For our new years retreat we hopped on the ferry to two of Iran’s favourite island destinations: Qeshm and Hormuz.
The ferry service runs from Bandar Abbas to Qeshm very often, about 5 times a day. Ticket was 135,000 Rial, and additional 100,000 for each bikes. The additional charge was annoying because only after you’ve loaded your bikes onto the boat do they ask you to pay. It’s difficult to trust anyone because as foreigners we’re always paying extra.
Qeshm is the biggest island in the Persian Gulf and stretch along the southern coast of Iran. After 45 minutes journey over the calm sea we arrived.
There were many natural attractions scattered around Qeshm. Mostly interesting geological formations.
First attraction was the Star Valley. An absolute fascination. They were actually closed on the day we showed up. However the ticket booth operator quietly let us in. It was so much better enjoying an attraction all by yourself, and only 10 others.
Naz Island is accessible by foot on low tide. There is a sandbar allowing anything from cars to camels to cross. We hid our bikes behind the sand dunes and walked over to the little Naz island.
Looking back at Qeshm we could see all the paragliders up in the air. It’s a nice stretch of beach where you can swim, collect seashells or enjoy a sunbath (wouldn’t recommend though, it’s very hot)
Next stop we arrived at the town of Tabl. We arrived in the afternoon hoping to see some bird action during dusk but there wasn’t much. Perhaps next morning we’ll get to see flamingos.
We camped under a picnic shelter but it was noisy all night long. People would drive in on their motorbikes late at night. They were curious about our tent and would come in for a peek if anyone is inside. That scared the hell out of us every time.
No flamingos here
Hormuz is a small island you could cycle easily in one day. We took the 2pm ferry from Qeshm to Hormuz for 150,000R (+100,000R for bikes). It was good they had two services, the other was at 7am!
The map had a spot for viewing the sunset called “Sunset Abyss”. We arrived in time, along with many tuktuk taking other ferry passengers, to see the sun slowly descend above the sea.
When everyone was gone we put up our tent and stayed there for the night. We have learned to cook dinner after dark because the flies will be gone. They are so aggressive here, even on your bikes they will still annoy you.
Camping in the valley was so peaceful. We had the whole place to ourselves to enjoy a quiet night.
By next morning people were already back. Some locals had set up shop along the track preparing for tourists from the morning ferry.
Mountains of White and Red
From the road we could see mountains of white and red. It was like Mars. Unfortunately being with our bikes meant we were limited to wherever the road took us.
The rocks here are so strongly coloured it gave us an ever changing view from the bikes. Although we couldn’t hike those magnificently coloured mountains, we still enjoyed cycling past and around them.
We have picked Hormuz to be our favourite. It was small, but we thoroughly enjoyed the ride around the island. There weren’t as many attractions as Qeshm but the entire island was an attraction. Both are deserving of a visit and you’ll be able to see a more relaxed version of Iran, a happier and care-free Iran.
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