Skiing

Government-operated Shemshak, Iran's second-largest ski field after Dizin, offers the most challenging terrain. Vertical descents are about 500m (some of it at an adrenalin-inducing 45-degree angle) and there are plenty of moguls. There are no gondolas – only two chair lifts and four drag lifts to get you up its two main slopes.

At an elevation of 2650m, rising to 3150m, Darbansar is privately run and more modern than nearby Shemshak. The runs are moderately challenging and there's plenty of scope for off-piste skiing including across to Dizin on the other side of Mt Kashoolak. There's also a ski school and night skiing here.

Boots, skis and poles can be hired in both villages from IR450,000 a day.

The resorts' proximity to Tehran mean that the slopes can get very busy here on Thursday, Friday and public holidays.