Qeshm Tourist Attractions 12 Mar 2024 BY Batul Iddi

Breathtaking Chahkooh Canyon on Qeshm + Photos

Qeshm Island is a captivating tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world. As the first geopark in the Middle East, it offers a wealth of extraordinary sights to explore.

Among these attractions is the magnificent Chahkooh Canyon, renowned as one of the seven wonders of Qeshm Island and the most famous canyon in Iran.

As a part of the UNESCO Global Geopark site in Qeshm, this magnificent canyon has been shaped over time by geological and seismic forces, resulting in a landscape adorned with immense cracks, natural erosions, and captivating holes.  The strange carved shapes of the cliffs and rocks form narrow passages, vertical rims, and remarkable formations that appear as though crafted by an artist's hand.

The name "Chahkooh" which means “mount well” is derived from the four wells that were dug by local inhabitants in the heart of the valley. These wells provided access to precious freshwater in the area's hot and dry climate.

Today, visitors can climb among the canyon's cave-like halls, discover hidden paths that lead to breathtaking views, and even drink from a centuries-old well used by shepherds. Join us to learn everything you need to know about Chahkooh Canyon including how the canyon was formed, its appearance, its location, how to get there, the best time to visit, and the reason for its name.


The Reason for the Name Chahkooh Canyon

The Reason for the Name Chahkooh Canyon

The name Chahkuh Canyoon is formed by combining two words, "Chah" meaning well, and "Kooh," meaning mountain which specifically refers to the use of "Chah" in the past. Chah are wells and natural cavities formed within the walls and floor of the mountains.

Perhaps, another reason for this naming is the existence of four wells at the starting point of the canyon. These wells have been dug by the residents of nearby villages, providing the possibility of storing fresh water and rainfall throughout the year. These wells are designated as a source for storing fresh water for the summer, and the flowing water and rainwater remain in them.

Along the path of Chahkooh Canyon, there is a narrow, canal-like channel that directs water into the wells. These channels and wells have a history of 400 years. Most of the time, a guard is present at the wells and kindly draws water from the well for those who seek it.


How Chahkooh Canyon Formed?

How Chahkooh Canyon Formed

Chahkooh Canyon in Qeshm is adorned with rocks and sculptures that have naturally formed over time due to the erosion of sedimentary rocks in the heart of the mountain in an astonishing manner.

The heavy winds, rainfall, flash floods, and intense sunlight are among the main reasons for the formation of such cavities and patterns in the walls of Chahkuh Canyon.

Since the walls of the canyon are made of limestone, the acid in the rainwater has easily created cracks and cavities within them over time. The rainwater has done its work diligently over millions of years, gradually enlarging these cavities.

Geologists believe that the main cause of the formation of Chahkuh Canyon is the fractures in a large anticline. Anticlines are fold-like structures. Natural forces have caused a solid mountain to be cut in a cross shape over time, creating four canyons that converge at a single point.


Chahkooh Canyon Appearance

Chahkooh Canyon Appearance

Chahkuh Canyon is considered one of the wonders of Iran. This area is so beautiful and unique that stepping into it makes you feel like you've entered another planet.

The towering walls of Chahkuh Canyon leave every viewer in awe.

The depth of this canyon reaches 100 meters. Sometimes, the height of the walls becomes so immense that you can only catch a glimpse of a small portion of the sky, resulting in limited light in certain parts of Chahkuh Canyon.

At the entrance of Chahkuh Canyon, there is a natural sculpture known as the "Three Guardian Heads" that has gained fame. After the sculpture, there are four wells that serve as a source of freshwater storage for the residents around the canyon.

Chahkuh Canyon has been the most important source of freshwater supply for the island and its surrounding inhabitants for hundreds of years. This area is considered sacred by the locals and is recognized as a holy valley. The belief in its sanctity dates back to ancient times when the locals used the water collected in the wells and pits for the healing of their patients.

The northern part of the canyon has a wider width and takes the shape of the letter U. As you move south, the canyon becomes narrower, eventually forming a V shape, making it challenging to pass through. As the width of the canyon narrows, the slope of the walls becomes steeper and steeper.

The beauty of Chahkuh Canyon lies in its towering vertical walls, parallel grooves formed by erosion, and semi-circular and oval cavities throughout the canyon. The patterns and shapes on the walls of the canyon leave you in astonishment.

The rocks in the canyon are so smooth and polished that it feels like you are standing next to clouds and sponges. Visitors in the canyon ponder how time has triumphed over the hard nature of rocks through the leverage of water and wind.

Natural processes have worked hand in hand, patiently crafting and shaping this unique masterpiece over millions of years.

The canyon consists of rocks that have eroded astonishingly over time, taking on a distinctive appearance that can only be witnessed in a few limited places in the world. The limestone rocks in this area have acquired their current appearance through the powerful winds and flowing water over millions of years.


Recreational Activities in Chahkooh Canyon

Recreational Activities in Chahkooh Canyon

Photography is one of the main activities you can do while visiting. The unique and beautiful appearance of the canyon presents numerous photography opportunities for visitors.

You can also participate in the Chahkooh Canyon hike as the tall walls of the canyon are full of natural cavities, making it an excellent and ideal choice for rock climbing; however, engaging in this sport requires professional equipment and sufficient skills.

The air in the canyon is very clean, which gives the canyon’s sky a distinct appearance at night. It is recommended not to miss the opportunity to observe the starry night sky by staying in the surrounding houses near the gorge.


