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Palandöken ski resort, 7 km (4.5 miles) south of the center of Erzurum in eastern Turkey (map), is among Turkey's most dramatic and challenging ski areas.

Because of its high altitude, cold temperatures and dry atmosphere, TTP user Mitch Weisburgh (to whom I owe thanks for most of this information) has described Palandöken's snow as resembling "Colorado powder"—in other words, light, fine and wonderful for skiing.

Three chair lifts 3-km (2-mi) gondola and one T-bar serve the 18 trails on the bald, treeless 890-hectare (2200-acre) resort expanse around the 3185-meter (10,450-foot) summit. The trails are useful, but in fact you can go off-piste as much as you like—no forests to get in the way of your travel or the view. Also, the ski season is an impressive 150 days per year, on average.

City bus G6 trundles the route from Erzurum to the ski center every 30 minutes.