The largest island in the Persian Gulf, 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-recognised Qeshm Island Geopark – bliss for nature-lovers.
Qeshm is a duty-free zone, but in a gulf increasingly full of gleaming skyscrapers it remains refreshingly attached to the age-old Bandari way of life. If you’re after an authentic island experience, Qeshm won’t disappoint. Here, locals wear traditional dress, live in houses cooled by badgirs (wind towers) and work in boat-building yards turning out lenges, the large wooden cargo boats that have criss-crossed the gulf for centuries.
The island has an abundance of wildlife, including birds, reptiles, dolphins, and turtles.
How to get Qeshm island
Travel to Qeshm by boat
If you are coming from Bandar Abbas the simplest way is to get on a speedboat or ferry at the main harbor, Shahid Haqani Passenger Port. There are lots of them departing every few minutes, dependent on weather. The ride takes between 30 to 60 minutes depending on the boat. You need to show an Iranian visa in your passport to purchase a ticket.
A car ferry leaves regularly from Bander-e-Pol, about 60km west of Bandar Abbas. It is allowed to go on the island with a foreign vehicle (they will want to see your Carnet de passage).
Travel to Qeshm by bus
Qeshm and its mainland port at Bandar Abbas are linked to all major cities in Iran by bus, both VIP, and non-VIP. If you are traveling from other cities, 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. 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.
Travel to Qeshm by plane
There are flights from major cities (Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Mashhad) to Qeshm International Airport by Qeshm Air, Aseman Airlines and Mahan Air. The airport is located in the middle of the island, near Direstan. Internal flights are cheap in Iran but essentially impossible to book unless you speak Farsi and have an Iranian credit card. There is a daily flight from Dubai that costs about US$ 40. Unlike Kish Island you need a visa for Iran if you are arriving from another country, you don’t get it on arrival.