Start your day with a city tour. You’ll be able to admire the vast Al Fateh Grand Mosque, built from Italian marble and Indian carved wood, and peel back 6,000 years of history at Bahrain National Museum. In the old city of Muharraq you can tour the House of Sheikh Isa Bin Ali, a royal palace with traditional wind towers. Browse for enamel paintings or wooden sculptures at Bab-al Bahrain souq, then head into the desert to see the legendary Tree of Life, a 400-year-old lone mesquite tree.
In the heat of the day, cool off with a traditional pearl-diving tour to the Al Dar Islands, which includes a free diving session. Lovers of Formula One can visit the Bahrain International Circuit, venue of the Bahrain Grand Prix, for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour and the chance to test their skills with a thrilling drive in a sports car on the famous track. As the sun sets, take a calmer trip over the King Fahd Causeway, a 24km-long, high-tech masterpiece linking Bahrain to Saudi Arabia.
Recharge your batteries over dinner at the hotel, perhaps an expertly cooked filet mignon at Legendz Steakhouse or sautéed sea bass at Medzo Italian, or ask the concierge about the best places to try regional cuisine. When you're ready to discover Bahrain's lively side, head to Adliya, a buzzing, cosmopolitan neighbourhood where you can head up to a rooftop bar to take in the city’s skyscraper-studded panorama in the evening breeze, or catch some live jazz in a cool lounge bar.
The nation of Bahrain is an archipelago of 40 natural islands in the Persian Gulf, plus even more that are man-made. Some are rocky, remote and unpopulated, but most can be accessed by boat or causeway. The largest is Bahrain island, including the capital, Manama, where most of the population lives.
Although Bahrain is a relatively modern nation, gaining independence from Britain in 1971, it has an ancient history. It's thought to be the site of the kingdom of Dilmun from around 4,000 BC, and was part of the Persian Empire. Excavations in the 1950s revealed temples from the third millennium BC.
Bahrain International circuit
In 2004, Bahrain became the first motor-racing track in the Middle East to stage the prestigious Formula One Grand Prix. Since then it has been a regular fixture on the F1 calendar, attracting many thousands of fans to the island in March or April for what is now a dramatic, floodlit night race.
The Al Fateh Grand Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world, encompassing 6,500 square meters and having the capacity to accommodate over 7,000 worshippers at a time. Conservative attire is required upon your visit. Abaya (traditional dress for womens) will be provided for female and non-Muslim visitors.