Facilities in Chahkooh Canyon

Chahkooh Canyon offers relatively good amenities. These include restroom facilities, a hypermarket, eco-lodges, and a restaurant in the village of Chahooi Sharqi. When you arrive at the beginning of the gorge by car, there is a suitable parking place, and a guard kiosk is stationed there. Benches, trash bins, handicrafts, and souvenir shops are active at the entrance of the canyon.


Best Time to Visit Chahkooh Canyon

Best Time to Visit Chahkooh Canyon

Qeshm Island is located in a tropical region, and its residents experience high humidity and harsh conditions during the summer season. Therefore, late spring and cooler seasons, particularly the second half of the year, are the best times to travel to Qeshm Island. Early spring is also recommended for a trip to Qeshm and Chahkooh Canyon.


Conditions for Visiting Chahkooh Canyon

Conditions for Visiting Chahkooh Canyon

The visiting hours for Chahkooh Canyon are from 8 am to 5 pm. Due to the tall walls of the gorge, it is not advisable to delay visiting until the late hours of the day as the canyon becomes dark quickly. The approximate duration of a visit to the strait is about three hours, and there is no entrance fee.


Equipment Required for Visiting Chahkooh Canyon

When visiting Chahkooh Canyon, it is necessary to have equipment such as a camera, suitable hiking or walking shoes, and a water bottle. You may need nourishing and energizing snacks during your visit. It is better to choose snacks that occupy less space to avoid carrying extra weight. If you plan to camp around the strait, it is necessary to have a travel tent, a blanket or sleeping bag, and a flashlight.


Chahkooh Canyon Location

Chahkooh Canyon is located in the Shahab region which is approximately 70 kilometers from Qeshm Island and near the Chahooi Sharqi village.  Its proximity to Qeshm International Airport makes it easily accessible, just 42 kilometers away.


How to Get to Chahkooh Canyon

How to Get to Chahkooh Canyon

To reach the captivating Chahkuh Canyon on Qeshm Island, you'll first need to make your way to Bandar Abbas using various land transportation options such as a private car, bus, or train. The distance from Tehran to Bandar Abbas ranges from 1,276 to 1,510 kilometers, depending on the chosen route, and takes approximately 15 hours.

If you've chosen to travel by car and wish to bring your vehicle to the island, head to Bandar Pol, located 82 kilometers away from the center of Bandar Abbas, which will take about an hour. From there, you'll be transferred by boat to Bandar Laft, and the journey from Bandar Laft to Chahkuh Canyon takes around 47 minutes.

Alternatively, if you don't plan on taking your car to the island and have arrived in Bandar Abbas by train, the recommended route is to go to Shahid Haqqani Pier, situated eight kilometers from the railway station.

After departing from this pier, you'll arrive at Shahid Zakeri Port in approximately one hour and 18 minutes. From there, you can reach Chahkuh Canyon by renting a car or taking a taxi, which will take about one hour and 19 minutes.

The easiest and most comfortable way to travel to Qeshm Island is by air, with a flight distance of approximately 1,070 kilometers from Tehran, taking around two hours. Once you land at Qeshm International Airport, you can reach Chahkuh Canyon in about 39 minutes by taking a taxi or renting a car.

To access the natural wonder of Chahkuh Canyon on Qeshm Island, follow these steps: Start by entering the western road from Dargahan Square in Qeshm. After driving for approximately two kilometers, you'll encounter a crossroad where you should continue straight. Keep going for about 11 kilometers, passing through a square, and then take the first right turn.

After following this route for another 39 kilometers, you'll arrive at Chahooi Sharqi village, and just two kilometers further on the left side, you'll find the majestic Chahkuh Canyon. The access road leading to the canyon is fully paved, with only the last two kilometers being unpaved.


Where to Stay When Visiting Chahkooh Canyon

When traveling to Chahkooh Canyon, there are various options for accommodation available to travelers. However, Chahkooh is about 90 kilometers away from Qeshm's center and hotels. So, if you choose a hotel in the city center for your stay, you will need to travel to Chahkooh Canyon by car to visit the canyon and its surrounding attractions.

Another option for accommodation is to rent a house or suite in the villages around the canyon. These houses usually have good accommodation facilities.

Eco-lodges are another option for accommodation in the vicinity of Chahkooh Canyon. "Aftab" and "Nechidar" eco-lodges are located a short distance from Chahkooh Canyon and provide suitable accommodation. Nechidar eco-lodge is located three kilometers away from the strait.

Camping is also an option for accommodation in Qeshm and Chahkooh Canyon. Just make sure the environment is safe for camping.

Tips for Visiting Chahkooh Canyon

  1. Preserve the natural beauty by avoiding damage to the canyon walls and rocks.
  2. Respect local customs and traditions, and be mindful of the indigenous people.
  3. Inform your friends beforehand as there is no mobile phone reception in the area.
  4. Exercise caution when navigating steep sections of the canyon.
  5. Capture the breathtaking views and stunning rock formations with your camera.
  6. Take plenty of water and snacks for your visit.
  7. Wear comfortable footwear for exploring the canyon's hidden paths.
  8. Follow any additional guidelines or instructions provided by the authorities.
  9. Take your time to fully experience the wonders and serenity of Chahkooh Canyon.


Bottom Line

Chahkooh Canyon on Qeshm Island stands as a testament to the astounding beauty and geological wonders found in this captivating tourist destination. As part of the UNESCO Global Geopark site, this canyon showcases the remarkable forces of nature that have shaped its landscape over time. From immense cracks and natural erosions to unique carved formations, Chahkooh Canyon offers visitors a glimpse into the artistic prowess of the Earth itself. So whenever you visit Iran, make sure o visit Qeshm Island and explore this awe-inspiring destination and appreciate the remarkable forces that have crafted this timeless marvel.

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