Manama, the capital of Bahrain blends its traditions with the contemporary, sparkly skyline. It also serves as the perfect base for you while you explore the popular Middle East country. Here are few day trips you can take from Manama:
One of the largest cities in Bahrain, Riffa is located in the heart of the Kingdom and is full of rich history. The city has preserved several historic jewels through the centuries. One of them is the 19th century Riffa Fort, built in typical Bahraini architecture, made of clay. Riffa Fort was built in 1812 by Sheikh Salman Bin Ahmad Al Fatih, the 19th-century ruler of Bahrain. A classic piece of Bahraini fortification, it now boasts a small museum with raised walkways leading through a series of interactive spaces that really enhance the visitor experience. Pop into the fort’s mosque near the northern corner and then go enjoy the scene on the cafe’s outdoor glass terrace overlooking the Hunayniyah Valley.
You will also find winding shopping streets as well as authentic Arabic bazaars which make this a great spot to pick up some trinkets like pearl necklaces and Middle Eastern spices.
A short boat ride will get you to Hawar Island on the southern end of Bahrain. The island has been transformed into a resort retreat, with hotels and water-sports equipment for those wanting to venture in the warm seas of the Persian Gulf. The eastern side of the island is lined with high cliffs, typical of the area.
This place is a perfect destination for all nature lovers and wildlife adventurers, it is home to various types of wildlife and a very interesting place for bird watchers and divers. Some of the rare and endangered Socotra cormorant can often be found wandering along the shorelines.
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The ancient town of Muharraq was once Bahrain’s capital city. You’ll be able to witness some of the best examples of the Kingdom’s rich history. Visit a traditional souq market or marvel at the oldest display of traditional architecture in the Fareej Al Bin Ali district. Take a step back in time as you dive the Pearling Trail which once the centre of the global pearl industry.
You can also visit Bahrain’s newest tourist attraction – world’s largest underwater theme park, Dive Bahrain. This dive site features beautiful artificial reefs and the first decommissioned Boeing 747 to be submerged. The site will provide a unique view of Bahrain and an exceptional dive experience located off the coast of Muharraq.
The art lover will enjoy visiting A’ali which is known for its pottery. The city is lined with pottery shops where you can admire the work of local artists and might catch one of them in the process of working on their craft.This cottage industry is an inherent part of the island and has been passed down through many generations. The clay here is a unique blend of two types, ideal for creating their signature bread ovens, pots for plants, moneyboxes and water pipes. The artists often love to let visitors have a chance at the pottery wheel.
A’ali is also known for its burial mounds that date back over 5,000 years. Many cultural artifacts have been found in these mounds and can be found in the Bahrain National Museum.\
The Tree of Life
Highway between Riffa and Awali, 2km from Jebel Dukhan. The Tree of Life has stood alone in a barren lifeless desert for over 400 years. This tree, also well-known as ‘Shajarat-al-Hayat’, is about 32 feet tall, and it is supposed to be the area for cults practicing ancient rituals. Not only has this acacia tree survived without a visible source of water, it has exceeded the life expectancy of its species by over 300 years. About 50,000 travelers visit this tree every year. And, this tree tends to flaunt green foliage throughout the year. Described by Steve Martin as ‘a wonder of the world’ in the film LA Story, the manner in which it manages to survive will forever remain a mystery.
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