Hormoz island is located in the Persian Gulf, about 20km (12 miles) south east of Bandar Abbas and boasts a population of nearly 6,000. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Hormoz together with Hengam, Larak and Qeshm islands were under Portuguese occupation. Remains of Portuguese fortresses can still be seen in each of these islands. During the last 10 years, tourism has been sharply on the rise in Hormoz. The island has become popular mostly for its natural sights as well as its resident’s relaxed and open-minded attitude.