Türkiye Skiing

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Powder skiing at Erciyes, the premier ski resort in Türkiye
Powder skiing at Erciyes, the premier ski resort in Türkiye
Edjer 3200 ski resort includes Palandoken above the city of Erzurum, Türkiye
Edjer 3200 ski resort includes Palandoken above the city of Erzurum, Türkiye
Ovit Mountain has untracked powder aplenty in northeast Turkey
Ovit Mountain has untracked powder aplenty in northeast Turkey
Any visit to Türkiye should include some time in Istanbul
Any visit to Türkiye should include some time in Istanbul
Ballooning in Cappadocia Türkiye is incredible, & its near Erciyes ski resort
Ballooning in Cappadocia Türkiye is incredible, & its near Erciyes ski resort
Ski-touring in the Kaçkar mountains of Türkiye is fabulous
Ski-touring in the Kaçkar mountains of Türkiye is fabulous
Snowmobile assisted skiing in Türkiye is possible at Ovit Mountain
Snowmobile assisted skiing in Türkiye is possible at Ovit Mountain
Turkey Snowcats are a new kid on the block for Turkish ski adventure
Turkey Snowcats are a new kid on the block for Turkish ski adventure
Turkey Heliski has a base deep in the Kaçkar mountains of Türkiye
Turkey Heliski has a base deep in the Kaçkar mountains of Türkiye
Head to Erzurum near Edjer 3200 for the best kebaps!
Head to Erzurum near Edjer 3200 for the best kebaps!
Erciyes ski resort
Erciyes ski resort's main beginner slope is a beauty
Backcountry powder at Palandoken
Backcountry powder at Palandoken
Inbounds powder at Erciyes ski resort
Inbounds powder at Erciyes ski resort
Deep powder skiing at Erciyes in Türkiye is pure pleasure
Deep powder skiing at Erciyes in Türkiye is pure pleasure
A ski holiday in Türkiye can easily include a visit to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul
A ski holiday in Türkiye can easily include a visit to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul
The travertines at Pamukkale can be included in a winter visit to Turkey
The travertines at Pamukkale can be included in a winter visit to Turkey
A visit to extraordinary Cappadocia is a must if skiing at Erciyes
A visit to extraordinary Cappadocia is a must if skiing at Erciyes
Deserted perfect piste skiing at Erciyes, Türkiye
Deserted perfect piste skiing at Erciyes, Türkiye
Explore the snow potential of Türkiye (pictured is Ovit Pass)
Explore the snow potential of Türkiye (pictured is Ovit Pass)
Ski Türkiye and you can look up there too!
Ski Türkiye and you can look up there too!

Türkiye Skiing

Skiing Türkiye

Anyone that has ever visited Türkiye (previously named Turkey) will know it is a land of high peaks and contrasting climates. The classic winter photos of the Cappadocia region under snow are usually enough to capture one’s imagination and consider a visit to this fascinating country during the colder months. But the draw of a backcountry snowmobile & cat skiing operations, ski-touring, and heli-skiing in the Kaçkar mountains of northeast Turkey add a winter travel dimension previously unforeseen by most. Add in a few impressive ski resorts on the flanks of ancient volcanoes and hey presto, a Turkish ski & snowboard safari is born! There is more to Turkish skiing than meets the eye.

So if you have been thinking about a trip to Türkiye to experience the grand mosques, bazaars & vibrance of Istanbul, the travertines of Pamukkale, the history & bizarre landscapes of Cappadocia, the amazing ancient ruins in Aphrodisias & Priene (or the better-known Ephesus & Pergamon), its pristine beaches & diverse landscapes; know you can add skiing and snowboarding to the list! And ………. everything is better in winter! Less people, snow-covered landscapes, cosy accommodations, and the possibility of riding unsullied, pristine powder. What could be more glorious?

Cat, Heli & Snowmobile Skiing in Türkiye

The high Kaçkar mountains and deep, isolated valleys of northeast Türkiye are in the coldest & snowiest part of the country, and home to both emerging & well established cat, snowmobile & heli-ski operations. Snow is heavily influenced here by moisture laden winter storms coming on off the nearby Black Sea. The high-altitude range has peaks reaching 3,937m (12,917 ft) on Kaçkar Dağı and gathers a heavy mantle of snow each winter.

