Dizin is located in Iran around 120km north from the Iranian capital, Tehran, in the Alborz mountain range which overlooks the city. Dizin is one of four resorts in the Alborz range. At 3,600m at its highest lift, Dizin is higher than many European and North American resorts. People often say that Dizin looks like European Alps resorts used to look like, with older infrastructure but great hospitality and a friendly, non-touristy vibe. Dizin is the most popular resort in Iran with the biggest skiable terrain area.
Dizin is where the young, progressive Tehranis go to enjoy the mountains and party with each other. You will find an atmosphere that looks much more European than the stereotypical images of Iranians in hijab and burqa.
Dizin is usually completely overlooked by those outside Iran and going to Dizin for a season – or even just an extended amount of time to ride – is an experience that will blow you away. Dizin is also the name of a traditional Iranian meal which comprises beans, soup, bread and drinking yoghurt – something you absolutely need to eat at least once during your trip.
For information on Iran’s ski resorts, see the Guide to Skiing and Snowboarding in Iran, which has full information on visas and travel in Iran.
Because of this high altitude, season dates run from late November and can go all the way through to May, depending on the season. The snow is retained extremely well at Dizin and you will usually find most lifts running.
While it can get very cold at Dizin, the weather is generally not going to hit the very low temperatures you might see in Japan or North America.
The Terrain at Dizin
Dizin is the biggest and most well-known resort of Iran with 3 gondolas and 12 chairlifts. The resort reaches an altitude of 3,600 m and boasts more than a 1 km vertical drop.
Dizin is by far the biggest of the Iranian resorts and offers the best variety of terrain. If you are skiing or boarding in Iran for an extended period of time, you should certainly plan to spend a bit of time at Dizin.
Terrain at Dizin is great for those intermediate skiers and boarders trying to move into that more advanced category with smaller and easier hikes for skiers and boarders beginning to dabble in the back country stuff.
There is a lot of great on-piste cruisers that Iranians love to carve up. Backcountry is a little less popular in Iran so you will often find fresh tracks off-piste at Dizin. Of course, take all avalanche precautions – this is Iran and the resorts aren’t necessarily avalanche primed as well as at North American or European resorts.
There are a few little beginner areas as well at Dizin.
Being up around 4,000m, the snow quality is very good and generally well retained. You can give your powder skis a work-out when the snow has just fallen at Dizin. However, there are no snow reports available, so you generally have to throw the dice if deciding whether to go up for the day.
Getting to Dizin
Getting to Dizin is not obvious, which is a little let-down for the resort. The best way up for tourists is to take a taxi from Tehran.
The northernmost metro station in Tehran is Tajrish Metro Station. You can take gear on the metro and then take a taxi from the taxi rank at Tajrish. If the Fasham Road is open, which passes the resorts of Shemshak and Darbandsar along the way, then the trip should take around 2 hours from Tajrish. Dizin is around 35 minutes past Shemshak and Darbandsar.
However, after the slightest snowfall, this road may be closed. This means taking the longer western route up the Chalus Road which can extend your journey by an hour.
You will need to check with your taxi driver whether the road is open.
From Tajrish, you should expect to pay around 1 million Rial for a taxi (USD 35). Taxis will usually be fine with you putting gear inside the car. You can also sometimes find van taxis at Tajrish which is handy if you have a group of four or more or you have quite a lot of gear. You should expect to pay around 1.5 million Rial (USD 40) for a van up to Dizin and maybe a little more if you have to take the long route. You will need to haggle for a price.
Lift Ticket Cost
A ticket at Dizin for the day costs around 1.2 million Rial (USD 35). You can hire gear at the mountain including skis, boots, gloves, pants, jackets etc. for around 1 million Rial for the day (USD 30).
Dizin has large hotels that will almost always have space. Compared to resorts in Europe and North America, the on-mountain accommodation is quite cheap with a room that contains a private bathroom and 2 singles or a double costing about USD 60 a night.
There are also several privately-owned cottages around that can be rented out. Prices for these vary on the quality of the cottage.
Large tourist groups also often decide to rent out entire chalets for a fraction of the price that it would cost in Europe or North America. This is a great option if you have a group of four or more. Chalets hold up to 10 people and cost 8-10 million Rial per night.
See the Guide to Skiing and Snowboarding in Iran. In short, citizens of most countries can get visas for 30 days at a time although a working visa is difficult to get for westerners.
Jobs at Dizin
The prices are so good in Iran that in most cases it will not be worth the effort of working for a local wage in order to work a season. Instead of working, you can spend more time shredding Dizin.
Also, as it is still not a large tourist destination, English is not yet widely spoken either and you will need a fairly good command of Farsi in order to find a job. Most of the mountain operations jobs such as lift operators and ski shops go to locals who live in the area. However, you may be able to find work as an instructor at Dizin as it is the most international of the resorts. Dizin is certainly the most likely place that you will find work as an instructor of the Iranian resorts. See www.irandizinski.com/contacts/ for contact information at Dizin.