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Ski instructors and guides

Need to improve your skills? Or would you rather enjoy the great powder snow instead of teaching your kids not to fall when going down the hill? There are ski instructors available for hire in Dizin. Either as private tutors or as part of a group lesson. So what are you waiting for? Have a look for some cheap flights to Tehran and get ready to snowboard!

Unfortunately I cannot give you any prices as my reply to a guy in the pro-shop who asked whether I would need a ski instructors was: “I am from Norway”. He laughed away with his Iranian friends quoting what I just said. We have a saying here in Norway that says that Norwegians are born with the skies on their legs. It is also here that both the first indication of skiing as well as modern skiing was invented (in fact not far from where my grandma lives here in Telemark).

For guided off-piste skiing or snowboarding contact Mosayeb Seyd Poor (+98 912-3132773) who grew up in Dizin and has competed internationally as a professional snowboarder. He charges 100 EUR for a day.

Mosayeb

Mosayeb

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If you are in Tehran and require assistance…

Mr. Mousavi is your man!

I spent all together about 3-4 weeks in Tehran and got to know the city quite well. But what I did not learn by myself I learned from Mr. Mousavi at Firouzeh Hotel. He showed me how to get from Imam Khomeini Square to Tarjish Square for 7 000 rials (roughly nothing) with shared taxi (savarri) compared to the normal 50 000 or so rials (5 USD) with a private taxi. He arranged a taxi for me and my friend Lachlyn from Tehran to Dizin. And did everything he could to assist my two friends Line and Birte who drove a van from Norway to India and came to Iran not knowing they needed a ration card to get petrol.

If you are a backpacker Hotel Firouzeh is a decent place to stay if you want a private room (no dorms) and the great thing except for the help of Mr. Mousavi is the other travelers you will meet there. But even if you decide to stay somewhere else Mr. Mousavi can help you with information about Tehran or arrange transport to Dizin.

You can contact him by calling +98 912 436 1974 or e-mail: nice4human@yahoo.com

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Girls Ski Trip to Iran

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What else to see in Iran?

Decided on going to Dizin? Great. While the snow there is fantastic I am sure you want to experience more than just going down a mountain. Here is my list of places to see in Iran:

Yazd

My first suggestion definitevely has to be Yazd. It is the oldest city in the world that is still inhabitated. Walking through the narrow streets between old mud houses is like stepping back two thousands years in time. Some of these houses hide beautiful gardens with pools and rooms enough for a king behind their tall walls. In addition there are some fantastic mosques here.

Masouleh

A beautiful hill-side village where the houses are built so close together in the steep hill that the house-roofs are used as roads. A popular getaway for Tehranians who wants to escape the heat and enjoy a hike in the mountain. Rent a room from one of the villagers and enjoy a kebab in the small bazaar. Also visit nearby Qaleh-Rudkhan, an old hill-top fort.

Kashan

If you have limited time then a trip to Kashan is the best choice. Only a couple of hours south of Tehran you can see beatiuful old buildings and a great active bazaar. A perfect place to see a real Iranian small city, you will not find many tourists here and the bazaar is operated the same way it always has. Nearby you will also find Fin Garden. For a day-trip from here visit a small mountain village called Abyaneh famous for beautiful red mud houses and women with colorful scarfs. On the way back to Tehran stop in Qom, the religious center of Iran where you will find conservative muslims.

Isfahan

Holds perhaps one of the beautiful man made places in the world: Naqsh-e Jahan Square (after the revolution officially known as Imam Khomeini Square). Also take a stroll over one of the bridges and a stop for a relaxing chai while chatting with the locals.

Been to Iran? What are your favorite places? Leave a comment.

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This is Dizin. This is Iran.

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Map of Dizin

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Hotels and cabins – Where to stay in Dizin?

So you are going to Dizin but unsure how to book hotel. Well it’s not easy that’s for sure. You cannot book online and you will be lucky to find a phone number to the hotel. But first of lets go through the options.

Dizin

There are two hotels at the bottom of the slope. As of early 2008 one of these hotels were closed for renovation, except the restaurant which was open for kebab and pizza.

* Hotel Dizin

This hotel was built by, like the lifts and the slopes, zie germans in the good times of the shah in the seventies even has a bar. Now it is a cafe with a cool retro feel to it. The staff at this hotel are all useless except for one nice lady in the reception. Make sure you deal with her.
Price. 560,000 rials in the weekend (Thursday and Friday). 30% discount the rest of the week. Only doubles and suites (whatever that means).

Phone number is :+98 261 521 2449 .

