Kish Island, often referred to as the Pearl of the Persian Gulf, is one of Iran’s beautiful islands and a touristic resort located on the north east of the Persian Gulf (Khalij-e Fars) about 17 km (10.2 miles) from the southern offshore of the mainland Iran. With an area of 90 square km (36 sq. miles), Kish is known for being a beautiful resort in the Middle East. Kish Island has relaxed laws in comparison to the rest of Iran. Like almost all parts of Iran, inhabitants of Kish are friendly and hospitable.



Introduction to Kish Island 

Kish Island is situated in the Persian Gulf, 19 kilometers off the southern coast of mainland Iran, belonging to Hormozgan Province.
Covering approximately 91 square kilometers, the island boasts a diverse landscape.
Kish has a very hot climate due to geographical and regional conditions. In fact, summers on this island are very long and sometimes reach up to 90% humidity. In Kish you will rarely see rain except in winter and in the form of rainstorms. Therefore, it can be said that the best month to travel and stay in Kish is between January and May, where you can escape the cold in other parts of the country and seek refuge in the cool air of Kish.
Interesting thing about Kish climate is that the oxygen on the island is pure that even pulmonary patients do not need to use oxygen capsules and this feature is only available in five locations around the world.
The average annual temperature of this beautiful island is about 24 degrees Celsius. Most of the island’s vegetation is composed of palm trees, although native to the trees are Persian Kahur, Eucalyptus, Acacia and Albizia lebbeck. Most of the vegetation and trees in this area are resistant against heat and dehydration. Undergoing substantial development in recent decades, Kish has evolved into a major tourist destination. Kish Island was selected as the first free economic zone in Iran in 1982 and is now one of the most active free zones of the country. One of the goals of Kish Island is the development of tourism and commerce in the region; in addition to its historical attractions, the island has been equipped with numerous hotels and entertainment centers.


A couple watching sunset in Kish island



History of Kish Island

It is said that since the Achaemenid Era, the island has been under Iranian control. With the spread of Islam in the region, the Umayyad Arab caliphs dominated the island of Kish until 863 AD. The Persians took control of the whole Persian gulf region under Buyid dynasty, and this continued until the Timurid Mongols. The golden age of Kish Island was the time of the Seljuks, when it became the largest trading center of the Persian Gulf.
But a bit later, a tribe called “Qiasareh” came to power in Kish – Originally poor people who lived on piracy but they shortly managed to fortify economic foundations of their government. These rulers were descendants of a person called “Qays” – A reason why the island is now called “Kish”. With the assassination of “King Sultan” – the last ruler of Qiasareh – their reign on the island was terminated.

In 1506 AD, Kish was occupied by the Portuguese, but at the end of 1621 during the Safavid Empire Era , Imam Quli Khan, seized all the islands of the Persian Gulf along with Bahrain. Then Kish was recognized as one of the Iranian islands again.


Imam Quli Khan

Imam-Quli Khan, the son of the renowned Georgian general Allahverdi Khan in the service of Iran’s Safavid dynasty. He played a significant role during the early 17th century. Imam-Quli Khan was initially appointed as the governor of Lar in Fars and 1613, he succeeded his father as the governor-general of whole Fars region.

Responsible for safeguarding the Safavids’ southern territories, Imam-Quli Khan continued his father’s efforts to undermine Portuguese positions in the Persian Gulf.
In 1621, he successfully persuaded the English East India Companyto collaborate with the Persians by leveraging trading privileges.
With the support of the English navy, Imam-Quli Khan’s forces captured the strategic Portuguese fort on Qeshm Island and laid siege to Hormuz and Kish islands. Both surrendered after a ten-week defense, marking a significant victory against Portuguese influence in the region.




Attractions of Kish Island

The following are some of the most important attractions on Kish Island.


Harira (Harireh) 

The city of Harira or Harireh , located on the north of the island, dates from the 16th century. Remaining ruins of this city served as an important commercial center during the financial boom of the island. Total area of this ancient city is 120 hectares consisting of ruins of wealthy houses, Jame Mosque, and the public Bath house which can be visited at central parts of the old city. At the northern end of the ruins, near a long rocky shore, one can spot remains of walls, deep wells, and water channels, attracting keen visitors of the site.


Kish island attractions: Kariz underground city and Harira City Harira ancient city, Kish, Iran 



The Kariz or the Persian Qanat of Kish, dating back to more than 2,500 years ago, is actually an underground water canal, known as a historical attraction of the island. This qanat is about 16 meters deep underground and its roof is covered with clams and corals to protect against heat. In 1994 a traditional market was established in the site with the aim of presenting traditional Iranian art and handicrafts from different provinces of Iran.




Greek ship of Kish

The Greek ship, one of the tourist attractions of Kish Island, was stranded near the village of Baghou in August 1966. This ship was built by William Hamilton in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1943. The length of the Greek ship is 136 meters and weighs 7061 metric tons. The cause of the ship’s sinking is still unclear.


Sank Greek Ship in Kish island





Coral Beach

The Coral Beach Park (Sahel-e Marjan), located near the Coral Market (Bazar-e Marjan) , is considered one of the most beautiful sights in Kish and links the coral market to the sea. Kish’s coral reef has many beautiful corals, colorful mussels, snails and marine rocks.


Sea turtle swimming in coral beach in the Persian GulfCoral Beach, Kish, Iran



Dolphins Park

Dolphin Park is about 100 Hectares southeast of Kish Island. The complex includes a green area with a variety of plant species, bird garden and the first Dolphinarium in Iran. The dolphinarium is home to a variety of marine mammals, including dolphins, northern and southern sea lions, northern sea cats, penguins and more.


