Qeshm island is located in the Strait of Hormuz, Persian Gulf. It houses 59 towns and villages. Fishing, dhow construction, and trade are the main occupation of its dwellers. As the largest island in the Persian Gulf, Qeshm has several canyons, hills, and valleys as parts of UNESCO as the Qeshm Island Geopark.
Besides, Qeshm is an economic free-zone with big shopping centers. It also boasts the local life of native people alongside the wildlife of different types of animals like birds, reptiles, and dolphins.
Above all Qeshm Island is known for its ecotourist attractions. Herra mangrove forest of the island hosts 1.5% of the world birds each year.
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Getting to Qeshm Island
You have two ways to reach Qeshm Island from Tehran. Firstly you can go to the island by flight.
In fact you can reach Qeshm in 90 minutes and there are different flights per day from Tehran to Qeshm and vise versa.
Another way is to take a train from Tehran to Bandar Abbas. There is a direct train between two cities and it takes about 21 hours to reach Bandar Abbas.
Therefore you can take a local ferry from the Shahid Haqani Passenger Port of Bandar Abbas every 30 minutes. It takes about 50 minutes to reach Qeshm Island.
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Attractions of Qeshm Island
As one of the most beautiful landmarks in Iran, Chahkooh Canyon is located in the east of Qeshm Island.
In fact, it a collection of rocks and some kind of natural statues, which shape with erosion through centuries.
The beautiful natural statues fascinate you. Hence, you can spend hours imagining their figures and pictures.
The high walls of the canyon add grandeur to your visit. You can see some shells on the wall which indicate that the place was once underwater. You can also climb the rocks at the place if you are a professional climber.
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Mangrove forests of Qeshm Island
Known also as the Hara forests of Qeshm, the mangrove forests are one of the must-see attractions of Qeshm Island. Hara tree or Avicennia marina, a kind of tree that is salt-water plants, forms the forest, which are submerged at high tide.
When the tides are high, the forest disappears under the water. It is a 20 km by 20 km area and hosts migratory birds, reptiles, and fish. The high and low tide plays an important role in the formation of mangrove forests.
Located on the north of Qeshm Island, the Portuguese castle is one of the historical attractions of the island.
Portuguese general and admiral Afonso de Albuquerque (c. 1453 – 1515) captured the islands of the Persian Gulf, which lasted for 110 years.
In addition, the castles in different islands are made at that time. The Portuguese castle is made in 1507 with local sarooj.
It was in fact the warehouse and connect to the castle of Hormuz, another island in the Persian Gulf.
Gun storage, water cisterns, room for soldiers, prisons, churches, command, and control rooms are different parts of the castle.
Tattoo with Persian henna in Qeshm Island
Traveling to Qeshm, try making tattoo with Persian henna.
There are some women sitting at the seaside that put tattoos of henna on your hands, feet, and face as you wish!
Iranians, especially in this part of the country, use henna in some of their celebrations.
Women decorate their hands and feet with unique patterns of henna.
henna is a herb with dark green dark leaves.
Valley of Stars
Known also as Stars Valley, it is one of the unique attractions in Iran. Near Borkeh Khalaf village, Valley of Stars is known for its strange rock formation. According to locals, a meteor hit the earth in this place and form this strange valley.
In fact, water and wind erosion form the valley for a thousand years. Due to its strange shape, locals believe that it is a haunted place, which is very terrifying during nights.
They believe that the strange sounds made at the valley by the wind are indeed made by fairy and demons. It is the main site of Qeshm Island UNESCO Global Geopark.
This beautiful village of Qeshm with more than 2000 years old of existence. It is in fact the fishing village on the northern of Qeshm. There are several wonderful wind catchers (badgirs).
Laft is home to many traditional cargo boat building workshops. There you can also find Naderi Fort, ruins of a Portuguese building. Tella wells, a place to store water, is another attraction of the island.
There you have the chance to visit the traditional skills of building and sailing Iranian Lenj boats in the Persian Gulf, as an intangible heritage registered in UNESCO.
