AttractionsTehran

Shemshak Ski Resort, Tehran

A Must-Visit Destination for Winter Sports Enthusiasts

The small village of Shemshak is located in Iran’s beautiful Alborz Mountains near Tehran. Its ski slopes carved into the hills and wooden cabins remind you of the Swiss Alps. Shemshak is best known for two great ski resorts, Shemshak Resort and Darbandsar Resort.

These resorts have slopes for skiers of all abilities. Folks come to Shemshak to relax year-round. In any season, it offers a peaceful break from the busy city. In winter, Shemshak transforms into one of the most popular destinations for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.

Keep reading to learn more about this beautiful village near Tehran.

Shemshak Ski Resort 

Shemshak Ski Resort In Tehran
Shemshak Ski Resort in Tehran

Shemshak International Resort is Iran’s second-largest ski spot. It is located 60 km northeast of Tehran in the Rudbar and Qasran regions.

Shemshak has four ski slopes, a ski school for beginners, equipment rentals, restaurants, and cafés.

History of Shemshak Ski Resort

Shemshak Ski Resort Near Tehran
Shemshak Ski Resort near Tehran (photo by Skiofpersia)

Initially, German mining engineers laid the groundwork for skiing in Shemshak. Skiing activities in Shemshak started in 1948. In 1958, with the installation of a 250-meter T-bar lift, the resort continued its work more professionally, and finally, in 1996, it became international.

  • Early years of skiing activity: 1948
  • Establishment of a 30-piece ski bank by the federation in 1953 
  • Installation of the first T-bar lift in 1958 with 250 meters height difference and transfer of skiers from Kepe Chal to the peak  
  • Installation of the first chairlift in 1962 by Katyar from the Poma factory
  • Hosting various international competitions and achieving the Winter Olympic quota in 2000
  • Hosting Asian Junior Ski Championships with participation of 10 Asian countries in 2000

Sports Facilities of Shemshak Ski Resort

Sports Facilities Of Shemshak Ski Resort
Sports Facilities of Shemshak Ski Resort

Shemshak Resort has four ski slopes: one for beginners, along with the 1,950-meter Mahtab (Moonlight) run used mostly by experts, the Aftab (Sunlight) run, and a night skiing slope called Shab (Night). 

The Shab Slope is open from 6 pm to 10 pm and can provide a unique skiing experience for enthusiasts. 

Aftab Slope: Located on the eastern side of the Shemshak resort, this slope runs from the ski school in the south to the peak. 

Mahtab Slope: Situated on the west side, it continues from the hotel in the south to the summit.  

Shab Slope: Also located on the western aspect, this slope runs from the hotel to halfway up the peak. It operates Tuesday to Thursday.

Beginner Slope: Found in the southwest area below the Sun slope, it is 400 meters long and used by novice skiers.

In addition to the ski runs other facilities at Shemshak are worth noting. Two T-bar lifts, two chairlifts, and three platter lifts transport skiers. The chairlifts take you directly from the hotels to the peaks.

Aftab Chairlift: Spanning 1,850 meters from the ski school to the peak with 550 meters of vertical rise, this lift opened in 1975.  

Mahtab Chairlift: Extending 1,200 meters from the hotel to the summit with 600 meters of elevation gain, it opened in 1962.

Mahtab Ski Lift: Running from the north side of the hotel up the Moon slope halfway to the peak with 130 meters of rise, it opened in 1969.   

Kopehchal Ski Lift: Covering the upper half of the mountain from midpoint to summit with 80 meters of elevation gain, this lift entered service in 1956.

Beginner Ski Lift: Located on the beginner slope with a length of 400 meters and a rise of 40 meters.

Where is Shemshak Located?

Shemshak village lies in Shemiranat County, northeast of Tehran. 

The distance between Tehran and Shemshak is 45 minutes to an hour’s drive.

