Qeshm is the largest island in the Persian Gulf, with rocky coastlines that protects a mountainous and often beautiful interior.
The coast is dotted with small villages and towns. Qeshm Island is free duty zone.
If you are coming from Bandar Abbas the simplest way is to get on a speedboat at main harbour. There are lots of them departing each few minutes. The ride takes between 20 to 40 minutes depending on the boat. The rate for the big ferry-type was 100,000 IRR in May 2014.
A car ferry leaves regurelaly from Bander-e-Pol, about 60km west of Bandar Abbas. Total cost of return ticket for one car and two persons is 180,000 IRR (rates of November 2011). It is allowed to go on the island with a foreign vehicle (they will want to see your Carnet de passage).
If you are traveling from other cities, then it is easier to book a direct bus to Qeshm instead of going to Bandar Abbas and then take the ferry. Note that the buses coming from the west don't take the ferry from Bandar Abbas to Qeshm but cross more west towards Laft. Also, the buses might drop you off near Dargahan from where a shared Taxi to Qeshm shouldn't be more than 40.000 Rials per person. Especially the buses to Qeshm might be means of transport for oil too. Beware that the oil might leak into the luggage room of the bus and get your luggage soaked in. To be on the safe side, get your luggage wrapped in plastic bags or foil before boarding a bus to Qeshm.
As of September 2014 a VIP night bus including a chicken kebab with rice from Shiraz to Qeshm Island cost 360.000 Rial and took about 9,5 hours.
Unlike Kish Island you need a visa for Iran if you are arriving from another country, you don't get it on arrival.
There are flights from major cities to Qeshm Island by Qeshm Air.
There is a daily flight from Dubai that costs about US$ 40.
Qeshm Island is very long (approximately 150kms from east to west), and its main attractions are far away from each other, and therefore taxis are strongly recommended. When going outside of Qeshm city it is safest to get yourself a private taxi that drives you around and back later as it might be hard to find a taxi somewhere on the island. Hitchhiking is also quite doable and some locals understand the word hitch (though pronunciations vary from hitch to heetch).
The cheapest and safest way to get a taxi is through a hotel, although hailing them of the streets is easy. Haggling is recommended but some drivers will give quote the exact rate (Be wise and distinguish between these two behaviour): hotel staff cab advise in advance of the legitimate rates to destinations.
With the Saman Taxi company as of September 2014 a Taxi cost 200.000 Rial per hour.
In emergencies wave to any vehicle to attract a lift (but remember, don't show a "thumb up" sign as its considered an obscene gesture. The driver might ask you to pay but you can refuse and just find another car as there is plenty of traffic.
Chahkouh Valley at Qeshm Island
- Hara Marine Forests (Mangroove Djungle). According to environmentalists, about 1.5% of the world birds and 25% of Iran's native birds annually migrate to Hara forests, which is a national park. It's a mangroove tree forest that depending on if it's high or low tide partially grows under water. You can rent small boats there to take you around and into the many water ways in the forest. While it is possible to go at low tide, boats can only actually go inside the forests at high tide so it is advisable to time your visit there. The cost for a boat as of September 2014 is 600.000 Rial. edit
- Portuguese Castle. It's centrally located in Qeshm city and is partially intact. edit
- Qeshm desert. A bit west of Qeshm there is a small but beautiful desert part with super soft sand and actual dunes. It's reachable with a 4x4 car, while locals also go in there with their mopeds. Access it from Qeshm city or alternatively it's possible to go from the small street that goes off the main highway towards the Kharbas caves. Follow the street beyond the caves into the flat terrain in the middle of the island and then follow the off road ways eastwards. It turns off-road quickly, but the landscape is stunning to see. edit
- Namakdan salt cave & dome. edit
- Naaz islands. edit
- Kharbas caves. edit
- Crocodile farm. edit
- Qeshm roof. edit
- Star Valleys. Beautifully surreal valley that is untouched nature. Awesome spot to take photos. It's nice and quiet and a perfect spot to enjoy the sunset. They close at 7 but as sunset usually is not later than 6 there is enough time to get back to the entrance by then. Probably not too accessible in flip flops. edit
- Laft Historical Port. edit
- Chahkouh Valley. edit
- Bukhow Mountain. edit
- Basira Mountain. edit
- See all of island with Small Plane. edit
Meet friendly people and listen to the traditional music. Hiking around the Islands and Diving in Persian Gulf.
Qeshm is a duty free zone, meaning it is possible to buy things here free of duty. Here there are many bazaars in Qeshm and the near town of Dargahan where shirts cost around $US2 and trousers for $US5.
- Iranian cuisine — in the city centre or the main town named Dergahaan has a wide array of conventional eatery-stalls and restaurants. those eateries serve almost all Iranian cuisine with some speciality dishes of Qeshm. The most common item is the Iranian variant of the shewerma, or Arabic meat sandwich. Kebabs and other Iranian dishes are available.
One of the best restaurants is named "Nights of Island" in pardis junction. This restaurant has a great view to the Hormoz island and the sea.
- Restaurant Shabhaye Talai, Park e Zeytoon (in the Park e Zeytoon), ☎ 0936 39 74 103, . 6-2 pm. One of the best restaurants in Qeshm. It serves seafood, traditional Iranian food and fast food in town. Also you can enjoy a fine tea with a marvellous shisha. It is located directly at the beach of Park e Zeyton and has a fantastic view on the Persian Gulf.Sometimes there is live music in the South-Iranian Bandari style, the crowd just loves it. The owners speak English and German and of course Persian. Foreign travellers are more than welcome and get the best service also for arranging tours etc or other important information. edit
Like mainland Iran, alcoholic beverages are not served on the Island. The tea is light, good in taste and is kept at every home, shop and other social places.
- Qeshm International Hotel, Bahman Blvd.,
- Tolla International Hotel. 10 kms away from the city centre and approximately an hour from the Qeshm International Airport, which makes this hotel very calm and a little secluded. The hotel is comparably cheap and has an extensive courtyard area for walking or jogging. Tree-lined walkways and the long benches installed on the sides are best for the evening stroll and rest. It also has a couple of restaurants serves a nominal but satisfactory Iranian cuisine, and most widely Indian and continental cuisine, a couple of coffee shops, a videoke (Video Karaoke Bar) and an internet cafe (bandwidth speed is slow). 100,000 IRR for single men and women (for beds located in what range from 2-person rooms to 10-person villas—; 300,000 IRR for an entire villa.. edit
- Assad's Bed&Breackfast, Bandar'e Dulab (West part of Qeshm Island), ☎ 00989362477331 or firstname.lastname@example.org. checkout: 2pm. A charming bed&breakfast in Dulab, a calm village of the sea coast of Qeshm Island. The place is really well situated just 5 minutes form the sea. From this B&B, numerous possibilities to discover the countryside. Assad can arrange tours to saltcave's, canyons and dessert by car or offroad by motorbike. 10 $ incl. food per person.. edit
- Hassan's home stay, Haft Rangoo (Close to Tabl, west part of the island), ☎ 00989179032762. A very tranquil family owned home stay. Hassan also arranges tours to all the different attractions on the island. For two people we paid IRR 350.000 for a night. Breakfast IRR 100.000, lunch IRR 150.000, dinner IRR 100.000. edit