The Islamic Republic of Iran offers fantastic skiing and a beautiful backdrop whilst doing so. It has a long season and dependable snow conditions, but to date only 1% of the people skiing in Iran are from outside the country. That’s why here at Mountain Heaven, we are proud to be the first British ski company to provide skiing holidays to Iran.
Only a two-hour drive from the capital is the resort of Dizin, the country's most popular and largest ski resort. It is located 2,650 metres up the Alborz Mountains. In addition, there are a number of other resorts in the area, such as Shemshak and Darbandsar, which are also great skiing locations albeit smaller than Dizin.
Iran is a very safe, beautiful and friendly country with outstanding food and culture. It is an ideal destination for men, women and children, who will be welcome not just on the Mountain Heaven escorted tour but also by the ski community in Iran.
Mountain Heaven is pleased to be the first British ski tour company to offer guided trips for skiing in Iran. As the country is so unique we will not only ski in some of the country's top ski resorts, but also combine some sightseeing in the capital city Tehran, as well as visiting the beautiful city of Isfahan, renowned for its grandeur, bazaars and UNESCO-listed central squares and additionally for this year the city of Shirz and the ancient site of Persepolis, probably the most impressive pre-Islamic monument in Iran
We can guarantee you a truly unique trip and memories that few other westerners have experienced, great for telling stories down the pub! Our first trip to Iran was in March 2018 and all the guests had a fantastic time and came back with wonderful memories here is some feedback from them
"I joined the Mountain Heaven ski trip to Iran in March 2018 and enjoyed an amazing adventure! The trip included a couple of days in Tehran, a trip to Isfahan and skiing in two resorts in the Arborz mountains. The whole experience was superb, extremely well organised and gave a great insight into a surprisingly fun and fascinating country!"
Peter Riley March 2018
"I think the whole trip worked brilliantly. The skiing was great in some very interesting scenery. I was impressed by their facilities.The sight seeing was amazing. It was wonderful to see such architecture and culture going back so many centuries. However the highlight of the trip for me was meeting the people. Everyone we met out there were so friendly and welcoming. Many of them wanted photos taken with us, and some were keen to share their meals. It was an unexpected eye opener"
Geoff LLoyd March 2018
Iran's ski resorts
During our tour we will visit three of the main ski resorts in Iran
Dizin ski resort
Dizin is the largest ski resort in Iran, situated to the north of Tehran in the Alborz mountain range. It is located about 45 miles north of Tehran with the journey normally taking about two to three hours in total. The highest ski lift reaches 3,600m, making it one of the top 40 highest ski resorts in the world. As well as this, there are 15 ski lifts operating in the area, depending on the number of skiers on the slopes.
The ski season in Dizin often lasts from December to May, with the dry air making for some fantastic powder skiing. As it is relatively off the beaten track compared to resorts in Europe, you will frequently be able to enjoy untracked snow. Combine the untracked powder with a very high number of sunny days, and you may have one of the best ski holidays of your life!
Shemshak ski resort
Shemshak is the second largest ski area in Iran, after Dizin. The slopes lie at an altitude of 2,550 m to 3,050 m above sea level. Shemshak caters for more advanced skiers and has seven ski lifts. The slopes are quite steep and there are many mogul runs. There is also night skiing available due to floodlights.
Darbandsar ski resort
Darbandsar is a relatively small private resort that is located on the slopes of Mount Seechal, at Darbandsar Village about 40 miles north-west of the capital city of Tehran in the Elborz Mountains. A relatively new gondola has been installed in the resort and offers some good slopes for on and off-piste skiing and snowboarding.
It is one of the seven major ski resorts near the capital city and the second most challenging resort after Shemshak in the same region. It has a good selection of cafes at the top of the gondola station and also at the bottom. Even better, the resort is not crowded, even during the peak of the ski season!
There will be one escorted trip in 2019 - Thursday 28th February to Monday 11th March 2019 (leaving the UK on Thursday late evening and arriving in Iran Friday morning and flying back out on the morning of Monday 11th March)
£1,500pp based on a twin/double room. This excludes flights which can be obtained very cheaply and visa charges
If you require a single room please add a supplement of £300pp.
Thursday 28th February – Overnight Flight to Iran (BA BA0153 leaving at 21.40pm))
Friday 1st March Day 1 – Arrive in Tehran in the morning at 06.45am, transfer to hotel and have breakfast. Sightseeing tour around Tehran, including the indoor market, palaces and other notable sights. Overnight stay in Tehran.
Saturday 2nd March Day 2 – Leave early and transfer to Shemshak, where we will ski in the resort during the day. Overnight in a hotel in Shemshak village.
Sunday 3rd March Day 3 - After breakfast we will go skiing in Darbansar followed by a meal at the wonderful Koohestan restaurant a short drive from the hotel
Monday 4th March Day 4 – After breakfast we will go skiing in Dizin. We will be dropped off at the top of the Dizin ski area where there is an upper entrance that is only a 20-minute journey from your hotel in Shemshak. Your luggage will make its way by road to Dizin. We will then stay at the foot of the slopes in Dizin and dinner will be taken at the hotel.
Tuesday 5th March Day 5 - After breakfast we will ski in Dizin followed by dinner in the hotel.
