SKIING in TURKEY
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
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.
For Parents : EIGHT QUESTIONS FOR HOW TO SKI WITH
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
Are the skiing schools the best?
All experts agree unanimously that skiing schools are the
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
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
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.
AN INTERVIEW WITH A FAMOUS MODEL: WE ARE LIKE FULL
GEARED CAMERAMAN FAMOUS `CEVAT KELLE`
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?
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,
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.
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
What are your favorite hotels?
I liked Sway Hotel in Palandöken with its good slopes,
experienced teachers, good food and good indoor activates.
ERZURUM: THE BEST WAY TO ENJOY
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
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.
SOLVING THE AUTHORITY STRUGGLE
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
lifts total 2000 m
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
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
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,
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.
LET'S LOOK AT PALANDÖKEN FROM THIS POINT OF VIEW
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.
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
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.
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
One card skipass system is not available.
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.
has 258 rooms. The hotel provides access to Palandöken
slopes with its ski-lifts. Inexperienced skiers are
transported by snow vehicles to smoother slopes.
CULINARY DESTINATIONS AT THE SUMMIT
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
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
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.
7 X 24 OPEN KITCHEN
Where to eat, what to eat: Laila’s ribs that are served with
a delicious risotto.
Price: 80 TL (Appx
Prepared by: Cihat Yılmaz, who is also the chef of Bianca,
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
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
Opening hours: Open every day from 08.00-22.00.
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
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
Opening hours: Everyday between 19.00-22.00.