Skiing is an integral part of the winter season, and due to the numerous ski resorts of Iran, many tourists book Iran ski tours and visit the country during this time of the year.
Skiing is often seen as an expensive sport inside Iran and thought to be suitable only for wealthy individuals. However, recent developments in infrastructure and an increase in ski resorts across the country have made it more accessible to the general public. Many people are now interested in trying this exciting sport at least once. In this article of Parsi tours, Iranian tour operator, we will introduce some of the most famous ski resorts of Iran and their features.
Shemshak Resort, one of Tehran’s ski resorts, is located 57 kilometers northeast of Tehran. Access to Shemshak Resort is via the Lashkarak-Fasham road or the Karaj-Gachsar road (only in the summer season). The resort began operations in 1948 and gained international status in 1978. The highest point of Shemshak Resort is 3,050 meters, and the lowest point is 2,550 meters. The skiing season here runs from early December to mid-April. Statistics show that out of every thousand skiers at this resort, 2.3 people get injured. To date, 76 injuries have been reported at this resort.
Shemshak Resort is equipped with two chairlifts and four ski lifts. It also features yellow floodlights that create an attractive ambiance and allow skiing late into the night. Other facilities include two hotels and four restaurants, one of which is located on the mountain peak.
Dizin, not only the most important ski resort in Iran but also the most prestigious in the Middle East, is the first Iranian resort approved by the International Ski Federation for official competitions. This is due to most of its factors, such as slope, length, and recreational facilities, meeting international standards.
Dizin Resort is located in the northern mountains of Tehran (Gajereh region), 123 kilometers from Chaloos road and 71 kilometers from Shemshak city. The resort features three gondolas, two chairlifts, seven disc ski lifts, and one hammer ski lift. Amenities include two hotels, five restaurants, and 19 cottages. The elevation of this resort ranges from 2,650 to 3,600 meters, and the best time for skiing is early December to late May.
Tochal Resort, one of Tehran’s most popular attractions and the closest resorts to the city, is located at the end of Velenjak Street, three kilometers from Tajrish Square in the Shemiranat area. Tochal Resort has three gondolas, totaling 7,500 meters in length, making them some of the world’s longest connected gondolas.
The resort features three trails: the first, 1,200 meters long at the peak (elevation 3,850 to 3,550 meters); the second, 900 meters long on the western slope (elevation 3,750 to 3,550 meters with a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains); and the third, from the seventh to the fifth station, nearly 5,500 meters long (elevation 3,750 to 2,940 meters). The first two trails have ski lifts and chairlifts, but the third lacks these facilities due to high variability. The only hotel in the complex, Tochal Hotel with 30 rooms and suites, is located at an elevation of 3,550 meters at the end of the first and second trails.
Opened in 1982, Darbandsar Resort is one of the other famous ski resorts of Iran, located 57 kilometers north of Tehran. The best time to use Darbandsar Resort, stretching from an elevation of 2,670 to 3,570 meters, is from mid-December to late May. The resort, which receives an average annual snowfall of two to four meters, has a 12-person gondola stretching from the starting point of the resort to an elevation of 3,370 meters and is equipped with seven ski lifts and chairlifts (including two beginner devices).
Darbandsar Resort, covering about 300 hectares, also operates a professional ski school. Additionally, skiing is possible in the northern valley of this resort, “Talletangneh,” even in July.
Abali Resort, Iran’s oldest ski resort, is located near the city of Abali, 57 kilometers from Tehran on Haraz Road. The resort consists of five trails with a total of one gondola, five disc ski lifts, three hammer ski lifts, and one chairlift. If you want to experience snow play in Tehran, the best time to use Abali Resort, with its highest elevation at 2,650 meters and lowest at 2,400 meters, is from mid-December to mid-March. Facilities include one hotel and six restaurants.
The international Pooladkaf ski resort, located 88 kilometers north of Shiraz and 15 kilometers on the Sepidan to Margoon Waterfall road, boasts a four-star hotel, four dining units, a two-kilometer gondola, two special ski lifts for skiers stretching 1,600 meters, and eight snowmobiles. A smaller ski resort near Pooladkaf, known as Sepidan Ski Resort, is also present. Heavy snowfall in winter makes this area one of the most beautiful sights in Fars Province. The complex, popular with skiing enthusiasts and the general public during winter, is uniquely positioned on the route to the beautiful Margoon Waterfall.
