Landmark in Hormoz Island
One of Hormoz Island's star attractions, these multicoloured geological formations that consist of cliffs and towers of petrified salt combined with various types of rock have a Tolkienesque appeal. The site is inland but can easily be reached from the main road.
In 1505 the reign King Manuel I of Portugal led Portugal to establish a policy of expansion in Africa and western Asia. During attempts to expand Portuguese influence into the Indian Ocean, the Portuguese duke Afonso de Albuquerque captured the island in 1507 and it was incorporated into the greater Portuguese Empire. The Portuguese constructed a fortress on the island to deter potential invaders, naming it the Fort of Our Lady of the Conception. The island became an emergency stopover point for Portuguese ships travelling to Goa, Gujarat and nearby Kishm. In 1622 the island was captured from the Portuguese by a combined Anglo-Persian force at the behest of the English East India Company.
Hormuz was visited by Marco Polo, the famous traveller, at around 1290 while traveling by land, as described in his travelogue.
Ibn Battuta also visited the island, and New Hormuz
Shah Abbas I distrusted the local population and was not interested in maintaining the island as a trading centre or military post; instead he developed the nearby mainland port of Bander Abbas. Hormuz went into decline. Many of its inhabitants seasonally moved to their fields and orchards around the old Hormuz on the mainland, only fishermen being in permanent residence. The island continued to export small quantities of rock salt and lumps of iron oxide which were used as ballast stones for sailing ships