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Qeshm Calling in Winter
Travel

Qeshm Calling in Winter

Winter is no excuse to stay at home. The southern lands are calling. Far from heaters and warm, cozy corners, there is a vast stretch of coastal lands north of the Persian Gulf, where travelers can set up tents and enjoy the mild weather which has no trace of winter, biznews reports.
The island of Qeshm, whose various natural attractions take more than a couple of days to visit, lies in the midst of the south, in the strait of Hormoz, which connects the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman.

 Stepping on the Isle
Those traveling by car should first drive to the port city of Bandar Abbas, capital of Hormozgan Province. A 120 km ride from Bandar Abbas takes one to the smaller port of Bandar Pol, where travelers can leave the land and board the ferries in their cars.
Other than air travel, there is another convenient route to reach the island of Qeshm; 14 km west of Bandar Abbas, there is a port named Shahid Rajaee where 70 million tons of cargo are handled each year. ‘Water’ buses of Shahid Rajaee take travelers to Qeshm.
Currently, there are numerous tours for the island, costing between $100 and $300, depending on the duration and means of travel and lodging.
As it often happens, visitors may lose themselves in markets of Qeshm and Dargahan, the two major cities of Qeshm island, unaware of the charming nature out there.

  Beaches
Zeytun beach, at the southern end of Qeshm city, is totally made of rocks and corals. The impact of waves on the coral reefs has created spectacular scenes. Simin beach however is sandy. Sand-covered coasts of Qeshm island are good places where tourists can sunbathe and relax. The famous Rigo coast is a place where turtles emerge from the water to breathe and feed.
Diversity of foodstuff and organic materials resulting from the alternate rising and falling of the sea has provided a rich habitat across coastal areas, known as mangrove forests. They are home to various species of birds that nest and lay their eggs there.

  Kharbes Caves
Few years ago, Qeshm Free Zone organization decided that the island caves be renamed from Kharbes to Khorbes, but old habits die hard; locals keep calling it Kharbes all the same. The caves are 15 km off Qeshm city, nestled in the heights, facing the vast stretch of the sea.
They were first created when waves washed away sedimentary walls of the mountain. Later, local people further carved the caverns and interconnected them. Mollusk fossils from millions of years ago can be seen on the walls of the caves.

  Salt Caves
Salt caves lie farther. Some 90 km away from Qeshm city, the salt caves are located in the southwestern corner of the island. The caves are 2 km from the coastal road. They are in a mountain which is 237 meters high. They may be of salt, but they are real; visitors should take torchlight and other spelunking gear with them.
There are four smaller islands near Qeshm, namely Hengam, Larak, Hormoz and Naz.

  Hengam Island
Hengam island is 33.6 sq km in area and looks like an incomplete cone facing the southern coasts of Qeshm Island. The island is made of lime hills. The main economic activity on Hengam island are fishing and handicrafts. The women of the island know well how to tattoo. Many visitors go there just to get a henna tattoo.
Hengam island is an important habitat of chinkara, a gazelle native to Iran, Pakistan, and India. The gazelle is still smuggled out to Arabian countries. Hengam is also home to crocodiles, and visitors can see dolphins early in the mornings. To do so, it is better to go to Kandalu pier where boats are ready and waiting. The water is so clear that one can drown just by looking into it.

  Larak Island
Larak island, in an area of 84.7 sq km, is made of conical volcanic mountains. It has a number of salt springs and very beautiful beaches. There is no agricultural activity on the island and the sole economic activity is fishing and diving. They drinking water is obtained from wells and pools.

  Hormoz Island
Hormoz island of 14.9 sq km comprises sedimentary and igneous rocks, mostly covered by salt layers in the form of hills. Its highest point is 186 meters above the sea level. Due to low precipitation and salty soil, there are few water sources and vegetation on the island. The main income for the islanders is extraction and export of the red soil. Blue salt and stones are other products of the island.

  Naz Islands
About one km away, Naz Islands are located east of Qeshm. The islands are about 3 hectares. Cliffs, about 5 meters high, make up the beaches of the flat islands. At low tides, a narrow passage connects Qeshm to Naz islands. Nobody lives on the islands. Fishers have built temporary resting places.

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