Unlike what you may imagine Iran has surprisingly beautiful islands such as Qeshm. But remember the beaches are not about beers, bikinis, getting tanned naked under the sun, etc. As you know we need to go with Iran’s dress code. However optimistically, this might be a good chance to chill out and enjoy the beach and the beauty far from the crowded full of music environment, without worrying about how much alcohol you’re gonna pop up.
Qeshm is only one of many Islands in the Persian Gulf but it is the biggest one. The island is nominated as UNESCO Global Geopark. As the name conveys there is a lot to discover in its beautiful nature. Besides the water games; swimming, jet skiing, sailing, etc. Qeshm has gone through a lot during history so is also a good historical attraction.
Let’s get to know the top 10 attractions in Qeshm Island;
1. Chahkooh Canyon
On the eastern side of the island, the magnificent Qeshm attraction, Chahkooh Canyon, stands tall. With 100 meters depth and walls full of wonderful shapes and fascinating notches created by erosion. Imagine walking amid two high cliffs, the further you go the narrower it gets. And when you look up you will only see a small part of the sky from the narrow groove above your head. While walking through you will see shells which are evidence that one day the canyon was part of the sea.
No words can describe the marvelous beauty of the canyon. Camping there for the night, you will be mesmerized watching over a zillion stars. Please remember since it is a no reception zone, and you are not familiar with the area, you’d better leave for camping with a guide.
In the past, they called it Holy Chahkooh, since it was a natural reservoir and saved the rainwater for them to drink.
2. Khorbas Cave
Khorbas Cave is the continuation of Zagros mountain range folds located among coral hills. These folds are considered as ancient geological phenomena. The cave’s origin dates back to Medes (6th century BC). Khorbas has four entrances to the cave overlooking the south coast of the island.
The narratives say it was a temple to worship Anahita, Goddess of fertility, health, and wisdom. However, it is not yet for sure. There are some holes on the walls as windows to watch the view. Moreover, the ancient carvings in the cave are really outstanding.
It is interesting that the existing shells inside the walls, remind you this hill was under the water, once.
3. Hara Forest
Whenever we think of forests, walking through the trees comes along with it. But this is not true about Hara Forest. To enjoy the striking beauties of this one you need to row a boat or ride a motorboat!! 🙂
Hara Forest trees are living in the salty waters of the Persian Gulf. The forest is one of its kind and one of the rare natural phenomena. But how they survive in salty water is the miracle these evergreen trees do. They receive the salty water, ward off the salt, and use the freshwater.
Every year a lot of migratory birds find refuge from cold weather here.
4. The Valley Of Stars
Qeshm Island and another unique geological phenomenon, the Vally of Stars. This valley is a result of erosion of the earth. This two million years old natural structure has experienced enormous amounts of erosive factors to find a shape like this. 15-meter tall earth columns that resemble the Kaluts in the Lut Desert have strange shapes that make you feel butterflies in your stomach.
The locals believe a star has fallen and created these changes that’s why they call it “Setareh Kafteh” which literally means Fallen Star.
5. Namakdan Cave
Salt caves are naturally made. Namakdan Cave is one of them. With 6400 meters length, it is the longest salt cave in the world. It’s amazing that the cave is older than the Cambrian period, something about 570 million years ago.
Salt deposit layers and various minerals, has created a fascinating colorful view on the entrance. Every layer has a lot to say about different eras of our planet. The floor is covered by crystalline salt among stalactites.
The salt of Namakdan Cave is used for different medical purposes. For instance, staying in the cave can help respiratory patients to recover better.
6. Portuguese Castle
Almost on the eastern point of Qeshm island, the Portuguese fortress is struggling to stand tall. The crumbling attraction of the island dates back to the year 1507 when the Portuguese colonized the Persian Gulf.
Commander Afonso de Albuquerque ordered to build the red stone fortress on 2000 square meters of land using limestone and gypsum with local mortar. There are other Portuguese Castles lying on the shores of Hormuz and Larak Island. This fortress seems to be more of a store for their ammunition and weapons, however, it was to support the other two fortresses in case of emergency.
7. Naz Islands Of Qeshm
One kilometer away from the Qeshm coast you see the three Naz islands. And some cars parked on their shores. But how did they get there? During the ebb, the hidden narrow shore that connects these three to Qeshm comes out of the water. You can walk, drive, or ride to the islands then.
Camel riding, horse riding, jet skiing, sailing, scuba diving, offroad riding, paragliding, etc. are the available entertainments to enjoy the day. Many tourists visit here to experience joy.
8. Qeshm Eagle Snout Turtles
Unfortunately, eagle Snout Turtles are an endangered species that has chosen these shores to live. They grow to one meter long and 80 kilograms weight. Today their numbers all around the world are not many and yet the main habitat of this species is Qeshm island that’s why many tourists come to Qeshm to visit them annually.
Fortunately, in 2016, they provided a protected area for them to spawn and let the little ones grow safely.
9. Qeshm Dolphins
They say before 60 million years ago dolphins were overland animals but due to some harsh conditions, they moved to waters and transformed during the ages.
Between Qeshm and Hengam Island, in the Persian Gulf, many dolphins live. They are intelligent, kind, and playful creatures. People love them so much. That’s why riding boats to see the dolphins is one of the most popular attractions for tourists.
10. Hengam Island
Unlike Naz, to visit this wonderful island you need to ride a boat that you will really enjoy. And you might be thrilled by seeing a group of lively dolphins on your way.
Hengam Island is located two kilometers away from the southeastern shore of Qeshm. There are no cars on the island, instead, a lot of unique beauties to experience the best feelings ever. Silver coast, wildlife, shining waters, red soil, and local bazaar are the top attractions here.
In short, Silver coast sand is silverish and shines under the sun. About the shining waters which are marvelous, I should tell you at some nights on the island the water gets shining blue. It’s all because of the phytoplankton living in the water. In some special conditions, their metabolism causes such a phenomenon.
The wildlife consists of dolphins, chinkaras, uromastyx aegyptia, and eagle snout turtles which seeing each arouses a breathtaking sensation in you.
Final Words About Qeshm
If you are fond of window-shopping and purchasing, Qeshm Islan has a lot of malls to visit. They are located in Qeshm city. Normally prices are cheaper than anywhere else. You can also visit Qeshm Old Bazaar.
Another hint for food lovers, taste the local food, you will love it.
I hope you get the chance to visit Qeshm Island and see it for yourself. Because words are nothing compared to what you will experience here. The good news is you can visit the islands of the Persian Gulf visa-free for 14 days. If you need any detailed information or any questions do not hesitate to contact us. Our experienced guides will be more than happy to help you.