Cat Skiing

Powderhounds love cat skiing (woof ... go figure!), and a new one in Türkiye has us excited. Turkey Snowcats have two shiny new machines ready to take you on an adventure.

Snowmobile Skiing

Ovit Mountain has a base in a remote boutique hotel at a elevation of 2,640m in Ovit Pass. Its backcountry snowmobile-assisted ski operation makes the most of the snow-sure Kaçkar mountains near Trabzon in north-eastern Turkey. Expertly driven snowmobiles and human-powered ski touring are used to make the most of what is effectively an immense private ski area during winter. Check out the tours on offer at our Ovit Mountain page.

Heliskiing

At least one major heli ski operator prowls the vast Kaçkar mountain range in northeast Turkey, not too far from Ovit Mountain. We will try to check it out one day soon!

Turkish Ski Resorts

A surprising number of medium-sized ski resorts, plus several small ones are spread across the entire country. The largest are in central & eastern Turkey, whilst some are closer to the coast in the south. Many of the ski areas will hold little interest to the international traveller, however the two major ski resort areas are situated on ancient volcanic cones and have the attractive features of long skiable verticals at high elevation & broad off-piste terrain.

The most impressive Turkish ski resort is Erciyes on the slopes of 3,917m Mt Erciyes (or Erciyes Dağı). Located in central Turkey south of Kayseri and not far from some of the world’s most incredible landscapes in Cappadocia, Erciyes has fantastic lifts and slopes, making it an ideal addition to a winter visit to the region. Mellow down low, gnarly up top, when covered in powder you will have this place all to yourself. Several excellent on-mountain hotels with exquisite cuisine round out this world-class experience.

Further east, and more influenced by moisture from storms coming across the Black Sea, Ejder 3200 (Palandoken & Konakli) has a range of quality slopes across three ski areas south of the city of Erzurum. In one of the coldest locations in the country, the ski terrain here is better overall than Erciyes for advanced riders, but one needs to go when the snow is thick on the ground to really enjoy it. The Ejder resorts can easily be combined with snowmobile &/or cat skiing in the nearby Kaçkar mountains, just a few hours’ drive north.

Sarıkamış ski resort is a little gem in the east of Turkey, not far from the ancient city of Kars. With some 23km of long pistes on 500m of skiable vertical, excellent tree skiing potential, modern lifts and a lift pass price that is practically free; if in Turkey, why wouldn't you come here for a slide?

Davraz is another fascinating ski destination, located such that there is a possibility of combining a sunny Mediterranean beach, playing a round of golf & riding powder all in the same weekend! Davraz is north of the ritzy seaside town of Antalya and has 20km of trails in an alpine setting, 750m of vertical and a highest lifted point of around 2,400m. The off-piste looks inviting here, particularly if the top chairlift (a modern express with a bubble) is open.

Lift Passes

Worth knowing is that lift passes to even the biggest ski resorts are ridiculously cheap, often in the realms of €6 to 7 for a full day. The other thing to realise is that they are generally based on how many chairlift/gondola rides you go on. For example a 200 Pass means that you can ride a chairlift/gondola etc 200 times, whenever you want during the ski season. Given that it is ridiculously cheap it seems to work fine.

Getting to Turkey & Beyond

Turkey is located at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, and south of the Black Sea. Sharing borders with Greece, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, one cannot say it isn’t in an ‘interesting’ part of the world! The nation’s largest city, Istanbul, is in the west of the country, about 2,500km south-east of London and 8,050km (5,000 miles) east of New York.

Flying into Turkey is usually via either of the two major international airports that serve the city of Istanbul, the new Istanbul Havalimanı International Airport (IST) or Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW). Travellers from European origins may arrive in Sabiha airport, but those from other flight origins will land at Istanbul airport. Once in Istanbul, regional flights to places of interest to skiers (e.g. Kayseri, Trabzon, Erzurum) can be taken from either airport, depending on the airline.

