A wonderful trip to experience a unique and very special, indigenous region of Iran; the mysterious and tropical nature of Iran’s islands makes them the perfect destination for an adventurous cold-season trip. Two of these islands are a must-see, not to mention that there are no requirements for an Iranian visa.
Qeshm Island, the largest island in the Persian Gulf!
Qeshm Island is larger than 23 countries in the world. The vast land area along with a diverse nature has put this island on the list of the world’s geotourism sites. The untouched nature of Qeshm Island and its distance from urban landscapes has adorned the life of the local people more than ever. Floriated and colorful clothes of the locals is perhaps a hidden wish for rain and prosperity in this dry and barren land. The Qanats (underground irrigation canals) of this island are perhaps the evidence of this people’s endeavor to survive in such a dry and rough environment. Although dry and very hot, this island houses unique natural landscapes. Qeshm Island is located along the salt and sedimentary layers of Zagros mountain range. The shape of mountains and valleys on this island are quite eccentric and spectacular. Stars Valley abounds with such natural artwork. Another example is Chahkouh Valley whose rocks have been bizarrely carved by natural erosion. Man-made caves can be found on the side of a mountain locally called Khorbas Caves, which apparently, were the site of religious rituals over 2000 years ago. Qeshm also has a large area of marine forests (Hara mangrove forests) leading you from dry land to vegetation.
Other tourist attractions of Qeshm include: Namakdan salt cave, Qeshm castle, Guran historic dam, and Statues valley. The vast land area of Qeshm makes it impossible to name all the attractions.
Hormuz Island, a rainbow mountain on water!
Hormuz Island (also Hormoz) is located 20 nautical minutes off the east coast of Qeshm Island. Upon setting foot on Hormuz Island, ancient ruins of a red castle attracts the eye. This is the 400-year-old Portuguese Castle, which is now a spectacular ruin. Here, you can find ancient canons and a large water reservoir.
However, this castle is not the main attraction of Hormuz. Moving beyond the Portuguese Castle into this salt island, you will find yourself in one of the most marvellous places on earth, also known as the ‘heaven of geologists’. The whole island is covered with wonderfully varied and vibrant, coloured soil. In every corner of the island, you will see a different colour and texture. Hormuz is so colourful that in previous years, celebrating the day of tourism, the Hormuz Municipality, with the help of the locals and artists, used to create a multicoloured carpet on the beach entirely made of the local soil.
While in Hormuz, you may also like to visit the great salt mountain here, and also the incredible rock formations in Statues Valley. Similar to Qeshm, Hormuz Island houses Hara forests and offers a different and paradoxical landscape.
Traditional food and staying in local homestays are additional delights to be enjoyed on these two islands and not what you may expect.
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