Turkey’s famed Uludag ski center in the northwest part of the country has been attracting winter lovers for the last 50 years.

Once a favorite set for filmmakers, Uludag’s hotels area with its continually renovated facilities is just 40 kilometers from the city center of Bursa, the nearest metropolis.

At Uludag, where the snow remains deep enough to allow for skiing four months of the year, there is a total of 17 hotels with a bed capacity of more than 6,000.

Having received more than 70,000 visitors, of whom 5,000 were foreigners, in the winter season of 2016-2017, Uludag has 20 ski runs ranging between 300 meters and 980 meters.

Apart from skiing, holidaymakers can snowboard as well as ice-skate at Uludag. It is also possible to take a tour of the area on snow bikes.

Mehmet Haluk Beceren, the head of the GUMTOB, a hotel-owners association based in Bursa, told Anadolu Agency that Uludag was Turkey’s largest ski resort.

“It is the nearest ski resort to Istanbul, and since the Osmangazi Bridge was built, the drive from there to Uludag is now down to around three hours,” Beceren added.

He added that thanks to the new bridge, there was a tremendous increase in the number of daily visitors to Uludag. 

The long drive from Istanbul, Turkey’s most populous city, to Uludag has now been reduced to three hours thanks to the

Osmangazi Bridge -- the fourth-longest suspension bridge in the world -- which lies on the southern shores of the Marmara Sea.