Although Iran is known as a desert country. But its special geographical features and high mountains have prepared hard and snowy winters, which will be the best choice for skiing enthusiasts. You can choose one of the 30 different ski resorts in Iran and experience a memorable trip.
Ski resorts in Iran
Iran is a vast land and every corner of it has different weather conditions. Some of its areas are desert and dry, some are humid and temperate, and some are mountainous. The presence of two high mountain ranges, Alborz and Zagros, and its high peaks are covered with snow on many days of the year, and this has created excellent conditions for those interested in the exciting sport of skiing. Iran's ski resorts host a large number of skiing enthusiasts who come from different cities to have fun in this area every year. There are various choices for off-piste ski areas in Iran. The most precious one is the 5610-meter Damavand Mountain, at the top of Iran. Besides, there are a lot of 4000-meter peaks all around Damavand villages.
Iran's ski areas reach altitudes that overshadow those of even the highest resorts in the Alps. Val Thorens, Europe's loftiest resort, sits at 2,300m with slopes ascending to just over 3,000m, and the highest mountain in the Alps, Mont Blanc, rockets to 4,810m. In comparison, Mount Damavand in Iran reaches 5,610m - just 285m short of Mount Kilimanjaro - and the resorts in the area all sit comfortably over 2,000m, with the ski areas reaching 3,600m and above. The predominantly dry air that hits the Alborz Mountains from the desert means that the slopes and backcountry terrain are covered in light dry powder, the perfect recipe for off-piste skiing. A two-hour drive north of Tehran, Dizin is the country's biggest resort, sitting at 2,650m. Its slopes reach 3,600m and are supplied by three gondolas and 12 chairs. Shemshak (2,550m), the second-largest resort, has two chairlifts; Darbandsar (2,550m) has just one; and Tochal (1,950m), the smallest of the resorts, has two slow-moving gondolas.
The main resorts are located just north of the capital Tehran, in the Alborz Mountain Range. The Alborz Mountains, in northern Iran, stretching from the border with Azerbaijan and along the western and southern coast of the Caspian Sea.
Dizin, Shemshak, Darbandsar and Tochal Biggest: Dizin
Most modern: Darbandsar
Dizin Ski Slope, spread over 550 hectares, is the first international ski piste in Iran. It is located about 45 miles north of Tehran with the journey normally taking about two to three hours in total. The highest ski lift reaches 3,600m, making it one of the top 40 highest ski resorts in the world. At Dizin, one can ski from December through May, with the dry air making for some fantastic powder skiing longer than the resorts of Europe. As it is relatively off the beaten track compared to resorts in Europe, you will frequently be able to enjoy untracked snow. Combine the untracked powder with a very high number of sunny days, and you may have one of the best ski holidays of your life!
Dizin boasts hotels, cottages, and restaurants. It has numerous pistes such as a snow park, grass ski resort, and pistes for beginners, however, Dizin ski resort is geared towards the more experienced skiers.
Dizin also has numerous facilities such as a ski school, cable car, and chair lift. This ski region is administered by Iran Ski Federation. Ski instructors are available for hire. It is also possible to hire an experienced guide who can take you to other mountains and off-piste skiing.
Located 2,700 meters up the Alborz Mountains, the resort opened in 1969.
Dizin ski pist specification
-Lowest Piste: 2650m Highest Lift
-Top elevation: 3600m
-Resort Altitude: 2700m
-Vertical drop: Max 850m
-Snow Depth: 2 to 4 m
-Slopes: 5x Greens - 7x Blues - 8x Reds - 3x Blacks
The sports activities in Dizin resort are not confined to winter, it is also possible to ski on the grass in the summer (the same piste). In fact, Dizin resort is the main grass-ski center of Iran.
Shemshak is the second largest ski area in Iran, after Dizin. Shemshak is ideal for more advanced skiers and has seven ski lifts. The slopes are quite steep and there are many mogul runs. Starting its activity in 1958, Shemshak ski resort is located 60km northeast of Tehran in the Alborz Mountain Range. Normally, one-third of the people are snowboarders on the slopes. Fresh air as well as the closeness of the region to the capital, is the main reason it attracts a large number of foreign and local tourists. You will enjoy an amazing ski until midnight by the lightened eye-catching scene.
Shemshak ski area was granted an International title in Shahrivar 1375 (1996), soon after some corrections were made in slopes and snow tracks. Amenity and recreational facilities such as two hotels and 4 restaurants were provided to receive sports lovers. Until the beginning of the 20th century, Shemshak was a small village lost in the mountain. With the discovery of important coal deposits, the village grew and a road connecting Shemshak to Tehran was built.
-Snow Depth: Slopes:2 to 4 m
-Slopes:1x Black - 2x Reds - 1x Green
From the Eastern side of Tehran, one hour (60km) is required to reach the ski resort located on the same road as Shemshak and Dizin ski resorts. The most recent ski area came into operation as a private company in (1982). The area itself is located at Darbandsar village 60 kilometers northeast of Tehran. The lowest point of the field is 2600m and its highest point is 3050m above sea level.
Darbandsar is a relatively small private resort located on the slopes of Mount Seechal, at Darbandsar Village in the northeast of the capital city of Tehran in the Alborz Mountains.
Darbandsar is the only Iranian resort with snowmaking -the others rely on natural snow.
