Welcome to Kish Island, the pearl of Persian Gulf. Here is an ultimate Kish Island travel guide where you can find all essential information about how to travel to Kish Island and what to do in this must-see Iran destination.
Kish at a Glance
Unique coral island with an area of 90 km²
Located in free trade zone, offers visa-free entry for up to 14-day stay
With a population of almost 40,000 inhabitants
An excellent site for adventurous scuba divers and famous for its beautiful colorful coral reefs
Located in the Persian Gulf about 18 km from the southern shore of the mainland Iran
Dates back more than two millennia
Where is Kish Island
Kish is a sandy coral island in the Persian Gulf located in about 18 km from the southern shore of Iran’s mainland. It also lies in the vicinity of Qeshm Island. Notably, Kish and Qeshm are in the free trade zone of the country. Hence, foreign tourists can travel to these islands without getting Iran visa and stay there up to 14 days.
Furthermore, the flying distance between Kish Island and Tehran is equal to 1051 km. Also, the distance between Qehsm and Bandar Aftab, the nearest main coastal town to this island, is about 23 km.
Interestingly, as this island enjoys beautiful, unique colorful coral reefs, it is an excellent site for scuba diving.
Getting information about the destination’s history, especially a historic destination like Iran is essential for every tourist. Hence, in this Kish Island Travel Guide, we present a brief introduction to Kish Island History.
Evidence from excavations indicates that Kish Island dates back more than two millennia. Anciently, the island was known as Kamina, Arakata, Arakia, and Ghiss. At first, Elamites and Assyrians ruled in this area. However, after these civilizations vanished, Kish was subjected to invasions and misrule over a long period. Time went by, and the Achaemenid dynasty established its rule over Kish Island and made peace on the island. Finally, during Pahlavi Dynasty, about 50 years ago, Kish Island converted to a luxury resort.
On the other hand, in one of the hot spots of the earth, the island dwellers have applied a unique method to gain and store the precious water; they constructed the Qanat (aqueduct) system. Accordingly, the Kariz Underground City belongs to 2500 years ago, is the remaining of this Qanat System.
Interestingly, Kish Island is the sister city to Italian commune of Vimodrone, in the Milan Province.
Where to stay in Kish Island?
How to get to Kish Island
Since Kish is one of the touristic destinations in Iran, there are several ways to get to this island. Hence, in this Kish Island Travel Guide, we introduce you to different ways to get to Kish Island.
Travel to Kish
You can travel to Kish Island through the International Airport of Kish. This airport covers some international flights from/to Dubai and Muscat.
On the other hand, there are numerous domestic flights between Kish Island and important cities of Iran, including Tehran, Mashhad, Shiraz, Isfahan, Yazd, Kerman, Rasht, Tabriz, Bandar Abbas, and more. Moreover, note that Kish is in the free trade zone of the country. So, if you fly to this island directly (without a stop in other cities of Iran), you can enter Kish Island without Iran visa.
Finally, note that Kish International Airport provides convenient access to the city. Accordingly, you can use the yellow taxis or a minibus to reach the city center. However, some hotels in Kish offer free transfer from the airport to the hotel to its guests.
Travel to Kish
You can travel to Kish Island by boat. For this purpose, you should get to Bandar-e Charak, Bandar-e Aftab, or Bandar Lengeh and from where go to Kish Island on a ferry. Please mention that the ferries work from morning till sunset. Finally, to transfer a foreign car, you should have Carnet de Passage.
Travel to Kish
You can travel to Kish Island from Shiraz by bus. For this purpose, you should ride on a bus from Shiraz to Bandar-e Aftab or Bander-e Charak. Then your coach is transferred to Kish island by a landing craft.
Travel to Kish
The safest way to travel to Kish is a train journey. For this purpose, you should get to Bandar Abbas by train and then go to Bandar Lengeh. Then you can go from the port toward Kish Island on a boat.
Accordingly, you can travel to Bandar Abbas from numerous cities of Iran by train in different classes from the standard class to a 5-star one. The Bandar Abbas train covers the routes to Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, Yazd, etc.
