Qeshm Island, located in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when people are thinking of Iran. In fact, many travelers are unaware of the beautiful islands Iran is rich. Unfortunate, because they make a great destination! Rich history, unique culture, stunning nature and a wide range of activities bless Qeshm Island, the largest Island of Iran. Additionally, Unesco recognized it as the only Geopark in the Middle East!
Rock formations, canyons, wildlife and the azure blue waters of the Persian Gulf make this island a dream-like destination. To help you find the most unique places here’s a list with five amazing places to see stunning nature in Qeshm island.
Described as one of the most important erosion phenomena in Iran, the Stars Valley is a popular place among visitors. The valley, with its impressive gorges, canyons, and stunning rock formations leave the impression that you’ve entered another world! Maybe it’s this impression that caused the local ancient belief that the valley has once been formed by a meteorite strike. Or they believe that the valley is home to goblins who voices howl in the wind as they move at night.
All the myths aside it’s been wind and heavy precipitation that shaped the lime-and sandstone valley over centuries of time. Because the rocks are brittle, it’s important to conserve the environment by staying on the footpath and refraining from climbing on the fragile rock formations.
Located only 23 kilometers from Qeshm city it’s a popular tourist destination. Most people visit in the early morning or at the end of the day when the temperature is cooler. Others visit at night and try to catch the magical sound of the winding goblins under the starry sky.
When visiting Queshm Island, the largest mangrove forest in the Persian Gulf should not be missed. Home to a variety of flora and fauna, the evergreen mangrove forest provides shelter for both migratory and resident animals such as birds, marine mammals and fish. See white flamingos, pelicans or Ospreys in their natural habitat, hear small birds singing and spot a green turtles if you’re lucky!
When visiting in the summer you can smell a subtle, pleasant fragrance that comes from the nectar-filled flowers produced by Harra trees. They provide a source of nutrition for wild bees who turn it into a delicious and aromatic honey.
The Harra mangrove forest is in close distance to the village of Tabl and can be visited daily. Enjoy the stunning scenery, flora, fauna and the majestic azure waters of the Persian Gulf by boat.
One of the most fascinating natural attractions of Qeshm Island is the Chahkooh Valley. A pleasant walk between enormous rocks, green trees, and slippery clay pools leads to a spectacular canyon that will surely leave you in awe. Tectonic compression as well as heavy flushing rains eroded the canyon and shaped the characteristic grooves in the walls. In an area where fresh water is scarce, the grooves act as natural wells that collect and store rainwater. Inspired by this phenomenon locals build larger wells to collect the rainwater to use it in periods of drought. This explains the name of the valley, which translates literally to ‘Well Mountain’
Stroll down the canyon, get mesmerized by the scenery, the shapes and the function of this valley. And be sure to enjoy some of the most memorable sights.
Located south of Qeshm island lies a small, but a stunning destination in the Persian Gulf; Hengam Island. Paradise-like beaches, colorful people and interesting marine-life characterize this low-lying island. Take an early morning boat to watch dolphins and turtles, search for some magnificent beaches and swim in calm, azure blue water. Observe some of the most intense, spectacular sunsets and see the beautiful, majestic deer who live on this island. Notice the remains of old Portuguese shipwrecks while strolling along the shore. And eat some of the most delicious fresh fish and crab samosa’s in one of the small restaurants overlooking the Gulf. Food is often served by friendly ladies in colorful traditional garments. Besides delicious food, you can also buy handmade souvenirs and support the local community by doing so.
Hengam island is a magnificent destination. Small boats departing from the Kandaloo Jetty bring you to the island in approximately fifteen minutes.
Last but not least is another natural phenomenon; the Namakdan salt caves. With a length of six kilometers, it said to be the longest natural salt cave in the world! Rent a vehicle and follow the scenic road along stunning rock formations, purplish mountains, and beautiful beaches to finally reach the destination. Take out your headlight or rent one on site and get ready to be amazed! See numerous salt crystals in pink, purple, blue, crimson red and white. Different layered colors sparkle like an oil painting under the headlight. Walk on thousands of small, pink salt crystals and hear them crack under your feet. And taste the salt, which is so soft and pure and filled with minerals and goodness. Additionally, your lungs might benefit from the slightly humid and moist air known for its therapeutic treatment.
Due to off-road conditions, the Namakdan Salt Cave can only be reached by 4×4 wheel vehicle. Visiting the cave is an experience on itself and definitely worth the drive.
Did you visit Qeshm island or any of these stunning destinations? Be sure to share your experiences through the comment section below.
Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out this list with most beautiful places to visit in Iran.