The Valfajr 8 Shipping Company operates a fortnightly ferry service between Manama and the Iranian port of Bushehr. A one-way fare, including two meals, costs BD35. The ship departs from the Mina Sulman port in Manama and the agent in Bahrain is International Agencies Company ( www.intercol.com); for helpful additional information on this service, call the shipping agent .
The only ‘land’ border is with Saudi Arabia, across the King Fahd Causeway.
Tourists are not permitted to drive between Saudi and Bahrain in a hired car. Residents of Saudi who have their own cars may use this crossing providing they have car insurance for both countries. For those coming from Saudi this can be purchased at the border. A transit visa must be obtained from the Saudi authorities for those driving by car between UAE and Bahrain.
The Saudi Bahraini Transport Co (Sabtco; www.sabtco.biz) runs a bus service between Manama and Dammam in Saudi Arabia. Buses leave six times a day between 8am and 8.30pm, and cost BD5 one way. From Dammam there are regular connections on to Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) and Doha (Qatar).
From Manama, Saudi Arabian Public Transport Co (Saptco; www.saptco.com) also has daily buses as far as Amman (Jordan) and Damascus (Syria) for BD17.500; Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah (UAE), all for around BD11; and Kuwait BD10. All departures are from the international bus terminal in Manama, where the Sabtco office is located. It acts as the agent for Saptco. You must have a valid transit visa for Saudi Arabia in advance and an onward ticket and visa for your next destination beyond Saudi’s borders.
Car & motorcycle
To get on the causeway to Saudi Arabia, all drivers (and passengers in taxis) must pay a toll of BD2, regardless of whether they’re travelling to Saudi or just as far as the border. The toll booth is on the western side of the intersection between the appropriately named Causeway Approach Rd and Janabiya Hwy.
Anyone crossing the border from Bahrain to Saudi will be given a customs form to complete, and drivers entering Bahrain from Saudi must purchase temporary Bahraini insurance and also sign a personal guarantee.
Bahrain International Airport (17 325 555; flight information 17 339 339) is on Muharraq Island, 12km from the centre of Manama, and handles frequent services to many intercontinental destinations as well as other countries in the region. It is modern and efficient and has one of the largest duty-free shopping areas in the region. Check-in time is officially two hours before flight departure.
The national carrier is Gulf Air (www.gulfair.com; Manama Centre, Government Rd, Manama), which flies to destinations worldwide. It is a highly regarded airline with a good safety record and reliable departure times. Reconfirmation of tickets 48 hours ahead of departure is necessary on many Gulf Air flights.
Other airlines flying to/from bahrain
- AirArabia (G9; www.airarabia.com; hub Sharjah)
- British Airways (BA; www.ba.com; hub Heathrow Airport, London)
- EgyptAir (MS; www.egyptair.com.eg; hub: Cairo)
- Emirates (EK; www.emirates.com; hub Dubai)
- Etihad Airways(EY; www.etihadairways.com; hub Abu Dhabi)
- KuwaitAir (KT; www.kuwait-airways.com; hub Kuwait City)
- Lufthansa (LH; www.lufthansa.com; hub Frankfurt)
- OmanAir (WY; www.omanair.com; hub Muscat)
- QatarAirways (QR; www.qatarairways.com; hub Doha)
- Saudi Arabian Airlines (SV; www.saudiairlines.com; hub Jeddah)