"Kish Island - The most un-Iranian place in Iran" Jazireh-ye Kish by kiwigeo

Jazireh-ye Kish Travel Guide: 13 reviews and 21 photos

Kish Island is rather unique in Iran as it is most unlike the mainland in almost every aspect. Kish Island is a small island in the Persian Gulf about 20km from the south-central mainland. Easy to get to from Tehran with tours for 3 nights accommodation starting from $170/person.

Islamic laws are relaxed a little here compared to the mainland and you are given partial freedom!! Of course hijab is still mandatory and alcohol forbidden, but bathing is allowed (separate beaches of course!) We lost the bicycle track and would have strayed onto the womens beach if it wasn't for a whistle toting guard who pointed us in the right direction. Once upon a time there were mixed beaches for foreigners but the regime deemed them to be too un-islamic. Manikins in the stores are not formless as they have to be by law in Tehran. Not a single Paykan automobile can be seen (the 1965 model Hilman Hunter that domintes on the mainland). Lingerie shops do not have blacked out windows. Roads are wide, well sign posted and in good condition. In addition some of the stores in the shopping centres play western and (US) Iranian pop music which is illegal on the mainland. There is no pollution and the island is not crowded.

Most Iranians come here to buy kitchen appliances, clothes and suitcases which are upto 50% (commonly 20%) cheaper than the mainland. Now there are tours to Dubai from the mainland for similar prices so I would imagine that Kish has lost a lot of its domestic tourists. If you have one suitcase/bag per person you will not be hastled by customs on the way out - its only when you have 2 microwaves, 3 blenders etc that you will have to pay duty - although technically you should pay duty on goods with a value of over $160.

No outdoor activities would be possible during the 6 summer months as temperatures and the humidity would be unbearable. So its perfect for escaping the Tehran winters and when we visited in January it was a mild 18-23 degrees celcius during the afternoons.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Good for foreigners living in Iran
  • Cons:Foreign tourists wouldn't understand what all the fuss is about
  • In a nutshell:Moderate Islam in Iran?
  • Last visit to Jazireh-ye Kish: Jan 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (5)

Comments (1)

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Jun 5, 2006 at 10:38 PM

    I'm looking forward to my visit to Kish, and will defenitly rent a bike. Nice tips!


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