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Modern skiing, or skiing as we currently know it, came to Iran around the year 1930, roughly 85 years after the first modern ski competitions took place in the world.

2 Days Tour
Add an skiing adventure to your current itinerary and ski at one of Iran’s resorts.

· Dizin (Tehran)

· Shemshak (Tehran)

· Tochal (Tehran)

· Polad kaf (Shiraz)

Two groups of individuals helped introduce modern skiing; first it was the Germans who arrived in Iran to build the national railroads. Seeing how the Alborz range filled with snow, the Germans brought their own skis and spent winters touring Iran and skiing.

Then, it was Iranian students who learned the sport as they were studying abroad, usually in France or Switzerland. One of the most prominent students was Dr. Abdollah Basir who went abroad to France in 1929. While abroad, not only did he learn how to ski but he also learned how to make skis.

Skiing Today in Iran

There are two mountain chains in Iran, the Alborz Mountains and the Zagros Mountains. Our trips go to the Alborz Mountains offering many peaks over 4.000 m. The highest lift goes up to 3.960m and offers a vertical from 1.000-2.000m. As if this wasn’t enough the terrain is excellent for ski touring and by doing short walks from the top of the lift we can reach amazing skiing.

Situated in the Alborz mountain range near the peak of Damavand (a giant dormant volcano 5,600 meters high), the Dizin ski resort is Iran's highest in altitude. Coming in at 3,550 meters (almost 14,000 feet) and getting around seven meters of snow a year Dizin is currently the largest ski resort in the Middle East.

Located in the northern mountains of Tehran in the Gajereh region, Dizin is approximately 115 kilometers (1.5 hours) away from Tehran and roughly 71 kilometers from Shemshak. Dizin's geographical location offers the longest ski season in Iran, lasting from the beginning of November through late May, while its size offers skiers a plethora of ski trails. There are difficult patches with moguls and little hills for jumping, as well as a straight steep slope jumping and a beginners trail from which one can watch other skiers perfect their acrobatic skills.

Shemshak is located 57 kilometers (45 minutes) northeast of Tehran. The ski season here is slightly more variable and typically ranges from the end of November through the beginning of April. One will find Iran's best skiers on these pistes, as Shemshak is the host to the nation's hardest and the steepest slopes. While this is not a place for the timid, Shemshak continually draws many tourists, both foreign and domestic, because of its varying weather and proximity to Tehran. During the winter, the ski trails are lit with amber lights providing an interesting and beautiful scene that gives skiers the freedom to ski well into the night.

Often referred to as the birthplace of modern skiing in Iran, Ab Ali is also home to Iran's first mechanical ski lift (installed in 1953). Located 75 kilometers (1 hour) east of Tehran and with a relatively short ski season, ranging from the end of December through the end of March, Ab Ali is no longer known solely for its slopes. Thermal spring water (high in calcium bicarbonate) is bottled and shipped all around Iran. The Imam-Zade Hashem Holy Shrine, among other tourist attractions, help to distinguish this region from Iran's other ski areas.

Mount Tochal is a mountain in the Alborz range and a ski resort adjacent to metropolitan Tehran, Iran. The mountain has a 12 km long ridgeline. The highest peak, also called Mount Tochal, is at an elevation of 3,964 m (13,005 feet)

Pooladkaf ski resort, the second international ski resort in Iran, is located in the South of Iran, 85 km from Shiraz, and 15 Km from Sepidan. It was established in 2002. The ski resort elevation is 2850 meters from the sea level, the peak; however, is 3400m. There is a gondola lift with the length of 2100 m and also surface lifts. The hotel restaurant is under construction, but there are already a small guest house, one restaurant with traditional foods and fast food beside the resort and also one coffee shop at the top station of the gondola. In the village nearby, called Komehr, there are also some accommodation facilities like a motel, and some villas with reasonable facilities.

Recommended read:

Iran's biggest secret: the skiing's great

Sick of the braying hordes of Meribel and Val d'Isère? Looking for a more exotic ski holiday? Then head for Tehran. Comedian Dom Joly finds beautiful peaks and great powder in the heart of Iran.

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