Turkey Skiing

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Erciyes ski resort is the best in Turkey
Erciyes ski resort is the best in Turkey
Ovit Mountain Cat Skiing is a new ski adventure in northeastern Turkey
Ovit Mountain Cat Skiing is a new ski adventure in northeastern Turkey
Sking groomers at Erciyes in Turkey ever crossed your mind? Maybe it should!
Sking groomers at Erciyes in Turkey ever crossed your mind? Maybe it should!
Istanbul is a fascinating city all year round
Istanbul is a fascinating city all year round
Turkey Heliski operates in the Kackar Mountains of northeast Turkey
Turkey Heliski operates in the Kackar Mountains of northeast Turkey
Turkey
Turkey's second largest ski resort is Ejder 3200 near the city of Erzurum
Combining amazing Cappadocia with skiing at nearby Erciyes is a travel dream in the making!
Combining amazing Cappadocia with skiing at nearby Erciyes is a travel dream in the making!
The highest chairlift at Erciyes ski resort tops out at 3,346m elevation
The highest chairlift at Erciyes ski resort tops out at 3,346m elevation
Heli-skiing in Turkey gets rave reviews from those that make the journey. (photo: Turkey Heliski)
Heli-skiing in Turkey gets rave reviews from those that make the journey. (photo: Turkey Heliski)
The lower slopes of the Palandoken sector of Ejder 3200 ski resort
The lower slopes of the Palandoken sector of Ejder 3200 ski resort
A ski trip to Turkey could include a diversion to the amazing travertines at Pamukkale
A ski trip to Turkey could include a diversion to the amazing travertines at Pamukkale
Ski Turkish powder at Ovit Mountain Cat Skiing
Ski Turkish powder at Ovit Mountain Cat Skiing
Erciyes ski resort, central Turkey
Erciyes ski resort, central Turkey
The food rarely disappoints on a trip to Turkey (pictured is a typical breakfast at Ovit 2640 Boutique Hotel)
The food rarely disappoints on a trip to Turkey (pictured is a typical breakfast at Ovit 2640 Boutique Hotel)
Check out the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul when visiting Turkey
Check out the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul when visiting Turkey
Turkish cuisine is delicious (pictured is typical meat dish at Ovit 2640 Boutique Hotel)
Turkish cuisine is delicious (pictured is typical meat dish at Ovit 2640 Boutique Hotel)
Powder skiing at Ovit Pass in the Kackar Mountains of Turkey
Powder skiing at Ovit Pass in the Kackar Mountains of Turkey
A trip to Turkey will include access to all your favourite drinks (cocktails at Ovit 2640 Boutique Hotel)
A trip to Turkey will include access to all your favourite drinks (cocktails at Ovit 2640 Boutique Hotel)
The Göreme landscape in Cappadocia Turkey needs to be experienced to be believed.
The Göreme landscape in Cappadocia Turkey needs to be experienced to be believed.
Go see and ski Turkey
Go see and ski Turkey

Turkey Skiing

Skiing Turkey

Anyone that has ever visited 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 new cat ski operation, 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 good-looking ski resorts on the flanks of ancient volcanoes and hey presto, a Turkish ski & snowboard safari is born! Whilst we have never skied in Turkey (yet!), having climbed there in summer, we can attest to the ski potential in the Turkish mountains and huge extinct volcanoes.

So if you have been thinking about a trip to Turkey 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 Skiing in Turkey

One of the newest (if not the newest) cat ski operations in the world has started in the snow-sure Kaçkar mountains south of Trabzon in north-eastern Turkey. With moisture from the Black Sea influencing the climate, the high-altitude range has peaks reaching 3,937m (12,917 ft) on Kaçkar Dağı and gathers a heavy mantle of snow each winter. Ovit Backcountry has established itself in a remote boutique hotel at a base elevation of 2,640m in Ovit Pass. Brand new Prinoth snowcats combine with snowmobiles and human-powered ski touring 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 in Turkey

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.

Further east, and more influenced by moisture from storms coming across the Black Sea, Ejder 3200 has a range of quality slopes across three ski areas (including the reasonably well-known Palandoken) south of the city of Erzurum. The Ejder resorts can easily be combined with snowmobile/cat skiing in the nearby Kaçkar mountains, a short distance to 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 chair lift/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. We will have more to say about this system once we experience it.

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 İstanbul 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 & heli skiing in the Kaçkar mountains, with Erzurum (ERZ) airport the best for Ejder 3200 ski resort and also cat-skiing in the Kaçkars at Ovit Pass 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 would be via the coast road toward Trabzon. This option is useful for anyone already skiing in Georgia and wanting to expand their horizons into the best mountains in Turkey.

Review

The Powderhounds are super excited to be visiting Turkey next season. More information about Turkish ski resorts and winter activities in Turkey will come after our visit. Stay tuned for our sparkling repartee, new photos & insights.

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

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Ski Tours in Turkey

Backcountry Skiing Tours

Ovit Mountain Backcountry Snowmobile Skiing
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY SNOWMOBILE-SKIING
3-day Weekend Packages
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Discover snowmobile ski operations at Ovit Mountain in northeast Turkey. From your boutique hotel at 2,640m (8,660ft) altitude, explore 30,000 acres of untouched snow by snowmobile, led by professional local guides. Choose a weekend package or fully customise for your best dates & duration ...
Price p/p From price based on 3-night weekend package twin share lodging
Base/invoice currency is in EUR inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,138
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Turkey here