Winter Sports In Shemshak Ski Resort, Tehran
Winter Sports in Shemshak Ski Resort, Tehran

Meaning of Shemshak

According to local beliefs, Shemshak means “little ingot,” and the reason for this name was the existence of coal mines and precious stones in this area.

Shemshak Climate

The climate in Shemshak is quite cool, and you should bring warm clothes all year round. Heavy snowfall often closes the road between Shemshak and the nearby Dizin ski resort for months, cutting off access. Skiers and mountaineers should take weather warnings seriously due to high avalanche risk.

Best Time to Visit Shemshak Ski Resort 

Visiting Shemshak Ski Resort In Tehran
Visiting Shemshak Ski Resort in Tehran

The Shemshak ski season generally runs from early December to mid-April, depending on snow cover. Be sure to check opening dates before traveling. In summer, Shemshak offers great recreation, like hiking. With pleasant weather and lovable nature, it can provide a delightful day for visitors.

Accommodation in Shemshak

Beyond skiing, Shemshak makes for beautiful mountain sightseeing and nature getaways. Hotels, villas, suites, and cozy mountain cottages called chalets accommodate tourists.

Shemshak Hotel

Shemshak Hotel In Shemshak Ski Resort
Shemshak Hotel in Shemshak Ski Resort

The Shemshak Hotel, once an exclusive Pahlavi royal residence, now operates as a public hotel closest to the ski slopes. The three-story, 17-room hotel opened to tourists after the royal era. It remains open year-round but is busiest, coinciding with the ski season. Rooms range from singles to three-bed suites. 

Shemshak Boutique Hotel

Shemshak Boutique Hotel In Shemshak Ski Resort
Shemshak Boutique Hotel in Shemshak Ski Resort (photo by Tripadvisor)

The Shemshak Boutique Hotel is another option; this 16-room hotel features a traditional design with antique décor. 

This luxury two-story hotel originally opened in the 1960s and was closed in the 1980s, and renovated in 2018,

Bareen Shemshak Residence Complex

Bareen Shemshak Residence Complex, Tehran, Iran
Bareen Shemshak Residence Complex, Tehran, Iran (photo by ArchDaily)

The Bareen Shemshak Residence Complex is known as the “Gol-e Yakh Hotel” or “Bareen Hotel.” Its striking architecture, resembling an icy castle, draws tourists’ attention. 

The exterior of the Bareen Hotel is all white, as is the dominant color in the room’s interior decor. In 2011, the Bareen Hotel won second prize in the Architect and Innovative Chicago Design awards.

The 10-story Bareen Shemshak has 67 rooms and suites ranging from 45 to 270 square meters in size. Their windows overlook Shemshak’s mountains, snow-covered in winter. 

Shemshak Restaurants  

Several renowned restaurants sit by the ski slopes where you can relax with a hot meal after a day on the slopes. 

Darbandsar Ski Resort

Darbandsar Ski Resort, Tehran, Iran
Darbandsar Ski Resort, Tehran, Iran

With an elevation spanning 2,600 meters at its lowest point to 3,050 meters at its peak, the Darbandsar Ski Resort opened in 1982. 

The resort features three chair lifts, two T-bar lifts, a platter lift, snowmaking, a gondola lift, and two restaurants. The Darbandsar ski school is also one of Iran’s best and most advanced.

The resort’s most appealing spot is its wood cabin restaurant spanning 400 square meters over one and a half floors. The uniquely designed restaurant is built entirely from Nordic spruce wood and boasts eye-catching interior décor.

Book Tehran Hotels

Espinas Palace Hotel

Final Words

Winter recreation and skiing in Shemshak make it one of the most attractive sightseeing and nature destinations near Tehran.  This area provides an opportunity to travel into nature’s heart with its cool mountain climate and blue skies around the busy traffic-choked capital.

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Sogand Safari

My name is Sogand, an enthusiastic psychology master who loves diving into new topics, expanding my knowledge, and sharing perspectives through writing.

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