The largest island in the Persian Gulf, Qeshm is fringed with biologically diverse mangrove forests, attractive beaches and 60 Bandari villages. Its sun-scorched interior features geologically significant canyons, hills, caves and valleys, most of which are protected as part of the Unesco-recognised Qeshm Island Geopark – bliss for nature-lovers. Qeshm is a duty-free zone, but in a gulf increasingly full of gleaming skyscrapers it remains refreshingly attached to the age-old Bandari way of life. If you're after an authentic island experience, Qeshm won't disappoint. Here, locals wear traditional dress, live in houses cooled by badgirs (wind towers) and work in boat-building yards turning out lenges, the large wooden cargo boats that have criss-crossed the gulf for centuries. The island has an abundance of wildlife, including birds, reptiles, dolphins and turtles.
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