For snow enthusiasts, once in the country, flight pricing & scheduling is quite reasonable. The airport at Kayseri (KSR) is best for the Erciyes ski resort (and Cappadocia). As a major tourist year-round tourist region, there are even direct flights to Kayseri from airports in Germany (Munich, Frankfurt, Stuttgart et al) and the Netherlands (Rotterdam/The Hague). Everyone else will likely need to go via Istanbul.

In the northeast, Trabzon (TZX) airport is best for cat & helicopter skiing in the Kaçkar mountains, with Erzurum (ERZ) airport the best for Ejder 3200 ski resort and also cat/snowmobile-skiing in the Kaçkars to the north. The airport at Kars (KSY) is closest to Sarikamis and has good links with Istanbul (IST) and Tbilisi (TBS) in Georgia.

An alternative entry point to Turkey, particularly for cat & heli-skiing in the Kackar Mountains, could be via Batumi (BUS) or Kutaisi (KUT) airports in Georgia. The final journey into Turkey on the bus via the coast road toward Trabzon is easy enough, but does involve a little bit of palaver at the border (we have done it). This option is useful for anyone already skiing in Georgia and wanting to expand their horizons into the best mountains of Turkey.

Reasons to Ski Turkey

So many snow-covered mountains to explore in a place with very few international winter visitors, Türkiye could be the perfect ski holiday location. The Turkish people know how to do hospitality just about better than anyone. The food experience is beyond wonderful. Even the already amazing Turkish coffee is better in winter. The landscapes, history and culture will draw you in. And there is still a wild, remote edge to Türkiye in winter, and a bit of untamed edginess always makes for the best experiences.

Review

The Powderhounds were super excited to have visited Türkiye in February 2023. We visited Erciyes, Edjer 3200, Cappadocia & Ovit Mountain. We experienced blizzards, great skiing, some confronting experiences, met incredible people, ate wonderful food and truly enjoyed the whole experience. We recommend a visit to Türkiye. A few days savouring the sights of Istanbul, a few days in Cappadocia, skiing Erciyes and then some adventure further afield doing cat skiing, ski touring or such in the Kaçkar Mountains will be quite the winter holiday. See the individual resort and tour operations for our observations, plus sparkling repartee, photos & insights.

See how the European ski resorts compare on the Europe ski resort ratings page.

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Ski Tours in Türkiye

Backcountry Skiing Tours

Ovit Mountain Backcountry Snowmobile Skiing
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY SNOWMOBILE-SKIING
2 or 3-day Packages | Full Private Custom Tours
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Discover snowmobile assisted backcountry skiing at remote Ovit Mountain in northeast Turkey. From your boutique hotel at 2,640m (8,660ft) altitude, explore 30,000 acres of untouched snow, travelling by snowmobile, led by professional guides. 2 or 3 day packages on weekends, or fully customise a package for your group..
Price p/p From price based on 2-night package with twin share lodging (2024 rates)
Base/invoice currency is in EUR inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,219
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Turkey here

Cat Skiing Tours

Cat Skiing Erciyes
PRIVATE MULTI-DAY FREERIDE CATSKIING
3 to 5 Days | 3 to 5 Nights | 3 to 5 Ski Days
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Broaden your winter horizons & experience catskiing & freeride on 20,000ha of exclusive terrain at Türkiye's premier ski resort, Erciyes. Explore amazing Cappadocia whilst in the region. Private groups only for up to 10 people. Apply for your best dates.
Price p/p From price based on 3 nights in a group 6 people, twin share
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc. taxes
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,027
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Cat Skiing Freeride Kaçkar Mountains
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY CATSKIING
8 Day | 7 Night | 6 Catski days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Experience the only cat skiing operation in Türkiye & enjoy amazing snow, terrain, cuisine, culture & hospitality on a week long adventure in the Kaçkar Mountains near Erzurum. Join a fixed date tour or get a group of friends together for a private custom tour ...
Price p/p From price based on an 8-day catskiing program, twin-share accommodation in low season.
Base/invoice currency is in EUR incl taxes.
USD 2,128
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Turkey here