What to see in Bahrain? Old Manama Souq; traditional houses of Muharraq; Bahrain Fort; the Al Fateh Mosque; fabulous corals of Abu Thalma; rich marine life of Najwah; and wrecks Fifi, Caisson and Sestan off Bahrain’s eastern coast.
Bahrain, officially, the Kingdom of Bahrain, is an island state on the same-name archipelago in the Persian Gulf in the South-West Asia, the smallest Arab state. Bahrain consists of three relatively large islands and many small ones in the 16 km east of the coast of Saudi Arabia, and is connected to the country by the King Fahd Causeway. The total area of Bahrain is 765 square kilometers; the population is about 1.3 million people. The capital of the country is Manama. The official language is Arabic.
The national currency is the Bahraini dinar. Tourists can exchange money in banks or exchange counters. Try to exchange all the dinars before leaving Bahrain – the exchange rate overseas can be rather unprofitable. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted.
The Bahrain Archipelago consists of 33 flat islands. The terrain is mostly desert. The climate is arid, with hot dry summers and mild winters. The best time to visit Bahrain is from November to March, when the heat is not so exhausting.
Bahrain International Airport (BAH), the international airport of Bahrain, which is located around 7 km from the capital Manama.
Islamic culture and arts, history and cuisine, and, of course, orient hospitality of Bahrain will impress any guest of the country. Natural beauty of Bahrain combines hot deserts, sand dunes and unique flora and fauna. No wonder that, according to the Bible, the Garden of Eden was located here. Since ancient times Bahrain has been famous for wonderful pearls, which even became one of the symbols of the state.
Bahrain is a perfect destination for those who are fond of outdoor activities: here you can go water skiingand snorkeling, ride on horses and camels, play volleyball and tennis, do falconry, dive in search of pearls, take part in high-speed car racing, and play golf. Those who like shopping will be glad to visit Old Manama Souq, where they can buy various locally made crafts, sweets and spices, and gorgeous jewelry. Connoisseurs of architecture and history will surely like the traditional houses of Muharraq, the former capital of Bahrain; Bahrain Fort, built in the 16th century; the largest mosque of Bahrain – the Al Fateh Mosque; and ancient burial mounds, the oldest of which were made about five thousand years ago.
Diving in Bahrain
The warm and comfortable waters of Bahrain are a real diving paradise. Here you can meet surgeon fish, clown fish, lion fish, snapper, trigger fish, turtles, rays, grouper, crayfish and even whale sharks and barracudas. The artificial reefs off Bahrain are inhabited by crabs, sea snakes, nudibranches and the largest groupers in the Persian Gulf.
Many divers come to this archipelago to try the famous pearl diving, which appeared on Bahrain’s coast about 5000 years ago.
In Abu Thalma, where the depth is from 6 to 14 meters you can enjoy abundant marine life and beautiful corals.
In Najwah you can see whale sharks and watch various marine specious, usually met in the Red Sea, Great Barrier Reef and the Maldives.
Those who like wreck diving can explore the Fifi, a small tugboat wreck, sunk in the 1980s and located at a depth of 6-8 meters; the Caisson, inhabited by plenty of fish; or the Sestan wreck, situated 15 meters deep off Bahrain’s eastern coast.