Stars Valley in Qeshm Island, Iran | Valley of Stars
Located in Qeshm, Stars Valley, or Valley of Stars, is renowned as one of the most unique natural attractions not only on the island but also in all of the World.
Legend has it that this peculiar landscape came into existence when a star descended from the heavens and collided with the earth, shaping a vast and enigmatic valley.
As you step into the Valley of the Stars, you may feel like you've entered the set of the famous Madmax movie, with its distinctive and dreamlike ambiance reminiscent of exotic and surreal locations. The Valley's striking landscape has even caught the attention of filmmakers, as it serves as a backdrop for the Iranian film "Dragon Arrives." Its designation as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site makes it the Middle East's sole geopark.
In this blog post, we will embark on a journey through Star Valley, unraveling its mysteries and what you can do there and delving into how it formed and its geological significance.
About Stars Valley
The Valley of the Stars in Qeshm is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site and the only geo-park in the Middle East located on Qeshm Island.
The local name for this Valley is "Estalah-kaftah," which means "the Fallen Star." In fact, local legends speak of a star that collided with the earth and shaped this extraordinary Valley.
Although the involvement of stars in the formation of Stays Valley may be a myth, scientific investigations suggest that cosmic influences may have played a role in its formation.
In addition, the night sky above Stars Valley paints a different picture. With the naked eye, you can witness a breathtaking display of countless stars, justifying the Valley's evocative name, the "Valley of Stars." Nevertheless, The geological morphology of this site is the result of erosion by rainstorms, wind, and gravity on various layers.
Chah Kooh, located within the Valley of Stars, is a mesmerizing part of the landscape that offers breathtaking views. This strait stretches approximately 100 meters deep, and its name, Chah Kooh, likely stems from the presence of water wells within it. In Farsi, a well is known as "Chah," while "Kooh" translates to mountain.
The Chah Kooh serves as a natural freshwater reservoir in the midst of the desert region. It is believed that the formation of this Valley may be attributed to the collapse or breaking of a vast salt dome, resulting in the creation of this expansive and awe-inspiring landscape.
How is the Stars Valley Formed?
The formation of Stars Valley is a result of natural processes spanning over two million years, specifically during the Cenozoic geological period. The intriguing shapes and formations found in this Valley are a result of the erosion caused by surface waters, seasonal storms, and winds over an extended period of time.
The majority of the rocks in Stars Valley consist of sandstone and calcareous cement. These materials have a relatively soft nature, making them susceptible to erosion by natural elements. This gradual erosion process has been ongoing for several million years, slowly shaping the landscape into its current remarkable form.
Stories about Stars Valley
Stars Valley has an aura of mystique, with locals believing it to be the dwelling place of ghosts and spirits. Locals caution against nocturnal visits, citing the haunting presence that lurks within.
Once you step into the darkness, they say, there is no turning back. Survivors of such encounters recount bone-chilling and enigmatic sounds that have left them terrified. Sounds like something out of a horror story, doesn't it?
However, before you let fear take hold, there is a rational explanation for these unsettling occurrences. The wind circulating through the labyrinthine structures of the Valley is responsible for producing these haunting sounds at night. Rest assured, there are no malevolent beings or supernatural forces waiting to haunt you within Stars Valley. Nevertheless, it is advisable to avoid staying in the Valley after sundown, as camping equipment is necessary for a safe and comfortable experience.
Furthermore, it's important to note that a permit from the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization of Iran is required to stay within Qeshm geopark to ensure the preservation and responsible management of this remarkable natural site.
What Can You Do in the Valley of Stars?
When visiting the enchanting Stars Valley, there are several activities and experiences that can make your trip truly memorable:
- Surf and Photography: As you venture through the Valley, follow the marked path adorned with cobbles. Embrace your imagination and let it wander freely as you explore the unique rock formations. From flails to crocodiles, eagles, and more, the Valley is filled with awe-inspiring shapes. Capture these remarkable sights with your camera and preserve the beauty of Stars Valley forever.
- Stone Museum: Near Stars Valley, you'll find a small museum dedicated to showcasing the rocks, minerals, and fossils of Qeshm Island and its neighboring islands. This museum provides an opportunity to learn about the geological wonders of the region, enhancing your understanding of Qeshm Island's significance as a geopark. Make sure to include a visit to the museum as part of your exploration.
- Star Trek at Night: If you have an interest in astronomy or simply want to witness a breathtaking starry sky, consider staying in the Valley overnight. However, keep in mind that obtaining official approval from Qeshm's geopark management is necessary. At night, the Valley transforms into a celestial spectacle, with stars twinkling above like you can touch them. Spend hours gazing at the mesmerizing night sky, but also be aware of the mysterious sounds that may add a touch of suspense to your experience.
