Qeshm is one of the most frequented islands of Iran located through the 1,500 kilometers undiscovered coastline of Persian Gulf. Qeshm is a must see not only for its geographical wonders but also for showing perfectly the culture of people of the south.
Location of Qeshm island
Located in the Strait of Hormuz, just 60 kilometers away from the Omani shore, Qeshm is an island with a great abundance of wildlife and plenty of unique geological formations, many of which are listed as UNESCO Heritage sites.
Due to its position, Qeshm has been of high strategic importance for many centuries. In fact, the Portuguese conquered and ruled it for about 200 years and this is why, today, it still has an ancient Portuguese fortress and some streets even have Portuguese names.
Things to do in Qeshm island
In comparison to the world known cities of Iran like Tehran or Isfahan, Qeshm is far less seen by foreign travelers. But recently, thanks to the Instagram travel bloggers who reveal Qeshm’s outstanding attractions, demands for traveling to Qeshm has been increasing domestically and internationally.
Chahkooh Canyon is located in the east of Qeshm Island. With a hundred meter depth, Chahkooh Canyon is just another world in the eye of its visitors. It used to be called The Holy Valley as it acted like water storage when it was raining and water was of special sacredness.
Chahkooh Valley had been initially formed as a result of a big fracture in a large anticline leading to natural perpendicular valleys of sometimes 100 meters depth and up to 20 meters height embellishing with cavities, grooves, holes, sea-like features like shells, and appealing unusual geometrical shapes formed by the dance of wind and water erosion over time that catches staring eyes of every viewer.
Stars Valley or Valley of Stars is located in Qeshm Island and it is definitely on your “MUST SEE” list in Qeshm. Locals spread this idea that once upon a time a star hit the ground and shaped this valley.
The unique rock formation because of years of erosion makes this place ideal for nature lovers. For taking some great shots, go there during the night with or without a local guide.
Hara forest (Mangrove Forests)
The Mangrove Forests of Qeshm or Hara Forests of Qeshm are the mangrove forests on the coast of Qeshm Island. The main dominant trees in these forests are Avicennia marina, named after the great Persian scientist, Avicenna. There is a whole other world in Mangrove Forests of Qeshm. Unlike typical trees, Mangrove trees have roots in water (well, actually in the soil layers of the sea). So, when the tides are high, they will disappear under the water. What is interesting about this species is that they absorb the salty water and they filter the salt and naturally sweeten the water. These trees even have tiny blossoms and fruits from mid-July to August, with yellow flowers and sweet almond-like fruit.
How to get to the Qeshm island
You can travel to Bandar Abbas and then take a ferry to Qeshm or fly there from any major city from Iran. Bandar Abbas is a major port city in the south of Iran and the capital city of Hormozgan Province. It’s situated on the Persian Gulf and on the Strait of Hormuz.
Where to stay in Qeshm
Most of the travelers prefer to stay in local’s house or camp rather than hotel. There are many good three and four star hotels in Qeshm that most of them are coastal and located in the easternmost part of the island, for example: Plus hotel which is the most beautiful coastal hotel of the island, Golden Beach hotel located in the best part of Simin plage, Park hotel, Soorinet hotel and some others.
Recommendation for budget guest house:
– Dehliz Homestay – If you want to stay in a traditional, comfortable house, this place is quite popular among travelers.
– Asmari – Economical hotel in Qeshm city.
What to eat in Qeshm island? Where to eat?
Qeshm island has very delicious local foods that you shouldn’t forget to try them. Fish,shrimp, crab, meat, date palm, flour, sugar and legume are the main ingredients of those foods. Zibuni is one of the most popular foods of the island that is usually served in wedding parties. Qeshm has other local foods such as: Fried shrimp, Solen vagina, Ghalieh Mahi, Havari, Pudini, Mahyawa, Kalamba, Moflak, Squid, Dopiyaze Meygu, Katogh or Hala Mahi. You can try thoes delicious foods in good restaurants of the island like: Alvand, City center, Island Nights, Debsh, Khanboom, and Simorgh. If you are interested in eating fast food, Lobster and Seyhoon restaurants can be good choices for you.
What do we buy from Qeshm?
Qeshm island is one of the best places for shopping of Iran. One of the most popular souvenirs of Qeshm is a kind of handmade brocaded women ‘ dress which is called “ Shak Bafi”. Carpet, Kilim and Mat are other handicrafts of the island that you can buy them from Qeshm ‘s old Bazaar. Qeshm also has good modern shopping centers such as: City center, Pardis, Setareh, and Do Dolphin.
Tips to follow:
- If you travel to Qeshm by plane and just stay on the island, you don’t need to get a visa for Iran.
- Since Qeshm island is extremely hot and humid during the summer, It’s highly recommended to travel there during the winter, early spring or late autumn