The tiny gulf nation of Bahrain is home to a surprising amount of unique sights and activities that appeal to tourists. Despite the island nation’s reputation as an expensive destination, the growing number of tourists mean that there are no shortage of cheap hotels here. Don’t be fooled into believing it is all five-star resorts.
When you visit Bahrain, be sure to know the following activities off of your bucket list 😉
See The Tree Of Life
Against all odds, one tree has grown where no other can – atop a small hill in the middle of the barren Arabian Desert. Known as Shajarat-al-Hayat, the Tree Of Life is over 400 years old and still a mystery as to how it not just survives but actually thrives in such a harsh environment. The area receives little to no annual rainfall yet the leaves remain green and the tree remains healthy.
The tree is less than 10m (33 feet) tall but its roots stretch 50m (164 feet) deep! Some people believe the roots found water down there, others believe the tree has learned how to extract moisture from grains of sand. Some even believe this to be the site of the Garden of Eden.
Visit Bahrain Fort
In 2005 Qal’at al-Bahrain (Bahrain Fort) became the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dating back to 2300 BC, the fort has been the site of ongoing excavations since 1954.
To this day only around 25% of the area has been excavated but already a variety of artifacts have been found. Fishing tools, spearheads, copper pieces, pottery, beads, ivory relics and much more. Hundreds of artifacts are on display for visitors.
Bahrain has settlements dating back 12,000 years, making it one of the homes of ancient civilization and a great destination for history buffs.
Go Pearl Diving
Pearl diving has been an important part of Bahrain’s history for thousands of years. Up until the 19th century it was considered to produce the finest pearls in the world. At the start of the 20th century the island nation boasted over 400 pearl diving boats.
Muharraq Island was one of the most prominent pearl diving thanks to their large number of oyster beds. Although recently the Museum Of Pearl Diving closed its doors for good, there are other scuba diving companies that offer pearl diving training and trips. Just be sure to choose one of the companies that allows you to keep any pearls that you find. 😉
Shopping At The Souqs
Traditional markets are known as souqs in Arabic and no trip to Bahrain is complete without visiting one. One of the oldest and most well-known is Souq Al Manama. It has been renovated numerous times over the decades and now comprises of two sections, the old market and the new market.
While the old market contains paved roads for vehicles, the new market is only accessible to pedestrians. Here you can find a wide selection of things for sale, including clothing, jewelry, spices, souvenirs, household goods, electronics, and just about anything else that you can imagine.
Ready to visit Bahrain yet? Gulf Air is the flagship carrier of the kingdom and has flights from dozens of countries throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia. Be sure to check out their current specials when planning your trip.