Hormozgan Province tourist information
Hormozgan Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran . It is in the south of the country , in Iran's Region 2 , facing Oman and UAE . Its area is 70,697 km2 (27,296 sq mi) , and its provincial capital is Bandar Abbas . The province has fourteen islands in the Persian Gulf and 1,000 km (620 mi) of coastline .
The province has 11 major cities : Bandar Abbas , Bandar Lengeh , Hajiabbad , Minab , Qeshm , Jask , Bastak , Bandar Khamir , Parsian , Rudan , and Abumusa . The province has 21 counties (or districts) , 69 municipalities , and 2,046 villages . In 2011 a little more than 1.5 million people resided in Hormozgan Province .
Although Hormozgan is known to have had settlements during the Achaemenid era and when Nearchus passed through this region , the recorded history of the main port of Hormozgan (Bandar‑e Hormoz) begins with Ardashir I of Persia of the Sassanid empire .
The province is said to have been particularly prosperous between 241 BC and 211 BC , but grew even further in trade and commercial significance after the arrival of the Islamic era .
Marco Polo visited the port of Bandar Abbas in 1272 and 1293 . He reported widespread trading in Persian jewelry , the ivory and silk of Indochina , and pearls from Bahrain in the bazaars in the port of Hormuz .
In 1497 European colonialists landed in the region for the first time , headed by Vasco da Gama . In 1508 the Portuguese , led by Afonso de Albuquerque invaded the area with seven warships , under the pretext of protecting their interests from Egypt and Venice . The port of Hormuz was at this time considered strategic for commercial interests in the Persian Gulf .
Ismail I who was trying to counter the Ottoman Empire to the west , was unable to save the port from the Portuguese , until Shah Abbas I was finally able to drive them out of the Persian Gulf with the aid of the British . The name of Bandar Abbas comes directly from the name of Shah Abbas I .
The British , meanwhile , were competing for influence in the region with Dutch colonialists , who invaded Qeshm island and dispatched warships to Bandar Abbas during the final years of Shah Abbas' reign . The Persian government was unable to defend itself against this attack . However , with the souring of British and Dutch relations , military tensions grew in the region . The Dutch finally resorted to moving their base up to Kharg Island . The Amir of Kharg , Mir Mahna , was able to defeat the Dutch forces at Kharg , leaving the British firmly in charge of the entire region . Soon Britain took control over the entire Persian Gulf via the British East India Company . The British adopted a policy of encouraging local autonomy throughout the Persian Gulf to prevent any formidable unified force from threatening their establishments in the gulf .
The strategic importance of the Persian Gulf further increased after World War I with the discovery of oil in the region .
Geography and culture
The province is primarily mountainous , consisting of the southern tip of the Zagros Range . The province experiences a very hot and humid climate , with temperatures sometimes exceeding 120 °F (49 °C) in summers . There is very little precipitation year round .
Hormozgan today has 11 ports , five national airports , and three international airports . The province has an active agriculture sector , ranking first in Iran in lime production and second in date production . 30% of Iran's fishery produce comes from this province . Three major hydro dams serve the water needs of the province - Esteghlal Dam (i.e. , Minab Dam , which supplies major part of consuming water of the Bandar Abbas) , Jegin Dam , and Shemil Dam .
Germany has recently offered to build a bridge that would connect Qeshm island to the mainland , a formidable project .
Hormozgan has two free trade zones , one in Kish , the other on Qeshm island . Kish Island , situated in a free-trade zone , is home of the Iranian oil bourse (one of five exchanges of its kind in the world , and the only one explicitly not trading oil and derivatives in U.S. dollars) .
Hormozgan has four - and five-star hotels with modern amenities . The Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran lists 212 sites of historical and cultural significance in the province . Some of the more popular attractions are :
· Emarat-e Kolah Farangi (built by and during the Dutch occupation)
· Berkeh haye Baran (six traditional water reservoirs)
· Gele-dari traditional bath
· The Hindu temple
· Latidan Bridge , built during the era of Shah Abbas I
· Fekri House
· Sa'di House
· Fort of Our Lady of the Conception in Hormoz island
· Qeshm Island
· Hara marine forests
· Kish Island , the most popular tourist resort in southern Iran in the Persian Gulf
· Geno UNESCO natural biosphere reserve
· Hara UNESCO natural biosphere reserve
· Various hot water springs
Colleges and universities
· Bandar Abbas University of Medical Sciences
· University of Hormozgan
· Qeshm Institute of Higher Education
· Islamic Azad University of Bandar Abbas
· Payame Noor University of Hormozgan
· Islamic Azad University of Roudan
· Kish University