Qeshm, the Hawaiien vacation in Iran, is the place where you’ll learn the island-y life the Persian way. Qeshm formerly known as Kishm is an island in the strait of Hormuz. The largest island of Iran is separated from the mainland by the Clarence Strait/Khuran in the Persian Gulf. With it’s sunny sky and blue oceans, Qeshm offers you a luxurious life-style in the south of Iran.
Meaning of Qeshm
When you google the meaning of Qeshm in Persian dictionaries, they say that this three letter word (in the Persian language), means “the water-way on earth” and what better name is there for an island.
The history of Qeshm
According to wikipedia The earliest evidence of human presence at Qeshm dates back to the Paleolithic Period. Paleolithic stone tools have been found at Bam-e Qeshm and historical records date far back into the pre-Islamic era. Throughout the years Qeshm, because of its strategic geopolitical situation near the mouth of the Persian Gulf, has been attacked by invaders many times. During the Sassanid Empire administration the island had a different name and was called “Abarkawan”.
Qeshm has been famous as a trade and navigation center. Its economy flourished as trade vessels sailed between Qeshm Island and China, India, and Africa. According to Cassell’s Bible, Qeshm is also a supposed site of the Garden of Eden.
The Portuguese Attack
Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese explorer, was the first European to reconsider the importance of Qeshm Island and its geostrategy in the 16th century and recommended the capture of it to the Portuguese government. Alfonso de Albuquerque was the commander who realized the dream of Vasco da Gama, and after capturing the island of Hormuz, he captured Qeshm Island, and built strong fortresses on these two islands.
From October 1507 to 1550, the Portuguese, with Hormoz and Qeshm, oversaw the Persian Gulf shipments, and when the powerful Ottoman fleet was addressed, it was only Qeshm’s geostrategy that prevented Portuguese defeat. One of the Ottoman commanders, Pirate Beg, with 16,000 troops and a huge fleet, set off to the Persian Gulf, and in Muscat, defeated the Portugues and seized it, capturing the commander of the Portuguese troops. Then invaded the island of Hormuz and Qeshm. But in Qeshm's particular position, the Portuguese resisted the Ottoman heavyweight and overthrew the Ottomans.
In 1552, the Ottoman government of Sardar Muradbik with 15 shipwrecks traveled to Qeshm Island, but the Portuguese resisted with the correct use of Qeshm geostrategy in countering the powerful attack of the Ottoman fleet. A year later, the Ottoman warships were completely destroyed by Ali Chalabi’s command, and the Portuguese became the absolute ruler of the Persian Gulf by having the strategic region of Qeshm Island.
On Jan. 19, 1622, during the reign of Shah Abbas Safavid, the Iranian government launched a liberalization of Qeshm. Imam Gholi Khan, the famous commander of the Safavid Army, moved to Gombron, and besieged the Qeshm Island.After three days of shelling the Qeshm Castle, they eventually fell down the fence of Qeshm castle. on February 9 this year, the huge Portuguese castle on Hormuz Island fell during a large earthquake and the Portuguese domination of the Gulf was closed. From this date, the dominance of the British East India Company was applied to the islands of the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz and Qeshm Island, and lasted for a century and a half.
What you need to know before visiting Qeshm
If you are planning to visit Qeshm and have some Questions before making your final decision, we are here to provide you with as much information as humanly possible. If you still have some unanswered questions after reading this post make sure to ask our bot.
Qeshm’s weather is exactly what you imagine as an island’s weather, sunny, humid and hot as hell, that is of course if you visit Qeshm in the wrong months. The warmest months of Qeshm are June through August, where the weather gods will make sure you get a cold shower every half an hour. But the best months or in other words the coldest months are October to January, where the average temperature is 27 degrees. Keep in mind that when you visit Qeshm in its coldest months, the nights are cooler so pack a jacket or two for your trip.
The population of Qeshm island is approximately 40,678 people. However the island of Qeshm is made from sixty-nine different districts, meaning that overall Qeshm is not a crowded island.
Airport and Transportation
Qeshm international airport or locally known as Dayrestan airport. Is near a village named Dayrestan which is roughly located in the center of Qeshm island. This airport is the one and only airport that Qeshm has.
You can’t find metro or buses anywhere once you get to Qeshm, the only way you can get from point A to point B, is by a taxi or a car of your own.
Most hotels in Qeshm have a contract with a car-rental place, or you can always book a taxi at the front desk. You can also find a car renting website to make your journey easier.
If you want to get from one island to another there are always various boat-taxis you can ride.
When it comes to hotels in Qeshm, depending on what your budget is, you have many options to choose from. If you want to save money, there are a variety of cheap hotels or hostels you can stay in, with the average cost of 15 euros per night. But if you want to experience the luxurious life-style while you visit, the average cost may go up to 40 euros per night.
When it comes to foods on an island we all know seafood is the way to go. Just like any other island, Qeshm has the most delicious seafood. You can find many restaurants in Qeshm that serve the best of the best. However if you are not so much into seafood, Qeshm also has Burger King and KFC and many more Fast Food joints. They also serve a lot of Arabic dishes. On a not so good note, we have to say, Qeshm doesn’t have many options when it comes to vegetarians/vegans, there is only one restaurant that is vegetarian-friendly throughout Qeshm which we’ll mention later on. Other than that you will probably only get to eat salads. Here is the name of a few restaurants.
This is a restaurant famous for its seafood and traditional atmosphere. In Shabhaye Defari you’ll have a variety of types of food whether it is seafood or arabic food.
Croll has a more up-to-date decor, it has quality food, good service and a nice vibe. Croll mostly serves seafood dishes with a few salads. Definitely not vegan friendly.
