Dizin Ski Slopes, Iran.Dizin
When people think of Iran, they tend to think of the desert, not of ski resorts, but Dizin is Irans top skiing resort. Skiing was first bought to Iran by German engineers who were building the railway in Persia in the 1930s and were impressed by the mountains they saw. Built in 1969 by the Shah of Iran, Dizin resort is situated just north of Tehran in the Alborz Mountains at an altitude of 8,530 feet and is one of the 40 highest ski resorts in the world (the highest ski lift here reaches 11,482 feet).
The ski resort of Dizin was purpose built in 1969 and is not particularly picturesque. As was the fashion in some purpose built resorts in Europe in the late 1960s, most of the buildings and purpose built centres at Dizin are made of concrete. Unlike in Europe, no attempt has been made to make the buildings blend in or look slightly less ugly.
Because of its altitude, Dizin ski resort has more snow and the ski season lasts for longer than at many European ski resorts. The air is also drier than at a lot of European resorts, making for some excellent powder. There are 13 lifts which are extremely cheap by European standards and rarely have queues, except sometimes at the weekends. Most of the runs here are of a beginner or intermediate standard, though 10 per cent are advanced runs.
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Accommodation at Dizin consists of two hotels and 19 chalets; there are also five restaurants. Iran is a Muslim country and alcohol is banned, so there is no drinking or nightlife; the hotel bar has been closed since 1979. Women are also required to keep their heads covered at all times, so visitors should remember to take headscarves with them.
Those who want a bigger selection of runs and moguls can head to the nearby resort of Shemshak. The ski resorts of Darbandsar and Aab-Ali are also close to Dizin ski resort.
The ski season at Dizin lasts from December until March or April. The easiest way to get here is by coach or car from Tehran.
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