If you’re after an island escape but like your holidays to be about more than just lying by a pool and sunning yourself, Bahrain might be the place for you. Here you have history and culture by the bucket load but also the chance to kick back and relax.
In Arabic, “Bahr-ayn” means “two seas”, which refers to the Arabian Gulf and the fresh water springs that exist under the ocean. The country consists of an archipelago of 33 islands, the two main ones being Bahrain itself and Muharraq. As an island, strangely there are few beaches on offer, but it’s possible to try various watersports from diving to kitesurfing, plus relaxing leisure activities such as dolphin-watching and pearl diving.
One of the top spots to stay is The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, a sprawling resort that is as luxurious as it gets, boasting an array of restaurants, bars, sporting facilities and beaches, plus a spa and a gym.
When you do decide to venture out, the hotel can arrange boat trips. A two-and-a-half hour Sandbar Beach excursion (for Dhs400) includes a journey to the picturesque island of Jarada, some 14km from the hotel. Once there, you can relax in seclusion.
Back on dry land, embark on a great culture trail, starting at the Al-Fateh Mosque, which offers guided tours, while Bahrain Fort is a top way to step back in time and see ruins stretching back thousands of years. Book yourself a brilliant break in Bahrain now.