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Kish Island, a Premier Destination for Domestic Travelers, Seeks More Overseas Arrivals

Kish Free Zone Organization CEO Rahim Sarhangi has said the southern Iranian island seeks to attract more international visitors.

“We are planning to attract more foreign travelers who spend in dollars…. And, to achieve this purpose, we must develop the necessary infrastructure,” Sarhangi said on Sunday.

He made the remarks at a ceremony to pay tribute to local veterans of the sector, attended by the deputy tourism minister Ali-Asghar Shalbafian and tens of hoteliers, travel agents, and tour guides, Mehr reported.

“There are many potential travelers from all parts of the country and neighboring countries that can be attracted. For this purpose, the level of service quality on the island should be raised,” the official stated.

Referring to Kish as a value-for-money destination, the official said: “The best kind of advertisements are the ones that are passed on from heart to heart. So, we should not make the tourist feel that he went to Kish and spent a lot of money, but he did not enjoy their travels.”

“In order to raise the island’s revenues, we must welcome foreign tourists. We have to enhance investment in the tourism sector from the island’s annual income portfolio or else the same thing will happen as has happened in recent years.”

Amongst the Persian Gulf islands, Kish is the most luxurious and developed one. Except for its unique nature, such as waters and shallow beaches, the tourist attractions of this charming island are due to its rich historical background as well as its kind and hospitable people.

The pristine and beautiful nature, the meeting of land and sea, clear sky, pleasant air, and pleasurable reverberation of the waves create such a sense of calm that one cannot even distinguish between imagination and reality.

Some one million foreign and domestic tourists travel to the coral island per annum. Here is a selection attractions on the island:

Underground city

Not many people travel to Kish for its historical attractions, so it surprises them to know that Kish has one of the oldest underground cities in Iran, Kariz Underground City. Kariz literally means Qanat or aqueduct. Kariz was built some 2,500 years ago by the inhabitants of the Harireh city in order to collect pure water.

This ancient structure has been preserved but modernized with the addition of handicraft stalls and a traditional teahouse. Visitors can take a walk through the city’s tunnels and watch the coral ceiling, which holds ancient fossils of fish and shells. Kariz has also a steady cool temperature in all seasons, never going above or below 22-25 Celsius.


Located in the central, northern part of the island, the 8th-century Harireh offers a glimpse of ancient architecture, and though not much of it remains intact today, the ruins suggest a once-thriving region. Excavation of this site estimates it having been established around 1000 and abandoned 600 years later.

Greek Ship

Khoula F., known by the locals as the Greek Ship, has been anchored on the southwest coast of the island since 1966. The ship was built in Britain and changed owners several times before reaching the last owner, who was Greek. The Greek Ship has become a major Kish tourist attraction in recent years, where hundreds of people gather on the beach to watch the beautiful view of the sunset in the evening.

There is a wide range of facilities on the Greek Ship beach, including Iranian and Lebanese restaurants, coffee shops, and bike rentals.

Coral beach

Located on the east side of the island, this beach is named for the beautiful coral that can be found there. The coast is lined with pergolas, which, along with the palm trees and landscaping, provide an especially panoramic view. This beach is a particularly popular site to watch an unforgettable sunrise. Many of the sea sports clubs are also located here, making it easy to make reservations for any of the activities.

Green tree complex

The north of the island, a particularly green area known as the Portuguese Valley, is the location of the Green Tree Complex, which was built around one of the oldest lur (banyan) trees. Said to be around 600 years old. Many believe this tree is auspicious and come here to make a wish and tie a thread around the thick twisted branches to make it come true, a necessary act for finding your soulmate! The rest of the complex provides a wonderful green space in which to relax with a glass of hot Persian tea or perhaps a cold ice cream.

Dolphin park

The Kish Dolphin Park is a 100-hectare massive entertainment park located in the southeastern part of Kish Island. It hosts over 20 types of sea mammals, including dolphins, sea lions, catfish, walruses, and penguins. There are buses inside the facility that you can take to visit the different parts of the park, including the dolphinarium, the bird park, and the different pools that host different sea mammals.

Bird garden

The bird garden is situated inside the Dolphin Park with more than 57 bird species, including Pelicans, Ostriches, Blue & Yellow Macaw, and different kinds of Storks, Toco Toucans, Turacos, Swans, African Penguins, and rare species like Marsh Crocodiles.

This, undoubtedly, is one of the unique animal centers in Iran. It is noteworthy to say that different kinds of species from the farthest parts of the world, from South America to Australia and from East Asia to Africa have been brought to this park.

Theme park

The Ocean Water Park is the first themed water park in Iran that was opened in January 2017. This outdoor park is themed around the story of the Mystery of the Sun Castle, implemented by the Disney legend and veteran architect Ahmad Jafari.

The theme park employs over 400 staff and contains 13 rides, four swimming pools, and one spa, in addition to two restaurants, four beverage stops and coffee shops, and two shopping areas. In the first six months after its opening, the Ocean Water Park set new records in Kish Iran tourism by attracting over 80 thousand tourists.

Recreational pier

Kish Grand Recreational Pier was built with steel piling and wooden decks with four side-deck spaces by Iranian experts. This pier is 437 meters long, 18 meters wide, and 10 thousand square meters in area. Its construction did not damage the marine habitat.

Tourists can enjoy the natural sights from this pier while watching the colorful fish species of Kish coral beaches. The first phase of Kish Grand Recreational Pier was constructed within a short period of 20 months and inaugurated on the 27th of July 2006.

Source : Tehran Times