The Kish Island is located in the Persian Gulf and belongs to the territory of Iran. It offers everything you would ever miss on the Iranian mainland: sandy beaches, coral reefs, jet skis and sailboats. It is located about 20km from the mainland and can be reached both by plane and by boat. From Tehran you can also drive to Kish by car or a low-cost private bus.
Entry to Kish
EU citizens can travel to Kish via Dubai without needing an Iranian visa. A 14-day visa for Kish can be issued directly at the airport. Ladies beware: Shortly after your arrival, you will be escorted to a room where you will politely but firmly ask in broken English to cover your head and entire body with towels. Adequate clothing will be provided at the airport and returned before departure from Kish.
Holiday in Kish Island
The Kish Island covers an area of about 90km² and has about 20,000 inhabitants. Compared to the one million holidaymakers who visit Kish every year, the local population is almost out of the question. As a free trade area and small paradise with sandy beaches, coral reefs and historic buildings, Kish has become a popular holiday island. It has one of the most luxury hotels, which has been converted into the current Shayan International Hotel, and an airport big enough for the Concorde. After the Islamic revolution, Kish became a free trade area, making it one big shopping mall where people can shop until late at night until the credit card glows.
Even Marco Polo and Alexander the Great made on their discovery and conquest trains stop on kish. Even today, there are many things to discover here.
Sites on the Kish Island
The best dive spots are located on the coral reefs on the northern shoreline. This side of the island faces the mainland, making the sea calmer and the water clearer. About the shallow coastal region, where the water is not deeper than one meter up to 300m, you can go with glass bottom boats to the reef.
There are fantastic beaches on Kish on the entire coastline. The water is so clear that one can observe the colorful fish throughout the year also above the water surface. Beach walks and sports trips by Jet Ski or sailboat make Kish a unique holiday experience. The only drawback: men and women are strictly separated on the beaches and women have no access to some of the most beautiful snorkeling spots.
On the coast in the southwest of Kish is an old Greek shipwreck. To this day, it is not clear why it is stranded here. The locals say that the crew tried in vain to re-float the freighter, eventually giving it up and setting it on fire. The remaining steel framework can still be admired today.
The 1,000-year-old underground aqueduct, also known as an underground city, can be partially visited and used to serve the water supply of Kish. And speaking of the subterranean: an underground city is also artificially created, the "Kish Hidden Pearl". It is located 16m below the surface and extends over 10.000km2. During the excavations, coral reefs were found, artfully integrated into the complex of restaurants, resorts and spa temples.
Animal lovers are right in the Dolphinarium of Kish. The 70-acre park in the southeast of Kish also offers a close-up experience with dolphins, sea lions, crocodiles and beluga whales, a butterfly, orchid and cactus garden, an artificial rainforest and a volcano. Nearly 60 different species of birds, including pelicans, macaws, storks, toucans, swans and penguins, can be found in the birdlife. In the fish tank, the underwater inhabitants of the Persian Gulf are introduced. In Green Tree Park you can admire the oldest trees on the island without paying admission.
Also sports is capitalized on Kish. The Iranian island hosts the annual Professional Squash Association, Iran's Traditional and Heroic Games contests, and the Asian beach volleyball championship in 2006. Kish also hosts an 18- and 9-hole golf course, which also hosts competitions be discharged. Basketball, volleyball, handball, futsal, gymnastics, wrestling, karate, judo, taekwondo and chess are professionally promoted in the Olympic Stadium in Kish.
Tip: People sensitive to heat should avoid the summer in Kish, the thermometer can climb to over 50 ° C! In any case, always have a headgear and enough sunscreen. It is best to visit the holiday island from October to April, when the average temperature is between 18 and 25 ° C
Between the splendid luxury hotels, shopping malls and excellent restaurants, visitors no longer feel like they are in the Orient. Despite the western orientation of the island, some remnants of the original culture have been preserved. For example, strict prohibition of alcohol prevails on Kish and the beach areas where the ladies are allowed to take a bath are hidden from view by high corrugated metal fences.
Upswing: Kish is still strongly promoted by the Iranian government in terms of tourism and economics. Through large-scale investment projects Kish is expected to compete with Doha and Dubai. The Iranian Oil Exchange and the Kish Stock Exchange are intended to provide international money flows.