Once a capital of the late Ottoman Empire, Turkey’s northwestern Bursa province looks forward to hosting visitors during winter break, with its leading winter tourism center of Uludag and hot springs.
Holidaymakers traveling to Bursa, one of the most preferred winter tourism destinations of Turkey, can enjoy the hot springs that are believed to heal various diseases. In addition, Bursa is home to numerous Turkish delicacies.
Mount Uludag area has a bed capacity of 7,000 and contains 20 skiing tracks ranging from 300 to 980 meters long, making it a leading touristic destination in the winter season.
Cable car is one of the most popular transport means to Uludag, which is some 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city center. Visitors can snowboard and ski down the slopes and ride on icesleds and snow bikes.
Bearing the marks of 700 years old Ottoman architecture, Cumalikizik village takes you centuries back with its narrow streets and colourful houses.
Tourists have the chance of tasting the village breakfast, composed of organic indigenous delicacies.
Dating back seven centuries, the Bursa Covered Bazaar is one of the first markets of the Ottoman era, is still one of the most popular centers of commerce in the city.
Both the village and the bazaar are included in UNESCO's World Heritage List.
Those who want to enjoy traditional Turkish cuisine can choose from a variety of local meals, including Inegol meatballs and meatballs on pide, locally known as Cantik. Silk and towels, Iznik pottery, Kemal Pasha Desert, olives and olive oil are among the province's most popular products for tourists.
Hot springs are also important and popular attractions in the area.
Historical sources indicate that thermal treatment in these springs was used long before the Ottomans arrived in the region; the Roman Empire would dispatch wounded or worn out soldiers for medical purposes to these sites.
Murat Saracoglu, a senior official in the Association of Turkey Travel Agents (TURSAB), told Anadolu Agency that the historical city attracted many tourists from varied geographies.
Bursa is a rare example where holidaymakers could enjoy skiing and hot spring tourism simultaneously, he added, highlighting that Uludag is a winter tourism center recognized both locally and internationally.
"There are many foreign tourists who enjoy the hot springs. A tourist could find themself skiing, just an hour after having bathed in the hot spring," he said.
Ibrahim Calp, a holidaymaker, described Uludag as a "white paradise", noting that everyone should visit the area to enjoy skiing and snowboarding.
Ramazan Akin, a tourist from Germany, said he was looking forward to relaxing in hot springs.
"This is one of the most beautiful parts of the country, the capital of the Ottoman Empire. We can feel both cold and hot here. This makes it possible to enjoy four seasons at the same time. I recommend everyone visit this site," he added.