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Expat Exchange - Best Places to Ski in Turkey
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Istanbul, Turkey


Best Places to Ski in Turkey

By Betsy Burlingame

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Summary: Where are the best places to ski in Turkey? We cover the best places to go skiing in Turkey and highlight some family-friendly spots, places to eat and more.

As expats and digital nomads discover the diverse landscapes of Turkey, many are surprised to find that the country boasts some excellent ski resorts. With its unique geographical location, Turkey offers a variety of winter sports opportunities, from the mountainous terrains of the east to the forested slopes of the west. Whether you're a beginner looking to take your first ski lesson or an expert in search of challenging runs, Turkey's ski areas have something for everyone. Here are the 7-10 best ski areas in Turkey that you should consider visiting during your stay.

Erciyes Ski Resort

Ability Level: All ability levels.
Location: Central Anatolia, near Kayseri.
Family Friendly: Yes

Erciyes Ski Resort is one of the most modern and well-equipped ski centers in Turkey. It offers a variety of runs for all skill levels, and its high altitude ensures a long skiing season. The resort has undergone significant upgrades, making it a top choice for families and serious skiers alike. With its state-of-the-art lift system and well-groomed pistes, Erciyes provides a world-class skiing experience.

We Recommend: After a day on the slopes, visit the nearby city of Kayseri to try the famous local dish, "mant?" at one of the traditional restaurants such as Elmac?o?lu ?skender.

Uludag Ski Resort

Ability Level: All ability levels.
Location: Near Bursa, in the Marmara region.
Family Friendly: Yes

Uludag Ski Resort is known as the oldest and one of the most popular ski resorts in Turkey. It's easily accessible from Istanbul, making it a favorite for both local and international visitors. The resort offers a range of slopes suitable for all levels, and there are plenty of amenities, including ski schools, equipment rentals, and cozy lodges. Uludag is also a great destination for snowboarding and other winter activities.

We Recommend: Enjoy a warm meal at Kervan Saray, where you can indulge in traditional Turkish cuisine with a view of the snowy mountains.

Palandoken Ski Resort

Ability Level: Intermediate to expert.
Location: Eastern Anatolia, near Erzurum.
Family Friendly: Yes

Palandoken Ski Resort is renowned for having some of the longest and most challenging runs in Turkey. It's a great destination for more experienced skiers seeking adrenaline-pumping adventures. The resort also hosts international competitions, which speaks to the quality of its facilities. Despite its reputation for difficulty, there are also slopes suitable for beginners and plenty of après-ski activities for the whole family.

We Recommend: For a taste of local culture, head to the nearby city of Erzurum and visit Cag Kebap Ozsut for their famous cag kebab, a delicious skewered lamb dish.

Kartalkaya Ski Resort

Ability Level: All ability levels.
Location: Near Bolu in the Western Black Sea region.
Family Friendly: Yes

Kartalkaya Ski Resort is a charming destination nestled in the Koroglu Mountains. It's particularly well-suited for families and beginners, with gentle slopes and ski schools that offer lessons for all ages. The resort also has a good selection of intermediate runs for those looking to improve their skills. The cozy mountain atmosphere and the scenic beauty of the surrounding forests make Kartalkaya a picturesque winter getaway.

We Recommend: Warm up with a traditional Turkish meal at Grand Kartal Hotel's restaurant, where you can enjoy local specialties with a view of the snowy landscape.

Kartepe Ski Resort

Ability Level: Beginner to intermediate.
Location: Near Izmit, in the Marmara region.
Family Friendly: Yes

Kartepe Ski Resort is a smaller but convenient option for those based in Istanbul or Izmit. It's ideal for day trips or short weekend getaways. The resort offers a variety of runs that cater to beginners and intermediate skiers, as well as opportunities for snowboarding and other winter sports. The picturesque setting by the Sapanca Lake adds to the resort's appeal, making it a peaceful retreat from city life.

We Recommend: For a unique dining experience, visit the Ma?ukiye village nearby and enjoy fresh trout at one of the local restaurants, such as the well-known Mavi Durak Fish Restaurant.

Sarikamis Ski Resort

Ability Level: All ability levels.
Location: Northeastern Anatolia, near Kars.
Family Friendly: Yes

Sarikamis Ski Resort is distinguished by its crystal-clear snow, similar to the Alpine type, and its pine forests that provide a stunning backdrop for skiers. The resort has a range of slopes that are suitable for all levels, and the quality of the snow makes it a hidden gem for skiing enthusiasts. Sarikamis is also less crowded than some of the more popular resorts, offering a more relaxed skiing experience.

We Recommend: Experience local flavors at Sarikamis Kar Hotel, where you can enjoy regional dishes in a cozy, lodge-style setting.

Ilgaz Mountain Ski Resort

Ability Level: Beginner to intermediate.
Location: Between Ankara and Kastamonu.
Family Friendly: Yes

Ilgaz Mountain Ski Resort is a favorite among those who prefer a more intimate and family-oriented skiing experience. The resort is smaller than some of Turkey's other ski destinations, but it offers a friendly atmosphere and well-maintained slopes for beginners and intermediate skiers. The natural beauty of Ilgaz National Park provides a serene environment for winter sports and relaxation.

We Recommend: Dine at the Ilgaz Mountain Resort Hotel's restaurant, where you can savor traditional Turkish dishes with a view of the snow-covered mountains.

Davraz Ski Resort

Ability Level: All ability levels.
Location: In the Mediterranean region, near Isparta.
Family Friendly: Yes

Davraz Ski Resort is another excellent choice for skiers of all levels, with its diverse range of slopes and stunning views of Lake Egirdir. The resort is particularly appealing for those who want to combine skiing with exploring the natural and historical attractions of the Mediterranean region. Davraz offers a unique skiing experience with the benefit of a milder climate compared to other Turkish ski destinations.

We Recommend: Try the local specialties at the Sirene Davras Hotel, where you can enjoy a meal with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lake.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

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SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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