By Afshin Majlesi

Social distancing: 8 resorts where the slopes are less skied

February 12, 2022 - 18:29

TEHRAN – As you may know, Iranian land is covered with chains of jagged, low, or towing mountains some of which are comparable with those in the Alps.

Iran is home to some world-renowned ski resorts. Also, it embraces many countless below-the-radar resorts that offer powder-chasers plenty of challenge amid a winter of social distancing.

Apart from COVID restrictions, some experienced skiers and snowboarders are in favor of below-the-radar resorts; recognizing benefits such as limited distractions from time spent on the slopes, fewer fellow powder seekers, shorter lift lines, more reasonably priced tickets, and lodging.

In times of coronavirus, many leisure activities are subject to special safety measures and regulations. With many ups and downs, a fear of coronavirus infection is still with us, even the full-vaccinated ones.

Here are eight under-the-radar ski resorts that offer you a good time to avoid crowds and hang with the family:

Fereydunshahr

Named after a nearby city, the Fereydunshahr ski resort is situated at an elevation of 2500m in the Zagros mountain range. The city is renowned for its tough winter and heavy snowfalls.

Expert skiers from Isfahan come here to practice when they don’t compete in bigger ski resorts of Shemshak, Darbandsar, or Dizin.

The resort is equipped with a rope tow for beginners, a ski lift, and two-seat chairlifts which gives you access to a hipline. From the summit, you can reach numerous off-pistes trails.

Sahand

Situated in northwest Iran in the Sahand mountain,  some 50km away from Tabriz, the Sahand resort has two ski lifts that give fast access to the summit.

According to locals, you can sometimes ski until June in this freezing resort. For beginners, a rope tow and a green slope are located just a few meters away from the main building.

The vertical drop and steepness of the slope are good reasons for visiting this small ski resort. In the main building, you will find a restaurant and a rental ski shop.

Pooladkaf

Enclosed by amazing landscapes and natural sceneries, Pooladkaf is Iran’s south-most ski resort. It is located near Sepidan, a leisure place for wealthy families from Shiraz. Envisage that it’s only 300km away from Kuwait which has a subtropical desert climate; mild winters and very hot summers.

Created during the sixties, an industrial group ‘Pooladkaf’ manages the resort since 2000. The group invested a lot to develop the resort and attract more tourists. Even-though Pooladkaf stays relatively small, it offers a large choice of activities: skiing, snowmobile riding, restaurant, horse riding, après-ski, hotel, mountain bike, and hiking.

Pooladkaf is the fifth biggest ski resort in Iran, after the famed Dizin, Shemshak, Darbandsar, and Tochal ski resorts.

Kakan

About a hundred kilometers north of Shiraz stands the small ski resort of Kakan. It can be reached within 20 minutes drive from the city of Yasujm, and the resort is settled next to the protected area of Dena, which concentrates more than 40 summits higher than 4000m!

The ski area can be summarized as having two ski lifts (one is out of order) and two rope tows. The surrounding area is a heaven for ski touring as well.

Chelgerd

Situated in heart of the Zagros mountain range, 200km away from Isfahan, the Chelgerd ski resort is a popular destination for skiers and tourists from Isfahan and Share Kord.

The ski area is tiny and at the snow front, small slopes give easy access to beginners.

Khoshakoo

Situated in northwest Iran with Urmia as the nearest city, the Khoshakoo ski resort is equipped with two ski-lifts. It is a haven for paragliding as well.

The resort is a famous spot for “Tubing”, using old inner trucks’ tubes. Surely one of the most dangerous sports on earth.

Alvares

Located in Ardabil province, northwest of Iran, the Alvares ski resort is known for its tough winters, “cool” summers, beautiful landscapes, the quality of its dairy products (butter, doogh, thick traditional soups, honey…), and its numerous hot springs.

The small town of Sareyn (8,000 inhabitants), located 20km away from the resort, is famous across Iran for its spas where travelers come from all over the country to relax. The resort is equipped with a two-seat chairlift, a rope tow for beginners, and a “Pisten Bully” snow groomer.

Bijar

Equipped with a ski lift and a snow groomer, the Bijar ski resort is named after the nearby town of Bijar in Kurdistan province. The resort is situated at an equal distance from the cities of Zanjan and Hamedan. And it is equipped with a snow groomer.

AFM

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