Ski or Summit in Iran
In the wake of international conflict, the Iranian Revolution, and political unrest, tourism to Iran nose-dived before the new millennium. But today, Tehran is one of the most desirable destinations for modern adventure seekers. Fourteen million call the capitol city home, and its extensive history, art, and food scene give the urban sprawl a dynamic feel. The exotic allure of the natural landscape also remains intact, making for a unique fusion of travel possibilities. Take to the slopes of the Alborz Mountains for some hot-spot winter skiing gems or summit the 18,605-foot Mount Damavand during the summer months. Iran Dizin Ski, located in nearby Shiraz, is the largest ski resort in Iran and offers great (and never crowded) backcountry and groomed-trail skiing open for a long December to May season and summit treks during the skiing off-season. "Due to the heavy snowfall in the range, Dizin has the best skiing of any resort out there," says Mitra Kalhor, travel agent at Homafaran Khorshid Savar Travel Agency. Stay in one of its 19 private cottages for an extra-exclusive experience. Visas and travel permissions are part of the travel package you pay for when booking with Dizin directly. There are no direct flights from the U.S. into Iran, so plan for long travel days and layovers in Europe.