Best ski resorts and off-piste skiing areas near Tehran
Iran has the greatest ski resorts and untapped off-piste skiing areas most of the avid skiers and snowboarders have never heard of. It has pistes higher than the top ski resorts in the world and it boasts long ski season starting from November and ending in June. There are more than 20 ski resorts in Iran. Surprisingly, the best ski resorts and off-piste skiing areas are near Tehran, the vivid capital of Iran. Dizin, Shemshak, Darbandsar, Tochal, Khor, and Abali are the top ski resorts within a day’s drive of Tehran. These high altitude ski resorts are all nestled in the Alborz Mountains and they have a picturesque view of Mt. Damavand-as the highest peak (5620 M) in the Middle East and one of the most thrilling freeride skiing and snowboarding destinations in the world.
Though the ski resorts try to keep up the demand by adding hotels, chalets, restaurants, and après-ski entertainment, the snow quality is what matters for the skiers and snowboarders. The resorts offer easy areas with groomed terrains as well as fresh backcountry opportunities perfect for freeriding. Moreover, the challenging backcountry terrains, excelled snow conditions, long ski season, cheap accommodation, and satisfactory lift access put the top ski resorts near Tehran on passionate skiers and snowboarders’ bucket list. Here, we will introduce you the best ski resorts and off-piste skiing areas near Tehran so that you could confidently choose Iran as your next ski destination, get your Iran travel visa, and enjoy a memorable ski holiday in Iran as one of the friendliest countries in the world.
Dizin International ski resort
Dizin international ski resort is the first and the biggest ski resort in Iran and it is famous as a round-year destination for outdoor recreation activities. Dizin ski resort is nestled in the Alborz Mountains at an elevation of 2650m and it boasts long ski season starting from late November and ending in early May. It offers up to 18 kilometers of slopes perfect for one-day skiing near Tehran. Dizin resort has green, blue, black and double black diamond runs that satisfy skiers and snowboarders with different ski levels.
Dizin complex has several gondolas and chairlifts; the highest lift reaches an altitude of 3600m that is much higher than many other ski lifts in Europe or North America. As a great winter-summer resort, Dizin offers various sports activities such as grass-skiing, tennis playing, mountain climbing, hiking, horse riding, and mountain biking. Dizin is also a great resort for backcountry skiing in Iran. Since locals stick to the marked slopes, plenty of fresh tracks are left for avid freeriders searching for untapped steep slopes and deep powder snow. It also boasts a vertical drop of 850m; however, it is highly recommended that you go off-piste skiing with experienced ski guides.
Dizin ski resort is an ideal place for single day skiing, but if you prefer to spend more time at the resort, you will have some good ski accommodation choices there. Dizin hotel as a ski-in-ski-out hotel is a perfect choice to spend a night in the heart of mountains and enjoy the picturesque peaks of Alborz. Dizin chalets are also great for those who prefer to ski on a budget.
To get to Dizin ski resort from Tehran, you should take a ride through the Chalus route or Shemshak route. The best way for you as a tourist is to take a taxi from Tajrish square in Tehran and reach Dizin ski resort in 2 hours. Do not forget to check the weather before planning a single day trip to Dizin or booking a ski tour.
Darbandsar international ski resort
Darbandsar international ski resort is a private ski resort sitting on the slopes of Mount Seechal 60 km northeast of Tehran. Darbandsar ski resort offers trails for beginners, intermediate skiers, and advanced skiers and snowboarders from early December until late April or early May. It will also let you enjoy summer skiing in July when the other ski resorts offer summer activities such as grass skiing or tennis playing. After Dizin, Darbandsar is the largest ski resort in Iran. The lowest piste in Darbandsar has an altitude of 2650m and the highest one has an altitude of 3150m.
Darbandsar is also the most challenging ski resort in Iran after Shemshak. It offers plenty of untouched powder perfect for opp-piste skiing and it is possible to ski from Dizin to Darbandsar without losing time in lift queues.
Though Darbandsar ski resort is an ideal destination for one day skiing, you can rent suites or book hotels in Darbansar village and spend a night there instead of heading back to Tehran. You can also book hotels in Shemshak or Dizin ski resort, as the three ski resorts are very close to each other. In order to get to Darbandsar, you need to have a road trip lasting for one hour and a half. When you reach there, you have the chance to experience other sports activities such as hiking, mountain biking, ice climbing, alpine scrambling, and rock climbing as well.
Shemshak international ski resort
Shemshak international ski resort is one of the best mogul ski resorts in Iran located in the heart of Alborz Mountains. As the most challenging ski resort in Iran, Shemshak ski resort offers the steepest slopes and it boasts bumpy mogul runs and spine-tingling slopes tackling for avid snowboarders and skiers. Cross-country opportunities, thrilling mogul runs, and good powder have made Shemshak ski resort an ideal place for skiing and snowboarding from November to April.
Shemshak ski resort has double and triple black diamond runs at high altitudes of 2500m to 3000m and that is the reason why Shemshak is a perfect place for backcountry skiing and snowboarding. Shemshak ski resort is equipped with good lighting so that passionate skiers and snowboarders could enjoy night skiing as well. Shemshak resort is also a great place for one single day skiing, but if you prefer to spend a night in a mountainous area, ski accommodation is also provided for you. Shemshak Barin hotel as one of the coolest ski resorts in the world is a luxury ski hotel that makes memorable accommodation for you and gives you the chance to enjoy the scenic scenery of Alborz Mountains.
