Exploring Iran covers more than just classic tours or other historical routes for sure. South of Iran, particularly Qeshm Island, is an unexplored region even for Iranians where you can gaze at incredible landscapes and experience exotic local lifestyle.
Besides, you feel the joy of adventure doing activities like snorkeling and watching amazing marine wild life. The biggest island of Persian Gulf, Qeshm, is the center of these activities but there are other hidden gems around offering stunning activities and experiences. Let’s see what amazing day trips you could have from Qeshm Island to neighboring Islands.
You have two ways to get to Qeshm. First and easiest is taking a direct flight to the Qeshm Airport. Second, taking a ferry from Bandar Abbas Port.
Qeshm Island is a part of Hormozgan Province and has been declared a free zone since 1989. What makes Qeshm Island exceptional is that UNESCO has selected it as a Geo Park. Geo Parks are areas known by their geological values and they are considered heritage of the earth so that people can understand the journey of life on earth.
Qeshm City is located in the eastern part of the island and there are many villages on the other side. If you’re interested in shopping, book a hotel in the main city, but if you are traveling to enjoy nature and adventure, stay at a village near Hara Mangroves Forest.
If you’re lucky, you may meet villagers with entertaining stories about the Island. Mind that they only speak basic English. You can stay the night at a local ecolodge and enjoy the taste of delicious local seafood such as shrimps, fishes, crabs, oysters, etc.
There are many activities to try in Qeshm Island. Perhaps the best one is boat riding in peaceful Hara Mangroves canals and enjoying the pristine nature, watching bizarre birds, tiny mudskippers tumbling in mud, crabs making sound and tiny silver fishes jumping up.
If you’re more adventurous, you can ask locals for paddle-boards. It’s hard to stand on them, if you are a first timer, but after one or two falls it’ll work.
Qeshm Island is home to many other attractions and activities. Read more about them on our Iran Travel Guide:
Make sure you haven’t traveled this long way to just visit Qeshm Island. There are three other islands around Qeshm you’d better not to miss!
Let’s see how to get to this red island! First you should go to Qeshm City and then Shahid Zakeri Port, there you can get on a ferry sailing to Hormuz Island but remember to ask about the departure timetable. Your journey will just take half an hour and then you’ll be in Hormuz Island.
Rickshaws are the most popular transportation means in Hormoz Island and you can find locals ready to help. There aren’t any registered lodging place in Hormoz Island; However, you can ask locals to help you with renting a homestay.
The list of Hormoz attractions is long, but try not to miss these three:
Mofanegh Beach is a beautiful bay covered with magical red and silver sand shining under the sun. You can relax on the beach or enjoy nature photography. At nights, you can watch the mesmerizing starry sky and depending on the time of year, you may see the bio-luminescent Planktons glowing magically near the shore.
If you like camping, this beach is a popular campsite but remember to bring essentials as there are no shops around and it’s not easy to get back to the town at nights either.
Valley of Statues with its giant strangely-shaped rocks reminds you of Si-Fi movies. If you continue hiking rocky trail, a dreamy view of Hormoz beach unravels, especially if it is sunset.
Rainbow Valley indeed lives up to its name. As you get through the entrance, of the valley, you’ll be dazzled by amazing rocks, stones, and crystals with various natural colors.
By the road you may ran into locals selling souvenirs and handicrafts made with colorful sands and stones.
Have you ever seen dolphins? Hengam is another island very close to Qeshm Island. You can get there from Shib Deraz Port. It takes around 30 minutes boat ride. The most popular activity in Hengam Island is watching a group of dolphins playing in tranquil ocean water. The boat riders know how to spot them while they are moving in different directions.
The pristine beach of Hengam Island called “silver beach”, is a nice place to relax and enjoy the view. This island is the habitat of different birds, gazelles, turtles and sea creatures like urchins.
You can also encounter friendly locals selling handicrafts made with shells and local sandwiches like Sambusa, Felafel, and Bandari.
If you like snorkeling or diving, Hengam is the nice place to try these activities.
These two islands are located near Suza Village in Qeshm Island. The Naz Islands (Naz means cute in Persian) are tidal islands. When the sea level is high they turn into beautiful islands surrounded by water and when the level is low, they are part of Qeshm beach. During the short time of high tide, tourists can get on these lovely islands and watch the beautiful views of Lark Island, Hormoz Strait and the Persian Gulf. You can also enjoy camel riding and behold fascinating marine creatures.
Note that south of Iran is too hot in summer and even spring. Plan your trip for winter or fall, otherwise bring equipment like sunglasses, sun protection cream, and suitable clothing.
Have you ever traveled to these islands? What was your best experiences? Let us know in the comments below.