When we think of winter we often think of ice, cold, trees covered with snow and lots of skiing. Ski centers in Turkey, which are generally opened in cooperation with state and private sectors, have become one of the most popular places for people who enjoy the outdoors in winter.
The Palandöken Ski Center has come into prominence for its unique trails among ski centers, seeing a countless number of local and foreign tourists every year. With capacity for 12,000 skiers at once, the center has 24 trails, which are among the longest and steepest in the world. While beginners can enjoy eight easy and mid-level tracks, for enthusiasts who want to push the limits, there are three advanced-level tracks. Two of these various tracks – one of them being the world's third longest track and Turkey's longest – have also been registered for slalom competitions by the International Ski Federation (FIS).
Nonstop ski experience in Palandöken
Some of the tracks are prepared for the season with artificial snow after the temperature drops to below zero in Erzurum, which is one of the snowiest cities in Turkey. Skiers can also enjoy skiing at night with their families, being accompanied by the perfect view of the city thanks to an advanced lighting system. In the city, where ski excitement starts in December, people can continue to go skiing until April.
Skiing close to the city center
Appealing to skiers with all types of experience, Palandöken provides some advantages as it is very close to the city center and airport, unlike other resorts. The Palandöken Ski Center is only 20 kilometers from the airport and 4 kilometers from the city center, making transportation easy and it also offers guests the opportunity to see important, cultural and historical places in the city.
No need to be humble, 'we are the best'
Erzurum Governor Seyfettin Azizoğlu told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Palandöken is where winter tourism started in Turkey. "More than 150,000 local and foreign people visited Erzurum to ski last year. In the tourism season, more than 350,000 people also came. We hope to increase this number and to host more ski lovers to this natural wonder.
We have good and luxury hotels to host our guests," Azizoğlu said. "We have effective trails for every skier. Palandöken has become the best ski center in Turkey and made its name a brand. We don't need to be humble. It is clear that we are in the first place among the ski centers of our country," he added.
Historical and cultural journey
The governor said that Erzurum's ski center is a very comfortable place for people to enjoy the winter thanks to its location, accommodation facilities and transportation opportunities. He explained that people can arrive at the center in 15 minutes after their plane lands. "Our citizens can visit historical and touristic places along with the shopping centers in the city after their ski pleasure. They can taste the local dishes in authentic places in there. Knickknacks that are made of jet, a type of lignite, can be bought as a gift. Therefore, our guests that come here to ski will simultaneously meet with the vast, cultural and touristic city."