The presence of suitable accommodation and recreational facilities makes this resort usable in other seasons as well; for instance, grass skiing is available in summer, and the gondola operates all year round. Pooladkaf Resort, as the country’s second international ski resort, witnesses the enthusiastic participation of skiers and the public every year.
Khoshaku Resort, covering 50,000 square meters and located 24 kilometers west of Urmia (West Azerbaijan) in the Razhan region near the village of Khoshaku, is a major hub for winter sports in the northwest of the country. The best time to use this resort is late autumn and winter. Other similar locations include Sahand Resort in East Azerbaijan Province and Alvares Resort in Ardabil Province. Thanks to suitable vegetation, grass skiing is also possible at Khoshaku Resort.
Kakan Resort, also known as Dena Ski Resort, is located 18 kilometers from Yasuj (Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province) near the village of Kakan next to the beautiful Ab Nahar region. This relatively wide resort, with a length of 1,500 meters and a width of 600 meters, offers facilities such as lodging, a restaurant, snow groomers, and four disc ski lifts. Experienced instructors are also available. The best time to use Kakan Resort, with snow depths reaching up to 3.5 meters, is early December to late winter.
The resort was inaugurated in 1994 with the installation of one ski lift and expanded in 2005 with two more disc ski lifts. It’s among the 30 active ski resorts of Iran and one of the most popular in the southern region.
Nesar Resort, uniquely situated on the slopes of Bijar Mountain near Bijar city in Kurdistan (southwest of the city), dates back to 1951. The ski trail at Nesar Resort is 900 meters long and 120 meters wide. The 112-hectare resort offers facilities such as a two-hectare grass skiing area (330 meters long and 60 meters wide), parking, a restaurant, a 1,300-meter chairlift (under construction), a snow groomer, and a ski school with male and female instructors.
Chelgerd or Koohrang Resort, one of the main resorts in the Zagros region, is near the city of Chelgerd. Located 91 kilometers from Shahrekord in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province, Chelgerd Resort features a 800-meter trail with a 20% slope and three separate areas for families, women, and men. The Koohrang tunnel and waterfall, near the resort, also attract tourists.
Built in 1975, Chelgerd Resort can attract 20,000 to 30,000 tourists annually and enjoys sunny weather on most days. Amenities include the Koohrang Hotel, parking, two lifts for women and men, and a 200-meter training lift.
Located 39 kilometers southeast of Tabriz (East Azerbaijan Province), Sahand Resort features two ski lifts (1,200 meters long) and a beginner’s ski lift (100 meters long). Soon, it will offer additional facilities, including 12 lifts, five-star and three-star hotels, apartment complexes, villas, and sports facilities. Sahand Resort sometimes experiences snow depths of up to four meters but is generally safe for skiing and can be used until late May, as it is not prone to avalanches.
Khor Resort, built before 1978 and situated near the Karaj dam, is accessible via a 23-kilometer detour on the Karaj-Chalous road, before reaching the Karaj dam facilities. After passing through Artegah and Ji villages, you will reach the resort, which has two trails (1,850 and 350 meters long) and is equipped with one disc ski lift, accommodating up to 1,300 people daily.
Alvares Ski Resort
Alvares, the largest ski resort in Iran, is located on the slopes of Sabalan Mountain, 30 kilometers from Sarein (in Ardabil Province) and 12 kilometers from a village with the same name. Situated at an altitude of 3,200 meters, Alvares receives a lot of snowfall, making it usable during autumn, winter, and early spring. The resort features a 1,250-meter ski lift for easy access to the top of the slopes.
Shazand Ski Resort
Shazand Ski Resort is situated at 2,760 meters above sea level, 25 kilometers from the city of Shazand and 55 kilometers from Arak in Central Province. It has a 600-meter-long slope, three ski lifts, and a restaurant. Shazand operates only in winter and spring, attracting tourists from Hamedan and Lorestan provinces.
Fars Physical Training Ski Resort
Located 9 kilometers from Pooladkaf Ski Resort, 80 kilometers north of Shiraz, and 5 kilometers from Ardakan in Fars Province, this resort is at an altitude of 2,660 meters. It includes three ski tows, one cable car, parking, a restaurant, a hotel, a clinic, and a championship base.
