The Dizin Ski Resort Complex is the largest ski resort in the Alborz Mountain Range, not to mention the best in the Middle East. It features north facing slopes and magnificent views to Mt Damavand, which is Asia's highest volcano and also the highest peak in the Middle East.
Dizin's highest ski lift reaches 3,600 m (11,811 ft) making it one of the 40 highest ski resorts in the world. Due to it's high altitude the ski season lasts longer than most in Europe, approximately November until May.
The International Ski Federation has officially recognized Dizin to host international competitions. But what makes Dizin so popular is the fact it's suitable for all skill levels. Whereas Shemshak around the corner is more suitable for advanced skiers with it's steeper mogul runs.
Dizin Ski Resort Complex is located north of Tehran within the Gajereh region of the Alborz mountain range. It's driving distances are only 125 kms (2 hrs) from Tehran, 90 kms (2 hrs) from Karaj, 100 kms from the Chalus beaches, and 18km (0.5 hrs) from nearby Shemshak Ski Resort.
Here's some tips and useful information for Dizin Ski Resort Complex.
Dizin Resort Complex Features
The Dizin Resort features includes:
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The below are standard lodging rates for 2015/16 ski season.
Phone: +98 0263 521 2978 OR 0263 521 2449
There are only two hotels in the Dizin Ski Resort, both run by the same owner. These were built from the late 1960's, however since the 1979 revolution the hotels have lacked investment and are begging for a modern fitout. They are nonetheless comfortable 3 Stars with nice views over the resort complex. Including two restaurants, billiard tables, and massage chairs (Hotel 1). And nice teahouse (with smokepipe), ski rental shop, and probably the closest you'll get to a 'sportsbar' in Iran (Hotel 2). The hotel suites have kitchen facilities. Prices are more negotiable in low season.
Phone: +98 0263 521 2978 OR 0263 521 2449
Dizin Hotel (Hotel Jahangardi) also operates lodging chalets scattered up the valley. These include kitchens and cosy fireplaces (wood starts $2/kg), and are located a few hundred metres walk from the hotel facilities. The cabins are more spacious than the hotel rooms, so are more suitable for families and rowdy guests.
Hotel Gajereh has cheaper hotel rooms with more restaurants and facilities. It's located around 2kms from the Dizin Ski Resort where transport is easily arranged. In summer it's advised to call ahead to make sure its open.
There are several private suites in Velayat Rud village, prices start from around 120,000T per night (US $35). They are located 6kms from the Dizin Ski Resort where cheap taxis and hitch hiking can be arranged. Private suites in Iran are often dubious with poor regulation (no AirBnB yet). Some local contacts are listed below, or just inquire when you arrive.
Ski and Ski Gear (Hire/ Buy)
There are several options for ski equipment hire around the Dizin Ski Resort. Alternatively two shops in nearby Velayat Rud village sell new ski equipment. If you want to hire a form of identification is required to be held until return (passport, drivers licence etc).
The largest rental shop in Dizin Resort. The stocked boards and skis are only the strapped types (no clip-in) but okay quality. The other ski gear is very tired and terrible value (no discounts if falling apart). The staff isn't very friendly, they know your desperate to hit the slopes so have a "take it or leave it attitude." The rates include:
Phone: +98 0919 716 1196
Our preferred choice for ski rental if lodging at the ski resort. They stock more modern equipment, with better value packages, and friendlier staff (though speak little English). However the shop is small so we recommend getting in quick or calling ahead, especially over the busy weekends when low on stock. The general rates are:
Phone: +98 0912 467 9037
Jafari has a makeshift ski rental shop operating from an old house located on the main road out of Velayat Rud towards Dizin Resort. There's plenty of equipment to choose from in 'okay' condition. It's good value for budget travellers (or groups) who prefer Iranian village lifestyle rather than hotels. The below are general rates, however further discounts may be available for families or groups.
Phone: +98 0939 666 2958
Opening Hours: 07:00-22:00
(Unofficial) stocks most ski equipment for purchase. The prices are cheap compared to European boutique shops, for example ski jackets are priced around $70-150.
Ski Lift Passes and Ski School
Rates charged per day only (no bulk discounts) for ski season in 2015/16.
Note: "Ski Tags" cost 7,000T as once-off fee (keep to recharge), and visit entrance fees cost 4,000T additional per day.
There is also Dizin Ski School for all skill levels ranging from Beginners (Grade 3) to Advanced (Grade 1). There are also freelance ski trainers roaming the resort, for more information enquire at the Dizin Hotel or one of the ski rental shops.
Karaj - 10,000T pp shared taxi. Or Minibus 4,000T to Velayat Rud.
Tehran - The cheapest way is to catch a Chalus bus from Terminal-e Gharb, ask the driver to drop you off at the Dizin turnoff and hitch a ride from there.
Off Season Activities
Dizin's activities are not confined to the winter season. In 1372 (1993) the cornerstone of Grasski was laid down after a year endeavour, it was opened to public in 1994. In 1375 (1996) the first international Grasski tournament was held at Dizin. The International Ski Federation have expressed Dizin complies with international standards for contests, and later handed over the Presidency of the West-Asian Grass ski competitions to Iran. Apart from grass ski there are also other facilities such as tennis courts, mountain climbing and mountain bike tracks. Currently Dizin is open to the public for the duration of winter and Thursdays, Fridays and holidays over the summer.
Frequent Asked Questions
Q 1: What should women wear?
Answer - Being a winter sport women shouldn't find it difficult to wear head scarves, beanies, helmets, or similar to cover the crowns of their heads. Otherwise this isn't Saudi Arabia, so women do not have to wear niqab, burkas, or chador. You will find the local women dress more casual than other parts of the country, so it's not dissimilar to European resorts. However if you have 'wild hair' you may have friendly reminders, if this happens just remember they're just "schooling you" so better to be polite and respect the culture.
Q 2: Is it safe to ski in Iran?
Answer - Absolutely, well exercise caution like you would anywhere else. Skiing in Iran is expensive for most locals, so generally only hipsters and wealthy families can afford Dizin (mainly from Tehran and Karaj). The public carpark is safe if you keep your car locked, and it's recommended to secure your valuables in your room or hotel safe. Remember opportunity theft can happen anywhere if you leave valuables lying around. There are also qualified doctors and an 'Emergency Clinic' located near the ski school next to the hotels at the base of the resort. It is also recommended to have insurance to cover skiing in Iran.
Q 3: Can men and women ski together, or are they separated?
Answer - There are NO restrictions for men, women, and children to ski together.
Q 4: What tips do you recommend?
Q 5: What is the snow quality and runs like?
Answer - There are variety of runs for most skiing types. There are short, long, steep, jumps, undulating, and flatter runs for beginners. The steeper runs have more solid ice with some moguls and jumps available, while fresh powder isn't hard to find on most runs. However this depends on the time of the year.
Q 6: What is the best time of the year to ski?
Answer - January to March is the best season. This period often has the most snow cover, fresh power, and best weather. However the shoulder seasons are good also, just make sure there is enough cover.
Q 7: Are There Any Chep Packages From Tehran
Answer - Yes, many travel agencies in Tehran have fixed packges starting from US $200 for a 3 Day Package including transport, accommodation, and lift passes up to $500.
Q 8: What do you like most Dizin?
Q 9: What don't you like?
Dizin Resort Map
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