Damavand and Ski Resorts around Tehran In proximity to the Iranian capital there are numerous mountain-hiking areas and ski resorts, where you can easily spend a full day walking or even stay overnight if you decide not to return to Tehran the same day.
Damavand, at 5,610m, is highest summit, covered with snow all year long. The area surrounding this volcanic mountain is rich in natural hot springs, and small rocks of volcanic formation scattered along the area's curvy roads are used in Iranian households.
About 50km northeast from Tehran towards Damavand along the Haraz road lies a small ski resort and the wealthy Tehrani holiday-home conglomeration of Abadieh.
Continuing along the road you pass through Imamzadeh Hashem, famous for its kite games due to strong winds at this altitude. “Ihe next town in the area is Polur, known for its freshwater trout and salmon hatcheries and fish market. One of the local fish restaurants here would be a good choice for lunch before you continue on towards the village of Rineh, where the Iranian army kept Iraqi prisoners of war.
The town of Larijan, the namesake of the current chairman of the parliament of Iran, is known for its hot springs and has numerous apartment style, essentially budget, hotels with a hot-spring bath.
The northern suburb of Velenjak is home to Tochal ski and hiking resort. Known as Bam-e tehran, ‘the roof of Tehran', Tochal (3,964m) is the most popular and central Tehrani hiking spot. Getting here requires a taxi ride (up to 180,000 rials) to the corner of Velenjak Street and Daneshjoo Boulevard. Consider this the ‘0' station.
From here it is a short walk through the parking lot and past a café area to where you can take a bus (5,000 rials) or walk around 2km to the first station. From here, yet again you can walk 3.5km up or take the cable car (70,000 rials one-way; 4) 08.30—00.30 Tue-Sat) to the second station, where you need to change and purchase another ticket if you wish to continue on to the final, seventh station. Higher yet again, around 1.98km from the seventh station is the famous Tochal Hotel (30 rooms; Shahid Chamran Expressway; N. 22418000; $$$).
The area Offers exceptional skiing opportunities seven to eight months of the year. The total distance between the first station and the Tocha Hotel is 17.08km and there is a walking path all the way up for those in good shape and spirits. There are toilet facilities and a rest area at each of the stations. If you've left your skis at home, do at least come here for the breathtaking views over Tehran. Another popular and highly recommended ski resort is Dizin, 20km north of Tehran on the way to Chalus after the small village of Pol-a Zanguleh.
There is an internationally recognised ski slope here, but coming here would necessitate a taxi or private car hire. Dizin skiing season is from mid-December until May and there is the pleasant Gajereh Grand Hotel.