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Kish island

Kish Island has a unique situation in the strategic Persian Gulf region amongst tens of large and small islands.
Kish Island
Kish Island

Kish Island is located in the Persian Gulf in Hormozgan Province in south of Iran. This island which was called “Qis” in the past, attracts a million tourists every year. Kish has a beautiful and unique nature, quiet beaches with coral sand, clear water with unparalleled transparency that enables the view of aquatics in a depth of a few meters, adequate vegetation, greenery and freshness, especially in the seven months of the year have provided an elegant outlook for this island which attracts a million of nature and sea lovers every year. Kish Island is flat in terms of terrain. The relative height of this island is about 32 meters above the sea level and the highest point is located in its east with an elevation of about 45 meters. Thus, the coast leads to the sea with a relatively gentle slope.  Kish Island has a coral structure. Coral islands are usually formed by the spread of coral and other organic materials on the anticlines, salt domes and volcanic materials.


Kish was of great significance at the time of the kings of Elam and Assyria, and the clash of civilizations of that time in particular Sumerian and Elamite and was deeply influenced by the culture of this civilizations. The majority of primary sailing ships of the ancient times came straight to the Persian Gulf from Susa and Karun River and from the Persian Gulf they moved to the northern coast. The islands of Hormoz, Qeshm and Kish were near the end of this area and as the main stopover for the preparation and exchange of goods and commercial needs of the naval bases. Since the Achaemenid, Parthian and Sassanid periods, this island was dominated by Iran.  With the spread of Islam, the island was obtained by Umavid Caliphs and this continued till the year 249 AH. In that year, one of the Iranian people disobeyed the caliph and captured all the islands of the Persian Gulf including Kish. Portuguese were in Kish till the Safavid era and unfortunately left no other traces from themselves except havoc, until finally Shah Abbas after finishing the war against the Ottomans initiated to release Bahrain, Hormuz and Kish from the foreigners’ domination.

In the Seljuk period, this island became the largest commercial center in the Persian Gulf. Kish was at the peak of development and prosperity during the fifth to seventh centuries. In addition, the testimony of the historians and Iranian and Arab travelers, the remains of the historic city of Harireh is a good evidence indicating that Kish was a beautiful city and one of the major trading centers during Ilkhanid, Timurid and Atabak periods. During Pahlavi period, the island was purchased and sold for several times. In 1970, the island was visited by the delegations of US and Iranian experts and according to the geographic and strategic location, Kish was considered as an international center for tourism - business. Finally, in 1992 with the establishment of Kish Free Zone Organization, the rapid development of the island began.


The weather of Kish is hot and humid and its average annual temperature is 26.6 ° C.  The climate of this island is under the influence of air masses of north-west and south, but totally is dry with little rain. Rain falls more in the form of shower during the winter months. The humidity is high in the summer and even reaches to one hundred percent. The best time to travel to Kish Island is the months of January to April. Kish Island has soft and lovely air in these months.

People’s Lifestyle

Deshdashe (long withe dress) is the local costume for men.  The main musical instrument in Kish is a local type of drum. Aboriginal traditional job of people is fishing, animal husbandry, navigation and commerce and people were engaged in pearling in the past. Kish local cuisine includes a variety of "Qelyeh", "Mazroubeh" and “Hariseh" which are often prepared with fish. The natives of the island are of the races of Dravidian, Nordic, Sami and black. They speak Arabic and Persian languages. Along with the tourist and commercial development in the island, a part of people are engaged in service works and the rest lead their life in traditional ways. Fishing and hunting are common among the natives. Local traders are working in the market of Safin.


The coast of Kish Island

Silver seaside, sunshine, blue sky, blue water, clean air and perfect peace have made Kish as a pearl in the Persian Gulf. One of the wonders of Kish coral Island is its silver coast. Its soil has coral structure with silver color which shines with striking brightness under the sun. It is a feature that lots of coasts, which are covered with sand, don’t have it. The sea water is transparent and can easily be seen from a long distance. Environmentalists attribute this property to the corals around the island and believe that corals naturally cause water clarity. In term of size, Kish is one of the largest beaches and travelers can relax away from the noises of other famous beaches. Fish and other aquatics on the coast of this island are regarded as its rare features. Very beautiful ornamental fish which are in the marginal water do not hide their existence from the audience, and can entertain the travelers for hours. At the same time the finest edible fish of the country are caught by the fishermen in this island. Fishing enthusiasts can catch fish in the island's southern and western coasts. Kish beach is one of the safest beaches in the world. Coastal water of the island has no dangerous sharks and swimming is safe. It should be noted that sharks seen on the beach eat small fish and are not dangerous for swimmers. Beach of this Island is a kind of exception, which can be used both in cool and warm seasons and it has the possibility of marine sports.

