Qeshm Island

Qeshm, a historically charming island located a few kilometers off the southern coast of Iran, in the Strait of Hormoz. It runs parallel to the Port city of Bandar Abbas, in the Persian Gulf. It is the largest island in the Persian Gulf, consisting of extraordinary coastlines, stunning sand dunes and breath-taking forests.

The island comprises 59 towns and villages, all with their own unique feel. Many of the people keeping the traditional way, from their clothing to cooking and lifestyle. Fishing is their leading occupation and wow, is the seafood great. Always fresh and spiced up nicely with the traditional southern spice.

Seeing and riding camels is a normal thing there, which i thought was awesome. I get asked frequently if people ride camels in the Middle East and it’s funny because this was my first real experience with them.

Now about the attractions, there is just so many; the list is endless. All of which are truly spectacular, leaving you with some excellent memories. One of which, Stars Valley; is a natural consequence of wind erosion and rainstorm washing out from Cenozic Period (2 million yrs ago) up to now. It is a magnificent gallery of natural features, including columns, sharp cones, arches and edges all made from sand and natural cement. Based on locals beliefs, the valley is formed after a falling star, many centuries ago giving it, it’s name.

Another attraction, is The Mangrove Forest. Perhaps the most unique and exquisite attraction on Qeshm. It spreads from the Strait of Hormoz to the east on Oman beaches and Indian Ocean. At the time of low tide, the trees and their sludgy beds come out of the water and present a widespread island. At high tide, the water covers the forests and it disappears. This area is a very appropriate habitat for  birds such as seagulls, storks, pelicans, flamingos and eagles as well as a major habitat for reptiles, fishes, turtles and venomous aquatic snakes. According to environmentalists, about 1.5% of the world’s birds and 25% of Iran’s native birds annually migrate to the forests, which are the first national geological parks.

Other attractions are: Chahkouh Valley, which is jaw-dropping gorgeous! Created gradually by wind and rain. Many years later an earthquake took place and made an even more astonishing change to the already beautiful valley. There is The Salt Caves which are mountains in Qeshm that have turned into salt caves as a result of accumulation of sea water in deep fault and subsequent precipitation of salt. They are significant geological hallmarks. The Portugese Castle, built in the year 1030 A.H by Portugese commander Alfonso De Albuquerque. Constructed of reddish stone on a rocky promontory at the far north end of the island. The city of Laft, is a historical and ancient city which is dated to more than 2000 years ago. The natural view and scene of Laft is covered with green and verdant tropical trees, tall palm gardens, beside attractive and dazzling beauty of the sea and floating Hara forest that draw the newcomer’s attention. The architectural style of the houses of Laft are very amazing and attractive. The most obvious architectural features of the houses is their various windbreaks (wind’s towers) that are in different size. As well, The Khorbas Caves, these caves which are both natural and man-made, are located 10 km from Qeshm city on the slopes of a mountain which face the sea and Miyankaseh plain.There are four caves, which are connected from within, not all these caves are natural, but some of them been carved out by ancient Iranians, who have used them as they needed.

This astonishing island of Qeshm has so much to offer, I could go on and on.. but it is a must see; so I’d like to leave some of the attractions for your adventure!