Iran is quite a different country in the region when it comes to the possibilities of skiing in The Middle East! There are lots of huge mountains with high peaks and appropriate slopes for different types of skiing.
As a result, ski resorts have been built for the skiers who love this sport. This type of terrain makes Iran a unique location for the people interested in skiing in the Middle East.
Ski Resorts in Iran
Shemshak and Darbandsar are such places for ski.
The highest peak of Iran is Damavand with 5671 m above sea level. It’s located at the North East of Iran on the Alborz range and can be seen from inside Tehran in Sunny days. You will find snow on top of this burned-out volcano almost all year round. Along the same mountain range and close to Tehran, there are possibilities of skiing at different ski runs.
Dizin, Tochal, Shemshak and Darbandsar are such places for Iranians as well as foreign enthusiasts.
Dizin Ski Resort; Dizin skiing pist
If you’re looking for a unique possibility of skiing in Middle East or you’re living in a neighboring country, why don’t you consider going to Dizin? It’s the largest skiing field in the region. This resort is in a fantastic geographic location, near Tehran. So, you can drive directly from the International airport to Dizin and get there in a couple of hours.
One of the advantages of Dizin skiing pist is that it has different ski runs, for beginners and professional skiers, so that you can ski in different styles one after another. The ski lift will take you to an altitude of 3600 m above sea level, making it one of the top 40 high ski resorts in the world. There are several villas, hotels, cottages, restaurants, etc at Dizin.
Shemshak Ski Resort
Shemshak is a ski resort situated to the north-east of Tehran in the Alborz mountain range.
Shemshak is the second largest ski area in Iran after Dizin and came into operation in 1958. It includes two ski lifts, three dish teleskis and two Hammer teleskis.The slopes lie at an altitude of 2550m to 3050m above sea level. The resort includes two main slopes each with a chair lift that apex at the top and several lifts. There are also lighting facilities for night skiing.
Shemshak has classically catered to more advanced skiers while Dizin has drawn beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers. The slopes are quite steep and many of the runs are mogul runs.
Shemshak is conveniently situated just about 55 minutes drive from Tehran, 10 km from middle-slope parking of Dizin and 5 km from Darband-Sar ski resort. two of the best residential complex in Shemshak is ASP build before the revolution and Sepahan residence complex finished end of 2012 in front of the gazoil pist.
Tochal Ski Resort
Tochal peak is right on the north of Tehran. It’s at an altitude of 3964 m above sea level and at a perfect condition for those who love skiing in Middle East. Access to the location is possible by cable car that starts from the north of Velenjak district in Tehran.
A modern hotel has recently been constructed up at the peak for the skiers so that they can stay in a well-equipped accommodation. You can combine Tochal with Dizin during your stay in Tehran so that you can ski at both places. Also, you can keep it at your list as an alternative for the second time you go skiing in Iran.
Other Ski Resorts in Iran
Alvares is the second standard ski resort in Iran after Dizin. Its altitude is 3200 m above sea level and located 24 km away from Sarein, near Ardebil. At Dizin, you can ski from December to May, longer than the resorts in Europe.
You can also opt for skiing in other parts of Iran like Mt. Alvand in Hamedan, Mt.Zardkooh near Shahr-e-Kord, Mt.Dena, etc where local ski resorts are available too.
Ski Gears for Winter Sports
It’s up to you to bring your ski gears or rent them here in Iran. Usually close to the ski pists, you can find some stalls where you could rent all types of ski equipments and ski-wears like Alpine skis snowboards, monoboards, cross-country skis, etc.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can find them at any corner of Iran where people go skiing. On the other hand, you may feel better at your own gears. So, brings yours if you feel better. At major ski resorts like Dizin and Tochal, you would usually be able to find what you want to rent.
More important fact is, if you’re living in the region, Iran has got the best resorts as far as skiing in Middle East is concerned.
Wild Skiing in the Middle East
Mountains in Iran have got huge potential for the fans of skiing in nature. There are several peaks higher than 3000 meters on Zagros Mountains, Alborz mountains as well as other local mountain ranges. You can contact some local tour operator to make sure required services like accommodation, transfer, equipments, etc are provided prior to your trip to Iran.
Many professional skiers come to Iran from all around the world to go wild skiing. If the season is right and you arrange for everything before your arrival via a local company, you will enjoy doing this sport here. Iran offers the best opportunity for skiing in Middle East. Nowhere else all these factors are available to plan and travel for the purpose of skiing.
Source: Media Line
Images are taken from Tochal Ski Resort (Credit: YJC and Irna)