Besides, Lenj is one of the oldest local industries in Persian Gulf. These hand-built boats were used for long sea journeys.
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Things to do in Qeshm Island
Traveling Qeshm, do not miss the chance to visit Hengam Island near Qeshm. So if you are lucky enough you can visit dolphins on your way to the place.
The interesting point is that there is no vehicle on Hengam Island.
There are beautiful beaches with crystal clear water that you can swim. In addition, you can find a lot of things made of shells and scallops at Hengam bazaar. So there are also local spices and oils available at the local market.
Fruit, vegetables, and fish are available in the Bazaar-e Bozorg in the morning. visiting the place you can get introduced to locals and their lifestyles visiting the place. So it is a great opportunity to meet the everyday life of the people of the island.
Best time to visit Qeshm Island
As it is a hot region of Iran, you can enjoy a very good temperature from January to March each year. So this is the best time that you can enjoy the nature of the island without annoying hot weather.
Lodgings in Qeshm Island
Traveling Qeshm, ecolodges are amongst the best options that you can have. Being economic, they are the best places that you can experience the everyday local life or people at these places. Besides, there are some beach hotels where you can enjoy the Persian Gulf and tranquility.
Located in Tabl village, the lodging provides you an opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of southern Iran culture.
There are two kinds of rooms in Parviz Lodging; one is traditional rooms on the first floor and the other non-Traditional rooms on the second floor.
In addition, All rooms are equipped with mattresses and linen, air conditioning systems, and free internet access.
Besides, by your request, local homemade meals can be served. You can sit, relax, and have a drink in the yard. One of the best features of this accommodation is its accessibility to the wonders of the pristine island.
Zinat Rituals Garden
The place is decorated with paintings and traditional decoration and is located in Salah village.
As its name suggests, many ritual ceremonies are performed at this accommodation.
There are 34 traditional rooms with a capacity of 80 guests.
In addition, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served for the tourists at the house.
Golden Beach Hotel
Located on the beach of the Persian Gulf, the hotel is 15 km from Qeshm.
In fact the hotel provides the opportunity to enjoy the tranquility on the coast of Persian Gulf day and night.
Additionally, it has 58 suites, and a special beach for swimming and water activities like jet skiing, water skiing, and fishing.
Besides, you can enjoy free breakfast, free high-speed internet, pool, and airport transportation at the hotel.
Souvenirs and handicrafts of Qeshm Island
You can find a variety of ornaments made by shell in Qeshm Island.
In fact, these beautiful handicraft pieces are ornaments or decorations for houses.
Beautiful necklaces, bracelets, earrings, sculptures, and other ornaments are also made with shells.
If you are in love with different tastes, may be Qeshm is one of the few places that you can find spices with their authenic taste.
So do not ignore this chance and celebrate the tastes!
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Local foods and desserts of Qeshm Island
This cuisine that makes of shark is one of the dishes that you should try while you are in Qeshm. It is not found in any other part of the country.
Above all, shark meat or flounder fish is the main ingredient of the food. Tumeric, onion, coriander, dill, tomato sauce, and dried lime powder are other parts of this delicious food.
Made in a village of the same name, this fluffy cake is one of the renowned sweets of Qeshm.
Flour, eggs, sugar, and vanilla are the main ingredients of Heller Cake. It is a tasty dish that you can only try in Qeshm.
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Best restaurants and cafes in Qeshm Island
Located near Zeytun Park, it has a great view of beach.
You can have great different kinds of seafood like lobster, shrimp, grilled fish, shrimps, and calamari.
It also offers different kinds of kebab, burgers, pizzas, and hamburgers.
The restaurant also have food for vegetarians.
Address: Zeytoon Park, Darya St., +98 936 397 4103
Ghaleh Seafood Restaurant
Opposite Portuguese castle, Ghaleh Restaurant offers Arabic foods.
So do not miss its cuisine with octopus (morrakab) if you visit there. There is a great sea view available at the place.
Address: South of Porteghaliha Castle, Qeshm, +98 76 3522 4765