Skip to content

Best Island to Visit in Iran: Kish vs. Qeshm

Stranded from the mainland and the hum of busy metropolis life, Islands are unique in the recreational options they can provide. This makes them a very popular choice for a holiday getaway.

Located in the Persian Gulf over 22 KMs off of the mainland of Iran, Kish and Qeshm are no exceptions. Kish is the third most-visited vacation destination in the southwest Asia, and Qeshm is a UNESCO global geopark that has carved its own niche in the tourism market. They are both free-trade zones, which means everything is much cheaper to buy, and tourists will require no visa upon entry for stays of up to 14 days.

Despite their multiple similarities, Kish and Qeshm are quite different. It can seem hard to decide which one might be the right destination for you. But read on to learn about three key differences between Kish and Qeshm that will give you a clear image before doing your hotel booking online.


Kish: There aren’t many historical or natural spots to discover on Kish, but the island offers quite a few magnificent historical wonders.

The Underground Town of Cariz is a 2500 year old located 16 meters beneath the surface. The Greek Ship is an old ship-museum built by the UK in Iran over 70 years ago. The Ancient Town of Harirehis estimated to be over 800 years old and is free for all to visit.

Qeshm:Qeshm is filled with untouched natural spots. It was designated a UNESCO global geopark to raise awareness in preserving the natural treasures of this island.

Environtmentalists believe that about 1.5% of the world’s birds and 25% of Iran’s national birds migrate to Hara Marine Forests every year. The Namakdan Salt Cave is a mystical network of caves that you can explore with the help of a guide. The surrealValley of Stars is the perfect place to watch the sun set. The Fort of Our Lady of the Conception or the Portuguese Castle is the last remainder of the Portuguese colonial rule in the Persian Gulf.

Clearly, Qeshm is the winner of the two islands if you are looking for pure, untouched natural wonders.

Recreational Facilities

Qeshm: Qeshm doesn't seem to hold up to other resort islands if you are looking for a large variety of recreational options, but it doesn’t come up short either.


Qeshm has Iran's largest safari resort.

You can visit the Crocodile Farm inside the city, speedboat to Hengam Islands and watch the dolphins, spend an afternoon in the ParvanehTalayi Aquarium to witness over 180 types of rare fish, go Safari Driving, or shop in the Qeshm Old Bazaar.

Kish: Over the years Kish has grown to accommodate almost any recreational facility you would expect from a resort island. From snorkeling, surfing, water skiing, scuba diving, dolphin parks and crocodile farms to underground cities and huge shopping malls, your options are endless in Kish.


Our winner in this category is Kish because (in terms of recreational facilities) it offers anything Qeshm can give to you, with quite a few more.


Qeshm: In short, Qeshm hotels are mostly budget options. You can find rooms for as cheap as 8 euros a night. A decent 3-star level hotel won't cost you any more than 17 euros per night, while the best ones aren't more expensive than 32 euros per night. But even the best Qeshm hotel cannot compare with good 4-star or 5-star hotels.

If you like apartment hotels then Qeshm offers an abundance of them and they're all pretty neat.

Kish: Kish offers a diverse range of hotel types. The most expensive hotel in Kish is the luxurious Toranj hotel, priced at over 100 euros per night. There are other 5-star hotels that are half as expensive as Toranj, and are only a little less luxurious. There are also a variety of budget Kish Island hotels and apartments that you can choose from.

Overall, Kish wins in the accommodation category as it definitely caters to a larger variety of tastes.

In a Nutshell

In a nutshell, Kish is more luxurious and offers a wider range of recreational facilities and hotel types. Qeshm is filled with untouched, preserved wildlife and nature, but it doesn't quite hold up to Kish in the other aspects.

About the author

HoomanDehghani is a content writer at Snapptrip, a full-service travel booking company based in Tehran, Iran with a mission to empower customers’ choices in booking their whole travel online. An avid traveler and a passionate writer, Hooman wants to spread the beauty of Iran to the world.

Skip to toolbar