Nothing would make a skier feel more excited than reaching high altitudes and the fact that all ski resorts in Iran are located above 2000 meters with the highest peak at 5609m, Mt. Damavand, sounds like imaginary! It is even more interesting when you find out Iran has a very long ski season and these summits are covered with good quality snow from November till May and since many people do not go off-piste skiing, there is a lot of virgin powder to be explored even days after the last snowfall. Sometimes, skiing is possible even in June at the resorts with higher elevations! If the long ski season in Iran convinced that this country is a must-ski destination, here are some practical tips:
Where to Ski in Iran?
There are many ski resorts in different parts of the country, most of them equipped with ski facilities. Depending on the ski season in Iran and where you stay, you can visit these ski resorts. Follow the season guide to enjoy skiing in a powder paradise.
- Tehran – Alborz Mountain
You will find many slopes to ski around Tehran which are actually the most convenient and facilitated resorts; however, if you are looking for the resorts with the most durable ski season in Iran, it starts with the ones in the highest altitudes.
You might get pleased to know that Tochal is not only famous for the most durable snow season, but also for being the nearest resort to Tehran. Therefore, it is quite convenient if you plan to stay in Tehran. This resort usually experiences early snow and is one of the first ones to be opened to visitors from November. The snow usually lasts until June at the altitude of 3600 meters.
About 120Km north of Tehran, you will have access to the largest, liveliest and most equipped ski resort in Iran. Reaching an altitude of 3600m, this resort with its international standards, hotels, and restaurants is open from early December until late May.
Similar to Dizin, this resort is of accepted international standards, but with an elevation range of 2550 to 3050. It is only about 50km from Tehran and is open from early December until mid-April. This resort also offers hotels and four restaurants.
Interested in off-piste skiing? Then you are welcomed to Darbandsar to ski the bare slopes covered with the best quality powder. Even if you are a beginner, there are training activities available here. Snow season is not as long as Tochal, however, it lasts from December to April.
Sitting in an altitude of 2250m, Abali has the reputation of being the closest resort to Damavand Mt. It offers skiing as well as non-skiing activities such a hiking, kiting and climbing; however, Abali’s powder lasts from December to March.
There is also wonderful downhill skiing available around northwest and west of Iran, two of the most well-known are:
Have you tried skiing in the bare slopes somewhere off the beaten path? Alvares is not only a ski resort but also an infinite natural landscape of fresh snow, that would astonish you! The slopes of Mt. Sabalan, the third highest peak in Iran, lies in an altitude of 3200m which is available for skiing from November until May. This resort is famous for pleasant and cool weather that attracts nature lovers to the region even during summer.
You will experience the lowest temperature in the northwest of Iran, therefore the longest ski season is here, Sometimes until June, as local people admit! Located at an altitude of 3000 to 3200 meters, this resort attracts many skiers, both professionals, and beginners. The resort usually experiences its first snow in November and it continues until June. Summer activities such as hiking and paragliding are also possible.
- Zagros Mountain
The Zagros range is about 990 miles (1,600 km) long, extending from northwest to southeast of Iran. Some parts of these ranges date to Precambrian time (that is, before 541 million years ago). The highest peak is Dena with an elevation of 4400m, and there are more than 40 peaks above 4000m. So, not only northern and western Iran but also central and southern parts offer high mountains and long ski season in Iran. It may be surprising to know that in some areas of “ZardKooh” which is one of the highest peaks of Zagros, the snow height reaches 15 meters! However, it does not mean that you can ski in all of these regions!
Pooladkaf is the southernmost ski resort in Iran, situated in Fars province near Sepidan city. If you are a skilled skier looking for an exciting experience, the off-piste terrains here would offer a great opportunity. The snow at Zagros may last shorter but it is worth experiencing. The resort is usually covered with white powder from December to March. In spite of being small, it offers a wide range of activities you can enjoy during summer besides skiing such as horse riding, hiking, mountain biking.
- Chelgerd (Koohrang)
Chelgerd is located on the eastern foothills of the Zagros mountain range, in Chahar Mahaal Bakhtiari province. This province is called “The Roof of Iran” due to its high altitude. If you plan to visit the amazing nature of the roof of Iran, skiing is available from early December until late March. To make the most of your trip to Chahar Mahaal Bakhtiari, do not miss visiting the breathtaking landscapes and spectacular waterfalls in this province.
The ski season in Iran
The ski season in Iran varies from one resort to another; in Alborz Mountain, where most resorts are located, it starts from November and lasts until late April. However, in Dizin and Northwestern resorts it lasts longer, usually until late May. If you plan to ski at Zagros, you are welcomed from December to March. Remember in mind that, nearly all slopes are crowded during weekends (Friday and Thursday in Iran) and busy with diplomats on Saturdays; other days it would be quiet. If you are a skilled skier and prefer to get off-piste, finding untouched powder would be easy for you even on Fridays.
And last but not least, it is not only the long ski season in Iran; there are many reasons why you should ski in Iran; tasty local food, traveling to on a budget destination and warm-hearted people will completely change your point of view about this country.