According to Britanica.com, Qeshm, also spelled Qishm, is the largest island in the Persian Gulf, belonging to Iran. It lies parallel to the Iranian coast, from which it is separated by the Clarence Strait. With an area of 460 square miles (1,200 square km), it has an irregular outline and a generally rocky coast except for sandy bays and mud flats fringing the northwest. Irregular table-topped hills almost cover Qeshm; several are over 900 feet (270 meters) high and one, Kīsh Kūh, reaches 1,331 feet (406 meters).
Qeshm is in fact the continuation of the Zagros folds and has formed in the third period of geology. Qeshm is a very large Island; the largest dependent island in the world. Kish Island considers to be the most famous island of Iran, but we should know that if we have fourteen Kish Islands they will be altogether close to the size of Qeshm Island! Due to this expanse and width from the west to the east, Qeshm contains many species of plants and animals that many of which are rare in the entire world. From dolphins, turtles and crabs to seventy three species of birds, as well as foxes and gazelles and fish species … even a fish that breathes outside the water.
The island is mostly barren, but cereals, vegetables, melons, and dates are grown, and there is fishing and weaving. A sheikh of the Banū Maʿīn tribe administers the island for the Iranian government. Qeshm is fringed with biologically diverse mangrove forests, attractive beaches and 60 Bandari villages. Its sun-scorched interior features geologically significant canyons, hills, caves and valleys, most of which are protected as part of the UNESCO recognized Qeshm Island Geo-park, a bliss for nature lovers. The island has an abundance of wildlife, including birds, reptiles, dolphins and turtles.
Unlike many parts of the country where women have shed traditional regional attire, the women of Qeshm Island mostly wear the colorful bandari pants, loose at the top and tight at the bottom with vibrant embroidery. A loose cotton chador with rich, bright flower patterns covers their heads.
Local cuisine, especially on Qeshm, which sees most tourists, is plentiful and delicious, with seafood offered once the sun sets and residents get out by the water. Octopus, fish and shrimps are sautéed with onions, tomatoes and local spices, and put into a sandwich with pickled cucumbers and cabbage. A local mix of ten spices and herbs including turmeric, cloves, dried rose petals and cinnamon makes meals exemplary.
Qeshm Island, along with Kish Island, is visa free for ALL nationalities for up to 30 days! That includes USA, Canada and UK. Qeshm Island is shaped like a dolphin! There are boats leaving all the time from the Shib Deraz port with a really good chance of seeing dolphins, although never guaranteed. The boat tours also stop off on nearby Hengam Island where there are some local craft stalls. It would take several hours to describe the beauty and uniqueness of Qeshm Island, so go and see for yourselves.
Some to see at Qeshm Island:
Qeshm Town, Hengam Island, Dolphin Tour, Dargahan Bazaar, Star Valley, ChahKooh Canyon, Namakdan Salt Cave, Mangrove Forest, Bandar-E-Laft, Naz Island, Ship Yard
Sometimes nature with magic attractions surprises you and makes you think. Every piece of nature features a hand-painted artist who patiently bursts millions of colors and creates many designs, but to some places we get a panel of thousands of patterns ahead of us; which spans millions of years. Chahkooh canyon is a view of eroded-rock with the depth of 100 meters, in the middle of the monolithic-stone mountain cut crosswise. It’s a four straits from four sides’ valley, which have been wide at first and their width gradually reduced. It is gloomy there as the sun light is limited because of the high walls.
The type of Chahkooh rocks is sedimentary known as limestone related to the Zagros Mountains. Chahkooh is a wonderful valley created by water erosion and dissolution led to the creation of parallel lines in the Chahkooh valley walls, deep and long slots and a variety of holes in shape and ledges on the perpendicular body of the valley and rocky streams in the valley floor.
As soon as you enter the valley entrance, you will see a natural statue known as the “Three Guards”. Then they reached the four wells that were dug by the residents in the valley to store some fresh water.
After passing by, statues, bowls and niches are seen on the wall of the canyon. The relatively high vertical walls, separate you from the outside world and you will be encountered with the amazing shapes such as parallel and deep grooves and erosional lines, and all kinds of semi-spherical and elliptical cavities. Shellfish are also seen in parts of the wall and can be traced back to the presence of sea water there in the past.
Chahkooh Canyon is one of the most amazing attractions on Qeshm Island, which we highly recommend to visit.