Qeshm Island's Shib Deraaz Village: A Resort Along Turtles’ Beach

A Resort Along  Turtles’ Beach
A Resort Along  Turtles’ Beach

The village of Shib Deraaz in Qeshm island, 47 km from Qeshm city and close to the airport, is famous for It’s Proximity to Turtles’ Beach. From this village, one can easily reach Hera forests (20 kms) and the Qeshm dolphins in a very short time.

Shib Deraaz beach has long been a place for Hawksbill turtles (Scientific Name: Eretmochelys imbricate) to lay their eggs. Before a public awareness campaign on the endangered species, the locals used to eat their eggs. In 2002, a project was launched to protect the turtles, seeking local people’s contribution. Since then, tourists travel every year to Qeshm and Shib Deraaz to see the process of laying eggs and the birth of little Hawksbill turtles.

With hundreds of tourists traveling there to see the turtles which come to the beach at night to lay eggs, it became necessary to provide them accommodation. Therefore, the local residents with the help of experts launched their “ecotourism residences”.

 Hosting Tourists

Mahmoud Fattahi, is one of those who have started to host tourists as a supplementary activity and is very content with the income. He has equipped his house to host travelers and along with his family also offers catering services to tourists. His residence has three rooms but without Internet access. Phone line and Internet access has not yet reached the village.

Changing the village to a tourist attraction has developed a market for Shib Deraaz women as well. They have launched their cooperative office for handicrafts in which around 30 women work and Fattahi’s ecotourism residence is one of the places where their works are sold. It is interesting that pictures of turtles are seen frequently on the handicrafts.

From Mehr (late September and October) to mid Farvardin (late March and April) is the high season to travel to Qeshm Island. Though the turtles only lay eggs in spring and sometimes a little earlier. The little turtles hatch 60 days after the eggs are laid, and seeing them crawl out is one of the most pleasant memories of every tourist. The little ones move towards the light, and find their way to the water. It takes 30 years for each turtle to mature and lay eggs. It is said that these turtles return to their homes one day so it is expected that by preserving and protecting Shib Deraaz, this village remains Turtles’ Beach.