Dizin Ski Resort
ALBORZ SKI REGION
Dizin is the biggest Ski Resort in Iran, located in Alborz province, northeast of Tehran province, which is on the southern slopes of the Central Alborz Mountains. Dizin ski resort was built around 1960 during the reign of Pahlavi (Mohammad Reza Shah) before Iran’s Islamic revolution.
The piste is situated in a staggeringly beautiful geographical position, surrounded by a lot of high mountain peaks around +4000 m, which makes for a very cold winter with amazing visibility of the mountains in the Alborz range. You will have a stunning view of Iran’s highest mountain, Damavand (5610m), from the top of the piste on Sichal peak. From the last station of Dizin, you have to ascend a little bit. It takes 10-15 minutes to reach the peak (Sichal), the highest point in the region. From there, you will have a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of the numerous mountains in the heart of Alborz. From the peak, you can see Kolonbastak (4150m), the ridgeline of the Sarakckal mountains, a 15km mountain chain above 4000m with 3 peaks. In the south, you will see Tochal mountain (3960m) which is north of the capital, Tehran.
Dizin is, without a doubt, the finest place for skiing in Iran. For those who are looking for a more challenging activity, there are a lot of regions around Dizin that are terrific for Off Piste skiing. You will need a local guide or experienced ski instructor for off-piste skiing in Dizin. There are a few mountains around Dizin that are excellent for Ski-Touring at the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Mount Kolonbastak and Mount Azadkuh are two of them, which are fairly close, and ideal for ski touring.
Besides ski activities, the attractive Dizin region is a suitable location for the summer and spring holidays. There are a few mountains similar to those we proposed for Ski touring which are superb for trekking as well. MT Kolonbastak (4150m) is one of the best complimentary mountains which is ideal for acclimatization for those who would like to ascend Mt Damavand. You can drive up to 3300m altitude and start your trek from there. You can also stay in Shemshak village (2600- 2700m) to better acclimatize as well. Mount Azadkuh (4400m) is another choice being one of the most beautiful mountains in the Alborz range. Azadkuh, located in central Alborz and one of the most remote mountains of Alborz, is in the region of the Alborz Markazi protected area. The region offers rich flora and fauna.
The ski resort, compared to other Iran pistes, has very good facilities. There are two famous historic hotels (although old, yet operational) at the base of the entrance to the ski resort which were built before the Revolution. On the other side of the piste, there is Shemshak, a mere 10 km away which is another alternative for accommodation. Many travelers prefer to stay in Shemshak as they have access to the two other pistes of Darbandsar and Shemshak. As many people are living in Shemshak, there are plenty of shops, restaurants, and cafès in the village which makes a better nightlife compared to other places. You can socialize and appreciate the lifestyle of the Tehrani people who live there.
In the summertime, many cyclists come to Dizin to ascend the piste up to Sichal peak (3700m). From the peak, you will have a thrilling downhill ride toward the base. Dizin is 11 km from the Darbandsar piste and 10 km away from the Shemshak piste through one common road. There is a paved road from Shemshak or Darbandsar to Dizin, but during the winter, the road is sometimes blocked due to avalanches. You must be aware of this. Shemshak piste was closed in 2020 and 2021 as the lift system was old and had not been properly maintained. As a result, the Iran Ski Federation did not approve of keeping it open. Improvements were supposed to have been made to the lift to have it operational by 2020.
Lift Systems and Piste in Dizin Ski Resort
1st station: 2650m
Last station: 3700m
Dizin ski resort has 16 different lifts in various directions. The tallest one goes close to near Sichal peak with an altitude of 3750m. There are 3 chair lifts, 9 ski lifts, and 4 gondolas in the resort. The piste has five green, seven blue, eight red, and three black slopes in total.
The opening date of Dizin changes from year to year. Most years, the piste opens at the beginning of December, depending on the volume of snow, and will close end of April. If there is heavy snowfall, the season may continue to May. The piste is open every day during the season and it might close a couple of days each year according to the Persian Calendar. The working time is from 8:00 am up to 16:00. During the Iranian weekend (Thursday and Friday), the piste is so busy as many Iranians who live in the capital come to ski in the resort. As a result, the 2nd road (Fasham-Shemshak) will be especially busy on Friday afternoons when everyone wants to travel back to Tehran. If you choose the 2nd road, we highly recommend you come to Dizin during the week and possibly stay a couple of nights in Shemshak village.
From the base at the 1st entrance, there are three main lifts that go up in three different directions.
The first is a gondola (4 pax) in the southeast direction which goes up to the 2nd entrance (upper parking).
The second lift is a gondola (4 pax) which goes to the center of the piste the locals call Restoraneh Vasat, meaning middle restaurant. This path, by changing to another gondola, continues to the top of the piste which is the Sichal peak (3750m). This path is the widest with the highest path having about a 1100m vertical drop.
