Erzurum is especially famous with its cold, “Stuffing of Kadayif” and buffalo yoghurt. However not only that, but also with the wide and long slopes of the Palandoken Ski Center, Erzurum has become a popular destination for ski lovers and tourists. If we say that there were more Russians than Turkish in our holiday time in Palandöken, we would not exaggerate. 🙂 Coming of tourists from Russia to the slopes in Turkey is also a source of pride for us actually.
You can reach Erzurum with a 2-hour flight from Istanbul. Transportation from the airport to Palandöken does not take more than 30 minutes, it has a 5 km distance. You are in a 10-minute distance to the center of Erzurum. Access to the slopes and the hotel is not exhausting and long. So it is a very advantageous place in meaning of location.
Palandöken hosted Winter University games in 2011 and started to make a name for itself. International events played an important role in the promotion and awareness of the Palandoken Ski Resort as well as in Erciyes. The season opens in Palandoken at the end of November, however the actual rainfall starts within the December month. And if the season goes well, you can do ski until the April. Having a long season is a great advantage for ski lovers. Despite all, the best season is February and March. When you talk to a native person, he will tell you that December and January are stagnant months.
Hotels of Palandoken
Sway Hotels: This hotel, that located right at the entrance of Palandoken, has its own chairlift and slopes. If you give information to the hotel, it takes you from the airport by shuttle and leaves you at the airport at a suitable time for your flight time. Within 30 min. it is possible to reach the hotel. It offers open buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner meals with also five o’clock tea. We stayed at this hotel for 4 nights and 5 days and were quite pleased.
For all meals there was a variety of food that could cater for all tastes. They only charge here was for alcoholic beverages at meals. A glass of wine 25 TL, a double raki 60 TL, you can make your account according to this prices. Generally in sector buffet dishes are appealing to the eye but they have not a very good taste. However here, it appealed to both the eyes and stomach. 🙂
There is a ski room inside Sway Hotels. From here you can rent ski equipment or take care of your own equipment in this room. We should also mention that this was the most beautiful ski room we have ever seen. It is immaculate, tidy and each room has a private locked ski cabinet. These cabinets have ventilation and heating systems. So you can get your boots dry the next day when you hang them in the related areas of cabinet. Your skis will be cleaned in the same way here. If you want to take ski lessons, this place is definitely the right address. All the teachers we saw were very talented. We liked the discipline they gave to their students.
Polat Erzurum Resort Hotel: This hotel is right next to Sway and has side slopes. As far as we see, this hotel had nice slopes on different levels. The only difference from Sway is that this hotel is a bit older than Sway. However, it is an advantageous location due to its location and direct access to the slope. You can choose to stay here because the average overnight stay is between 50 TL and 75 TL per person. So it’s cheaper than Sway.
Dedeman Palandoken: By staying at this hotel, that located at the higher point that Sway and Polat, you can use the Gondola and climb to upper points. Families with children often choose Sway because of the abundance of activities. However, Dedeman Palandoken Slopes will be more advantageous for ski enthusiasts. You can also stay at Sway Hotels and use the slopes. However we should consider that you will have also ski equipment on you so walking will be difficult. Here the one way taxi fee is 25 TL. Additionally, you need to buy also ski-pass for Gondola and slopes.
Slopes of Palandoken
Sway has a beginner’s slope, a sled slope and a chairlift station. Thanks to their band system instead of baby-lift, it was possible to reach the beginning of the slope for beginners. At the end of the sled slope, there is a snow tube like carousel for children. 🙂 The chairlift passes over 2 stations. At the first station, the chairlift does not stop and you have to land on your way. As a matter of fact, the system was a bit pointless. It would be better if two different chairlifts were built instead of doing so. In other words, if the 1st chairlift left you the intermediate station and if the ones, who want to go higher, get on the 2nd chairlift, it would make more sense. If you say why, let’s answer it. The area where the intermediate station is located is usually not windy. However because there is wind at the end of the chairlift, the entire chairlift stops. If there were 2 different chairlifts, at least in windy weather, they wouldn’t bother the customers who wanted to ski only by running the first chairlift.
If you a bit turn right from the last station and continue straight, you will see a chairlift there. This chairlift goes to the top of the slope. But for our fortune, there was so much wind that day and we were able to do ski here only once. And we didn’t enjoy it because the slope was so windy. Nevertheless, this was the most extreme point of the region, it may be nice for you to see that location.
Ski school students work on the slope that located at the second station of the chairlift. Don’t obey them, or you’re likely to roll like a snowball. 🙂 The slope is quite steep and it is not possible go down with the snow plough. You absolutely must be able to stop. According to the wind condition, the slope will be ice. When we do ski, it didn’t make much different from an asphalt. However, there are alternative slopes available on there. There is also a slope at least steep like that. If you like the black slope, do not worry. 🙂 We liked to do ski off the slope too. Especially the fact that the wooded area was not crushed allowed us to ski in abundant snow and we made our own attractions among the trees. 🙂
You can go to the Gondola zone by paying 25 TL to taxi that located at the under side hotels. Going and back is very easy and distance is very low. However you need to buy ski-pass from here again and if you come here with your own ski equipments, a cabinet must be arranged.
The name of the facilities of Konaklı and Palandoken slope zones is mentioned as Ejder 3200 here. This name came from the most famous point of the Palandoken. There is an avalanche risk at the Ejder Zirvesi (Dragon Summit) that located at the 3200 meter. That’s why it is opened rarely. Unfortunately, we could not find a chance to try it. While getting down from the Dragon Summit (Ejder Zirvesi) you can front to different level slopes. However, for this, at least you must be able to ski in red slope level. Otherwise, it will be dangerous.
Ejder 3200 tries to be world-class facility. They have cafes at every single different stations like Bansko. There are many pist that you can do night-ski. At the same time, it has a separated slope for those who like abundant snow. In fact, we really liked that they thought of such a detail. They own the Küre Restaurant, also called Sky Lodge. And they are also innovators. 🙂 We recommend you to see this place.
Palandoken Night Ski
One of the most beautiful experiences was the night ski. Sway Hotels Slopes open beginning from 08 am and close at 08 pm. Just after the five o’clock tea, we come to the slopes and we had a chance to do ski while it is snowing. With the air softening, it was a really good experience for us.
At Sway Hotels, there are activities that you can do outside skiing for both children and you. For children, there is an evening cinema and games room. And for adults, there are activities like pool, spa, Turkish bath and sauna. You can see the massage prices below. The cafe, which is located outside the hotel, opens as of 09 am. and the night gets move with DJ performance. It is enough for those who want to have fun here.