Qeshm and Hormoz Island
The pint-sized island of Hormoz is chock-full of dreamy landscapes painted in shades of red, yellow, and orange, contrasting against the azure water of the Persian Gulf. Home to deer and other fauna, this geological wonderland is a dream for nature enthusiasts and a popular spot for backpackers who come to check out its psychedelic color scheme and rock formations. From Hormoz you can hop on a lenj (small, wooden boat) to the dolphin-shaped Qeshm, the untouched “island of seven wonders.”
A visit to the Khuzestan province tends to get swapped out for more mainstream Iran itineraries, but we guarantee you and your backpack won’t regret this one. Explore Ahvaz, Abadan, Khorramshahr, Susa, and Shushtar where you can cross off three UNESCO sites. Then move on to more remote locations like the enchanting Pamenzar in Dezful or the Shadegan Lagoon where the diversity of Iran’s geography and people is exemplified. Just be sure to visit in the winter or spring to avoid extreme temperatures.
Tempted to altogether skip Tehran? Don’t. Though often reduced to thick smog and heavy traffic, the capital city has enough to keep visitors busy for days. Tehran sits at the intersection of history a