Home to beautiful beaches, traditional cafes and heritage crafts, Bahrain is the ideal summer retreat. With the mercury steadily rising, where better to escape than to Bahrain – an archipelago of 33 natural islands. From water sports to indoor skydiving and seawater spas, this tiny island nation has it all.
Al Jazayer public beach in Zallaq is a long drive from the city centre but often crowded with families. It’s clean and has some slides and swings for children. The ones at Diraz, Karbabad and ASRY are more suited for picnics than swimming. Hotels such as the Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton and ART Rotana have their luxurious private beaches.
Bahrain Yacht Club in Sitra and Coral Bay offer a wide range of water sport activities. Beach Culture, Bahrain’s first natural water sports centre – it doesn’t use motorised equipment – offers activities including paddling, windsurfing and kitesurfing. Spend a day at resort islands such as Al Dar Islands, which can be accessed from Sitra. Hawar Islands can be accessed from Al Dur Jetty via boat. Bahrain has waterparks too, Lost Paradise of Dilmun (LPOD) being the biggest.
There’s an indoor waterpark, Wahooo at Bahrain City Centre in Seef. While it’s smaller than LPOD, it offers respite from the heat. Bahrain has many malls where you can shop for your favourite brands, watch a movie at state-of-the-art theatres and dine at global restaurant chains. The Avenues Bahrain, the waterfront shopping centre at Bahrain Bay is the biggest. The Gravity Indoor Skydiving is ideal for the adventure junkie. It claims to have one of the tallest wind tunnels in the world.
The souqs in Manama and Muharraq are home to many local cafés where you can tuck into an authentic Bahraini breakfast. Savour rustic dishes such as baith tamat (eggs and tomato), liver, falafel (chickpea fritters), mehyawa (flatbread with fermented fish sauce), foul medames (fava bean gravy) and more.
Bahrain has a thriving art scene with a number of contemporary galleries sprinkled across the island. In fact, many of the artists living here have taken to the walls of cafes to express their creativity; visit Dose Café in Adliya and Grafeatii, a restaurant and bowling alley in Amwaj. You could even learn local crafts such as pottery; visit A’ali Pottery or Studio Ceramics in Budaiya. With so much to do and experience, summer in Bahrain can be a delightful experience.