 Kariz Underground City

Kariz aqueduct is a tourist and historical area in Kish which dates back to more than 2,500 years. The aqueduct located at a depth of 16 meters below the ground and its roof is covered with shells and corals that are 270 to 570 million years old, according to the experts. The aqueduct covers an area of 10, 000 square meters and is in the list of the most important monuments of the world due to its unique characteristics, such as fresh water, cool air in the basement and its coral ceiling which is filled with ancient fossils. Kariz Underground City consists three aqueducts and 274 water wells. It is regarded as a recreational space that provides the possibility to visit the ancient aqueducts of Kish. Some of these wells are completely intact and some of them have been changed to form a cone for better air conditioning and lighting.  A part of this underground city is allocated to craft booths, art galleries, restaurants, museums and so on.

The Greek Ship

In the west of the Island, a huge ship can be seen on the shore which is known as "Greek ship". Greek ship is not important in terms of history. It was built by William Hamilton in 1943 in Port Glasgow in Scotland weighing 7061 tons and 136 meters long and on his return from Iran, ran aground in their  voyage to Greece and eighty days of attempts to pull the ship up were in vain. Many unsuccessful attempts were made to withdraw it and inevitably passengers were forced to leave it, because pulling out the ship was not a cost-effective operation. But what turns attentions to this giant old ship is its position in the west of the Island during the sunset. Sunset is of awesome landscapes on the coast of this island. The last rays of sun shine create yellow, red and orange colors across the whole sky and clouds shadow creates beautiful and romantic panel on the back of Greek ship.  That's why every day a large group of tourists and enthusiasts go to watch and take photos of this beautiful and fantastic scenery.

Harireh City

The ancient city of Harireh is located in Kish in Hormozgan Province and is considered as a tourist monument. In the north of the island and near Olympic sports complex, some ruins can be seen which are the memorial of the ancient city of Harireh . The golden age or the prosperity era of this city was from the fourth century until the early tenth century AH. This ancient city covers an area of 120 hectares. The archeological site of Harireh consists the aristocratic house, baths, mosque and old aqueducts, based on the results of the archeological excavations carried out up to now. What is left from this city is a volume of urban architecture and intact arches and ceilings are  seen rarely but in some cases some arch coatings remained safe against the deterioration. Harireh is one of the rare attractions of the island which was once a major port and connection between India, China, Europe, and Iran and today some earthen ridges are left from that.

Dolphin Park

The recreational complex of Dolphin Park is located in the southeast of this Island and covers an area of 100 hectares. The collection includes green space with a variety of different species of plants, together with birds’ garden and the first and only dolphin park in Iran. The different species of marine mammals, including dolphins, northern sea lion, southern sea lions, northern sea cat, dolphins and penguins which are trained by Iranian trainers can be seen and visitors can watch their artistic performances. A total of 21 marine mammals are kept in pools with a volume of 18,000 cubic meters filled with sea water. Green spaces of Dolphin Park include more than a hundred plant species, including thousands of palm trees, banyan, eucalyptus, acacia, mesquite, marshmallow, and more than 25 varieties of cactus and other plants that are unique in their kinds according to the climate and coral soil of the island.

Recreational Pier:

 It is a collection with  entertainment and recreational facilities such as jet ski , pedal boats (with a capacity of four), fishing boats, row boats, water tricycle, facilities for diving and glass-bottom boats used for watching the wonderful world of fish in the Persian Gulf. Recreational pier is located in the vicinity of other recreational complexes and is welcomed by tourists and families.

Anthropology House of Kish Island

The anthropology house is in a building dating back to 200 years, located in the oldest district of the island (old Safin). The house covers an area of one thousand and two hundred square meters with 15 rooms, two courtyards, chamber and one family courtyard. Its architecture is quite native. The house is built to introduce the unique history, culture, customs, lifestyle and crafts of the natives, with the purpose of job creation for the indigenous communities and sustainable tourism development. The house is a symbol of authenticity and hospitality of the people of Kish Island. In this house, the old way of life and jobs of the natives are introduced as well as a large number of old cooking tools, pearling, fishing, a two water wells to supply drinking water for residents are also exhibited for public view.

Kish Bazaar

Markets and commercial centers of Kish which are  unique in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East with their modern architecture are the economic motives of this island. These markets are operating as the representatives of the largest companies in the world and supply different types of good. The markets and the commercial centers are the attractions for a significant number of travelers.  Kish has 13 markets, most of them dates back to 10 years. These markets are run under the supervision of merchants and traders of Kish. Some of these bazaars are mentioned as follow: Marjan Bazaar, Pardis Bazaar, Maryam Bazaar, Zeytoun Bazaar, etc.



First you need to travel to one of the ports of Aftab, Charak or Lengeh and then you can enter Kish Island by sea and transfer your private car to this Island through huge ships.


There are several flights from Kish International Airport to other cities such as Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Tabriz, Bandar Abbas, Mashhad, Qeshm, Ahwaz, etc.  These flights are carried out by the airlines of Mahan, Aseman, Naft, Zagros, Iran Air, ATA, Caspian, etc.  The flight from Tehran takes about one hour and a half.


The end of the railway to Kish is in the city of Banadar Abbas and from there, you can continue your trip by car (indirect) or aircraft.



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