-Lowest Piste:2600 m
-Highest Lift:3050 m
-Vertical drop: Slopes:500m
-2x Greens - 2x Reds - 1x Black
Tochal is the closest ski resort complex to Tehran, which is visible from the middle of Tehran. You can visit the ski piste from the window of your hotel if you stay at the Parsian Esteghlal hotel. The best option for your accommodation is a one-night stay at Tochal 5-star hotel located in the Tochal area and located 3545 m from sea level. Tochal is the highest resort in Iran. Built at the end of the seventies, Tochal ski resort is part of a multi-activity complex located in North Tehran.
To reach the ski area, the 7.5km ride gondola, can fit up to 6 persons per cabin which is one of the longest in the world. It takes about 45 minutes to go from the first station to the last one by car cable. The highest point of the piste (3970m) is located just under Tochal summit. The resort has two restaurants at the fifth and seventh stations. Tochal ski resort is situated at the seventh station (the 5th highest ski resort in the world).
The first ski area in Iran in which mechanical ski lifts were installed in 1332 (1953) was Ab Ali. Prior to that, typically, since the region enjoyed favorable climatic conditions in summer, sportsmen and those who liked mountainous areas and skiing, rushed to the region for its recreational facilities. Since Ab Ali is situated on the road of Tehran-North, many sportsmen were familiar with Ab Ali. Ab Ali is situated at a distance of 75 Kilometers east of Tehran. This region is the birthplace of modern skiing and the base of the ski sport in Iran.
The highest point of the region is 2650m, while its lowest point is 240m above sea level. Skiing season lasts from (Dec.22-Mar. to 19). The region has six restaurants and one Hotel.
Tarik Darreh ski resort is located 10km away from Hamedan. Nestled on the side of the Alvand mountain range at 1,900m, Hamedan is one of the oldest cities in Iran.
Slopes: 2x Blues - 1x Red
Fereydunshahr is the most Georgian city in Iran and has about 15,000 inhabitants located at an elevation of 2500m in the Zagros Mountain Range. The city is renowned for its tough winter and heavy snowfalls. It is also one of the highest cities in Iran along with Chelgerd.
Slopes: 1x Green - 1x Red
Pooladkaf is the southernmost ski resort in Iran located in Fars province close to Shiraz the city of "Nightingale and Flowers", surrounded by amazing landscapes. Then you can not only have a great ski but also can visit the most beautiful historical monuments from 25000 BC up to now. Kuwait is only 300km away from there and is the best option for citizens around the Persian Gulf who are eager to ski in high mountains.
Pooladkaf offers a large choice of activities: skiing, Skidoo, restaurant, horse riding, après-ski, hotel, mountain bike, and hiking. The Pooladkaf ski area is the fifth biggest in Iran, after Dizin, Shemshak, Darbandsar, and Tochal ski resorts. The 4-star PooladKaf hotel is located in the Pooladkaf ski resort. At Pooladkaf, you can also enjoy driving ATVs and snowmobiles, as well as riding bikes, horses, and pedalos. Sometimes there are about 3 meters of snow at the bottom of the resort. The interesting point about Pooladkaf ski resort is the strong sunshine even in winter months. You can visit the spectacular Margoon waterfall near this region (45 km away from the ski resort).
-Vertical Drop: 421m
-The lift length: is about 2km
-Slope: 1x Red
Distance from Shiraz: is 85km
Bijar is located in Kurdistan Province at an equal distance from the cities of Zanjan and Hamedan. Bijar with about 20,000 inhabitants, is nestled at 2,000m above sea level. It is famous worldwide for the quality and beauty of its handmade Persian carpets.
Slopes: 1x Green - 1x Blue
The small ski resort of Sahand is located North-West of Iran in the Sahand mountain range. The resort is 50km away from Tabriz, the 6th biggest city in Iran. This is one of the best ski slopes in the west of Iran that let you ski until June. You can come here to breathe the fresh air, hike, ski, paraglide, relax, visit the various historical sites, or can visit the only famous stone village of Kandovan.
This region is very cold, offering great snow conditions and long winter seasons. Sahand and Alvares (located 3 hours away from each other), are the Iranian northeastern ski resorts. Known as really windy, the region may offer great potential for kiting.
For beginners, a rope tow and a green track are located a few meters from the main building. For expert skiers, 2 ski lifts give quick access to the summit. The unevenness and steepness of the slope are good reasons to visit this small ski resort. In the main building, you will find a restaurant and a ski rental shop.
Slopes: 1x Green - 1x Red
Alvares ski resort is located North-West of Iran, in Ardabil Province. The area is well-known for its tough winters, "cool" summers, beautiful landscapes, the quality of its dairy products, its local honey, and numerous hot springs. The small town of Sareyn (about 8,000 inhabitants), located about 20km away from the resort, is famous across Iran for its spas.
Slopes: 1x Blue
At the heart of the Zagros mountain range, 200km away from Isfahan, the village of Chelgerd is home to one of the biggest Bakhtiari tribe communities in Iran. Chelgerd is also a famous destination for sightseeing in this region: Chelgerd population is about 2,500 inhabitants. Its elevation of 2300m, makes it one of the highest cities in Iran (with Fereydunshahr). During winters, snow accumulation can be huge.
Slope: 1x Blue
Khoshakoo ski resort is located in North-West Iran, 10km from the Turkish border. The nearest city is Urmia. One hour of driving is required to reach Khoshakoo ski resort from Urmia.
Slopes: 1x Green - 1x Red
Kakan Ski Piste, at an altitude of 2,850 meters, is located 18 km from Yasouj, in Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad Province. A snowman festival is held there annually.
Slope: 1x Blue