Persian powderDizin, Iran
The Middle East is all about sand, right? Wrong. This often-overlooked part of the world is a secret winter wonderland for the more daring ski bunny. Iran has numerous ski resorts, most located in the Alborz Mountains near Tehran, where the season runs from late November through to late May – longer than in most European ski resorts.
Dizin, the country's largest and most visited ski resort, is popular with both skiers and snowboarders and is the only one in Iran to be recognised by the International Ski Federation. Founded by a group of foreigners who were searching for mines in the mountains, a portable surface lift was first installed over the Dizin Pass in 1965, allowing the national ski team to practice.
Today there are more than 20 runs, plus three hotels and 19 chalets. And at only 72 kilometres north of Tehran it's easy to make a cheeky day-trip to this sea of serrated white peaks.
From US$25 for a day pass.