“Is there skiing in Iran?” – this is usually the first question asked when the topic comes up. There is great skiing in Iran. Great mountains, lots of snow, not very crowded, and a ski holiday is a great launching pad to explore a part of the world rich in history.
With the help of Ski of Persia, we take you on tour to see what Iran has to offer for you next ski holidays!
Iran, which is what Persia is called in its own language, is located at the junction between Europe and Asia. Iran is one of the oldest civilisation in the Middle East and also claims the highest mountains in the region.
Unfortunately, Iran is better known for its political tensions with the “West” rather than a ski holiday destination.
Secluded in the mountains North of Tehran, some Iranians with a passion for skiing, saved a few skiing facilities installed during the 60s from destruction that come after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the Iran-Iraq war and many international sanctions.
Since then, skiing in Iran kept developing on its own, giving birth to a singular Iranian ski culture.
Nowadays, following the nuclear agreements and lifting of the trade embargo, Iran is willing to develop tourism and attract foreign investors and skiers. With its high potential for outdoor sports, numerous ski resorts and other cultural assets, Iran might appear as a new ski destination experience for the upcoming years.
Skiing in Iran is relatively cheap with day tickets ranging from $US10 – $US30, depending on the resort and their facilities.
Skiing in Iran: Where and When
There are 16 ski resorts in Iran
Alborz Mtn Range
The three main ski resorts located near city of Shemshak in Iran are all located 70km North of Tehran, in the Alborz mountain range:
They are Dizin, Darbeandsar and Shemshak ski resorts.
Due to their high altitude of the ski fields (Min: 2550m – Max: 3600m) the resorts enjoy near perfect snow conditions, off the longest slopes and best skiing facilities of Iran.
Shemshak is also a small city that provides access to all three resorts within an easy 15 minute drive.
Check Dizin’s video:
Zagros Mountain range
In the South, at the heart of Zagros mountain range, you will find several smaller ski resorts: Fereydunshahr, Chelgerd or Pooladkaf. The area is a ski touring paradise due to its topography, great snow conditions and dozens of peaks higher than 4,000m.
Tochal is also a must see ski resort! Right above the capital Tehran, you can reach within a 30 minutes gondola ride the ski slopes at 3,750m! The view on this 15,000,000 inhabitant’s city is breath-taking.
Similar to skiing Europe the best skiing period is between January and March.
Most ski resorts open between end-November and May. In Tochal, Darbandsar, Sahand or Alvarez as surprising as it sounds, you can sometimes ski in June!
Climate in Iran varies a lot depending on locations and seasons. In Tehran, temperatures go from -10°c in winter to +40°c during summer. In mountains, winters are tough and heavy snowfalls occurring.
How to get there
To enter Iran, a visa is mandatory. You can easily get a 30 days visa on arrival at the airport for 75$ (in 2017).
Regular airlines between Europe and Tehran are available. By booking in advance, you can find direct flights that are well priced. For example, Paris to Tehran for less than 400$ round-trip.
Once in Iran, getting from point A to B will never be an issue. Infrastructure is well developed and many bus, train and airline companies offer regular lines all over the country. By bus, it will cost you about $US2.5 / 100km. In the city, taxis and public transportation is everywhere and very affordable.
To reach ski resorts, using a minibus, a taxi or a personal car is recommended.
Tip: Download the app « Snapp » (Local Uber) – Really cheap rides all around Tehran.
4 good reasons for skiing in Iran
1. Fresh Tracks…
The majority of Iranians don’t ski off-piste. You will find fresh powder everywhere even days after the last snowfalls.
2. Embrace Iranian history
Iran has so much to offer in terms of cultural and historical monuments: Persepolis near Shiraz ; Shah Mosque in Isfahan ; Kahju bridge in Isfahan ; Cities of Meshhed and Yazd ; Bazaar of Tabriz ; The Bam citadel…
Skiing in Iran provides you with a unique opportunity to visit many monuments and learn more about this ancient heritage
3. Open your mind
Iran is safe!
Iranians are extraordinary welcoming, generous and hospitable and you will be amazed to discover a “world” far from everything you’d been taught through medias. You will come back home, your heart full of joy and many unique experiences and memories.
4. Really well priced
Apart from your airfare and Visa fees, skiing in Iran is significantly cheaper than skiing in Western Europe. Not just the lift tickets, but the whole ski trip is well priced.
The cost of living: (All $$ are in USD)
Hotel room in Shemshak: $40 to $50
Meal on the slopes: from $3 to $10
70km taxi ride from Tehran to Shemshak: $12 to $20
5km Taxi ride in Tehran: About $3
Metro ticket in Tehran: $0.35
For more information you can check out skiofpersia.com or visit the ski resorts profile pages on snowcomparison.
- Snowcomparison Team
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