- Purchase Handicrafts: In the Valley, there is a small booth where you can find unique souvenirs crafted by local artists. Oysters and scallops, retrieved from the Persian Gulf and transformed into exquisite accessories, make for beautiful and meaningful gifts for your loved ones. Take a moment to browse through these eye-catching creations and select a special memento to commemorate your visit to Stars Valley.
Where to Eat near Stars Valley
While exploring the captivating Stars Valley, it's important to note that due to its location within a geopark, there are limited dining options in close proximity. However, fear not, as there are a few establishments nearby where you can satisfy your hunger and indulge in local cuisine.
If you find yourself near Berke Khalaf Village, you may stumble upon a local restaurant that can offer a taste of traditional dishes. It's worth exploring this area to see if any dining options are available to satiate your appetite.
In the event that you are unable to find a restaurant in the immediate vicinity, there are alternative options within a short driving distance from the Valley. Rigoo Traditional Restaurant, a mere 10-minute drive away, presents an opportunity to savor authentic flavors and enjoy a satisfying meal.
For more dining choices, consider heading towards the northeast side of the island. There, you can discover Defari Nights Restaurant and Shab Haye Talaii Restaurant, each offering its own unique culinary delights.
Where to Stay near Star Valley
When it comes to accommodations near Stars Valley, there are several options to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you're seeking budget-friendly choices or more luxurious accommodations, there are establishments nearby that can cater to your needs.
Captain Amini Homestay
For those looking for budget and low-cost options, Captain Amini Homestay is a convenient choice. This homestay provides a comfortable and affordable stay, allowing you to experience local hospitality while being close to Stars Valley.
Qeshm Olympic Hotel
Another option for budget-conscious travelers is the Qeshm Olympic Hotel. This hotel offers affordable rates and basic amenities, ensuring a comfortable stay without breaking the bank.
Irman Boutique Hotel
If you prefer a more upscale experience, consider Irman Boutique Hotel. This luxurious hotel provides a range of amenities and services to enhance your stay, ensuring a memorable and indulgent experience.
Fulton Boutique Hotel
For those seeking a boutique hotel experience, Fulton Boutique Hotel is worth considering. With its stylish design and personalized service, it offers a unique and upscale accommodation option near Stars Valley.
When planning a visit to Stars Valley in Qeshm, allocate enough time to explore the surrounding attractions that enhance the overall experience. Fortunately, several noteworthy destinations in close proximity are worth considering.
Just a short 13-minute drive away from Stars Valley, you'll find the captivating Kharbas Caves. These caves, with their intricate formations and mysterious ambiance, offer a fascinating underground adventure that complements your exploration of the Valley.
The Portuguese Castle
In addition to Kharbas Caves, there are numerous other attractions waiting to be discovered nearby. The Portuguese Castle, a historical landmark that reflects the island's rich heritage, is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts. Its impressive architecture and panoramic views make it a memorable stop on your itinerary.
For a change of scenery, consider a trip to Hengam Island. This charming island, located in the Persian Gulf, is known for its pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and diverse marine life. Immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the coast, and perhaps even catch a glimpse of dolphins swimming in the sea.
Mangrove Forests of Qeshm
Another natural wonder worth exploring is the Mangrove Forests of Qeshm. These unique ecosystems provide a sanctuary for various bird species and serve as a vital component of the island's ecological balance. Take a boat tour through the mangroves, marvel at their intricate root systems, and appreciate the beauty of nature in this serene setting.
Location of Stars Valley
Stars Valley is located near Berkeh Khalaf Village, not far from the Town of Qeshm.
How to get to Stars Valley
There are two main ways to reach Stars Valley, whether you prefer to travel by car or on foot.
- Begin by locating Zeitoon Park.
- From Zeitoon Park, head towards the southern road.
- Follow the road until you reach Kharbas Caves, which will be the first landmark on your journey.
- After approximately 10 minutes from Kharbas Caves, you will encounter a sidetrack with a sign indicating the way to Stars Valley.
- Turn onto the sidetrack road and continue until you reach Berke Khalaf Village.
- Stars Valley is located just behind Berke Khalaf Village, waiting to be explored and admired.
- Start your journey by making your way to Berke Khalaf Village.
- Once you reach the village, you will find that Stars Valley is conveniently situated right behind it.
- Embark on a leisurely walk to discover the intriguing landscapes and geological wonders of Stars Valley, just a short distance away from Berke Khalaf Village.
Stars Valley, aged over two million years, is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site and the only geo-park in the Middle East located on Qeshm Island.
It stands as a captivating testament to the remarkable forces of nature and the passage of time. With its unique rock formations, shaped over millions of years through the erosion of soil, rock, and sand, this geological wonder offers a mesmerizing experience for visitors.
Beyond the captivating rock formations, You can also explore the surreal landscapes, visit the Stone Museum nearby, gaze at the starry night sky at Stars Valley, or take home unique handicrafts and accessories crafted from oysters and escallops found in the Persian Gulf. Embark on an adventure to Stars Valley and be captivated by its natural wonders, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
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