Iran is one of the vastest countries in the Middle-East. Every province, city and rural county has its own specific character and unique culture. Qom is a religious city also known for its scenic desert sights. Mashhad is another religious city far northeast of the country near the border of Turkmenistan. The golden Shrine of Imam Reza, the most sumptuous sacred monument in the Shia world is its landmark. Mazandaran and Gilan are two provinces near the coast of the Caspian Sea with magical lagoons, lofty mountains and rainy forests. But nowhere is as multifaceted and distinctive as the mysterious south. Bandar Abbas, the capital of Hormozgan province in the south of Iran, is one of throbbing centers of Iranian economy. Being one of the largest container ports in Iran, Bandar Abbas is the most visited city by international businessmen after the capital, Tehran. The city is also crucial to Iranian tourism due to its geographic location. Besides its many tourist attractions, it allows easy access to Qeshm Island and Kish Island in the Persian Gulf. Kish and Qeshm are both free-duty zones and are two of the most visited Iranian islands by foreign tourists.
As mentioned above, Bandar Abbas is very popular with the international merchants and wholesalers. Businessmen from all over the world travel to Bandar Abbas to supervise the delivery of their cargo. They spend a couple of days in Bandar Abbas and attend business meetings and international fairs. Bandar Abbas hotels receive these eminent guests with their world-famous Iranian hospitality. Hormuz, Atilar and Homa Hotel in Bandar Abbas are the most luxurious hotels in this city. The hardworking staff of these hotels have many years of superb service under their belts. They are great help to their foreign guests and will surprise you with their sociability and command of English. But not all things are reserved for the rich. There are also fabulous cheap hotels and hostels in Bandar Abbas. Iran Hotel and Sefid Apartment Hotel are two of the finest of Bandar Abbas cheap accommodation. In addition to all the great options above, one can even choose more modest accommodation from the long list of Bandar Abbas guesthouses. Sahel and Vali-e Asr are two instances of these cozy local guesthouses where you can get a real taste of life in the south of Iran.
There are few places in Iran with the same capacity as Bandar Abbas for organizing tours. Besides its key role in the country’s economy, Bandar Abbas plays a key role in promoting Iranian tourism industry. As one of the largest ports in the Persian Gulf, Bandar Abbas is the starting point for most of the tours in Qeshm, Kish, Hormuz and other amazing islands in the Persian Gulf. Iran tour operators always opt for Bandar Abbas as the first stop in their Iran tours around the Persian Gulf. Bandar Abbas tours take you to the best of tourist attractions in and around the city. These include exciting packages, from the typical sightseeing tours in Bandar Abbas to nature tours in many islands around it such as Hormuz and Lavan.
In the world of tourism, Iran has garnered a lot of acclaim for its sightseeing tours. The south of Iran claims some of the greatest of these tours. The extraordinary fame of the islands of the Persian Gulf such as Kish, Qeshm and Hormuz has overshadowed the spectacular sightseeing spots of Bandar Abbas itself. Some of these fabulous spots included in most of Bandar Abbas’s sightseeing tours are Galeh-Dari Bathhouse, the Shrine of Syed Muzaffar, the Indian Temple, Dowlat Park and Bandar Abbas Grand Museum. Being the most popular of Bandar Abbas day tours, these sightseeing packages present another aspect of this kaleidoscopic land; a historic and cultural side. Depending on the tourists' taste, Bandar Abbas daily tours may also include a visit to the legendry island of Hormuz.
Bandar Abbas tourist attractions are a collection of historic sites, natural wonders and local cultural events. In other words, Bandar Abbas tourism industry revolves around Iran’s typical tourist attractions plus distinctive coastal natural sights. In what comes below, we will take a look at some of these attractions.
Syed Muzaffar Holy Shrine: You can hardly find a spot in Iran without a sacred ground dedicated to a Shia saint and Bandar Abbas isn’t an exception. Syed Muzaffar Holy Shrine lies in the beautiful Nayband district. Muzaffar came from a family with a Shia descent going back to Musa al-Kadhim, the 7th Imam in Shia faith. He was a prominent Shia activist and after his death his followers built a shrine on his burial site. Widely regarded as one of the most venerated places in the south of Iran, the shrine attracts thousands of pilgrims to the coastal city of Bandar Abbas. The architecture and internal decorations of the shrine are spellbinding, presenting the art of Iranian old architecture with a local southern tinge of bright colors.
Galeh-Dari Bathhouse: Before the invention of modern plumbing, public baths were the only place for people to shed the dirt and fatigue out of their bodies. Every city in Iran boasts an instance of these beautiful monuments of the past. The one in Bandar Abbas is called Galeh-Dari, located in Qal eh Shahi neighborhood. The remarkable tilework and old architecture of the structure are its most praised features. Today the bathhouse is the site of the Anthropological Museum of Bandar Abbas.
Indian Temple: The Middle-East is one of the cradles of civilization and the diversity of language and religion in this ancient land is unequalled. Hinduism is generally associated with the Indian peninsula, but many of its adherents have been living in the countries as far as Iran and Iraq for centuries. Bandar Abbas Indian Temple is a one of the few centers of Hinduism in Iran. The temple was built in 1795 under the auspicious of a rich Indian merchant in the city center of Bandar Abbas. The temple is known for its stunning Indian architecture and spectacular frescos depicting Krishna, the god of love in Hinduism.
Bandar Abbas Grand Museum: This is the largest museum in Bandar Abbas showcasing historic and ethnic items from different eras of Iranian history in its massive three-floor area. Prehistoric remnants, anthropological findings and items from the famous Portuguese Fort in Hormuz Island constitute the precious collection of Bandar Abbas Grand Museum. Located in Pasdaran Blvd, the museum is open to public viewing all days but Mondays from 9:00 am - 13:00 pm and 17:00 pm - 22:00 pm.
Hormuz Island: Among the many islands in the Persian Gulf, one is instantly recognized with its red soil. Hormuz Island, also known as the Red Island, is a marvelous island. Located near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the island is historically significant. Fort of Our Lady of the Conception, one of the many military strongholds built by the Portuguese imperial forces in the 17th century lies on the red soil of Hormuz. Besides its signature red soil and historic fort, the island is also known for its pristine beach. For traveling to Hormuz, you will need to get on a freighter in Bandar Abbas. The journey will take around half an hour and costs you a bit more than a euro.
Dowlat Park: Every city must have a recreational space for the people to walk and enjoy their time after work with their family and friends. Public parks appear all around Iran and have various facilities for all ages and preferences. But only one such park offers the golden shores of the most famous gulf in the world as a funfair to its visitors! Dowlat Park in Ostandari Avenue is a huge public park in Bandar Abbas with the most peaceful of all footpaths, the sandy shores of the Persian Gulf. As well as offering the people with the most mesmerizing sunset in the world, Dowlat Park also offers nice restaurants and coffeeshops plus a set of fantastic roofed seats by the sea.
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