Skiing in Turkey

Point your skis in the direction of the mosque to get back to the lodge at Mount Erciyz in central Turkey. Max Hartshorne photos
Point your skis in the direction of the mosque to get back to the lodge at Mount Erciyes in central Turkey. Max Hartshorne photos

Turkey’s newest and largest ski area at Mount Erciyes outside of Kayseri. With a vertical drop just below 5000 feet, it’s almost as big as Snowmass in Aspen. And there are no trees anywhere. We met with the managers of the new slope, which has been under construction for five years, and they told us about how challenging it is to operate in a place where only one percent of the local population has ever skied.

At the top, well, almost. There is a second lift that wasn't running when we skied that up higher.
At the top, well, almost. There is a second lift that wasn’t running when we skied that up higher.

“They like the sledges better, ” we heard.

Lift tickets cost $10, ski and boot rentals are $9.  If someone was flying from another country, Turkish Air offers an incredible deal–they will ship your skis and boots for free if you’re booked through to Kayseri!

The ski conditions were packed powder, only a few ice patches, and there were absolutely no moguls to be found.  I know hardcore skiers crave those bumps, but for me, the smooth long rides were what I enjoyed the most.

 

The long sweeping run down from the top.
The long sweeping run down from the top.

Erciyes has two gondolas, with 18 lifts in all, some are six-passenger chairs with a plastic dome that keeps you warm. On the way up on the regular chair lift, it was freezing.  Food at the lodge was exotic, they make pizzas that are rolled up and sprinkled with parsley.

Outside on grills, potato slices were fried and chestnuts were roasted, as exotic Turkish folk music was strummed by a man on a guitar.

It was funny to use the mosque as our guide to getting down the mountain, those are the kinds of things that make skiing in Turkey an experience like no other place in the world.

READ  "I'm Happy Just to Look at You:" The Real Rain Man

Flotours offers many different tours to Turkey as well as a new tour offering skiing at Mount Erciyes.

Visit their website for many tours like this plus others to Central Asia.

Call them at 1-800-417-3880 for their brochures. I can highly recommend this company based on my excellent experience here in Turkey traveling with them.