Eye-catching landscapes covered with powdery snow have made Iran an attractive place for ski. It is among a few countries in the Middle East enjoying natural ski resorts with a wide variety of terrains. While many travel to this country to enjoy its mild pleasant weather in the Persian Gulf islands, adventurers prefer to visit its unique snowy slopes, in search of fantastic ski experience in Iran. Here are the top convincing reasons why you should ski in Iran and immerse yourself in this exhilarating adventure.
1. Breathtaking altitudes
From north to south, east to west, there are mountain ranges with many ski runs, so it is the right place for this exciting sport. The ski resorts in Iran may not be as developed as those in European countries, but the altitudes dominate those of even the highest resorts in the Alps to offer an unforgettable experience. The immense mountains with ski facilities range from 2540 to 3850 meters height are usually covered with snow from November/early December until late May, providing a great opportunity to ski in Iran.
2. Low priced skiing
Iran is an undercover gem for budget travelers. You can enjoy a great vacation in this country without having a lot of money. A variety of services such as hotel rooms and good quality restaurants are available for a good price and recreations like the ski is not an exception. Skiers can ride the highest ski slopes for a fair price. There are also rental shops available for ski equipment, so you do not need to bring yours.
3. Longest ski season
Being a mountainous country, there are many summits higher than 3000 meters covered with powdery snow for quite a long time during the year in Iran. Actually, most ski resorts run from November till May. Although many skiers and snowboarders traveling to Iran think of spring skiing with sunny and blue sky, there is usually fresh snowfall late-season; that consequently provides a great opportunity to experience Persian powder even in spring.
Winter sports like snowboarding and skiing involves safety concerns. Besides the risks of injuries and collision, skiers are exposed to natural threats such as avalanches. Unlike many other resorts around the world, there is a lower risk of avalanche occurrence in Iran’s ski resorts. They offer a quite safe experience to ski in Iran. However, you must be cautious while skiing off-piste.
Another issue is the quality of snow; poor snow quality like thin snow or icy cover may also cause severe injuries. The snow quality is comparable to that of the Alpine resorts, in some areas up to three meters thick. The safety concerns give the most compelling reason to ski in Iran.
5. Huge and convenient resorts
Tourists will find many slopes to ski in different regions, most of them equipped with ski facilities. A hotel, apartment or guesthouse is available near these resorts to spend a night. Here are just some of the most known ones:
Under a two-hour drive from Tehran, you will arrive at Dizin; the most important ski resort in Iran and one of the most popular in the Middle East and among adventurers who like to ski in Iran. Since Dizin was the first resort confirmed by international ski federation for ski games, it is of acceptable international standard; the slopes and length of the trails, location for holding competitions, facilities like three cable cars, two chair lifts, seven-button lifts, and a platter lift. Other facilities provided in Dizin include two hotels, 19 cottages, five restaurants, and private apartments, which has made it an ideal destination for planning a long stay tour. The lowest and highest point here is between 2650 to 3600 meters and the best season to go skiing in Dizin is from early December to late May.
Shemshak is the second largest ski resort in Iran after Dizin, 50 Kilometers northeast of Tehran near Shemshak village. To arrive there, drive either Lashgarak or Zarband and Karaj roads. The elevation range in Shemshak is between 2550 to 3050 meters. It is equipped with two chair lifts (Télésiège), two-button lifts, and two platter lifts. The yellow spotlights make skiing possible until midnight. The best time to ski in Shemshak is from early December until mid-April. Two hotels and four restaurants are available at this resort that offers stunning landscapes to the guests.
Being one of the oldest ski resorts, Abali is located 75 kilometers from Tehran on the Haraz road. It has five tracks, each equipped with lifts and chair lifts. Tennis court, horseback riding, jumping, and kiting are among the recreation facilities in this center. A hotel and three restaurants with a medical center are also accessible here.
Darbandsar is the most recently established ski resort in Iran, 60 kilometers northeast of Tehran. It is facilitated with 4 lifts. The best time to ski in this resort is from early December until late April. There is a ski school in the area offering educational services. The highest point in Darbandsar is 3050 meters.
Located in the vicinity of Tehran, down to the Velenjak Street in Shemiranat area, Tochal is one of the most important ski resorts. The area has three cable car routes, three chair lifts, all together with a length of 7500 meters which rivals the longest cable car routes in the world.
The resort has three separate tracks, one in the summit, one in the west slope and one from 5th to 7th station. The track in the summit has an altitude of about 3850 meters. Due to this altitude, the resort is open to visitors about eight months of the year.
Skiing in Alvares is a unique experience that one may not have had before. There may be hundreds of ski resorts more developed and well-equipped, but what makes skiing in Alvares so memorable is the off the beaten path place and the opportunity of companionship with hospitable locals.
Lying 3200 meters above the sea level, it is covered with snow all through fall and winter. Alvares is open to visitors 6 to 8 months of the year. This resort is also equipped with chairlifts and lifts.
Pooladkaf or Sepidan is the name of a ski resort in Fars Province. The area enjoys facilities such as lifts, cable cars, and snow motors and is absolutely convenient for families. In the vicinity of Pooladkaf, there is another ski resort that is open to visitors all year round.
Located 39 Kilometers to the southeast of Tabriz city, the ski area of Sahand covers about 1200 meters length. The best time to ski here usually starts from January to March. There are 12 lifts, a five-star, and a three-star hotel, apartments, and sports facilities in this resort.
6. Après Skiing in Iran
Almost all the resorts offer restaurants and cafes, so skiers can enjoy a delicious meal out. Tourists can also be entertained by getting together which gives them a well-deserved rest after spending a day out on the slopes.
7. Other advantages
Although there are rules which must be respected, tourists can fully enjoy their trip to ski in Iran. Iran has a great number of historical and cultural heritage. With ski resorts such as Dizin and Shemshak, which are close to cities, organizing cultural tours seems entirely favorable.
It is worth mentioning that Iran is considered a gold mine for adventurers, providing outdoor recreations such as ice climbing, rock climbing, paragliding, animal, and bird watching which would be exceptionally interesting activities to experience.
Watch this exciting video of experiencing ski in Iran.