Although Hormozgan is known to have been settled during the Achaemenid era when Nearchus passed through the region, recorded history of the main port of Hormozgan (Bandar-e Hormoz) begins with Ardashir I of Persia of the Sassanid empire.
The province is said to have been particularly prosperous between 241 BC and 211 BC, but grew even further in trade and commercial significance after the arrival of the Islamic era.
Marco Polo visited the port of Bandar Abbas in 1272 and 1293. He reported widespread trading in Persian jewelry, ivory and silk of Indochina, and pearls from Bahrain in the bazaars of the port of Hormuz.
In 1497 Europeans landed in the region for the first time, headed by Vasco da Gama. In 1508 the Portuguese, led by Afonso de Albuguerque invaded the area with seven warships, under the pretext of protecting their interests from Egypt and Venice. The port of Hormuz at the time was considered strategically positions for commercial interests in the Persian Gulf.
Ismail I who was trying to counter the Ottoman Empire to the west, was unable to save the port from Portuguese, until Shah Abbas I was finally able to drive them out of the Persian Gulf with the aid of the British. The name of Bandar Abbas comes directly from the name of Shah Abbas I.
The British, meanwhile, were competing for influence in the region with Dutch colonialists, who invaded Qeshm Island and dispatched warships to Bandar Abbas during the final years of Shah Abbas’ reign. The Persian government was unable to defend itself against this attack. However, with the souring of British and Dutch relations, military tensions grew in the region. The Dutch finally resorted to moving their base up to Kharg Island. The Amir of Kharg, Mir Mahna Baloch and Mir Hamal Kalmati with Baloch army defeated the Europeans from Bander Abbas till Karachi, so the Dutch and other forces at Kharg, leaving the British firmly in charge of the entire region. Some Britain took control over the entire Persian Gulf via the British East India Company. The British adopted policy encouraging local autonomy throughout the Persian Gulf to in order to prevent a formidable unified force from threatening the establishments in the Gulf.
The strategic importance of the Persian Gulf further increased after World War I with the discovery of oil in the region.