The long-awaited snow has finally arrived here on the slippery slopes of Kartepe, one of the top ski resorts in Turkey, especially a favorite among Istanbulites for its proximity to the city.
Located in Kocaeli province -- 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Istanbul -- the 1,640-meter high winter destination offers mesmerizing views of both the Gulf of Izmit, Sapanca Lake, and forests for amateur and professional skiers alike.
And for those who are not that into sports involving snow and ice and cold, Kartepe features various outdoor activities, including natural hiking, bird watching, paragliding, and horseback riding.
Visitors may also participate in zip-lining, mountain biking, paintball, and safari tour activities just outside the resort.
Kartepe's 21 ski pistes stretch for 17 kilometers (10 miles) with three ski lifts and two teleskis.
Last season, a total of 100,000 people, including some 15,000 foreigners visited the facilities.
And when is it not covered with snow and ice, Kartepe hosts football clubs for summer training camps, offering natural grass pitches and two fitness facilities at FIFA standards.