A Guide to Qeshm

Qeshm is one of the most beautiful islands in the Strait of Hormuz in Iran. Interestingly, it is one of the largest islands of Iran and the Persian Gulf. With its many coasts, sand and mud shores, and forests, it has a diverse nature. Plus, there are some historical attractions in Qeshm. You can travel to Qeshm without a Visa since it is one of the free-trade zones of Iran. This island is only a few kilometers away from Bandar Abbas port. Notably, Hormoz, Lark, and Hengam Islands, and Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa surround this island. In this post, we get more into the points that make Qeshm an exceptional island. As an example, Qeshm Geopark is one of the UNESCO Global Geoparks. We will also talk about its points of interest, history, Local Food, how to get around, and more.


The Story of Qeshm

According to some fossil studies, the history of Qeshm starts from about 400 thousand years ago. Bit by bit, this island gained importance for the first human civilizations. During their time, fishing and ship making became the occupancy of the people of this island. Eventually, Qeshm became a point for seafaring in the Persian Gulf. It was due to the Suez Canal’s excavation and connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.  Accordingly, it happened during the reign of Darius of the Achaemenid.

The Post-Islamic history of the island

After the advent of Islam, the island went through a series of happenings such as:

  • Occupied by the Arab Kings for centuries.
  • Becoming a part of Iran during the reign of the Buyid Dynasty.
  • Occupied by the Mongols after the Mongol Invasion.
  • Becoming an interest to the European countries such as Portugal, Netherland, and England.

Interestingly, the Portuguese Castle is reminiscent of Portuguese occupation by Alfonso de Albuquerque. However, Imam-Quli Khan, the brave commander of Safavid court, took back this island from the Portuguese.

What Makes Qeshm Exceptional?

From the Stars Valley to Chahkooh Canyon, and from Portuguese Castle to Historical Wells, Qeshm is a world of wonders. As we mentioned before, the island holds one of the first UNESCO Global Geoparks in the Middle East. Plus, Noopak Crocodile Park in Qeshm is the only Crocodile Park in the Middle East. Also, you can enjoy playing several Water Sports. Plus, as a free-trade zone, you can find the best deals by shopping around Qeshm’s shopping malls and Old Bazaars. Qeshm’s culture and exquisite cuisines is another point that makes it a unique destination. With this in mind, we can now start getting more into introducing these points of interest. Also, we will be talking about the handicrafts and Signature Dishes of Qeshm.

Need to Know

People & the cultural customs of Qeshm

The locals of this island speak Persian with a southern dialect called Bandari. There are also traces of Arabic, Hindi, and English in this dialect. As for the local customs, there are many ancient religious and cultural ceremonies held in Qeshm. As an example, the Nowruz-e Sayyad day is when Fish-harvesters take a break from finishing. This tradition is a type of peace offering upon the sea life and nature with 600 years of antiquity. Playing traditional instruments and dancing are among other rituals on this island.

What is the best time to travel to Qeshm?

Qeshm enjoys warm and arid weather with relatively high humidity. Accordingly, the average temperature during the year is about 26 centigrade. However, the best time to travel to this island is:

  • From October till the end of March.
  • Early winter around November and December.
  • Around spring from March to the end of May. However, the weather can get warm around noon.

During these seasons, since the weather is quite delightful, the island can get crowded. Makes sure to book your accommodation and tours in advance. Keep in mind that from late-spring to the end of summer, the sultry weather prevails.

What is the best way to get to Qeshm?

You can reach Qeshm either through the sea or by plane. You may find international and domestic flights that land at Qeshm Dayrestan International Airport. Accordingly, you can get to Qeshm from Dubai, Tehran, Mashhad, Rasht, Shiraz, Isfahan, and Kish Island. On the other hand, you can reach Qeshm by ferries from several ports. Accordingly, you can get on a bus on a cargo ship in Bandar Khamir Port. Also, you catch ferries in Shahid Haghani Harbor in Bandar Abbas and Bandar Pol. For getting to Bandar Pol, you can get on a ferry in Bandar Laft. These ports have car and Passenger ferries. If you need a private guide, driver, or simply if you need to book domestic flights, trains, or intercity buses, you can get the best deals through Travelopersia.

