If you’re looking for a relaxed, interesting and beautiful place to add to your Iran Itinerary then Qeshm Island is it!
Qeshm Island in Iran is very popular with local tourists as it is a duty-free zone but it’s amazing geological, natural and cultural sights are making it more and more popular with international tourists.
Located in the Persian Gulf, visitors can reach Qeshm by ferry or flight. One entire half of the island has been named a UNSECO World Heritage site and offers some amazing natural wonders. Qeshm Island is also home to some interesting traditional culture that you won’t find in the res of Iran.
Language: Farsi dialect, very little English spoken on the island
Currency: Iranian Rial (rates constantly changing due to inflation)
In order to understand the journey that earth has been through, UNESCO has Characterized some areas known as Geopark . The idea of Geopark started to become practical in 1999 by UNESCO.
The Global Geoparks Network (GGN), of which membership is obligatory for UNESCO Global Geoparks, is a legally constituted not-for-profit organisation with an annual membership fee. The GGN founded in 2004 is a dynamic network where members are committed to work together, exchange ideas of best practice, and join in common projects to raise the quality standards of all products and practices of a UNESCO Global Geopark. While the GGN as a whole comes together every two years, it functions through the operation of regional networks, such as the European Geoparks Network that meets twice a year to develop and promote joint activities.
Now the GGN continues to expand, drawing in new expertise and knowledge from all parts of the world and different cultures. And it’s always developing models of best practice and setting high quality standards for territories that integrate the preservation of geological heritage into strategies for regional sustainable economic development. On 17 November 2015, the 195 Member States of UNESCO ratified the creation of a new label, the UNESCO Global Geoparks, during the 38th General Conference of the Organisation. UNESCO officially started the program in 2001 and in 2004 GGN was formed by 25 Geoparks which were located in Europe and china. After all these years Geoparks are very popular now because of the sustainable development that helps the people of that area and of course it’s a heaven for tourists.
History of residence on this island refers to pre-Islamic period and perhaps due to its geographical position goes back to the Median kings. In general, the island and its ancient civilization have always been dependent on the Aryan tribes and the central government of Iran. With the advent of Islam and the beginning of the expansion of the Islamic states, the Persian Gulf and Qeshm Island were conquered by Muslims and a mix of Aryan civilization with Islamic culture arose. At the time of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian navy turned to the major naval power of its time, since they had to compete with the powerful naval powers of Greece, Egypt and Phoenicia.
Qeshm is the biggest island in the Persian Gulf and the world’s largest non-independent island which enjoys from the strategic position in Hormozgan Province. Qeshm Island is located a few kilometers off the southern coast of Iran (Persian Gulf), opposite the port cities of Bandar Abbas and Bandar-e-Khamir. The island lies strategically in the “Strait of Hormoz”, just 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the Omani port , and about 180 kilometers (112 miles) from the UAE, Port Rashid. The island, at its widest point, located near the center of the island, spans 40 kilometers (25 miles). Similarly, at it narrowest point, the island spans 9.4 kilometers (5.8 miles). The island is 3 times bigger than Bahrain, Qeshm located at the eastern point of the island, is 22 kilometers (14 miles) from Bandar Abbas while the closest point of the island is but two kilometers (1 mile) from the land.
The average temperature on the island is approximately 28 °C (82 °F). The warmest months are June through August, and the coldest from October to January.
Qeshm Island, along with Kish Island, is visa free for ALL nationalities for up to 30 days! That includes US, Canada and UK. Qeshm is visa free so it’s actually possible to visit as a US or UK passport holder!
Fishing is a leading occupation practiced by the inhabitants of the island. On what little cultivated land there is, dates and melones are grown. Salt is mined on the southeastern coast. This island is famous for its wide range of ecotourist attractions such as the Hara Marine Forests. According to environmentalists, about 1.5% of the world birds and 25% of Iran’s native birds annually migrate to the forests, which are the first national Geo park in Iran. An ancient Portuguese fort, historic mosques, the Seyed Mozafar and Bibi Maryam shrines, and various ponds and mangrove forests are among the tourism attractions in the island, which lays across the azure waters of the Persian Gulf.