Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

Sample Turkey’s Skiing

The Alps can become a slight addiction for seasoned skiers; there’s a fear of the unknown when venturing beyond the snow sure, well groomed slopes of our favourite resorts. But if you’re finally sick of Vin Chaud and tartiflette and are feeling a little more adventurous this winter, there are some unique options available. Turkey can give you world-class heli-skiing, a wide range of resorts, and the culture of nearby cities to round off your trip.

Getting there

Although Turkey feels like another world, you needn’t worry about a long-haul flight. You can leave London and be in Istanbul in around four hours, avoiding the hellish tour operator queues and transfers to the popular resorts. Find low-cost flights to Istanbul with Pegasus. They offer regular flights from Stansted throughout the winter that includes a 20kg baggage allowance, unlike other budget airlines that add hidden costs afterwards.


Turkey is an unconventional destination, but one which has plenty to offer. Just an hour and a half drive South from Istanbul can take you to Uludag with a peak altitude of 2322m. Although close to historical sites and the sea, it has a small area with 15 lifts and 25 pistes, most of which are blue and green. For those looking for something more extreme, there is off-piste and the option of heli-skiing nearby.

The more advanced skier may prefer to head to Mt Palandoken which sits above the city of Erzurum. This is the highest and most challenging terrain in Turkey. There are 9 lifts and 17 pistes with a majority of red runs. And their 30 snow canons mean that they are able to enhance their annual snowfall. Pegasus airlines fly to Erzurum throughout the winter, and the resort is about 2 km from the town.


Heliskiing is banned in France, so tour operators have to fly you over the neighbouring Italian or Swiss borders for you to enjoy the pleasure. Whereas in Turkey you can enjoy the experience hassle-free. In fact, it’s the skiing they’re most proud of, with multiple companies offering trips at competitive prices. Despite the sweltering summers we associate turkey with it is actually a country full of mountains that enjoy a steady snowfall in winter.


The two main locations to consider are Ayder and Ikizdere that are both accessed from Trabzon airport in around 1-2 hours. They open you up to an incredible 4500km² of skiable terrain, with a peak of 3937m in the Kackar Mountains.