Snowboarding in Erciyes: An affordable option in Turkey

Erciyes is a volcanic mountain in central Turkey, close to well known tourist destination Cappadocia region. The summit of the mountain is 3916 meters high and is the highest mountain in central Anatolia.

Erciyes is just 25 km south to the city of Kayseri, which is one of the biggest cities in Turkey. The city has good transportation links, therefore it’s very easy to access to Mount Erciyes.

Mount Erciyes in Dawn
Mount Erciyes in dawn, Kayseri lights in front

Kayseri airport can be accessed from Istanbul easily as there are numerous scheduled daily flights, operated by Turkish Airlines, Pegasus and other Turkish operators. It costs 25 Turkish Liras (around 10 Euros) to take a taxi from Kayseri Erkilet Airport to the city center, from where you can find transportation to the ski center. Transportation by dolmuş (mini-bus) from city center to ski resort costs only 5 TL (2.5 Euros), and you should take the “Develi” dolmuş which will drop you at the entrance of Erciyes ski center.

I strongly advice you not to carry your board with you when traveling to Erciyes. The rental options in Erciyes ski center is very advanced and affordable. The equipments are almost brand new, in good condition, and the full day rental of a standard set will only cost you 20 Turkish Liras (Less than 10 Euros)

Zümrüt pists in the morning
Zümrüt pists in the morning, summit and crater of Erciyes seen in clear view
Zumrut chair lifts
Zumrut chair lifts

There are different options for ski-passes in Erciyes from single uses to 10 or 20 uses, as well as daily ski passes. A daily ski pass in Zümrüt pists (the oldest and most popular pists) costed 35 TL (15 Euros) in 2012 winter. In addition to Zümrüt pists there are other pists in Erciyes, which were built and became operational in 2012. At the time i was there, these new lifts and pists were free of charge (as a full season promotion).

Erciyes
As it's a volcanic mountain, there are no trees on Erciyes
Erciyes summit
At the end of Zumrut chair lifts, at 3000 meters high. This is the highest point that chair lifts will take you up to, where you can see the crater in front of you

Erciyes has wide open runs, which makes it a good destination for the novice or beginner/intermediate boarders. However as the mountain is volcanic, there are no trees and therefore the slopes are open to freezy winds. As a result, the off piste experience may not be so satisfactory, however is definitely better than the similar volcanic mountain of Palandöken-Erzurum, as the snow levels reaches good enough levels in February-March, unlike Palandöken’s whole year shallow levels.

As the ski center is very close to Kayseri city center, you can stay at a hotel in city center, which would be a wise choice. Hotels at the ski center are expensive and if you are a weekend boarder (like me) for instance, it’s not possible to book a room for a single night at these hotels (they book only for a minimal of 2 nights). In addition, Kayseri has one of the most delightful culinary cultures in Turkey and you can easily access to the local tastes if you stay in the center.


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Gokhan Toka
Traveler, snowboarder, horror movies geek, photographer, digital marketing freelancer... father for DD.
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