* Gajereh Hotel
When going the main road to Dizin there is a hotel about five minutes before you reach the slopes. It is slighly cheaper than Hotel Dizin, around 450,000 rials if I remember correctly. More importantly it will probably have some rooms in peak season (most notably weekends). It has a free bus to the slopes.

Phone number is: +98 261 521 2232 .

Shemshak

This place is only 15 minutes away but the road is steep and there are frequent avalanches. So if you stay in Shemshak you might wake up and be separated by a whole bunch of snow from Dizin. If you are a snowboarder that is bad luck but if you are an experienced skier you should know that Shemshak is an excellent place for skiing. It is much steeper making it much more difficult.

* Shemshak hotel
This is cheaper than Dizin. I think about 240,000 rials.

* Cabins
The other good things about Shemshak is that is a much large village. Many people have cabins here and you can rent a cabin for a week or a month. And since there are more cabins (actually mostly apartment buildings) there is also more of a scene here. And if you bump into the right people you might be invited to after-ski in one of the cabins. Party in Iran; now that’s something to tell your mates.

Booking

So, the difficult part..the booking. There are travel agents, for example in Norway or Sweden, that arrange group tours to Dizin. As Iran is a cheap country to travel these tours are naturally way overpriced. You probably will have no problems going to Iran by your own means and then just showing up to get a room in a hotel. But you should off course try to make a booking. If you are unable to communicate with the people at the hotel (they do not always speak very well English) try contacting Mr. Mousavi at Hotel Firouzeh. The hotel is crap but the man is legendary for his service to travelers from around the world. He knows the nice lady at Hotel Dizin and will call her directly to make sure you get a booking. He can also arrange a taxi from Tehran to Dizin.


Hotel Dizin reception. Unknown guy with lots of rials. In the background you can see the nice lady at Hotel Dizin.

So what are you waiting for? Get on a plane to the great powder snow in Dizin!

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Safe to travel in Iran?

I travelled three months in Iran and questions regarding safety is a bit of a joke now for me. Because I would say it is probably the safest country in the world to travel in if you exclude Japan and Singapore. However I do understand the concern. My family was worried when I entered Iran because what they see in the media and many people in the west think Iran is the same as all the other countries in the middle east such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. Which a dangerous place with terrorists. But it would be much more dangerous to travel to London than to Tehran. I feel safer with my belongings in Tehran that I did on my visit to Madrid this weekend. Petty crime is looked down upon and theft and physical assaults, especially towards foreigners, is uncommon.

On my journey I also met several women who traveled alone without any problems.

If you are going to Iran just for Dizin then there is even less need for worrying about safety. Dizin is mainly visited by rich Iranians who drive with their 4WD from north Tehran and Dizin is probably the most liberal public area in Iran.

In Tehran the only safety issue you should really worry about is the traffic. Which is daunting at first sight. Crossing the road is a near-death experience walking through fast pacing cars. It should however be noted that drivers are skilled and do a very good job at dodging pedestrians, so once you get used to madness crossing the road is as easy as a stroll in the park.

Where not to go

What I wrote above applies to areas in Iran where you would go as a tourists. There are however areas in Iran that most certainly should be avoided (even for the normal Iranian). Those areas include the borders to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Most notably the area Balochistan which lies near the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Most of the world supply of heroin goes through this area and there is a high risk of kidnapping. Unless you are traveling to Pakistan over land you will have no reason to enter this area. If you however are traveling by car there make sure you get a police escort. Two of my friends did this journey in 2008 so it is perfectly possible.

Posted in Iran.


Cheapest way to get to Dizin from Tehran with public transport: Minibus

Call +989126708975 or see Mr. Beygi’s website to arrange transportation with minibus from Tehran to Dizin. You will be picked up very early in the morning from your location which has to be on the north side of the city. The minibus leaves around 5am and departs from Dizin around 3pm. The price for return ticket is 100,000 rials.

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Prices in Dizin

Dizin, Iran

Taxi from Tehran to Dizin: 300 000 rials.
Minibus w/return: 100 000 rials.
Ski-pass: Between 120 000 to 150 000 rials.
Dizin Hotel: 410 000 rials during the week and 540 000 rials during the weekend. For a double.
Snowboard rental: 250 000 to 300 000 rials per day at the shops around Dizin Hotel. If you go up to the top before the parking area you can find a snowboard for 100 000 rials. Includes boots.

Please note that inflation is crazy in Iran, up to as much as 20%. These prices are as of February 2008. At that time 10 000 rials was roughly 1 dollars. Make sure you check the current currency rate.

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