Dolphins swimming in Persian Gulf, Kish island




Local people in Kish

The island’s permanent population is about 5,000, called Kishvands. The majority of the island’s inhabitants are natives who live in their own neighborhoods in the old town. Most Indigenous people live on fishing, sailing and animal farming, and in the recent past Pearl fishing has flourished among them.




The Ocean water theme park

Iran’s most exclusive outdoor water park, was inaugurated in Kish Island on the occasion of Iran republic anniversary.
Ocean Park’s equipment are ranked among the most advanced and up-to-date gaming equipment and supplies in the world, sponsored by the world’s leading water park game provider, White Water West, a Canadian company and partially purchased from Belgium.The park has the capacity to accommodate 3,300 people daily.

Book Ticket >>



How to get to Kish Island 

The easiest way to get to Kish is by plane. Nearly every airport in the country has multiple flights to Kish daily, particularly in high seasons.  From Tehran you can reach Kish in less than 2 hours. But if you plan to go to Kish by land, it will be a little different. First you have to take a train, bus or car to one of the ports of Bandar Abbas, Bandar Genaveh or Port Khark. Now, if your car is not with you, you can get on ships that are constantly traveling to Kish, but if you want to take your own car to the island, it’s You have to use a ferry. If you enter Kish by car you need to know some of the rules. First of all you need to bring all valid identification documents with you.  You can only stay 7 days in Kish, motorbikes are not allowed and no driver honks horns.


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Kish Island airport

Kish Island is one of the most beautiful and major tourist destinations in Iran, but it has not always been the case! In fact, by year 1970, Kish Island was just a remote island in the south of the country with no particular importance. In 1970, a delegation of Iranian and American experts visited the island at the behest of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi and had discussions about expanding it into a tourist destination.
The beauties of the island, still untouched by that time, provided great potential to transform it into a tourist destination. According to this procedure, construction and beautification began there until finally, in year 1977, the Kish airport was officially opened. Also in year 1994, Kish island airport was equipped with “night lights” to launch night Flights to Kish Islands.

  • Kish Airport covers nine million square meters.
  • The airport is 31 m above sea level.
  • The airport has four separate terminals
  • The area of internal terminals is 9500 m2 and the area of external terminals is 4000 m2
  • Kish Airport has two parallel bands with a length of 3650 meters and a width of 45 meters



Kish island climate

The cloud information surveyed from the Kish Island Synoptic Station from 1979 to 2010 states that: Kish Island is generally warm and humid with subtropical climate. The results of the National Meteorological Organization’s statistics are as follows:
The average annual rainfall is 169 mm
The 10-year average temperature is “maximum 27.1 and at least 1.1 degrees Celsius
Ten year average wind speed: 7.8 km / h
The rainy months: January and February
Rainless months: July and August
The hottest month: August
The coldest month: February
Annual average humidity: 60%
Wind direction: southwest – west


Kish Island Weather 


Scuba Diving in Kish 

Scuba diving is one of the most enjoyable and exciting adventures for people. Diving in Kish is possible for everyone and all facilities are considered for the safety of the diver in the blue waters of the Persian Gulf.
For diving experience, it is better to use licences clubs that offer standard diving facilities and equipment along with authorized instructor who teaches and helps you. The diving clubs of Kish Island are located in Simorgh beach, Marjan beach, Damoon beach and in Kish marine recreation center.

In your first diving experience, you will not go deeper than 4 meters, and all the equipment and a diving instructor are available by your side. It is necessary to know that in diving, you do not need to know swimming skills and you can see fishes and underwater creatures by the help of the instructors.

For Scuba diving in the waters of the Persian Gulf, you must pay attention to several points:

Diving is free for men and women.
Training is conducted by male and female instructors.
Divers must move in the direction recommended by the instructors.
Divers should not damage the ecosystem and avoid touching corals and aquatic animals.

There is a ban on diving in Kish for 3 groups
– Children under 10 years old
– pregnant women
= People with special diseases such as: heart and lung problems, diabetes, asthma and epilepsy

Kish Island Hotels 

Kish Island offers a range of accommodation options, catering to various preferences and budgets. From luxurious 5-star hotels to more budget-friendly 2-star options, and eco-lodges, visitors can find suitable places to stay. Here’s an overview of the accommodation scene on Kish Island:

Many hotels are strategically located in the eastern part of Kish Island, offering proximity to popular attractions.
The eastern part is particularly convenient for access to key shopping centers like Marwarid, Zeytoun, Pardis, and Maryam.
Whether visitors are looking for a luxurious experience in a 5-star hotel or opting for more budget-friendly accommodation, Kish Island provides a variety of choices. The convenient locations near shopping centers enhance the overall experience for tourists exploring the island’s attractions.


Kish Hotels – Booking & Reviews 


Kish Toranj Hotel

One of the most fascinating hotels on this spectacular island is Toranj Hotel, which can revitalize the mood of Thai sea hotels. This 5-star hotel has multiple suites on the sea, located on the northwest coast of Kish Island. The hotel’s facilities include: a beach restaurant, a coffee shop, a beach fast food restaurant, a large floating glass-bottomed restaurant, and a sea-side restaurant. Excellent sunset and free waters of the Persian Gulf, spa salon, glass floor gym, baby play house, shops and gallery, billiards saloon etc.


Toranj Hotel in Kish