slopes begin at the altitude of 3140 meters. Apart from the black slopes at the top, there is a 12 kilometer long slope that goes through a village. It is possible to ski downwards from this summit but due to operational and up keeping problems, the gondola to Ejder is out of order.

Parking space is a major problem in Palandöken. However, the municipality has come up with a solution for daily skiers and hotel guests. A huge closed parking area witha ski rental place was built in the vicinity of the hotels. Day skiers can park their cars and go skiing with the ring services. The facility’s name is ‘Café 25’ which is Erzurum’s car plate number.


Real fun in the hotels of Erzurum begin after sunset. Because the winter season in Turkey is short, hotels that offer winter sports are considered average. As they are open only for two and a half months and closed for the rest, no renovations are made for such a short period of time. Nevertheless, in the last years, new hotels have opened. The most famous one is Sway, which used to be Xanadu Snow White. There are three other hotels in Palandöken.


Why Now? If you are bored with Kartalkaya or Uludağ and look for better skiing slopes, Palandöken is the place and Sway is the best place to stay.

Renown for? Closeness to the city. The hotel which uses synthetic snow opens the season early. The best food of the region, prepared by Chef Hasan Usta from Bolu, is here. Enjoy an après-ski cocktail served by Cagrı Yılmazogulları at the Après-Ski Bar. You might even get some cocktail recepies from him after a hearty conversation. Try drinking sahlep if you want something to keep your insides warm.

Keep in mind

You can rent any skiing material from Snow Plus. Many of the eight skiing teachers are also coaches of the national team. Try to learn from Kadir who is the snowboard training instructor, his secret of how to lean during carving. Snow swing plow is guaranteed in one hour for the children who work with instructor Ms Seyda. Care of skis or board is important. Snow Plus has a facility which is unique in Turkey, which gives that service. Don’t forget to return your skis a day before you check-out of your hotel.

Room preferences

There are 181 spacious rooms with good quality furnishings. The 160 standard rooms are 34 square meters. Deluxe rooms are 52 square meters. You can enjoy the view of the mountain and the lower slopes from your bed.

Most important - Illuminated slopes enable you to ski till eight in the evening, despite early winter darkness. Ski till you feel cold and then go and enjoy the warmth of the fireplace.

Major Drawback
One card skipass system is not available.


It was renamed this year. It has 224 rooms and illuminated slopes. Buzz Club opened last year.


Dedeman has two hotels. The first, Palandöken Ski Resort, opened in 1992. It is situated in the midst of Ejder slopes. The hotel has 188 rooms. The second one, Palandöken Ski Lodge, has 66 rooms.


It has 258 rooms. The hotel provides access to Palandöken slopes with its ski-lifts. Inexperienced skiers are transported by snow vehicles to smoother slopes.


Mountain air, lots of oxygen and skiing…Just the thought makes you hungry. What kind of good food do we expect to find at those mountain resorts? Here are some useful gourmet tips.


Goose or lamb, that is the question!
Where to eat, what to eat: Habitat Hotel’s lamb tandoor is prepared with baby lamb and served with ‘İç Pilav’, rice made with various condiments and thin sliced lamb liver.
Price:40 TL
(Appx US$15)

Prepared by: Mediterranean PMYD Competition’s Special Jury Award winner Chef, Menderes Karagöz.
Opening hours: Every weekday from 07.30 to 21.30.
What else: Goose soup, special rice and the ‘Goose Ritual’ made from goose tandoor. Serves five for 350 TL.



Where to eat, what to eat: Laila’s ribs that are served with a delicious risotto.
Price: 80 TL
(Appx US$25)

Prepared by: Cihat Yılmaz, who is also the chef of Bianca, Havana, Tampa.
What else: Wine and cheese platter, cheese and meat fondue, cold meat platter. 150-200 TL
(Appx 40 -60 US$)per person.
Opening hours: Open 24/7.


Try the veal with seafood sauce.
What to eat, where to eat: Swiss Cafe at Kaya Palazzo Hotel, grilled fillet of veal served with oyster sauce.
Price: 60 TL
(Appx 20US$)

Prepared by: Hotel’s Executive Chef Engin Çetin.
What else: Palazzo burger (40 TL)
(Appx 12US$ ), watercress soup (19 TL) (Appx US$6 ), mountain platter (42 TL) (Appx US$13 ).
Opening hours: Open every day from 08.00-22.00.

The lambs are unconditioned here
Where to eat, what to eat: Fried lamb in Sway Hotel. It is prepared from the shin of baby lamb, then lightly sautéed in a pan and slowly cooked with a ‘demi-glasse’ sauce. Served with thick cut, fried potatoes.
Price: 27 TL
(Appx US$8)

Prepared by: Resat Bölük from Bolu, who placed third at the 2006 Antalya Gastronomy Contest.
What else: Regional kesmeaşı soup, ayranaşı, çağ kebab, sweet kadaif stuffing, lor cheese stuffing, special meat stuffing Erzurum style. Open buffet 45 TL
(Appx US$13).
Opening hours: Everyday between 19.00-22.00.



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