Skiing in Iran:  the ski trip you don’t expect

Skiing in Iran: the ski trip you don’t expect

The slopes of Tochal in Iran, photo by Safa Daneshvar licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Certainly when it comes to Iran, snow is not the first image that comes to mind but, in reality, the country has numerous ski resorts that deserve at least a ski week. Do not be fooled by its geographical position in the heart of the Middle East, Iran has a lot to offer to all lovers of skiing holidays and is part of the most interesting foreign destinations for low cost skiing. That in a trip to Iran there was also space for the Italians’ favorite winter sport  was already talked about a few years ago after the opening of the country to tourism. This sector has had a strong growth and what seemed an attractive promise of the winter circuit has now become a solid reality internationally recognized for the quality of the offer for snow lovers.


The offer regarding skiing in Iran is really wide, in fact there are more than 20 ski resorts throughout the country   with different levels of difficulty with types of slopes to suit all tastes. The ski resorts wind for kilometers on the Elburz and Zagros mountains, the two main Iranian mountain ranges.

  • Dizin
  • Shemshak
  • Darbandsar
  • Tochal
The snow-covered slopes of the Dizin ski resort ,photo by Emesik, license CC BY-SA 3.0


Dizin is the largest ski resort in Iran and one of the best ski resorts in the Middle East and Asia. It is located 70km north of Tehran in the Elburz mountain range, also known as Elborz or Alborz. It is famous for its fresh, dry and crystalline snow, one of the best in the world, a real pleasure for powder and off-piste lovers! Regular rainfall guarantees an immense amount of snow that can reach up to 7 meters per year thanks to its altitude. The ski lifts and ski slopes extend from 2700 m up to 3600 m, the highest point in the area, and which allows Dizin to be placed among the 40 highest ski resorts in the world. The ski season is long and allows you to ski from late November to May.

Furthermore, Dizin is the first ski resort in Iran that has been officially recognized by the International Ski Federation for its ability to organize and host official and international competitions.  With its 18 km of slopes of various levels, numerous ski lifts, the presence of a snow park with halfpipe and truly exceptional snow, the Dizin area is the best ski resort in Iran.


Shemshak is the ideal half for experienced skiers and snowboraders or professionals. The slopes are rather steep and there are also slopes with moguls, the famous moguls. The tracks are developed on 15 km of slopes ranging from 2550 m to 3050 m above sea level. There are also numerous and interesting off-piste routes, easily reachable from the top of the lifts. Shemshak is also famous for offering the possibility of night skiing, an always very suggestive experience. Like Dizin, Shemshak is also recognized by the International Ski Federation.


Danbandsar is the newest ski resort in Iran. Founded in ’82 by a group of private individuals over the years Danbandsar has grown by expanding its offer and becoming the second largest ski resort in Iran. No wonder it is becoming more and more popular with Iranian skiers and snowboarders. As for the difficulty level of the slopes it is positioned just behind Shemshak making it a popular resort for expert skiers.

For safety reasons off-piste skiing is not allowed.

on the top of Tochal cable car at 3,800 m, photo by Mehdi Ghanimifard, license CC BY-SA 3.0


Also in the Alborz mountains is Tochal which with its 3850 m is the highest ski resort in Iran and in seventh place in this specific world ranking. Its cable car is also a record with its incredible length of 7.5 km but the most incredible thing is the breathtaking view of the city of Tehran that can be enjoyed from the top of the lifts. This ski resort is very popular but the scenery and the quality of the snow make it an excellent destination to experience the thrill of skiing in Iran.

Iranian girl skiing on the slopes of the Dizin, Iran


Obviously yes! Not only can they but skiing is a sport that is becoming more and more popular among the girls of the new generations. The ski slopes are very places where you can breathe a festive atmosphere, a perfect destination to have fun and play sports in total freedom with your friends. The proximity of the main ski areas to the city of Tehran has helped the spread of this sport even more in recent years. Women and men can ski in Iran together without any problems. Iranian women wear the same equipment that any woman would wear when skiing in Europe: the hijab is replaced by much more practical wool caps and caps, also because otherwise the veil would fall at every bend.

Vacation and sport is a really winning combination and this is even more true when it comes to skiing and Iran but the really amazing thing is that winter is also the best time to visit the fascinating Iranian deserts ! So in a single trip to Iran you can combine a nice skiing on the snow of the Alborz mountains with a tour in the desert with night in a tent. Really not bad.

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