If you prefer to ski on a budget, Shemshak tourist hotel as the nearest hotel to the ski fields is a good ski-in/ski-out hotel for you. Shemshak ski resort is one of the best ski resorts for a weekend ski holiday and it just takes a 90-minute ride to get there from Tehran.
Tochal international ski resort and complex
Tochal international ski resort is one of the 10 highest ski resorts in the world. It is located right in Tehran, the vivid capital of Iran. Its high slopes start from the foot of Tochal peak at an altitude of 3850m and end at an altitude of 3550m near Tochal Hotel as a wonderful ski-in-ski-out hotel where you can enjoy the extraordinary panorama of the Alborz Mountains. Tochal resort boasts long ski season beginning from November and ending in June. It also has 6km of slopes suitable for skiing and snowboarding. Tochal ski resort is a perfect choice for on-piste and off-piste skiing eight months of the year.
The skiing area is accessed by Tochal gondola lift that is based at an altitude of 1900m and reaches the last station at an altitude of 3740m. Therefore, experienced skiers and snowboarders have the chance to take a 50-minute gondola ride to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy a perfect winter day at Tochal ski resort. As one of the nearest high ski resorts to the capital, Tochal ski resort and complex is a great place for skiing, snowboarding, and acclimatization before skiing in Damavand Mountain. It is not confined to winter sports and there are many other activities to enjoy at Tochal complex. Tennis courts, skate rinks, paintball arenas, ski school, shooting club, summer sled, fitness clubs, and zipline are the facilities provided for your leisure time at Tochal complex.
Though you will not find beers or wines in Iran, you still can enjoy après-ski culture there. There are many cafes, restaurants, and fast foods at the Tochal complex to warm you up with different après-ski foods and drinks.
Tochal ski resort is very popular with ski day trips as it is the highest ski resort in Iran and the most easily accessed ski resort in Tehran. It takes just 15 minutes to take a taxi from Tajrish square and get to the Tochal ski resort and complex.
Khor ski resort
Khor ski resort is close to Khor village and it is located 65km northwest of Tehran. The ski resort sits at an elevation of 3000m and it offers two ski routes with a length of 1850m and 350m. The ski season at Khor resort runs from mid-January until March; therefore, skiers and snowboarders could enjoy planning a short ski break near Tehran. High slopes of Khor ski resort provide a picturesque view of the mountains. If you do not have ski equipment, you can rent skiing and snowboarding gear at Khor ski resort. If you prefer to spend a night in the mountains, you can rent a three-bedroom villa at the resort; however, you can head back to Tehran and book one of the budget-friendly hotels or hostels there around.
In order to get to the Khor ski resort, you should go through Karaj-Chalus road as one of the most spectacular roads in the world. It is a short drive away and it makes a memorable ski holiday for you.
Abali ski resort
Abali ski resort is the oldest ski resort in Iran, built in 1953. In fact, Abali ski resort has been the birthplace of the ski as a winter sport in Iran. The first mechanical lifts in Iran were installed in Abali ski resort. The lowest piste at Abali is located at an altitude of 2,400m while the highest piste has an altitude of 2650m. The slopes of Abali are good for beginner skiers, snowboarders, and Alpine skiers. It also has a ski school with experienced coaches who teach skiing to newcomers. Though snowboarding, off-piste skiing, and ski mountaineering are the popular winter activities in Abali, many Iranians get there to have a great winter picnic in the snow.
The ski season in Abali starts in December and ends in March. There are no hotels or chalets in Abali ski resort; then it is better to head back to Tehran or rent suites in the beautiful village of Mosha that is a 5-minute drive away from Abali ski resort. Horse riding, hiking, trekking, and tennis playing are the summer activities at Abali resort. Usually, people spend weekends there to enjoy the good weather, eat delicious foods in its many traditional restaurants, and have its popular drink called Dough-e-Abali as a famous carbonated yogurt drink in Iran.
Abali ski resort is located 75 km far from Tehran and it takes about an 80-minute drive to go to Abali ski resort through Haraz road. However, note that Haraz road is over-crowded on weekends and it might take much longer to get there. Abali ski resort is also the nearest ski resort to Damavand.
If you wish to skip the Alps and go on a ski holiday to Iran as a cheap ski destination, you can have a great winter holiday skiing at the highest ski resorts in Iran. Dizin, Shemshak, and Darbandsar are the three neighboring ski resorts near Tehran. They offer steep slopes challenging enough for those looking for adrenaline ski experience. Chair lifts and gondolas provide access to the high altitude slopes and new lifts might eventually link the neighboring resorts and turn them into one of the best ski destinations in the world. Tochal ski resort as one of the top 10 highest ski resorts in the world has a lot to amaze ski lovers. Abali ski resort as the oldest ski resort in Iran attracts many locals to enjoy their vacation and Khor ski resort located in the winding Chalus road is a great weekend ski resort near Tehran.