Kish Island (economic free zone) is located in the Persian Gulf waters, to the southwest of Bandar Abbas, and is an oval shaped island with an area of 89.7 sq. km. Once a private resort of the former Shah and his elite guests, Kish is the more luxurious and developed of the two main Iranian islands. Like Qeshm, it is also a free-trade zone, and foreign tourists require no visa for up to 14 days, meaning that even if you cannot make it to the mainland, you can still hop over to Kish to get a taste of Persian hospitality.
the best months to visit are between November and March. Here are the top ten things to do and see on Kish Island:
Kish Island Beaches:
The coral beaches of Kish sparkle in the sunlight. This is something, which the sandy beaches of many resort areas around the world do not offer. The seawater near the beach is crystal clear and one can see the bottom of the sea up to a far distance. This is, of course, due to the corals around the island, which purify the water.Relative to its area, Kish has one of the longest beach stretches. Unlike the crowded beaches elsewhere, the beach here is a relaxing and peaceful place. The fish and other marine life in the coastal waters of Kish are very unique.
Visitors loose track of time when watching these species which are easily visible. At the same time, the best quality edible fish is caught here. The coastal waters of Kish are among the safest in the world. There are no sharks and swimming is totally safe. Tourists can use this beach and enjoy the sun and water all year round.
The 47-mile-long bike path snakes all around the island and is independent of car roads, making for a scenic and especially easy way to find secluded beaches and stop at your leisure to take pictures against the picturesque backdrop of the Persian Gulf’s azure water. Rental stations are located throughout the island, and bicycles, tricycles, tandem bikes, and scooters are all available to rent on an hourly or daily basis.
Kish is a trade free zone, making it a good place for shopping and trading. The price of goods in Kish are notably cheaper than in mainland Iran. Many Iranians and tourists visit Kish to purchase duty free clothes, electronic goods, cosmetics, etc. There are a number of large shopping centres, most of them situated in the eastern part of the island. Due to the daytime heat, most shops are closed from 13:00 until around 17:30. Some stay open until late into the night.
Here is the listy of The best shopping center in Kish Island: Paradise 1 & 2 International Mall, Paniz, Zeitoon, Morvarid, Venus, Marjan, Kish Trade Centre, Arab Bazaar, Roya Mall, ...
From parasailing to scuba diving, wake-boarding to jet skiing, Kish has it all. These activities are led by young, perfectly bronzed Iranian men and women who remind you that no matter what corner of the world you are in, surf culture is the same. While the mandatory hijab is still required on these islands, it is a bit more lax. For participation in these water activities, a swim cap suffices as hijab for women. If you do not want to actually get in the water, you can try the glass-bottom boats to catch a glimpse of the colorful sea life of the Persian Gulf’s aquarium.
Kish Dolphin Park:
The Dolphin Park is a 170-acre park that not only has marine life but also a variety of gardens, including butterfly, orchid, and cactus, as well as the largest pool on the island which houses dolphins, sea lions, and whales. The park’s Bird Garden includes over 47 species of birds and other animals. A full visit to the park takes a few hours, but it could be an exciting stop especially for visitors with children.
Grand Recreational Pier:
Kish Grand Recreational Pier was built with steel piling and wooden decks with four side-deck spaces by Iranian experts. This pier is 437 meters long, 18 meters wide and 10 thousand square meters in area. Its construction did not damage the marine habitat. Tourists can enjoy the natural sights from this pier while watching the colorful fish species of Kish coral beaches. The first phase of Kish Grand Recreational Pier was constructed within a short period of 20 months and inaugurated on the 27th of July 2006.
The Bird Garden is situated inside the Dolphin Park with more than 57 bird species, including Pelicans, Ostriches, Blue & Yellow Macaw, different kinds of Storks, Toco Toucans, Turacos, Swans, African Penguins and rare species like Marsh Crocodiles. This, undoubtedly, is one of the most unique animal centers in Iran. It is noteworthy to say that different kinds of species from the farthest parts of the world, from South America to Australia and from East Asia to Africa have been brought to this park.
The Mysterious Greek Ship:
In the west of the island, a massive ship has landed in the azure waters on the shores of Kish, which is known as the Greek Ship. On a hot summer's day, Kish natives saw a massive ship which had run aground near Baqou village with great astonishment. With the passing of years, the reason for the ship running aground remains behind a haze of obscurity.
The ship was built by the William Hamilton Company in 1943, weighing 7061 tonnes and measuring 136 metres in length in Glasgow – Scotland. On July 26th, 1966, when returning to Greece form Iran, the ship ran aground at latitude 20º 26' N and longitude 54º 53' E. The Dutch tugboat, Orinoko, spent 80 days in vain trying to pull the ship out.
Many failed attempts were made to free it, but the passengers were finally forced to abandon ship, because it was not financially feasible to move it. Information obtained from Lloyds of London insurance company show that the ship flew a Greek flag and was called Kolaof at the time.
The ship's first name was "The Emperor's Horn", then "Naturalist", and in the years 1959 to one year before its final anchorage, it was owned by the Iranian ship company and was called "Cyrus Fars" and "Hamedan". Watching the sun set slowly behind the Greek Ship in the azure waters of the Persian Gulf is an unforgettable and lasting memory.
This site located next to the tennis stadium is well worth a visit. It features a subterranean network of stone passageways built around a historic qanat. It's said to have been built some 2500 years ago to collect, purify and store water for the inhabitants of Harireh; given the arid climate, water was, unsurprisingly, a precious commodity.
Harireh Ancient City:
This splendid archaeological site comprises the remains of a large house with private qanat (underground water channel), a public hammam and a congregational mosque. It was originally positioned next to a busy commercial port; across the road, you can still see access stairs cut into the rocky cliff, as well as rock-cut wells and channels that were part of workshops producing date nectar, once one of the island’s major exports. Harireh is an easy bicycle ride west of the port.