With a beautiful silvery beach, clear water, abundant date palms and acacia trees, Kish is a visual treat for everybody. This oblong island, about eight by four miles, gained a deservedly great importance in 12 A.D. when it replaced its more ancient rival Siarf which at that time was destroyed in a horrible earthquake.
The Pearl of the Persian Gulf
Kish Island has a unique situation in the strategic Persian Gulf region among tens of large and small islands. This island is so beautiful and attractive that it has become known as the Pearl of the Persian Gulf since ancient times.
Its calm coasts are covered with coral sands that shine in the sunlight, creating a unique and fascinating sight. The clear coastal waters allow one to view several meters deep into the sea and watch the beautiful movement of the fish. Diverse plants and native trees, as well as a pleasant climate seven months a year are among the outstanding characteristics of the island.
The island has attracted many tourists, travelers and writers throughout history due to these very characteristics. Among those who have written in praise of this island are Niarkhous, the Greek navy commander who traveled to Kish in 225 B.C., and wrote about its beautiful palm fields, Marco Polo, Ibn Batuta and Hamdullah Mostofi, as well as Ms. Fatemeh Al Ali the contemporary Kuwaiti writer who traveled to Kish in February 2002 and compared the island to a “gem on a king’s crown”.
Around 40 years ago, when a group of western experts came to the island to survey its tourism situation, they compared it with the best tourist islands in the world and predicted a bright future for it. Since then Kish Island has taken long and proud strides in order to realize the position that it deserves.
Due to its natural attractions, pleasant weather more than seven months a year, and several recreational and sports centers, today the island has turned into a favorite tourism destination in Iran and the region.
The coral coasts of Kish Island have a special glow under the sunlight. The seawater near the coasts is so clear, that one can see the depths of the sea and all its aquatic life that are unique in their kind. These beaches are safe and there are no dangerous creatures in the region; thus those interested in fishing and swimming can go for their favorite sports. Tourists can benefit from Kish beaches, sea and sun all year round.
Kish has a variety of tourist attractions that can be of much interest to a wide category of tourists. Its untapped nature, beautiful beaches and green areas, alongside the clear azure waters of the Persian Gulf have created a unique combination. Due to the short time the tourists have for visiting different places on the island, they usually prefer to visit the following attractions:
The Ancient Town of Harireh
Most probably the ancient town of Harireh is the same town mentioned by the renowned Persian poet Saadi in his book Golestan. According to the writings of Iranian and Arab historians, the town of Harireh had been located in the center of the northern part of the island, where the ruins of the city can be seen today. Visiting this ancient town is an opportunity to get acquainted with the island’s history while having a nice time at the Green Tree Recreational Complex, situated near the ancient city.
Ancient Water Cellars
The inhabitants of Kish, in the past, used a kind of traditional storage system to gather rainwater. These storages were dug in the ground and built with a domed roof. With the emergence of water desalination facilities, these storages lost their significance. But their remnants are still an interesting site for tourists to visit.
Underground Town of Cariz
The Kish qanat is more than 2,500 years old, and currently it has been converted into an underground town at a depth of 16 meters below the surface, with an area of more than 10,000 sq m. In the reconstruction of this qanat named Cariz, spaces have been allocated to handicraft stalls, restaurants and traditional teahouses, amphitheaters, conference centers, and art galleries. Efforts have been made to preserve the traditional and historic fabric of the site.
Sunset by the Greek Ship
Years ago, for some unknown reason, a Greek cargo ship got close to Kish’s coasts and was stuck in the mud. Watching the sunset beside this ship is fascinating and the atmosphere created to rest near the ship is very popular with tourists.
Photo: Kish Trade Promotion Center, Wikipedia