Sunshine, sand and sea – beautiful Bahrain offers all three and much, much more. In the northeast corner of the island, the bustling capital, Manama City, is modern, sleek and growing at great speed. Manama translates to ‘sleeping place’ – a rather huge misnomer. A line-up of elegant shopping malls, glamorous restaurants, exclusive nightclubs and international coffee shops, combines with exotic souqs and the stunning Al-Faith Mosque. Meanwhile, in the south of the island, the incredible Tree of Life stands all alone in the middle of the desert, nourished by an underwater spring. Another desert icon is the Sakhir Circuit, home of the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
From historical beginnings to its modern-day extravagance, Bahrain has a vivid and colourful past dating back 4,000 years. Learn about the ancient Dilmum civilisation, the Portuguese reign, the pearling industry, and the birth of the Islamic era via a mix of crumbling ruins, museums, classical homes and antique book collections.
Perhaps best of all, Bahrain is blessed with miles of stunning sandy beaches, coloured a dazzling pearly-white. Luxury beach resorts hug private swathes, offering an exclusive gateway to countless water activities and lazing under those balmy Arabian rays.
Bahrain offers a diverse shopping experience, ranging from traditional, bustling souks to luxury shopping malls. In the capital, Manama, visitors can soak up the colours and scents of the exotic spices at the Spice Souk, or browse the ornate jewellery on offer in the Bab-el-Bahrain Souk, which sells the famous natural Bahraini pearls. These maze-like souks offer a sensory experience like no other and offer a multitude of goods including locally made fabrics and ornate tea sets, as well as various stalls selling fresh Arabic coffee and sweets.
Tree of Life
A natural marvel, the Tree of Life is approximately 400 years old and stands alone on a small sand hill in the Bahraini desert. It is thought to be a site of an ancient cult and its survival in a harsh, arid environment with no apparent source of water remains a mystery. Tourists can also view artefacts discovered at the site and enjoy performances and stories telling of the tree’s fascinating past.
Bahrain National Museum
Founded in 1988, the Bahrain National Museum celebrates the country’s diverse culture and history. It is made up of nine grand halls showcasing various treasures through time, from prehistoric artefacts to Islamic manuscripts. The museum also hosts international exhibitions and the building itself is architecturally impressive.
The Bahrain Grand Prix is a world-renowned sporting event that takes place on the state-of-the-art Bahrain International Circuit (BIC). However, the track is not just for spectators – visitors can experience various adrenaline-pumping activities including Caterham passenger rides, drag and drift nights and karting.
Bahrain is also home to various ancient forts, including the most impressive Qal’at al-Bahrain, an artificial mound on the site of what was once a port and capital of the Dilmun civilisation. These forts represent fascinating relics of centuries of human occupation and tell of the country’s changing social fabric and rich maritime history.
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.
The best time to visit Bahrain is from September to April.
These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Bahrain.
British Airways direct from London Heathrow to Bahrain.
Via Dubai with Emirates from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow.
Via Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways from London Heathrow and Manchester and British Airways from London Heathrow.
Via Doha with Qatar Airways from London Heathrow and Manchester.
From London Heathrow to Bahrain: 6 hours, 25 minutes. London Heathrow to Dubai and Abu Dhabi: 7 hours. London Heathrow to Doha: 6 hours, 45 minutes.
Onward connecting flight from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Bahrain: 1 hour, 15 minutes.
From Doha to Bahrain: 45 minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Visas are required prior to arrival and can be obtained from the Bahrain Embassy, London http://www.bahrainembassy.co.uk . A charge of approximately £20 will apply.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.