Hormuz Island - Atlas Obscura

Hormuz Island

Hormuz, Iran

The colorful soil of Iran’s "Rainbow Island" attracts artists and nature lovers. 


Humans have used ochre to produce art since prehistoric times. In modern Iran, this natural pigment, which is responsible for the red beaches and soil on this remarkable island, still attracts artists who are inspired by its bright colors and unique landscapes.

Historically an important port, Hormuz is today a calm place, home to a small village, Iranian artists, and the natural wonders created by the island’s geography, which, in addition to the ochre, includes whitewashed vistas created by the saltiness of its low elevation. Popular spots among visitors to the island include the Red Beach, Rainbow Valley, Salt Mountain, and Valley of Statues.

Hormuz’s maritime history can be glimpsed by visiting a coastal Portuguese fort, and the island’s artistic energy can be seen in murals and other artwork that dot the island, as well as the museum and gallery of environmental artist Dr. Ahmad Nadaian.

Still little explored by tourists, this island of only 16 square miles is home to phenomenal phenomena that leave visitors speechless.

Know Before You Go

Ferries to Hormuz leave from Qeshm Island and Bandar Abbas. While you can take a morning ferry and return in the evening, the island is home to a small number of guesthouses and hotels, and it's possible to camp overnight.

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