Erzurum’s winter wonderland Palandöken teems with visitors

Erzurum’s winter wonderland Palandöken teems with visitors

ERZURUM - Demirören News Agency
Erzurum’s winter wonderland Palandöken teems with visitors

Mount Palandöken in the eastern province of Erzurum has become one of the top destinations of winter tourism, with hotel occupancy rate hitting 90 percent, according to Demirören News Agency.

Nearby hotels reach near full capacity from late January to early February every year when schools across Turkey go on winter break. This year, the number of tourists is unchanged. The slopes of Mount Palandöken are teemed with both domestic and international tourists.

Especially on weekends, visitors opt to spend time in Palandöken, which is famous for its long slopes, the quality of its snow, nature and ski facilities.

Mount Palandöken has 40 slopes, the longest of which is 14 kilometers long, which can host up to 20,000 visitors at once. Those who are not familiar with skiing or snowboarding at a professional level are welcome to use the slopes as beginners.

Hotels in Palandöken have already reached 90 percent occupancy rate on Jan. 12-13 on the eve of the winter break.

For those who prefer the serenity of the illuminated tracks during calmer hours, night-time skiing is available on certain days of the week. Hot springs also await weary visitors with their steamy waters.

Palandöken is a five-minute drive from Erzurum city center and 15 minutes to Erzurum Airport.

Besides Palandöken, visitors can also go on a trip through past centuries, bearing witness to awe-inspiring past civilizations in Erzurum and one of the focal points of Turkish-Islamic culture.

The Çifte Minareli (Double Minaret) and Yakutiye madrasas, as well as the Osh Vank Church, shed light on the spirituality of past Erzurum residents, as do the historical houses and tombs throughout this open-air museum.

Among these is the house of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding father of the Turkish Republic, as well as the building where the historic Congress of Erzurum convened, which laid the foundations of modern Turkey.

Tourists can also revel among breathtaking natural wonders such as the Tortum Waterfall — the largest in Turkey.

Erzurum cuisine whets the appetite of visitors and natives alike, with its rich assortment of dishes from kebabs and soups to pastries, cheeses and sweets that have become indispensable symbols of the Turkish kitchen.

By far the dish most emblematic of the province is the mouth-watering marinated lamb meat on a rotating spit that is Çağ kebab.

Thicker than the better-known döner, this delicacy is cooked on a horizontal spit, thus retaining much more of its juice and flavor.

Turkish tourism,