As temperatures drop, we round up the island's best al fresco activities
Time Out Bahrain staff
It’s October and, after a sweltering few months, the mercury is finally falling and reminding us all why we love our little island so much. We’ve come up with some ideas to help you enjoy the cooler weather.
Barbecue on the beach: There are various public beaches where you can chuck a shrimp on the barbie. Our favourite’s Jazayir, down past the BIC and Bahrain Sailing Club, but please remember this area is popular with locals so no alcohol allowed. Alternatively, gather together some pals, dig out your Hawaiian shirt and grill and chill in your own back yard.
Camp in the desert: Make like a local and hit the desert. You could just take off with a group of family or friends for a day trip or hire a tent for the night, they’re usually pretty well equipped and you’ll find lots of other people doing likewise. Make sure to take along lanterns and party games, a football or some cricket stumps and some music. Desert tents for hire (33 453 474/33 933 855/36 993 937).
Dine out: From the cheap and cheerful to the super special, Bahrain has an abundance of venues where it’s possible to dine outside. We’ve listed ten of our favourites in the eating out section.
New! Flyboard: What board? I hear you ask. This is the new toy at Coral Bay, it looks like something out of James Bond and according to an official website this is what it’s all about. ‘The Flyboard attaches to a Jet Ski for power, it uses a water jet for precision flying through the air or underwater… with practise, you can hover over nine metres in the air for the best view of the water possible! You will also be able to perform precision flying, diving, flying underwater and aerobatics like back flips, spins, twists, and dolphin swimming.’ Sounds awesome, we can’t wait to have a go. Flyboard hire BDXX. Coral Bay (17 312 700).
Get on your bike: Of course you could just take yourself out for a ride but we reckon it’s more fun when you’ve got company. Bahrain Road Runners organises weekly bike rides as do Awali Wheelers and Pinoy Mountain Bikers. Pinoy Mountain Bikers (36 850 888) or find Awali Wheelers on Facebook.
New! Grow your own: Fancy walking out to the garden or balcony and picking your own tomatoes, peppers or greens? Well, now’s the time to start preparing and getting ready for planting. Horticultural specialist Nasayem Al Bahrain has a series of gardening workshops, at the Riffa Cultural Charity Society and other venues, covering areas such as cultivation and caring for your plants in Bahrain’s harsh climate. For details call (66 332 169).
New! Have a massage on the beach: The height of decadent indulgence, book yourself in for a soothing rub down right on the shore line, pretend you’re in Thailand and just let yourself float away. One hour beach massage BD60. Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa (17 636 363).
Look out for flamingoes: They turn up around October and are commonly spotted dipping for dinner on the island’s mud flats, you’ll see them as you drive along the Sitra Causeway and also in Arad Bay in front of the Mövenpick (we spotted the first ones of the season here as we were getting ready for press) plus at other spots around the island at low tide.
Outdoor shopping: The Budaiya Farmers’ Market is expected to reopen in either October or November and we’re also looking forward to the return of the markets at Amwaj Marina and Amwaj Lagoon too. We’ll keep you updated with news on these as we hear it.
New! Spot dhows at sunset: The traditional Bahraini dhow is still much used by the island’s fishing fleets and they can be spotted heading out to sea most evenings around sunset from the area around Seef and Bahrain Financial Harbour. If you’d like to see these magnificent boats being made by some of the last traditional shipbuilders in Bahrain, take a trip to Muharraq where you’ll find them at work in the boatyard next the Derby Cafe and close to the fishermans’ port. It’s not officially public but they’re happy to chat.
Take a boat trip/go fishing/dolphin watching: Bahrain’s an archipelago which means the main island is surrounded by lots of smaller islands to visit. Jarada’s a big favourite with the Bahrain boating crowd but you need to check the tides as it disappears at high tide. There’s actually nothing there so you get a real desert island feel, that said, make sure you bring food, drinks and sun screen. Or head a bit further afield and check out the bird life at Hawar. If you’re not lucky enough to own, or be invited aboard, your own boat, it’s possible to hire for parties from two people upwards. Boat for up to 11 people with two crew, BD175 per half day, Coral Bay (17 312 700). Boat trips and fishing also available from Al Dar (17 704 600).
Take to the water: As the temperatures fall and the winds rise, there’s never been a better time to channel your inner Popeye and have a go at sailing. Bahrain Yacht Club does a ‘start sailing’ course of six lessons (12 hours) which will give you the basics to get afloat under supervision - the sessions run on successive Fridays but it’s also possible to do the course over two days. Start sailing level 1, Fridays, BD 60 for non-members, BD45 for members. Bahrain Yacht Club, Sitra (17 700 677).
New! Visit a festival: Bahrain seems to be the place for live music at the moment with the Farm Fest guys, featured in last month’s issue, up to all sorts of interesting stuff as well as the Eclipse Festival, Bahrain Music Conference and lots more planned.
Walk a puppy: Homeless hounds, waiting for new families at the island’s rescue centres, are always grateful to get out for a walk and what better way to enjoy the cooler weather than with a cute canine companion. Volunteer dogwalkers (and players, brushers and socialisers) are welcome at both Tony the Dogfather’s centre and the BSPCA. Call Tony (39 629 889) or the BSPCA on (17 591 231).
Watch live sport: The rugby season’s in full swing so if you’re missing the opportunity for a little pitchside yelling and advice, check out the calendar at Bahrain Rugby Club (BRFC) and turn up and support the locals as they take on teams from across the Gulf. If football’s your game, catch international matches at the National Stadium at Isa Town. BRFC www.bahrainrfc.net (17 695 809).