Shabhaye Talai Restaurant
Okay we promised you a vegetarian-friendly restaurant, this is it. Shabhaye Talai is located in a park named Park e Zeytoon, where you will have a beautiful view of the ocean and its beach, with great quality food. They have English menus there, which may be hard to find in Qeshm. Also they play live music and you can find hookah if you want a fun night by the sea.
KhanBoom Traditional Restaurant
KhanBoom is a cafe/restaurant place where you can find wonderful seafood, coffee and more. KhanBoom has a unique decor making it more cozy and fun.
Be sure to check the reviews online before choosing where to dine.
Top Attractions of Qeshm
The sunny sky, blue ocean and white sand beaches of Qeshm tempt you to do as much sightseeing as you possibly can. So make sure you check out the following.
The name Chahkooh means “mountain wells”. This Great Middle-Eastern Canyon is located fifteen kilometers away from “Tbal village” and it is a Global Geopark site, approved by UNESCO.
The floor of the Canyon is where the rainwater flows, this is why the locals have dug wells there to provide sweet water or edible water for the villagers. This phenomenon has been formed by sea waves, winds and rain throughout the years.
The arch-like structures that make Chahkooh valley, may break in areas that are weaker. Giving this great geo-site an exquisite look of its own, one you have to see with your own eyes to believe all its glory.
Qeshm’s Star Valley
Talk about a starry night on a romantic date, now multiply it by a thousand. Seeing all the stars at one place without needing a telescope. This valley of stars is just as marvelous during day-time, where you get to see the rocks that have morphed into magnificent shapes throughout centuries. Make sure to visit this bright night-sky during your visit to Qeshm.
Laft’s Tala Wells
“Tala Wells” meaning “golden wells” shows the important impact of water on human lives. The Tala wells are located behind a historical castle, in a crater, with a gentle slope made out of rocks, in a village called Laft on Qeshm island. Many believe that the Tala wells are dated back to the Sassanid eras. Villagers of Laft dug wells to gather rainwater so that they would have fresh water each and every day. The Tala wells count up to three hundred and sixty-six wells, one well for each day plus the leap year.
Qeshm’s Salt Cave
Leave it up to Iranians to come up with the most fitting names for places, “Namakdan” which literally means “salt shaker” is the name of the largest salt cave in the world.
Given its interior salt stalactites and crystals, and saltwater flow outside, Namakdan Cave displays eye-catching scenery as every part of this natural attraction offers a unique view. The cave, 90 km off Qeshm Island, has several major and minor passages.
Inside the caves are completely dark and you need a bright flashlight in order to visit crystalline salts. The ceiling has been covered by marble and crystal in different forms and they have created a novel perspective. Salt water flowing on the floor of the cave is also a pleasant view.
Fun fact, or a rather creepy one. Due to erosion the Namakdan Cave has a lot of holes and different shapes within it, so when the wind blows it makes weird sounds. Thus some of the locals believe that the salt cave is where the ghosts pass during night. They avoid the cave at night like the plague.
The Geopark of Qeshm
While according to UNESCO the island of Qeshm is a Geopark for nature with twenty-five different Geosights and is the most important ecosystem on earth, Qeshm island does have a single-standing Geopark of its own. Where you get to see the wildlife in their purest form. From flamingos to dolphins you will get to enjoy the wildlife in each and every season.
Naz island is one of the seven wonders of nature, so?, what’s so special about an island? Well, what if I told you you can walk on water. Yes it is true, here is the trick. The Naz island has three massive rocks standing out of the ocean, during tide specifically when the water is falling you get to walk on these rocks that are now covered in water without getting wet, giving you the illusion of walking on water.
Other than that, there are many island-y sports you can play during your visit to Naz island. From the sky to the ground Naz island presents you with Paragliding, Kiteboarding, Off-roading and a lot more. But to be honest walking on water is much more fun!
Hengam island is one of the places that the Portuguese had attacked and lived in during safavid. If you visit Hengam island you can see their old boats sitting on the shore or it’s better if I say where the shore was before global warming happened.
But this is not why Hengam Island is so popular, the most joyful sight in Hengam is its dolphins. Hengam island is located two kilometers to the south east of Qeshm island, for getting there you will need to get on a taxi boat and that is where you get to feel the joy that dancing dolphins give you. Hengam island is famous for its naughty and playful dolphins.
Another sight you get to see in Hengam island is its silver beach and glowing blue water. Yes I said silver and glowing in a sentence! One of the most unique places in Hengam is called the Silver beach. The sands of this beach contain materials that make it look shiny. Apparently due to some negative environmental impacts by some of the visitors in recent years, there are restrictions for entrance to the Silver beach of Hengam.
But now let us explain the glowing blue waters of this magical island. The Phytoplanktons that float at the surface of the water close to the shore, emit a bright blue light of themselves which creates a glowing line across the coast. This natural phenomena only happens when the sea is fully calmed and there is no wind at all.
Shopping in Qeshm
When you think of shopping, you might think of a mall. Qeshm’s City Center might pop up in conversations when you ask where you can buy anything. However this typical modern day mall might not do Qeshm any justice.
If you are looking for souvenirs, you might want to check out the local bazaars of Qeshm.
⭐ Best For:
Natural and Geological Attractions, The Persian Gulf, Shopping, Water Sports, Scuba Diving
🕌 Top Sights:
Chahkuh Canyon, Hara Sea Forest, Stars Valley, Naz Islands
🛏️ Where to Stay?
Arta Hotel, Iraman Boutique Hotel, Khaneh-e Doost Eco-lodge
😋 What to Eat?
poodini-e Kooseh, Kolumba
💭 Interesting Fact
Qeshm Island is the only UNESCO Geo Park of the Middle East