Kish Fun Tour
Location: Iran, Kish Island
Length: 8 hours
Highlights: diving, jet-skiing, cycling, Kish Kariz Qanat, Greek ship
Itinerary: Cycling to the seashore to go jet-skiing and diving. Then drive to visit the huge underground water canal of Kish Island. Later visit the Greek sunken ship by the seashore. The trip includes: An English speaking guide, the transport, the entrance fees
Kish Island is first recorded in the memoirs of Nearchus , the Greek sailor commissioned by Alexander the Great to explore the Persian Gulf in 325 B.C . In the Middle Ages Kish become an important trading centre under its own powerful Arab dynasty and at one time supported a population of 40,000 . The main town was Harireh , which is believed to be the town referred to by poet Sa’di in his famous work , Golestan ( Rose Garden ) .
Kish was known for the quality of its pearls ; when Marco Polo was visiting the imperial court in China , he remarked on the beauty of the pearls worn by one of the emperor’s wives and was told they had come from Kish . In the 14 th century Kish fell into decline and remained obscure until the 1970s , when it was developed as a semiprivate retreat for the shah and his guests complete with international airport , luxury hotels and a casino .
Arte facts found during excavation of this settlement indicate that it was established around AD 1000 AD , occupied 120 hectares and was abandoned around 1600 . Its residents made their living mainly through fishing and pearl diving . The site now referred to as Harireh Ancient City comprises the remains of a large house with private qanat( underground water channel ) , a public hammam and a congregational mosque . It was originally positioned next to a busy commercial port ; you can still see access stairs cut into the rocky cliff , as well as rock – cut wells and channels that were part of workshops producing date nectar , once one of the island’s major exports .
Harireh is an easy bicycle ride west of the port ; to get here by minibus alight at Olympic Sq and walk north .
Kariz – e Kish
( Kish Underground City ; www.kariz-kish.ir ) This recently opened tourist attraction located next to the tennis stadium is also known as the Kish Cultural and Tourist Complex . A subterranean network of stone passageways built around an historic qanat , it’s a largely modern , commercially driven complex masquerading as a historical site and is definitely not worth the steep admission price that foreigners have to pay ( Iranians pay a fraction of this ) .