Qeshm is an arrow-shaped island in the Strait of Hormuz, separating the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman. It’s the largest Iranian island. It’s part of Hormozgan province.
Qeshm Island is located a few kilometres off the southern coast of Iran (Persian Gulf), opposite the port cities of Bandar Abbas and Bandar Khamir. The island, which hosts a 300-square-kilometre free zone jurisdiction, is 135 km long and lies strategically in the Strait of Hormuz, just 60 kilometres (37 miles) from the Omani port of Khasab and about 180 kilometres from the UAE Port Rashid.
The closest point of the island is two kilometres from the mainland.
The island comprises 59 towns and villages with a population of about 120,000.
The earliest evidence of human presence at Qeshm dates back to the Paleolithic Period. Palaeolithic stone tools have been found at Bam-e Qeshm. Historical records concerning the Qeshm island date far back into the pre-Islamic era. Apparently, the island was called Alexandria or Aracia by Ptolemy, in the 2nd century CE and as Alexandria by Ammianus Marcellinus in the 4th century. On account of its strategic geopolitical situation near the mouth of the Persian Gulf, it has been frequently attacked by invaders including Ilamids (Elamites), Umayyads, and Abbasids as well as the Portuguese and the English. During Sassanian Empire administration the island was called Abarkawan and was part of the Ardashir-Khwarrah administrative division. According to historical records, Qeshm Island has been famous as a trade and navigation centre. Its economy flourished during the Dailamites and Buyid eras, as trade vessels sailed between Qeshm Island and China, India, and Africa.
Explorer William Baffin was mortally wounded on Qeshm in 1622 during a battle against Portuguese forces who occupied the fort, known to the English as “Forte de Queixome”.
Qeshm is also a supposed site of the Garden of Eden according to Cassell’s Bible.