The Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Festival | Why Turkey should be your…

Ski and Snowboard Festival

In Association with

Why Turkey should be your next winter sports destination

Discover this lesser known ski destination with Headline Sponsor 'Turkish Airlines'

Celal Baykal, General Manager at Turkish Airlines in London shares why Turkey is the hidden gem of winter breaks with world-class skiing, hospitality and culture, all without the crowds.

You’re probably thinking, “I’ve been to Turkey and loved the food, beaches and weather but can’t imagine it has any snow, let alone a ski lift.” But there’s a whole other side to the country that spans two continents, undiscovered by most winter sports fans and offering everything from heli-skiing for serious thrill seekers to gentler pistes, perfect for beginners.

Here are the top three reasons to consider the lesser known ski destination Turkey for your next winter sports holiday:

  1. Culture and adventure combined – Uludag, which boasts more than 28km of slopes and 16 lifts, is just two hours’ drive from Istanbul. Better still travellers can take a scenic ferry from Istanbul into nearby Bursa, before heading up the “great mountain” – the literal translation of Uludag. Either way, you get to combine a trip to one of the world’s most historic cities with spectacular skiing, all in the space of a long weekend.
  2. The home of heli-skiing – So you pride yourself on your off-piste credentials and have done a few drops in Italy, with big plans to head to Alaska one day. But how many of you can say you’ve been heli-skiing somewhere truly off the beaten track? The Kackar mountains in Turkey’s north eastern corner offer some of the world’s most untouched high-altitude experiences and I can guarantee your friends won’t have got there before you.
  3. Crowd free fun – Ever found yourself paying thousands to go skiing only to be stuck in queues waiting for ski lifts or unable to get a table at your favourite restaurant for lunch? Skiing in Turkey, whilst growing in popularity all the time, still offers a comparatively crowd free experience and the chance to enjoy the slopes from October to May.

With a winning combination of culture, adventure and the opportunity to enjoy the mountains without the masses, Turkey has something for all winter sports enthusiasts.

Passengers flying with Turkish Airlines this winter can check in one full set of skiing or snowboarding equipment for free. For more information on flights and tips on things to see and do in Turkey, visit: