In fact, many sun-seeking holiday makers are surprised to know that much of Turkey, including Istanbul, is blanketed in snow and ice during the winter season. The alpine ski areas of Turkey, such as Davraz, Palendöken and Uludağ, are well documented and publicized, but few associate Turkey with cross-country skiing or, more specifically, the Anatolian Ski Marathon. The first marathon was held in March 2008 in Gerede with 72 participants competing and completing the overland run. The impetus and support for cross-country skiing has come from the Estonian Embassy in Ankara (  Although a small country with only 1.4 million people, Estonia revels in its winter sporting traditions and in exporting their own brand of enthusiasm and pluck. The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Governorship of Bolu are also sponsors and supporters of the cross-country ski marathon.

Sarıalan has an amusement park for youngsters, making this truly a place for families. Three refreshment pits will operate on the professional circuit, and medical care will be available if necessary.,

Although not recognized as a snow or ski country for years, Turkey offers outstanding snow and downhill opportunities. Skiing is no longer a novelty and is on many tourist agendas. But cross-country skiing is a brilliant way to widen the appeal of snow sports and winter tourist potential in Turkey. You don’t need to be a champion, a heroic professional or a fashion icon on the slopes to glide along the forest trails at your own speed. It is fun to go in groups, and cross-country skiing is a healthy and happy winter workout. You will marvel at how toasty warm and fresh-air fit this sport will make you.

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