Strongly associated with Bursa -the first capital of the Ottomans- which contains the most exquisite examples of early Ottoman architecture, Uludağ (Mount Olympus) has always attracted people’s attention since the ancient times and has become the subject of many legends. For centuries people have believed that the gods and goddesses watched the battle of Troy from this vantage point and also that Hercules searched here for Hylas, who had been kidnapped by the nymphs and his bellow being heard over the mountain ridges. During the Byzantine Period the mountain was a refuge for those who wanted to seclude themselves away from daily life and people. Because of its reputation as a place of seclusion it was named the Priests’ Mountain during the Ottoman Period.
Today, renowned as the ‘Snow Paradise’, Uludağ is the most popular winter sports centre in Turkey. The mountain is 2,543 metres (8,340 ft) high and its high slopes are covered with a good quality snow between December and April. Catering for all demands and providing hire facilities, guides and trainers, the ski resort is overrun with tourists from all over the world. You can enjoy all the fun without having to carry around clothes and equipment. Uludağ has 13 different pistes suitable for alpine and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and heli-skiing. These pistes are graded according to ability and expertise and all equipped with aerial and surface lifts. There are also snowmobiles and ATV trips through the snow-covered pine forests.
Uludağ is not only a winter sports centre; it also provides excellent facilities where you can enjoy a wonderful family holiday. The resort was designed to take into account your every need. Saunas, fitness centres, swimming pools, bars and shopping facilities are available. Cafes and restaurants and a lively nightlife with shows and entertainments are on offer for you to have a memorable and unforgettable holiday experience. Enjoy sipping warm wine and a tasty meal alfresco while watching others enjoying themselves on the slopes, or join your friends inside beside a cosy log fire. The choice is yours!
Uludağ’s rich flora is great for nature-watchers. From early spring to late summer you can see thousands of plant species from the slopes to the summit of mountain; of these species 26 are endemic to Uludağ and 78 are endemic to Turkey. When you wander on the mountain adorned with magnificent colour and flowers, who knows, you may even hear the reverberating bellow of Hercules searching for Hylas…
You can reach Uludağ by road, being approximately 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Bursa city centre. During the summer months you can also reach Karabelen, Kirazlıyayla and Sarıalan camping sites by road. There is also a 20-minute cable car (teleferik) ride to Sarıalan from Bursa. From Sarıalan you can take a minibus at regular 20-minute intervals to the hotel area. However, due to security reasons, you are not allowed to take ski equipment on board the cable car. If you prefer to use your own equipment and to take the road option you should look out for any sudden snowfalls or drifting snow as well as black ice which may render the road impassable despite regular clearing and gritting. You are advised to put snow tyres on your car before your journey and you must also carry snow chains, a towrope and wheel chocks.