How to get around Qeshm

There are no bus or metro services around Qeshm. That said, there are only taxi services available on this island. You can also rent a car to get around the beautiful island of Qeshm. Notably, Taxi and rental prices are much affordable. If you are looking for car rentals for your trips you can rent a car through Travelopersia.


The City Map

Trip Ideas

Qeshm’s Points of Interest

Qeshm island is perfect for having a beach adventure through the geological wonders of its canyons and valleys. Aside from this, there are some unique historical attractions on the island. Also, you can take part in many water sports or have a shopping day around the island. Below, we will be listing the main cultural and natural attractions of Qeshm. Moreover, we will be talking about the many exciting and adventurous things to do on this island. You can find more information on the following attractions by checking out our Blog posts.

Natural Wonders of Qeshm

  • Chahkooh Canyon’s natural rock structures in Qeshm Island’s Geopark.
  • Stars Valley, a mysterious valley made by natural erosion.
  • Naz Island( during the low tide, you can walk along the sea for about a hundred km).
  • Harra Forest, a Mangrove Forest in Laft Village and one of the best places for bird watching.
  • Kharbas Caves, a rock-cut ancient temple of Mithraism.
  • Namakdan Salt Cave

Historical attractions of Qeshm and Laft Village

  • Qeshm Old Bazaar
  • Portuguese Castle
  • Tala Historical Wells
  • Naderi Castle
  • Historical cemeteries
  • Windcathers on top of the old houses

Things to do and activities

  • off-road rides, horse and camel riding, parachuting, and diving in Naz island
  • Negin Sahel Qeshm Diving and Marine Recreational Center
  • Noopak Crocodile Park
  • Zeyton beach park
  • banana boats
  • Fishing
  • Parasailing
  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba Diving
  • Jet Skiing
  • Kayak And Pedal Kayaks

Shopping Centers

  • Setareh Qeshm Shopping Center
  • Ferdowsi Bazaar
  • Great Persian Gulf mall
  • Pardis shopping mall
  • City Center 1 and 2 Recreational and Commercial Complex
  • Dolphin shopping center

Nearby Islands and activities

  • Walking along the red sand beaches of Hormuz Island
  • Watching dolphins in Hengam Island

Local Food & Signature Dishes of Qeshm

There is a variety of seafood that you can try while visiting this island. On top of this, the locals make these dishes with fresh ingredients right out of the water. Notably, some of these dishes can be real spicey due to the different types of spices in their mixture. Aside from the local seafood dishes, you can find other traditional and exciting local food. You can try the main Iranian dishes and some local dishes in Qeshm’s restaurants.

Top Qeshm dishes that you would want to try:

  • Roasted fish or charcoal-grilled fish is one of the main local dishes.
  • Ghalieh Mahi, a famous southern stew with a mixture of vegetables, spices, and fish.
  • Squid or Ankas dish
  • Puddini, made out of shark or flounder meat.
  • Dishow, a traditional sweet rice dish with fish.
  • Zebon or Tahchin with fried potato, fish, and aromatic vegetables.
  • Havari, a shrimp or fish rice dish.
  • Moflak, made with wheat and fish.
  • Mahyaveh, a sardine dish.
  • Singow, a crab dish.
  • Boz (goat) kebab.
  • Maluk, an oyster dish.
  • Colomba, a fish and vegetable soup.
  • Dopiyaze, a southern dish made with shrimps and onion.

Now, there are also some edible souvenirs, desserts, and types of bread that you can find in Qeshm.

 Some of the main food souvenirs of Qeshm are:

  • Ranginak dessert
  • Tomoshi bread and dessert
  • Maluki sweets
  • Heller Cake
  • Southern Masghati
  • Arabic and southern coffee

Handicraft & Souvenirs

When talking about Qeshm, the first thing that comes to mind is its local costumes. One of the most popular types of women’s clothing is their colorful Burqas or scarves. Accordingly, this type of scarves covers the eyebrows and nose. There are also other unique traditional types of clothing that you can find on this island. Aside from these costumes, the main Handicrafts of Qeshm are:

  • Traditional skills of building and sailing Iranian Lenj boats (UNESCO intangible heritage)
  • Different types of sewing techniques such as Golabetoun Doozi, Zaribafi, Khoos Doozi.
  • Shell Handicrafts.
  • Basket and Mat-weaving or Sondbafi.
  • Kapkaap, a pair of wooden Sandals.
  • Oud, a traditional instrument.
  • Fishnet Knitting.