If you are an avid skier or snowboarder, you will know only too well how costly the popular resorts can be and all too familiar with the crowds they welcome!

Why not avoid both of these downsides and take to the pistes at one of these comparatively quieter, cheaper and altogether more unusual skiing destinations

1. Iran

When you think of a skiing holiday, Iran certainly wouldnt be the first destination in mind. In the midst of the Middle East, flanked by Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, it has the stereotype of a desert country with towering sand dunes.

In fact, the landscapes of Iran are beautifully diverse and it has many a mountain, in fact, more than half the country is comprised of mountains that are ideal for skiing! At a rough count, there are around 20 different ski resorts meaning you are almost spoilt for choice.

As one of the highest altitude ski resorts in the world, Dizin welcomes wonderful powder and you can get stuck in with few crowds and cheap prices!

2. Cyprus

Another surprising skiing destination comes in the form of the sun loving isle of Cyprus which floats among the waves of the Mediterranean Sea.

Travel to the Troodos Mountains and during the winter months, you will find a very healthy covering of snow indeed.

Head here and indulge in some beach relaxation in the morning and then let loose atop the four slopes of Mount Olympos in the afternoon; it really is the best of both worlds!

3. Morocco

A far cry from the camels and souks that you are currently picturing, venture across the Sahara Desert to the High Atlas Mountains where a snowy wonderland awaits you.

Ski passes here are exceptionally cheap but dont expect things to be done by the book; there is one ski lift but most of the time its pretty unreliable so you will find yourself transported around the resort by donkeys!

If you tire of the one resort, fear not, for there is another on offer in the Middle Atlas Mountains! Wonderfully uncrowded, these resorts are a top pick for cross country skiers in particular.

4. South Africa

If South Africa is known for one thing, its safaris, not skiing! Most people have absolutely no idea that it is possible to go skiing here but in the midst of the country lays the Drakensberg Mountain Range where you can do just that.

The resort, Tiffindell, is by no means large, but it offers breathtaking views and at a relatively high altitude, welcomes a healthy dousing of snow each winter. The fun loving locals ensure that aprs-ski is all part of the experience too!

Combine wildlife watching with adrenaline fuelled fun on a holiday here.

5. Macedonia

Sadly, there are many people in this world who havent even heard of Macedonia, let alone gone skiing there. Its by no means as well developed as Italy or France but the resorts Macedonia offers are perfectly petite.

Favourable prices only enhance the appeal of the resorts buried among the snow fall in Mavrovo National Park.

Beautiful scenery is the backdrop to quite a long ski season which usually runs from November through until April and occasionally even as late as May. Enjoy an uncrowded but fun skiing holiday here without breaking the bank.

If you are in the midst of planning a trip, consider somewhere a bit different for some R&R amid some stark white snow. As well as enjoying fantastic skiing, you can travel home with a quirky tale or two!

About the author: Kerri Ware is a travel blogger and writes for EconomyCarHire.com, a car hire broker offering great deals for car hire across Europe and beyond. Consider car hire in Macedonia for your next skiing holiday.

Have you played in the snow somewhere unusual? Add it to the list in the comments below or tweet us!