I’ve lived in Turkey for several years now and have for some time wanted to find a place here to ride snowmobiles. I had heard from a friend that snowmobiling is possible on Bursa’s Uludağ, so a few weeks ago when I was in Bursa on a ski holiday I decided to look into the possibility of snowmobiling. My search was rewarded with a couple of fun snowmobile adventures on the slopes of Uludağ.
I discovered that there are several options for snowmobile rental at the top of the mountain in the hotel area. The businesses that offer snowmobile tours clearly advertise this. Or, you can just look for a group of snowmobiles sitting in front of a shop. I learned that the normal price to expect to pay for a one-hour tour is between 100-150 Turkish lira per snowmobile. Most places will start by quoting 150-200 lira per hour, but I’ve made it my policy to never take the first price offered in Turkey! I visited several places to compare prices and negotiate between offers. Most places do not offer helmets as part of the snowmobile rental, so if helmets are important to you, you’ll want to mention that when negotiating. You can fit up to 2 adults on a snowmobile, or one adult and 2 children.
Daytime tours are professionally guided in groups of several snowmobiles. For the most part it is a slow ride, so don’t expect lots of action or speed. This is necessary to keep snowmobilers safely separated from skiers. On our daytime tour, my group rode for about 20 minutes then got off to have tea at a little shack in the woods. A photographer was there trying take photos of us so that we would be tempted buy them later for around a cost of 15 lira each. After the tea break, we hopped back on the snowmobiles and headed back to the main resort area. Overall, my daytime ride lasted a little less than an hour, around 50 minutes.
After doing the daytime tour, I decided I wanted a little more excitement out of my Uludağ snowmobiling experience. So I asked around to see if anyone did more “extensive” tours. They said they did, but only at night because then they can let loose on the ski slopes. So I decided to book a two-hour tour for the following night with Mr. Mahmut, an experienced snowmobiler who grew up on the mountain. The per-hour price of the nighttime ride was around the same as the daytime tour, but I found that the nighttime tour to be a better deal for the money because we were able ride the mountain with our guide for the full two hours. We also found that the nighttime tours moved a lot faster. We just needed to tell our guide how comfortable we were driving at various speeds and he adjusted his speed accordingly. The nighttime ride was a lot of fun, with the only downside being that it was quite a bit colder than in the daytime.
Snowmobiling on Uludağ is a fun experience that I’d recommend to anyone looking for a cold, snowy adventure. It was a fantastic complement to our ski holiday in Bursa!