Image by Thomas Janisch / Getty Images

Kish Island

Welcome to Iran's Sunshine Coast, or Iran's Costa del Sol. However you label it, say hello to this attractive island that, since the 1970s, has become a beach resort where visitors can swim, shop and sample a laid-back and relatively liberated local lifestyle. Iran's most hedonistic spot, Kish is booming. Hotels, apartment blocks and retail complexes (it enjoys free-trade-zone status) dominate the once-empty desert landscape and domestic tourist numbers are on the rise, especially in winter, when it's freezing cold on the mainland. Kish is largely ignored by foreign tourists, though. That's a shame, because a visit here is a great way to experience Iran from an altogether different perspective. Leave the sight-laden cities of the mainland and come here to enjoy sea, sand and sun in a relaxed atmosphere.

Explore Kish Island

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Kish Island.