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Mt Palandöken

Mt Palandöken Ski Resort Guide

Mt Palandöken, Turkey

Rated: 4/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForExpert Skiers, Intermediates, Beginners, Snowboarders, Snowfall and Apres-Ski!
Highest Lift3,192m
Resort Height2,100m
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Mt Palandöken

One of the highest ski areas in Turkey with some of the country's toughest skiing, making it a venue for international competitions (FIS approved pistes). The resort stands above one of the world's oldest cities, 6000 year old Erzurum. Recently redeveloped with new chair lifts and Turkey's first gondola (new in 1998) greatly increasing the skiable area. There are four hotels slopeside, including four and five star options with all amenities and excellent value.

Summary

The Turkish ski resort of Mt Palandöken is at an altitude of 2,100m.

Mt Palandöken has direct access to 17 marked pistes, served by a total of 9 ski lifts.

The ski resort itself is at 2,100m, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With ski lifts as high as 3,192m, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Mt Palandöken?

The next notable snow forecast is 3cm, expected on 12 December.

See our long-range Snow Forecast for the latest update, or   Join our Snow Mail Here

Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Mt Palandöken
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun

Ski Area Stats

Mt Palandöken Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
 3 
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
 9 
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
 8 
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
9

Altitudes

Mt Palandöken Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift3,192m
Lowest Piste2,100m
Resort Altitude (Mt Palandöken)2,100m
Max Vertical1,092m

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Mt Palandöken
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers
Beginners
Snowboarding
Snow
Apres-Ski

Mt Palandöken Overview

Although perhaps little known in large parts of the winter sports resort community outside Turkey, Palandöken has in fact been one of the world's fastest growing major centres on the past few decades. It has managed to combine the magic ingredients of a successful destination resort far better than most of the well known world top 50 resorts. For Palandöken today has firstly a sizeable network of well connected trails over a 1000m (3350ft)+ vertical served by a modern lift network that includes Turkey's only gondola, itself only a few seasons old.

So far so good - next we have the resort itself - not a traditional village on the mountain but instead a selection of slopeside hotel complexes with all amenities and stretching up to a rare slopeside five star. If you do want a 'traditional' resort then there is the option to stay, or at least visit, the 6000 year old city of Erzurum that lies in the valley below, a few minutes away. So, already ahead of most of the competition, Palandöken has yet more Aces in its pack. Firstly there's the friendly service - OK so all ski resorts SAY the service is friendly but here there seems to be a genuine warmth. Then there's the value, some of the best for a 'proper' ski resort anywhere in the world. Access? …a few minutes from Erzurum airport; children's facilities?

…free daycare in hotels and special attractions, shopping? …complexes in hotels and markets in Erzurum eating? …great restaurants in the hotels - centuries old traditional establishments down in Erzurum, and partying …well the Turks are famous for getting lively after midnight and the hotels have discos. There are also leisure complexes including indoor pools in the main hotels.

So is there a downside? Well the answer seems to be happily, no, not really. The thing most likely to unnerve some potential visitors from Europe and North America is the resort's location, at the Eastern end of long thin Turkey, well into the Asian side. A few hundred miles to the south lies the northern border of Syria and Iraq, a similar distance to the East is Iran and Azerbaijan with Afghanistan beyond and to the north its Armenia and Georgia as the mountains rise steeply around the Black Sea into the Caucasus, and Europe's highest mountains along the border with Asia. The location of Erzurum gives it a rich heritage having been the most Easterly outpost of the Byzantine Empire and conquered at various times by the Romans, the Mongol hordes, the Russians and the Arabs, amongst others. English is not widely spoken.

Some expert skiers claim there isn't enough for them, but the resort does have off-piste trails as well as FIS graded black pistes and heliskiing is an option; big expansion plans should further expand the options. Snow cover is not the problem that it is in other nations with only a few famous resorts - conditions are normally world class and there's snow making back-up. In short Palandöken is a very serious ski resort and has taken Turkish skiing into the 21st century - forcing the long established Turkish number one, Uludag in the West, to re-evaluate itself.

 Notable Ski Runs

The longest possible descent in Mt Palandöken is 10km long.

Skiing

Palandöken's ski area is amongst the highest in the world, rising to nearly 3200m (about 10,500) feet at the summit. The precise height of the summit is disputed by the various interested parties, but its generally agreed that the vertical drop is around 1100m (about 3,700 feet) - which would be equivalent to one of the top 20 resorts in North America on that scale.

Most of the skiing is on wide open slopes, divided by a central ridge, with north and north-west facing terrain all well above the tree-line (one of the many differences from Turkey's other major ski areas to the West, which have forested lower slopes). Most f the lifts here are double chairs, with Turkey's only gondola, which was opened here in 1998, running almost the full vertical over its 3.2km (2 miles) length.

Beginners have nursery slopes by the main hotels and should be able to quickly progress on to one of the seven blue runs. Intermediates have an additional eight reds, whilst experts have two blacks, up to five marked off-piste itineraries and a heli-skiing option. The usually windy summit of Mt Eider is reached by a

double chair and there's excellent steep bowl skiing from the rim off the descending red run. The powder snow reputedly stays in good condition for powder skiing for longer than the Alpine norm after a storm because of the dry conditions here. Three mountain restaurants to choose from if you take a break.

There are a variety of pistes to suit all levels of skier ability, from Beginner to Expert.

Snowboarding

This is arguably Turkey's best destination for boarders - the biggest terrain, the biggest vertical, off-piste powder stashes (many of which are on marked routes if not bashed piste - cutting out the danger-of-death-factor a bit) and a half pipe are all on offer. There's also the added bonus that unlike in other Turkish resorts where T-bar is the dominant lift type, the majority of Palandöken's lifts are either chairs or the gondola. Locals recommend the off-piste terrain between the trails on the wide face of Mt Eider as being the best on the mountain for boarders, and heli-boarding is available.

Location and Map

Where is Mt Palandöken?

This ski resort is in Palandöken, Erzurum, Turkey.

Map

Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

Infrastructure

Ski Lift Capacity

The nine ski lifts are able to uplift 5,283 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, with 30 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Mt Palandöken open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates, but hope to soon.

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Mt Palandöken, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Tourist Office Website for the latest.

Aprés Ski

Après ski is centred on the various hotel complexes which each have several bars. There's also the option of going down the mountain to Erzurum to check out the wide variety of entertainments available in the city where

ancient and modern meet, as do half a dozen different cultures.

On the slopes the Polat Renaissance has a choice of six bars and restaurants and the Dedeman has its own night club as well as more bars. It's at the Dedeman that the after-snow action usually begins with mulled wine provided from 4 until 5pm and the traditional Alpine style 'Tea Dancing' often getting underway if conditions are good (dancing on chairs and tables in ski boots). The hotels also organise traditional entertainment evenings with shows including belly dancing.

In the resort hotels and on the slopes, there's a different cultural mix to that in Erzurum, whilst about 50% of the on-snow population is Turkish, the remainder have arrived on package tours from the likes of Holland, Finland and the UK - the opposite end of Europe to Turkey. Russians are also here in force, attracted by higher quality and lower prices than is on offer from their domestic resorts and a comparatively short flight, and better value than they'll find in the Alps.

Mt Palandöken