Travel to Kish
Main motorways connect the southern coast of Iran to the other cities. So, a lot of passengers choose travelling in a private car as its schedule is flexible and is faster and more convenient than bus and train. For this purpose, you should get to Bandar-e Charak, Bandar-e Aftab, or Bandar Lengeh and from where go to Kish Island on a boat.
What do you know about Kish attractions?
How to move around Kish Island
Although Kish is not so big, the information about transportation in this Island is essential for every tourist. Hence, in this Kish Island Travel Guide, we introduce you to different ways to move around Kish Island. In any case, you can rent a private car with driver, or use taxis.
Get around Kish in Taxi
You can get around Kish Island in a taxi and visit its attractions. For this purpose, you have two options; Yellow linear taxi, white taxis called “Darbast”. The taxis usually use taxi meter for calculating the fare.
Get around Kish in Ferry
You can visit the beauty of the Kish island riding on a pleasure cruise ship or a pleasure boat. Accordingly, you can have a romantic dinner on a pleasure craft or enjoy cursing in a glass-bottom boat that through them, you can see the colorful coral reefs. The trip’s schedule to Kish from different ports is as per below:
|Destination||Transfer||Boat Ticket Fare||Travel Duration|
Passengers + cars*
*car ferries are only available during special holidays like Nowruz)
30 Minutes for Passenger Ferry
1 Hour for Car Ferry
Passengers + cars**
**The passenger are rare during low season
2.5 Hours for Passenger Ferry
4 Hours for Car Ferry
|Bandar-e Charak||Passengers + cars||
1 Hour for Passenger Ferry
2 Hours for Car Ferry
Get around Kish in Mini Bus
Another public transportation on Kish Island is minibuses. This public transport service has two separate lines that they have about 50 stations covering the main area of Kish Island. Plus, minibuses are cheaper than taxis.
Get around Kish in Private Car with Driver
Although renting a private car with a driver is the most expensive option to get around Kish Island, it is the fastest and most convenient choice. However, the price of renting a car on Kish Island is higher than in other parts of Iran. For your record, the expense of renting a private sedan car with a driver starts about 8000000 rials per day.
What to eat in Kish Island?
Where to Eat in Kish Island
Best Restaurants in Kish Island
In recent years, visiting restaurants and tasting different foods have become one of the most attractive activities during a trip. It is interesting to know that this issue has been taken very seriously in Iran and you can find excellent and even international restaurants in the cities of this country. However, you are in Iran for a short time, and it is better to go for the best options in this limited time.
Accordingly, selecting a good restaurant in Kish Island, where there are restaurants on every corner is very difficult. So, if you want to taste delicious and quality food in the best restaurants in Kish Island during your trip, join us in this Kish Island travel guide.
Kooh Noor Restaurant
Kooh Noor Restaurant is a stylish and beautiful restaurant on Kish Island, which is built in the heart of a mountain. The architecture of this restaurant includes large boulders and waterfalls and reliefs, which, along with live music, create a wonderful atmosphere. The restaurant offers a variety of Persian and international cuisine and seafood. Notably, the French dishes served in Kuh-e Noor Restaurant are very famous.
If you want to experience a delicious meal by the shores of the Persian Gulf, Totti Frouti Restaurant is the best choice for you. This restaurant is located near the recreational pier and is one of the famous restaurants on Kish Island. Also, the restaurant’s menu includes Persian, international, seafood and fast food. Besides, you can watch the sea while eating on the wooden rooftop of Totti Frouti Restaurant. Finally, performing live music is one of the attractive features of this restaurant.
One of the old and well-known restaurants in Kish is Mirmohana Restaurant. This restaurant is located in Mir Mohana neighbourhood and has a very large and modern space. The restaurant’s menu is varied and includes a variety of seafood and barbecue dishes, that “Ghalieh Mahi” is the best on the list. Moreover, performing live music is one of the attractive features of this restaurant. Besides, Mirmohana Restaurant is located near the beach, and it is delightful to watch the sea while eating.