Tarike Dareh Ski Resort
Active in winter and early spring, Tarike Dareh Ski Resort is 10 kilometers from Hamedan city center and 15 kilometers southwest of Ganjnameh road, situated on Alvand Mountain. The resort’s paved road passes through Abbasabad and Ganjnameh valleys. Its lowest point is at 2,600 meters and the highest at 3,150 meters, with a total length of four kilometers. Opened in 1984, it offers facilities like a ski lift, two button lifts, a restaurant, and a dormitory accommodating around 500 people.
Shahmirzad Ski Resort
Located north of Shahmirzad city in Semnan Province (24 kilometers from Semnan city), Shahmirzad Ski Resort is not modern or professional and lacks facilities like ski lifts. However, due to Semnan’s desert climate, it attracts many winter tourists and is only used for tubing, a fun but potentially dangerous activity.
Shirbad Ski Resort
The only ski resort in eastern Iran, Shirbad, covers 50 hectares and is at an altitude of 2,900 meters. Located 18 kilometers from the village of Dowlat Abad, 45 kilometers west of Mashhad (in Khorasan Razavi Province), it was built in December 2012. The resort, with a slope length of 880 meters, includes a ski tow, a restaurant, and guest suites. It’s recommended to use four-wheel drive vehicles from Dowlat Abad village to the resort.
Fereydunshahr Ski Resort
Fereydunshahr, the only standard ski resort in Isfahan Province, is 180 kilometers west of Isfahan and 3 kilometers from Fereydunshahr. Its altitude ranges from 2,360 meters to 3,000 meters. The resort has a heated hall, a training slope for beginners, a lift for professional skiers, a restaurant, a coffee shop, a snow groomer, and guest suites. It covers 50 meters and receives one to six meters of snowfall.
Papaei Ski Resort
Papaei, the only standard ski resort in Zanjan Province, built in 1967, is 45 kilometers from Zanjan and 3 kilometers from the center of Ijrud town. Located at an altitude of 2,850 meters, reaching up to 3,000 meters at its highest point, this 80-hectare resort has a 600-meter-long slope. Facilities include a ski school, ski tow, suites, coffee shop, and parking.
Saqez Ski Resort
Sitting at an altitude of 2,100 meters, Saqez Ski Resort can be used for skiing for five months of the year. It was certified as a standard resort in 2005 and currently has one lift. Saqez is one of the rainiest cities in Kurdistan Province.
Payam Ski Resort
One of the oldest ski resorts of Iran, Payam is located in Marand, north of Tabriz, and was built in 1969 on the high slopes of the Mishu Mountain range. The resort, covering 30 hectares at an altitude of 1,800 meters, includes parking, a restaurant, restrooms, and ski lifts for beginners and professionals.
Grass Skiing at Fandoghloo Forests in Namin
This unique resort, designed for grass skiing, is at an altitude of 1,700 meters, 25 kilometers from Ardabil. The Fandoghloo area in Namin is popular in summer due to its unique forests and pastures, and the Fandoghloo-Hiran cable car.
Kaman Ski Resort
The Kaman Ski Resort, one of the most modern and well-equipped in the country, opened in December last year with the presence of the then Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts. It is 25 kilometers from Qazvin, on the edge of the Qazvin-Alamut road, and meets the national skiing federation’s standards. Ongoing projects include facilities for large and small spirals, snowboarding, endurance, Eskimo houses at the destination station, a ski lift for climbers’ comfort, bungee jumping, zip-lining, big jumps, an observation deck, the establishment of a dark park at the destination station, and the cultivation of medicinal plants.
In essence, these resorts merge exceptional snow quality with breathtaking mountainous scenery, offering an extraordinary experience for skiers and snowboarders at all skill levels. Beyond the exhilarating slopes, they provide a window into the rich and inviting culture of Iran. Known for their affordability and friendly ambiance, these resorts are increasingly attracting attention from both local snow enthusiasts and tourists from around the globe. They highlight the natural beauty of Iran and underscore its emerging significance in the international skiing and winter sports community. We would be glad if you shared your thoughts and experiences about visiting ski resorts of Iran with us and other users.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the largest ski resort in Iran?
Alvares is the largest ski resort in Iran.
Which is the oldest ski resort in Iran?
Abali is the oldest ski resort in Iran.
Which is the most prestigious ski resort in the Middle East?
Dizin is the most prestigious ski resort in the Middle East.
Which is the nearest ski resort to Tehran?
Tochal is one of the most popular resorts in Tehran and is also the closest to the city.