Wednesday 6th March Day 6 - After breakfast we will ski in Dizin followed by a transfer back to Tehran, and fly to Shiraz overnight in a hotel
Thursday 7th March – Sightseeing in Shiraz , Shiraz is a city in south-central Iran, known for its literary history and many gardens. Overnight in a hotel in Shiraz
Friday – 8th March - We will drive to the wonderful city of Isfahan. This drive will take in a visit to Persepolis, Persepolis, probably the most impressive pre-Islamic monument in Iran, with its astonishing columns, ceremonial staircases, chambers and stunning reliefs celebrating the triumphs of the Achaemenids. We will also visit other notable sights on the way, stay overnight in Isfahan.
Saturday – 9th March sightseeing around Isfahan stay, we will visit the highlights of the city with time to explore the bazaar and shop in the many boutiques of the great square and its impressive bridges. Overnight in Isfahan
Sunday 10th March – Drive back to Tehran via Kashan and visit the Fin Garden, a 16th to 19th classic Persian walled garden, full of flowing water and little pavilions. Stay overnight at the airport hotel
Monday 11th March - Fly back to the UK on the BA BA0152 leaving at 09.00am arriving at Heathrow at 12.00
What's included in the price?
All hotels in the cities and ski resorts (based on two people in a room)
Breakfast in all locations
Evening meals in the mountains when not an ouside restaurant
Services to obtaining the necessary approval number in order to then obtain the visa
All guided services, including representatives from both Mountain Heaven Ltd and our local Iranian partners
All entrance fees for any sightseeing in the cities
All transfers to/from Tehran airport and to/from the ski resorts and cities we will visit
What's excluded from the prices?
The airfare (see Getting there)
The cost to obtain a visa from the Iranian Embassy (see Visa information)
Dinner in the cities/other restaurants
Lift passes (assume circa £25 per day).
Ski guiding etc.
Drinks and other incidentals
A tip, which will be given to the Iranian guide at the end of the holiday circa $10 - $15 per day
It will be necessary for you to obtain a visa for your trip, this can take time and as a minimum we suggest you allow 2 months. We will help you obtain the necessary numbers so that you can apply for your visa and will give you more details and the necessary forms once you have booked the holiday with us. Please note that it is not guaranteed that you will obtain a visa, those with sensitive jobs and say they are a journalist may not get a visa. In addition, if you have a recent Israeli stamp in your passport it is unlikely you will be granted a visa.
All visa applicants must submit their applications personally (as finger prints are required) with the following documents to the Consulate Section of the Iranian Embassy in London:
1. Original Passport
2. Completed Visa Application Form (Application Form)
3. Authorisation Number From Ministry of Foreign Affairs of I.R. Iran (we will obtain this for you)
4. Two Passport Size Photo
5. Visa Fee (Cash only- inside consulate).
6. The visa fee for normal service which may take up to 7-10 days for UK passport holders is £150 and the next day service is £250
Please note that all above subject to change.
About 6 hours when flying direct and about 8 hours when flying indirectly.
There are a number of airlines that fly direct to Iran, including British Airways. As at May 2018 the return price was approximately £450
You can fly via the likes of Lufthansa, Turkish and many others from only £250 return but we recommend the overnight BA flight from Heathrow as the best option
Please note that
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issues travel advice on destinations, which include information on passports, visas, health, safety and security can be viewed here.
Very Important notes
We don’t recommend the trip for beginners.
Iran is not suitable for vegetarians, vegans or others with dietary issues. It’s almost impossible to obtain vegetarian food!
It is a legal requirement for all women and female children (over the age of nine) to wear a headscarf in public; however this is not as portrayed in the press it is a loosely worn headscarf, in fact they have become a big fashion statement in Iran. On the slopes, women should simply wear a helmet or beanie type hat and often in the mountain restaurants there is a very relaxed approach to headscarf wearing.
Alcohol is officially banned in the country, you will not be able to get it (unless you are lucky to be invited to a private party!)
Our general terms and conditions apply to this holiday, however please note that there is a £250 deposit to be paid which is non-refundable (except in the event that your visa application gets rejected - which must be proved in writing – however rejection is unlikely).
We recommend you take your own ski equipment to Iran. Although there are hire shops in all the ski areas, the equipment for rent is rather old fashioned compared to European hire shops.
You will not have access to ATMs and credit cards cannot be used as Iran is not linked up to the outside world for banking - so you will have to bring cash. We will advise on the amount to bring and how to change money easily at good rates.
In theory, many websites are blocked and banned e.g. Facebook, Gmail (business users only) Skype, Twitter etc. However, it’s easy to install a VPN both on your mobile phone and laptop before you go, so this will usually not be an issue. WiFi is available in almost all locations.
Although the hotels are of good quality for Iranian standards, they are a little more basic that European standards, but they are all clean.
There is not much nightlife in the resorts as discos and dancing in public are banned, so do not expect the Folie Douche. There are, however, places to play pool and cafes to have coffee etc.
If you wish to go to the USA following your ski trip in Iran, you will not be covered by the USA’s ESTA regulations and so you will have to apply for a US visa if you have entered Iran., However this visa will last for 10 years and is easy to obtain, rather than the 2 years that an ESTA is valid for.
If you are a non married couple you will be able to share a bedroom unlike Iranians