The third one goes in the southwest direction with 2 pax seat lifts which reach another side of the Middle restaurant called Chaman restaurant.
Dizin piste has two restaurants. At the base of the piste, inside of Dizin Hotel, there is a large restaurant on the first floor which gives you a great view of the piste up to the peak. The second restaurant is in the middle of the ski resort. Access is via a gondola.
Dizin is the only piste in Iran with a wide choice of lodging facilities. There are two main hotels at the base of the piste by the 1st gate, both called Dizin Tourist Hotel. Both these hotels were built before Iran’s revolution. There are also a couple of chalets inside the piste which belong to private people. It is possible to rent one for your ski holiday in Iran. Another hotel, the Gajereh hotel, with a large complex, is 3 km away from the piste. There are many local houses or private apartments in Velayat rood village which is 6 km away from the piste. All accommodation is in the 1st entrance (gate) which is on the northern side of Alborz province.
On the other side of the piste (south side), there are no lodging facilities around the parking area. It is advisable to stay in Shemshak village which is 10 km away from the 2nd gate, a 15-20 minute drive depending on the weather. If it has snowed, the drive will take longer. In Shemshak, you will have a lot of local houses to choose from, and there are flats to rent. In addition, there is an old Shemshak Tourist Hotel nearby Shemshak piste which would be an ideal place for your ski holiday in Iran.
Your ski guide in Dizin will depend on whether you are a ski beginner or a professional skier. When you enter the piste from the 1st gate on the left side, there is a Ski School that has many experienced and young ski instructors. There are ski guides for beginners plus professional ski instructors for advance level skiers.
Ski Gear Shop / Rental Survives
There are a lot of Ski shops in Dizin with a wide range of skis (not to be compared with ski shops in Europe). When you enter the parking area of the piste, you will notice many shops close to each other where you can hire new skis, boots, clothes, and poles for rent. They also have different ski sizes and clothes even for children who want to ski. There is no Ski-Touring equipment for rent in Dizin and if you would like to do backcountry skiing or Ski-Touring in Iran, you should bring your own skis.
Dizin is the widest and largest Iranian ski resort and you will have plenty of choices for off-piste skiing here. Off-piste skiing is officially prohibited, but there is no color rope or boundary between piste and off-piste in most parts of the piste. In some parts, you will see a few signs or ropes but it is not like other international pistes where you have been skiing. We strongly recommend you check with ski patrols if you want to ski off-piste or hire a professional ski guide.
Around Dizin ski resort, there are a few famous mountains that are idyllic for ski touring. MT Kolonbastak (4150m), Landovan region, and Azadkuh mountain(4350m) are the most famous mountains which are perfect for ski touring around the Dizin district in the Central Alborz Mountain. There are other mountains with local names which are fantastic places for ski touring in Iran.
How to Get to Dizin Ski Resort
The piste has two stations (gates) with two roads coming from two provinces to enter the ski resort.
Gate 1: The first gate is from Alborz province which is on the northern side of the piste. The altitude at the entrance and gate is about 2600m. The road leading from the capital going into Alborz province via Karaj city is called Chalus Road. The scenery along the road alone is one of the most beautiful in the world.
Recently, a very efficient highway has been built from Tehran to Chalus city which is north of Iran along the coast of the Caspian Sea. This has made access to Dizin’s first station much more convenient. From the center of Tehran, it is about 80 km and takes one and a half hours. You will be crossing both Gachsar town and Velayat Rud village on this road. The Tehran-Chalus highway is ideal for those who are staying on the west side of Tehran.
Gate 2: The second gate is in Tehran province, south-east of the ski resort with an altitude of about 3300m. The locals call this entrance gate Parking-e Bala, meaning upper parking. The second way is the Fasham-Shemshak road which is closer for those who live in the east and northeast of Tehran. It takes about an hour and a half (60 km). This is a mountain road passing through many interesting districts including small towns, villages, and large restaurants with magnificent views of the high peaks of the Central Alborz mountains. It also passes through two other Alborz Ski resorts (Shemshak & Darbandsar Pistes). When it comes to the end, the road reaches an altitude of 3300 m, (2nd entrance), where there is a huge parking space together with a couple of ski shops.
Note: This road gets blocked a few times during this season due to avalanches. Before leaving, to avoid any trouble, you must check the weather situation with locals to be sure of the road conditions.
GPS coordinates: 36°02′57″N 51°25′02″E
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/N4E16YeFku32
Other Activities in Dizin Ski Resort
Apart from skiing and Ski Touring activities during wintertime, Dizin is a suitably dynamic destination during other seasons. As there are a lot of high mountains in Alborz, this location is one of the best places for adventurous travelers. It is close to Shemshak and Darbandsar villages. It offers a variety of sports, especially hiking and mountain biking during spring, summer, and early autumn. For more information, please get in touch.