Comprising more than 30 islands in the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain has been at the centre of essential trade routes since antiquity. Its modern capital, Manama is a bustling city of colourful bazaars, inspiring museums, breathtaking mosques and archaeological surprises.
Visit the acclaimed Bahrain National Museum, which showcases artefacts from the ancient Dilmun civilisation. Head to Bab al-Bahrain bazaar for wares ranging from colourful handwoven fabrics and spices to Arabian pearls. Take a tour of the enormous Al-Fateh Mosque and Beit al-Qur’an, a museum exhibiting many well-preserved Muslim manuscripts. Stroll through Qal’at al-Bahrain, a fort dating to 2300 B.C. Other archaeological attractions include the 15th-century fort Qala’at Arad on Muharraq Island and the prehistoric burial mounds at A’ali. If you want to explore Bahrain’s surrounding nature, the Hawar Islands Protected Area is a nesting zone for birds like cormorants, and the Al-Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve protects oryx antelope and other indigenous species.