A glance of Iran 2 - winter is coming

Skiing in Iran - really?

This could sound like a pleasantery, but yes, you can really ski in Iran!

Skiing in Iran by Penguin Travel

In a matter of fact, Iran is mostly a mountain country counting hundreds of peaks above 4000m. The highest peak is Mt Damavand, an old volcano with an elevation of 5,609m! Winter in Iran is tough, and massive snow layers cover most parts of the country from December to March.

Snow Layer - Iran

Back in the sixties, under the reign of the Shah Mohamed Reza, the first proper ski resort of Iran was built in Shemshak. The resort was created for the rich citizens of Tehran who were willing to learn this "trendy" sport from Europe.

Shemshak Ski Resort

After the Islamic revolution in 1979, all projects were stopped by the new regime. From that point, ski in Iran developed away from the rest of the world. People kept learning how to ski, giving birth to a singular Iranian ski culture.

Iranian

With re-election of President Hassan Rouhani, lifting of Iran's sanctions and new foreign investments, the situation in Iran has rapidly evolved. With the raise of new economical and cultural exchanges between the West and Iran, we can now expect new investments in those high potential mountains for skiing and snowboarding.

When, how and where to ski in iran?

Where? Iran has about 15 ski resorts all over its territory.

The best resorts in terms of size and diversity are all located 60 km North of Tehran, around the same area: Dizin (30$ / day), Shemshak (11$ / day), Darbansar (24$ / day) and Tochal (19$ / day). You will find there the best lifts, and longest slopes.

Pooladkaf

Smaller ski resorts may not satisfy the most experienced skiers in terms of size and challenges. However, skiing in small resorts is from far the best opportunity to meet local communities, share good vibes and experience new things. Therefore, you will more likely find some of the best spots for ski touring there. Zagros mountain range near Isfahan is famous well known of its ski touring potential.

Finally, it seems legitimate to mention that Iran has some great cultural and historical assets. By skiing in small resorts, you will experience the diversity of cultures, architectures and traditions of Iran.

Most of ski resorts are open from December to April. Just like in Europe, best time for skiing is right between January and March.

Tochal Resort

Winters are tough and all ski resorts are located above 2000m. Some years, you can even ski until June in the Northern part of the country.

Tip: For a better experience and less crowded ski resorts, try to avoid weekends (Thursday and Friday) and the Nowruz holiday (March 20th, 21st, 22nd).

Only 1500km separate Europe from Iran (From Istanbul to Iranian Border).

3 options to go to Iran:
- Easy one: By plane - Between 300€ and 1000€ for a round trip from Europe to Tehran
- Economic: By walking or bicycling - Several months required
- Less comfortable: By bus - From Western Europe, 200€ and 5 days of buses for a one way ticket

In Iran, public infrastructures are well developed and going from point A to B won't be an issue at all. For big distances you will find daily bus / train / plane lines going across the country. In cities, public transportation (bus, metro) and taxis are clean, regular and affordable.

Regarding accommodation, hotels, hostels, rental apartments, AirBnB (called Orient Stay in Iran) are almost anywhere across the country. In the biggest ski resorts, a hotel room will cost you 50$ per night.

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