The resort itself has so far ten hotels for one and a half thousand beds, and in the most popular online booking services only one of them is available – Ramada.
Most mountain hotels are located at an altitude of 2,200 meters, at the foot of the slopes. The choice is quite varied – from very simple mountain hotels to spa complexes. Almost all have at least a Turkish sauna, many have ski and snowboard rental offices.
What is not yet on Erdjies is the urban environment to which many visitors to the Alpine resorts are accustomed. There are no settlements near the ski resort and its hotels, and therefore some of the guests may not have enough urban atmosphere or just a place to walk. Not much fun yet. They promise to solve the problem by 2023, when the number of hotels near the mountain will reach two dozen, and the number of places in them will be six thousand. It is assumed that they form a town, similar to those that emerged from Krasnaya Polyana in Sochi.
The project of the resort appeared only in 2005. Until 2009, it was designed with the help of Austrian experts, and the opening of the first tracks took place two years later.
“Previously, in Turkey, they saw only a problem in the snow,” said the Deputy Director of the resort, Yusel Ikiler. “But we in Kayseri decided to take advantage of it, because these mountains are covered with snow for several months a year. At the same time, we wanted to create not just a ski resort, but a tourist center – so that not only those who are interested in alpine skiing came to us. Among residents of Turkey, this is still far from the most popular sport, and it would not have been possible to load the resort with some skiers right away. Therefore, we have created an infrastructure not only for skis: for example, we have asnowboard rental offices. – that summer, that winter. In summer, the slopes are used for trekking, as well as for cycle tourism, and the trail leading to the resort is used for auto racing. The hit of the winter season is the stage of the World Cup in snowboarding.
– How many tourists do you have?
– In total, we had two million guests last winter, of which only about 10% are skiers. The rest came just for a walk and to the restaurants of the resort and neighboring hotels, as well as to ride a sled. On Sundays we sometimes receive 50 thousand guests. So far, 95% of our visitors are residents of Turkey, but the share of foreigners is steadily growing.
– Tourists from Russia are not accustomed to the lack of alcohol in the mountain resorts …
– In hotels – both urban and mountain – alcohol is unlimited, but at the resort itself, it really is not yet. But we are already considering the possibility of selling mulled wine from the tracks.
City and surroundings
Those for whom this problem is significant – it makes sense to choose city hotels. Kayseri is not very used to foreign tourists, and the local public is relatively conservative compared to the more popular Turkish cities and few people know foreign languages. Nevertheless, Kayseri has a good set of attractions – from the old fortress in the center and the entertaining suburb of Talas to the city museum, made in the school building with an unusual history and having a detailed English-language translation of the exhibition.
It is not necessary to go into the intricacies of city bus routes – most of the points needed by tourists are connected by the recently opened tram system. The traditional Turkish bazaar with grocery, clothing, jewelry and other rows, of course, is several times smaller than Istanbul, but it is unlikely to differ from it in principle.
However, historically, Kayseri is not entirely Turkish – a hundred years ago, the predominant population was Armenians and Greeks, and the original name of the city itself (Caesarea) was Greek. Traces of Greek and Armenian cultures still remain in the city.
However, the main tourist magnet of this region is not Kayseri itself, but the neighboring province of Nevsehir – there is the famous Cappadocia with unearthly landscapes and underground cities and caves.
It is about fifty kilometers from Kayseri. The standard weekly tour to Erciyes usually includes five days of skiing and then two days in Cappadocia. However, for a detailed study of this unique place it still takes 3-4 days. But in a couple of days you can fit the main hits – a visit to the cave churches, at least one of the underground cities, viewing the enchanting mountain landscapes.