Manama Day Trips
Al Dar Islands © miandadr
Al Dar Island
Al Dar Island is Bahrain's best-kept secret. A Mediterranean beach resort with sparkling blue seas, it offers activities like dolphin viewing, pearl collecting, fishing, scuba diving, boating, and other water sports. Because Bahrain's beaches are notoriously poor, Al Dar is a popular excursion for both locals and tourists in Manama and all over the country. Though small, there are several beaches on Al Dar to choose from, none of which are overcrowded due to the strict limits regarding the number of visitors per day. The beaches are all clean and well-kept with good shower and ablution facilities, plus several decent restaurants and shops. The island is also known for its beach parties and a nightlife which, in Bahrain terms, is quite lively. Booking ahead is essential, as only a few tickets to Al Dar are allocated per day, and international visitors are required to present their passports at the Port Office before embarking on the ferry to Al Dar.
Hawar Islands © The Pug Father
Hawar IslandsA one-hour boat ride from Manama are the Hawar Islands, a cluster of islands known for their spectacular scenery and wildlife. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Hawar Islands are home to playful dolphins and bright pink flocks of flamingos, and the islands' resorts offer the chance to relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings while indulging in activities like jet skiing, canoeing, cycling, and paddle boats. With a small population of around 4,000 people, tourism is the major industry. Although the islands are geographically closer to Qatar, Hawar belongs to Bahrain and makes a pleasant weekend excursion from Manama.
The Tree of Life, near Jebel Al Dukhan © solvo
Jebel Al Dukhan and the Tree of LifeAt 439 feet (134m) above sea level, the Jebel Al Dukhan hill is the highest point in Bahrain. Translated from Arabic, Jebel Al Dukhan means 'Mountain of Smoke', named for the haze which often surrounds it on humid days. There are various undetermined caves in the area for visitors to explore. Roughly a mile (2km) away, the Tree of Life stands alone in the desert, its water source a complete mystery. The mesquite tree is said to be around 400 years old, and stands 32 feet (10m) high. There is nothing else nearby to see or do. However, the mysterious tree is a popular sight for tourists in Bahrain.
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