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 Esfahan; renowned for its grandeur, bazaars and UNESCO-listed central squares. We can guarantee you a truly unique trip and memories that few other westerners have experienced, great for telling stories down the pub!
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!
Book our ski holiday in Iran
There will be two escorted ski holidays for 2018 with 8 full days in Iran for up to 20 people as follows
Sunday 11th March 2018 (leaving the UK on Saturday 10th March and flying back out on Monday 19th March)
£1,300pp based on a twin/double room. This excludes flights which can be obtained very cheaply and visa charges (of approx £250)
If you require a single room please add a supplement of £200pp.
Skiing in Iran Itinerary
Day 1 – Arrive in Tehran in the morning, overnight at a boutique hotel (if landing early in the morning) followed by breakfast. Sightseeing tour around Tehran, including the indoor market, palaces and other notable sights. Lunch and then an evening meal at a local Iranian restaurant in Tehran. Overnight stay in Tehran.
Day 2 – Leave early and transfer to Shemshak, where we will ski in the resort during the day. We will stay overnight in a hotel in Shemshak village and have an evening meal in the hotel.
Day 3 - After breakfast we will go skiing in Darbansar followed by a meal at the wonderful Koohestan restaurant a 15-minute drive from the hotel. A transfer back to the hotel in Shemshak to end the day.
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.
Day 5 - After breakfast we will ski in Dizin followed by dinner in the hotel.
Day 6 - After breakfast we will ski in Dizin followed by a transfer back to Tehran, where we will stay in a boutique hotel and have dinner at a restaurant in Tehran.
Day 7 - Today we will take a trip to see the wonderful city of Esfahan – look around sites and stay overnight in the city, which will also include dinner.
Day 8 – Continue sightseeing around Esfahan then later transfer to Tehran to fly back to the UK. (Note: where necessary we will stay overnight in Tehran to fly out the next morning as many flights leave very early in the morning.)
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
All evening meals (whilst in the mountains)
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
A tip, which will be given to the Iranian guide at the end of the holiday
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
Lift passes (assume circa £25 per day).
Ski guiding etc.
Drinks and other incidentals
Any credit card fees that may be charged
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 an 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.
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 2017 the return price was approximately £250
You can fly via the likes of Lufthansa, Turkish and many others from only £250 return
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 as a Habib but 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